The Republic of Mauritius is an island state in East Africa. It is situated in the Indian Ocean 900 kilometres away from Madagascar. The Republic includes the Mauritius Island, the Agalega Island, the Rodrigues Island, and the Cargados Carajos Archipelago. The capital city is Port Louis.
The official languages on the islands are French and English. The EU and CIS tourists should not face any problems with communication.
About half of the population are the Hindu and about 30% are the Christians. The others practice the Islam and Buddhism.
The country is known for its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The most popular beach resorts are Pereybere, Blue Bay, and Tamarin.
In addition to the beaches, Mauritius can offer all the facilities for diving and exploring a unique underwater world. The tourists can go snorkelling, surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing on all the islands. The best places for surfing are in the Tamarin Bay.
Any hotel rents boats for fishing. A really good fishing is to the south-west from River Marlin-Noire to the Le Morne Brabant. In those places, one can catch tuna fish, sea pike, and hammerhead shark.
One of the key touristic routes includes a trip to the village Triode, the city of Curepipe, the Westin Turtle Bay, and a capital city Port Louis.
For a good shopping, head to Goodlands.
If you do not want to forget about your appearance even on holidays, Mauritius can offer various procedures in spa-salons and thalassotherapy centres. In all four and five star hotels, there are professional well-being and treatment centres.
Wedding tourism is gaining popularity in Mauritius. Anyone can arrange a wedding ceremony on these exotic islands.
There is a charter flight from Moscow to Mauritius offered by Transaero.
The CIS citizens can get to the islands with a transfer in hub airports in Europe and Arab countries. You will want to fly with Emirates Airlines, Air Mauritius, British Airways, and KLM.
Cruise ships Mauritius Pride and Trochetia arrive at the ports of Mauritius. The ships sail between the islands, Reunion, Rodrigues Island, and Madagascar.
A visa-free regime is applied to the EU and CIS tourists if their stay on the islands will not exceed 180 days.
The tourists can obtain a visa in two ways:
- at the British Embassy;
- at the Customs of Mauritius.
Online application for a visa has been cancelled for now.
Adult tourists can bring in the following things duty-free:
- alcoholic beverages;
- 250 ml of perfume or eau de toilette;
- photo and video gadgets.
There are no restrictions concerning the import or export of currency. However, any sum of money imported to Mauritius must be declared.
It is prohibited to import:
- fruits and vegetables;
- any food from Africa and south-eastern Asia;
- flower and plant seeds;
- auto tires.
The tourists are not allowed to export:
- corals, seashells and other objects found in the sea (without permission of the authorities);
The tourists are allowed to bring in pets provided they have international vet certificates.
Rice is the main ingredient on Mauritius. It is served with sauces, spices, vegetables, and seafood. The most popular sauces are Rougaille, Sabanoi, and Vin d’ail.
The major dish in the national cuisine of Mauritius is Curry. The tourists should also try Biryani (rice with meat, vegetables, and spices), and Puri (sandwiches with vegetable, fish or meat filling).
Of course, fish and seafood are very popular on the islands. The locals smoke, roast, stew, and boil fish and they can serve it raw adding some lemon juice. A true delicacy is Camaron. This is a mixture of crabs, lobsters, escargot, and sea urchin.
The tourists will be impressed by the abundance of fruits and vegetables growing on the islands. In Mauritius, they can try yam, squash, cassava, and cabbage palm.
Traditional drinks in Mauritius are coffee, fruit juices and Aloud (condensed coconut milk with spices).
In the restaurants, order some local beer (Blue Merlin and Fenix) and the famous white Mauritian rum Green Island.
There is a great choice of desserts in Mauritius. The local chefs will make for you Samoussa (pastry with fish or meat filling), Topucossa (vanilla donuts with cardamom), and Pausuma (sweet pastry with seafood paste).
The national currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR).
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks and in exchange offices. At the airport, one can exchange the national currency back to any foreign currency.
Restaurants, hotels, and shops accept traveller’s checks and international credit cards.
Details of interest
In Mauritius, there are two UNESCO sites and anyone can see them.
- In Port Louis, the tourists can see a unique immigration depot Aapravasi Ghat. The ruins of the complex with three buildings are the national monument in Mauritius.
- In the district Riviere Noire, the travellers will enjoy the Le Morne Cultural Landscape. Peninsula Le Morne is situated in the south-west on the Mauritius Island. The waters near the peninsula are ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
In Riviere Noire, there is also a UNESCO candidate natural site. This is the Black River Gorges National Park.
There are many other interesting places in Mauritius open for the tourists:
- Mauritius Turf is one of the oldest riding clubs in the world. It was founded in 1812.
- The Casela Nature and Leisure Park in Flic-en-Flac. The divers and those who prefer snorkelling can explore the caves and sunken ships.
- A trip to the Makshabe relic forest will be an unforgettable experience. This is the largest natural reserve in Mauritius.
- The Riviera de L’anglais Nature Park is a habitat for many animals. The tourists can take a picture of crocodiles, chameleons, turtles, bats, and monkeys.
- During an excursion to the Bois Cheri Tea Factory the travellers can learn about the technology of tea leaves processing. Anyone can also buy some Bois Cheri tea.
- Visit the sacred town Grand-Bassin with its lake. According to the legend, fairies swam in this lake.
- In the Savanne district, the tourists can see a very beautiful lake Ganga Talao. The lake is situated 549 meters above the sea.
Souvenirs in Mauritius
In Mauritius the tourists usually buy jewellery. Some other popular souvenirs are pottery and wooden jewellery, lace tablecloth, cashmere clothes, handmade miniature models of ships.
Of course, you cannot leave Mauritius without buying the real Mauritian tea.