An adventure in Mauritius

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Happy New Year everyone! For my first post of the year, I thought I should share my memorable Christmas holiday experience in Mauritius Island with my family even though I was not able to shoot the best photos while there.

For those that don’t know, Mauritius is a little paradise in the Indian Ocean with 23 inactive volcanoes and beautiful waterfalls. In fact it was created by underwater volcanic eruptions. Their president is female (how cool is that?). Majority of the population is of Indian descent so you’ll see a number of them when you visit. There are Mauritian Creole people as well as Africans from Mozambique and South Africa that inhabit the island. The most spoken languages are French and Mauritian Creole though you may be lucky to find a few locals that can speak proper English. Learn a few French words before hand especially when asking for directions in the capital city, Port Louis.

Being a well known tourist destination means that it has a rather high cost of living so plan for that if you intend to go there. The plus side is that the island is packed with so many activities though I didn’t even get to do 70% of what I had planned.

This trip was adventurous and for a non-daring person I actually went all out and tried all the water, land and air sports that I would not ordinarily do back home. I went parasailing, drove a quad bike up a mountain, went on a 1500m  zip line and did an underwater sea walk.

We took a road trip to the south that was just about an hour’s drive where we got to visit the Hindu temple in Grand Bassin and eat amazing traditional Creole food. The south has an adventure park called “La Vallee des Couleurs” which was where I went on the 1500m zip line and drove a quad bike up the mountains.

I decided to venture out and take a tour around their capital city, Port Louis. They have the Bagatelle and Waterfront malls where you can go shopping for souvenirs. You may also just go to their downtown shops but bargain for a good price because of course they will charge you more as a tourist. You can also go to their Central Market and buy groceries if you plan on renting out an apartment like we did. There is a mini China-town street where you can find shops with spices, food, clothes and products.

I also got to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site in Port Louis called Aapravatsi Ghaat. This was where indentured laborers from the 1800s were kept for about 3 days before being assigned to the sugar plantations distributed across the country. The living conditions were horrific and when they were finally assigned to the plantations, they were overworked like slaves, treated inhumanly and paid lower wages than agreed upon. This tour was quite emotional and it’s amazing how far Mauritius has come from such times.

A catamaran cruise is a must do if you’re ever in Mauritius even though I was not able to get one myself because my plans were a bit messed up. There are several offered at each corner of the island but I’d suggest to go for the ones where you can get to see dolphins and whales or those that offer a swimming session with dolphins. Also if you decide to go somewhere fancy, you can watch the famous Sega dancers and attend a beach party.

Like I said, I never got to shoot that much but here are some of the random good photos I took during my stay in Mauritius.

To get around the island, you can rent a car which is normally about $20-$30 per day depending on the size. You may also book with a travel agency and that way you can have a van to take you around. You may also take the bus but be careful to always ask where it is going before jumping on one.

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You can access any of the above activities from any service provider in Mauritius but those are some that can guide your trip. There is so much more you can do in Mauritius from a submarine tour to kite surfing and sky diving so google and plan a more adventurous trip than I did.

Live and Love,

Marie