Mauritius is a typical tropical paradise, Mauritius’ reputation for beach bliss is indisputable. Sun worshippers and water sport enthusiasts can make the most of the golden palm-fringed beaches, turquoise sea and coral reef that nearly surrounds the entire island through a great variety of activities. These include catamaran cruising, windsurfing, water skiing, diving, para-sailing, deep sea fishing, golf and adventure sports. Away from the beachfront, mountains; forests with unique flora and bird life as well as cultural, historical and natural sights like craters and giant lilies, mesmerize visitors. With all this to do, Mauritius will let you discover a different rhythm of life, the Sega rhythm…

CAPITAL:

Port-Louis

CLIMATE:

Tropical. Every month is rainy, but Dec-May are the wettest months. Cyclones occur Nov-May. A well-structured system of phased warnings exist. During the cyclone, visitors are not allowed to leave their accommodation and car insurance policies often cease to be valid.

CURRENCY:

1 Mauritian Rupee = 100 cents. Travel with Rupees or EURO traveller’s cheques. There is no restriction on foreign or local currency brought into the country. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival. The airport bank will exchange Rupees into foreign currency on departure. Credit cards accepted are American Express, Diners Club, Visa and Mastercard. Main hotels will exchange traveller’s cheques and bank notes.

ELECTRICITY:

230 volts, 50Hz. Continental 2-pin plugs are most common, but 3-pin round and flat plugs have been noted. Take a travel plug.

HEALTH:

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas. Visitors are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against malaria (exists in certain rural areas, no risk on Rodrigues island), hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Other health concerns include high constant humidity (may affect persons with arthritic conditions); sinusitis and hay fever (Jul-Aug); influenza (risk throughout the year); and diarrhoea.

LANGUAGE:

English is the official language and understood throughout the island. French is also a principal language and Creole is spoken by all locals. Oriental and Indian languages are also spoken.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:

New Year’s Day (1 Jan); Day after New Year’s Day (2 Jan); Chinese New Year (22 Jan); Abolition of Slavery / Thaipoosam Cavadee (1 Feb); Maha Srivatri (18 Feb); Good Friday (9Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Assumption (15 Aug); Ganesh Chaturthi (18 Sep); All Saint’s Day (1 Nov); Arrival of Indentured Labourers (2 Nov); Deepavali (12 Nov); End of Ramadan (14 Nov); Christmas Day (25 Dec)

SHOPPING:

saris; silk shirts; Indian fabrics; basketwork; knitwear; hand-embroidered tablecloths; macrame work; wood carvings; pottery; model boats, diamonds, jewellery; casual wear. Low prices limit bargaining.

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS:

More than half the population is Hindu, so respect their traditions and religion. Dress appropriately when visiting religious shrines (no shorts, mini-skirts, etc.) and remove shoes when entering mosques and temples. Clothing is beachwear by day and casual wear at night.

TIME DIFFERENCE:

GMT +4

TIPPING:

A 10 percent Government Tax is added to all hotel and restaurant bills. Tipping is not compulsory and remains a gesture of appreciation left to the guest’s discretion. Tipping taxi drivers is not customary.

TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS DESCRIPTION:

Port-Louis:

Capital and main port of Mauritius; French colonial buildings e.g. the 18th century Government House and Municipal Theatre; Natural History Museum; market; Edward VII Avenue; Fort Adelaide; The Worldwide Masks Museum; the Caudan and Port-Louis Waterfronts.

Pamplemousses

The gardens are known to naturalists throughout the world for their large collection of indigenous and exotic plants, incl. the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and many species of palm trees; of particular interest is the talipot palm, which is said to flower once every sixty years and then dies.

Grand Bassin:

One of the island’s two natural lakes, resting in a crater of an extinct volcano and is the place of pilgrimage for Hindus, especially on the occasion of Maha Shivaratree.

Chamarel:

A mound of undulating land stretching in contrasting layers of colour; the patches of blue, green, red and yellow earth are believed to be the result of weathering; the nearby waterfall emerges from the moors and primeval vegetation and is startlingly beautiful.

Trou Aux Cerfs:

An extinct crater 85m deep and more than 200m wide; enjoy an extensive view of the island from the rim.

Souillac and Gris-Gris:

Small seaside resort with beautiful cliff scenery and no bathing; in the south is the popular viewpoint of Gris-Gris, where you can see the waves crashing into the dark, hollowed-out rocks.

Domaine Du Chasseur:

Near Mahebourg, a forest park with luxurious vegetation including wild orchids and animals e.g. stags, deers, wild boars and monkeys, covering 2000 acres.

Black River Gorges National Park:

Protects much of the remaining native forests and provides spectacular natural scenery and some of the unique endemic plants and birdlife; number of walking trails and viewpoints.

Beaches Grand:

Baie has many beaches and spots for safe bathing, sailing, windsurfing and water skiing; Blue Bay is one of the finest bathing spots of the islands, is close to Mahebourg and has a natural bathing pool; Le Morne & Tamarin are known for their surfing spots; Iles aux Cerfs is an island resort with 2 restaurants, a boat-house and beautiful beaches.

Rodrigues Island:

About 560 km east of Mauritius where you can be charmed by locals’ easy way of life; the nature lover will find several species of endemic tropical fauna and flora and can enjoy hiking, bird watching, angling and mountain biking; visits to the Caverne Patate and surrounding islets e.g. Ile aux Cocos (a haven to some rare species of sea birds) can be arranged.



Source by Gerald Crawford