Mauritius is an island country in beautiful Africa. This nation is so beautiful that Mark Twain once said, “Heaven was copied after Mauritius!”, and when you get to know Mauritius, you’ll see that he wasn’t exaggerating at all.
Mauritius is the most democratic country in Africa, as well as the most stable economy among all African nations. This country has a lot to offer to those who are considering traveling to Mauritius, moving to Mauritius, investing in Mauritius, or even studying in Mauritius.
In this post, we’ll briefly get to know Mauritius thru Mauritius history, Mauritian people, and the top things to do in Mauritius.
Recent History of Mauritius
Who first discovered Mauritius?
Mauritius was first discovered by the Moors. This is corroborated by the earliest existing historical evidence of the island on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto Cantino in 1502 (two years after the Portuguese navigator Diogo Dias became the first European to discover the island).
When did the Dutch come to Mauritius?
Dutch sailors discovered Mauritius in 1598 but they didn’t live on the island until 1638 when they had to settle in Mauritius permanently to prevent French or Britons from taking over the island.
Why did the Dutch abandon Mauritius?
The crops and fort were not long-lasting and they were badly damaged by a cyclone. Discouraged by the bad conditions in Mauritius of droughts, storms, rats, and monkeys which prevented agricultural progress, the Dutch decided to abandon the island.
How did Mauritius become a French Colony?
Abandoned by the Dutch, Mauritius became a French colony in September 1715. A French Captain called ‘Guillaume Dufresne d’Arsel’ landed and took possession of this port of call on the route to India and in 1721, the French started their occupation.
When did Mauritius become a British Colony?
During the Napoleonic Wars, despite the French naval victory in the Battle of Grand Port, Mauritius was captured on 3 December 1810 by the British British possession of the island was confirmed four years later by the Treaty of Paris.
when did Mauritius gain independence from Britain?
Mauritius gained independence from Britain and became an independent state within the Commonwealth on March 12, 1968.
People in Mauritius
Mauritius is one of the only African countries with no indigenous community.
The vast majority of the Mauritians are Indian who are descendants of workers who were brought to the Islands by Britain and Africans who were brought as slaves by France. About 1/3 of the population are white who are either French, British, or Dutch.
What language do people speak in Mauritius?
People in Mauritius are trilingual (some are even quadrilingual ). They all speak English, French, and Mauritian Creole fluently and some still speak Indian! It’s pretty common for Mauritians to switch between languages even during a sole conversation.
Things to do in Mauritius
The capital of Mauritius is a masterpiece and the reason why Mauritius is famous as the ‘Singapore of Africa’. Port Louis s a modern city with its unique charm. You can visit the local market, Hindu temples, and churches, or just chill on the beach and enjoy the spectacular view of the blue water and clear sky.
The beaches in Mauritius
Mauritius is said to be the paradise of the Indian Ocean for a good reason.
The beaches in Mauritius offer clear warm colored blue turquoise water and endless white sand with coconut trees that make Mauritius an ideal tropical dream beach holiday destination.
The Best Beaches in Mauritius
1- Trou aux Biches Beach
Located at the North West of Mauritius a few kilometers South West of Grand Bay, The Trou aux Biches beach is about 2 km (1.2 miles) long. Covered with white powder-like sand and protected by the coral reef (which in some parts almost reaches all the way to the beach), Trou aux Biches is a great Mauritian beach for snorkeling, sunbathing, or spending a day with the family.
The beach is easily accessible as bus stations are situated right in front of it. The buses go from the beach all the way to Port Louis from one side, or Grand Bay on the other side.
2- Blue Bay Beach
Looking for a beach where it is hard to get a bad picture? Head to the South East of Mauritius (not far from the port city of Mahebourg) until you find crystal clear water with many different blues shinning from any angle (by then you will realize where the name comes from).
While during the week, the beach is quite empty and you will have this beautiful beach almost for yourself, it can get quite crowded on weekends with locals coming from Mahebourg to relax.
Blue Bay beach is very famous for the Blue Bay marine park (the first and largest marine park in Mauritius), but the fun doesn’t end there. You can also go swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing.
3- Belle Mare Beach
Known for calm waters as there is a great deep lagoon that runs between the shoreline and the beach, The Belle Mare beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Mauritius, as well as the longest beach in Mauritius (The beach starts at Belle Mare village and stretched all the way south till the village of Trou dÈau Douce).
The turquoise deep blue lagoon ends, changes to turquoise crystal clear water in the beach area and ends up in a white clean beach which is bordered to lush green grassland covered by many trees and plants which makes the Belle Mare beach an ideal place for sports activities like jogging and walking along in Mauritius.
This Belle Mare beach lies vacant for most of the week except on the weekends that it fills up with local villagers.
4- Flic en Flac Beach
Located on the west coast of Mauritius between the village of Albion and Tamarin, the beach of Flic en Flac is great for bathing, swimming, snorkeling, and for spending a day of relaxation with your partner, family, and friends. The beach is entirely protected by the coral reef and offers the best swimming possibilities without strong sea currents.
Stepping on a sea urchin can be very painful and this is why it is highly recommended to wear sandals or swimming shoes when entering the sea.
During weekdays the beach of Flic en Flac is quite empty while on the weekends the beach can become quite busy with many locals from the surrounding villages and towns.
5- Le Morne Beach
The public beach of Le Morne is a beautiful beach with white coral sand, very clear waters providing great visibility, trees scattered along the beach, and beautiful scenery with the Le Morne Mountain as an impressive background.
The public beach of Le Morne is easily accessible from the main road and is on the same level as the other beaches in the area.
Le Morne beach is one of the top kite and windsurfing destinations in the world, because of perfect wind conditions (almost) all year-round.
Depending on the surfing conditions of each day, Le Morne beach could be busy any day of the week.
Seven Colored Earths
One of Mauritius’ most iconic attractions, the island’s original and premier geopark provides a unique experience for geology enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those who simply want to understand more about this rare and impressive phenomenon
The Seven Coloured Earths hill is made up of approximately seven different colors (red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple, and yellow). The colors remain stably the same even after the rain.
Black River Gorges National Park
Covering 3.5% of Mauritius’ land area, the Black River Gorges National Park is a dense jungle, home to some of the rarest birds in the world (like Pink pigeon, a bird endemic to Mauritius, which nearly reached extinction) and over 300 species of flowering plants. This national park is a perfect place for hiking lovers, offering panoramic views of the island’s landscape, including vistas, gorges, peaks, and waterfalls.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
Being the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere, SSR Botanical Garden was created over 300 years ago by the famous French botanist, ‘Pierre Poivre’. Covering a massive landmass, it might take you more than a week to cover the whole garden. The garden is populated with more than 650 varieties of plants and the trees are between 150 and 250 years old.
Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin)
Ganga Talao (AKA Grand Bassin) is a peaceful crater lake in a secluded mountain area in the district of Savanne. Being the most sacred Hindu place in Mauritius, Ganga Talao is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
During the Maha Shivaratri, most of the devotees leave their homes and go towards the Grand Bassin on foot. Volunteer people offer food and drinks to the pilgrims as a tradition.