Mauritius Newsletter – September 2022
Mauritius is a breathtaking tropical island renowned for its coastal bounties with pristine beaches and extensive coral reefs set against the backdrop of sculptured volcanic mountain scenery. Situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius is known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. An oval pendant shaped island, it shines brightly as a much desired destination for millions of discerning travellers. Its intense blue-green hues are embellished due to one of the most lively coral-reefs, which is one of the largest in the world.
The landscape of Mauritius has radically changed from its subtropical rainforest origins, once inhabited by the Dodo but made extinct in the 17th Century by the early Dutch settlers. Today, the scenery is dominated by rolling sugarcane fields with many towns and villages dotted around this amazing island. The mountain ranges across Mauritius are strewn with the remnants of volcanic eruptions when the island was formed approximately nine million years ago as part of the Mascarene Oceanic Plateau.
The appeal of Mauritius lies in its raw natural beauty and at the same a heady mix of different cultures and heritage. And this is what makes our vacations so unique – when we are able to step away from our daily routines and enter into a world of blue, green, turquoise , with sounds of waves crashing on the white sand and wafts of delicious food rising up in the air. We welcome you to this world of Mauritius.
Soul Trip : The Ocean’s Call
Ever wondered why some of our best holidays are by the sea ? Why is it that we are drawn to the beach, the ocean, the vast expanse of salty water as far as eyes can see. That’s because we have a genetic connection to the sea. All life started in the sea as single cell organisms. It is the precursor of who we are today. And not just that, even today, the stability of human life, the food chain begins with the sea. We must understand this primal connection, respect it and appreciate it.
While it is true that a beach holiday gives us a chance to click some spectacular photographs, wear colorful beach wear, fun and frolic on the beach with our significant others, it is also true that it provides a clean break from the cramped, hectic lifestyles of the city. Water is an unending blue till the eyes meet the horizon – this uninterrupted view itself calms the soul because our human system is more attuned to these kind of vistas. Soothing sounds of ocean have a calming effect on the nerves – this is a scientifically proven fact. All in all, to be by the side of the ocean is a multi-sensory experience. It is almost like a ritual that human body craves for.
We must never forget our connection to the ocean. It is also our responsibility to maintain the health of the oceans. Because what happens with the oceans will impact us all.
Discover Your World
Mauritius : Sunshine, Sea and Serenity.
To get a sample itinerary for Mauritius, Click here.
Mauritius (written in French as L’île Maurice, and in Mauritian Creole as Moris) is a small, multi-cultural island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, northeast of Reunion and southeast of the Seychelles. While the island was first discovered by Arabic sailors, it was never under Arabic occupation. Later on, Portuguese, Dutch, French and finally British established their colonies in the island. British used the land to cultivate many crops and freely used the slave labour from India and other countries to work in the fields.
Owing to its geographic location and centuries of colonialism, the people of Mauritius are highly diverse in ethnicity, culture, language and faith. Mauritius adopted a new constitution, and independence was proclaimed on 12 March 1968. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became the first prime minister of an independent Mauritius.
It is the only country in Africa where Hinduism is the most practised religion. Mauritius is highly ranked for economic and political freedom along with being the only African country with full democracy. Mauritius is also the continent's only country with "very high" Human Development Index. According to the World Bank, the country is classified as a high-income economy. Mauritius is also ranked as the most competitive, and one of the safe, most developed economies in the African region.
Situated near the Tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius has a tropical climate. There are 2 seasons: a warm humid summer from November to April, with a mean temperature of 24.7 °C and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September with a mean temperature of 20.4 °C. Occasional tropical cyclones generally occur between January and March and tend to disrupt the weather for a few days, bringing heavy rain. Apart from these months, rest of the year offers balmy and a very conducive weather for swimming and other water sports. Mauritius is surrounded by world’s third largest coral reef so snorkelling, diving and other water sports should not be missed while here.
Mauritian cuisine is a combination of Indian, Creole, French and Chinese, with many dishes unique to the island. Spices are also a major component of Mauritian cuisine. There is a local variant of the Persian Falooda which is locally known as Alouda, which is a cold beverage made with milk, basil seeds, and agar-agar jelly. Locally made French pastry and bread are sold in most localities. Popular hawker meals include a wrap called Dholl Puri, rice based Biryani and gâteau piment. Blue Mauritius Rum, is a very special world-recognized liquor. There are also many highly acclaimed white rums, including spiced, vanilla, and coffee.Look for Quality Merlot from local wineries, Lagrein and Diamond wines.
Port Louis – the capital of Mauritius has played a leading part in the struggle between the French and British occupation (1735-1935) and was considered during that period as `the star and the key of the Indian Ocean`. There are many historical places and buildings to visit. It is also one of the best places to learn and appreciate more about the Mauritian cultures and traditions. Some of the most notable sites in Port Louis to give you a sense of its multicultural past are:
Aapravasi Ghat, ex-Coolie ghat - a World Heritage Site. It was the landing point for the indentured labourers, mainly from India, in the 19th century, following the abolition of slavery in 1834.
China Town where you will find Chinese shops, restaurants and pharmacies with modern and traditional Chinese remedies.
The Stamp Museum, Mauritius Natural History Museum and the Blue Penny Museum. The Mauritius blue penny and penny orange from 1847 are among the rarest stamps in the world, and you can view them here along with a plethora of other rare cultural and historical artifacts from the island.
The St Louis Cathedral.
The Jummah Mosque, Royal Rd, a rare proof of the skills of Tamil craftsmen and other craftsmen of India, who also built temples and churches. A haven of peace in the middle of this busy capital.
Port Louis Market known as Bazaar Port Louis where you find local products, cheap clothing, and local spices.
Travellers' Lane, in Jardin des Compagnies, with travellers' texts ranging from Marco Polo, Duarte Barbosa to Ahmad bin Majid.
Diving in Mauritius is spectacular, with the extremely white sand, ultra-blue water, coloured soft coral re-growth massive shoals and dramatic topography with varied and abundant marine life. Diving is good all year round, with very good visibility and a water temperature between 24 and 29 degrees. Most of the dive sites are located in the North, with dive boats launching from Pereybere, Cap Malhereux, Grand Gaube, and Trou aux Biches. There are also dive sites at Flic en Flac in the West, in Bel Mare in the East, and Blue Bay in the South. The Northern Islands are accessible from Pereybere, with close 10-minute boat access to Coin de Mire, a protected Island where the Djabeda, a spectacular wreck lies.
The wall of the Island, the caverns and caves, and swim-through passages are exciting dive sites for advanced divers. Confetti Bay is shallow, exquisite, and perfect for family groups. Also worth diving is the Cathedral which is located off Flic en Flac on the western coast of Mauritius. Mauritius offers Wreck diving, massive shoals, exquisite corals, large schools of pelagic fish, and shark diving. Recently with the re-growth of the coral reefs through a government conservation initiative the numbers of the endangered Green Turtle, (Chelonia Mydas) have increased dramatically. Marine life is colourful and varied.
Around the Island are shipwrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, or some ships sunk more recently which create beautiful artificial reefs. Other dive sites in Mauritius include Whale Rock and Roche Zozo where a pinnacle emerges from 60 meters from the ocean floor, and the submerged crater near Ile Ronde, where a variety of sharks come to sleep during the day. Mauritius is almost completely encircled by a barrier coral reef which is home to many sponges, sea anemones, a variety of shoaling fish, and some rare species endemic to Mauritius alone.
The touristic regions in Mauritius are divided in to North, East, South-East and West, with each region offering stunning beaches, bustling local markets, lip-smacking food and all-around beauty. In Mauritius, you will be spoiled for some of the best that this planet has to offer and even seven days will seem less to take it all in.
Events in September 2022 in Mauritius :
31 August/ 1 September : Ganesh Chaturthi
9 September : Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Father Jacques Desire Laval
9 and 10 September : Allwaves Music Fest
10 September : Mid Autumn Festival / Mooncake Festival
21 September : Ghoon parade
*Please confirm all event and festival dates and venues before booking.
COVID UPDATE : At the time of writing, the following protocol is being followed for international arrivals into Mauritius : As from 1 July 2022, visitors no longer have to test or self-isolate to enjoy a Mauritius holiday. All travellers can enjoy a holiday and explore freely from day one of their stay. Please note that it may be required to fill an online passenger locator form before you undertake your journey.
For any latest update, please check your airlines’ site or https://health.govmu.org/ website or contact the Airport Health Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our last two issue, we had covered Tripwhistle, Tripit, Roadtripper, Google Maps, Flightradar24, Google Photos, Packpoint, XE currency converter, Airbnb and Flio. In this last and final part of the series we bring you our last set of recommended travel apps that can add a world of convenience to your travels.:
Skyscanner : While there are many apps who can help you find cheap airfares between two cities, Skyscanner design makes it particularly helpful to the intrepid travellers. It even has a feature of helping you search the airfares to ‘Anywhere’ from your city of origin, setting alerts for price drop and showing you trends of airfares are expected to move as months progress.
TrailWallet : Trail Wallet is an easy travel expense tracker. You can organize your travel expenses by trip or by month, set a daily budget, and easily add expenses. When you get a bill or receipt, just add the amount using the Quick Add screen and you’re done. You can even compare your expenses across holidays.
Hostelworld : You may have never considered staying in a hostel when you are vacationing, but hostels have an amazing vibe that no hotel or Airbnb can match. You meet independent travellers from all over the world. They even have family rooms so it is not that you always have to sleep in dorms and share bathrooms – it has its own charm though. And needless to say, is cheaper.
HappyCow : The world’s most trusted app on finding vegan food wherever you go. For some of us, it becomes a real tough job to look for vegetarian / vegan food. Happy Cow is the answer to that problem. It even has food reviews from past visitors.
Local Apps : Look for the local apps which are copies of the global favorites. Like Careem in UAE and Pathao in Nepal do the same job as Uber ; Openrice is a better food app in South East Asia than Yelp or Zomato ; 2gis is a better mapping app in Dubai than Google Maps. So while you may know the most common ones famous the world over, do a little research the local top rankers for a better experience.
Technology can add to a lot of convenience to travel these days. Whatever be your problem, there’s bound to be an app for it. So go explore, both this world and the world of helpful travel apps.
Sustainable Travel Tip of the Month
Oceans constitute 70% of our planet and are fundamentally responsible for life on Earth. Today, due to excessive pollution in air, soil and water, our oceans and marine life are under immense danger. While we may not feel the impact of it directly as yet, it is important to understand that if the life of micro organisms in the sea becomes unsustainable, then eventually human life will become unsustainable on the planet too.
There are lots of steps that we can take to start protecting the oceans. As travellers some of the most critical steps we must take are :
Do not littler the ocean or the beaches with plastic trash. Specially items like water bottles, plastic bags, straws, lighters, swimming equipment, icecream wrappers, shampoo pouches, other plastic containers etc. Please bring back all your plastic trash to your house / hotel room and leave it there so it can be recycled.
While snorkelling etc, do not break or touch any part of the coral reef.
Do not feed the fish or any marine animals with whatever you are eating.
Be careful about the type of sunscreen you are using. Most of these sunscreens combine with the ocean water and make the water toxic for marine organisms.
Try not to use the boats that burn diesel and leave toxic fumes in the water.
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