Mauritius – the Republic of Mauritius island state in Africa

Mauritius

Mauritius, or the Republic of Mauritius – an island state, located in the south-west of the Indian Ocean (900 km east of Madagascar). The Republic of Mauritius owns the eponymous island of Mauritius (1865 km² and 104 km² of Rodrigues, part of the Mascarene Islands, as well as the Cargados-Carajos archipelago, the Agalega Islands and some smaller islands. The country has a total area of 2,040 km² and a population of 1,265,577 (2018 data).

The discoverers of Mauritius in the 10th century were the Arabs, who named the uninhabited island Dina Arobi. From the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese colonized Mauritius, under them the island was called Sisna, after one of the Portuguese ships. The Dutch came here in 1598 and named the island Mauritius – after Prince Maurice of Orange. In 1638 they founded the first settlement and also founded plantations of sugar cane, cotton and tobacco, for work on which they brought slaves from Madagascar. Since 1715, the island of Mauritius was a French territory, called the Ile de France. In 1721 the first French settlement appeared there, and soon afterwards several forts and a shipyard were built. In the second half of the 18th century, the island had many plantations of sugar cane, coffee, corn and cassava.

The island became a British colony in 1814, after the British victory over the French, and the name Mauritius was returned to it. By 1835, when slavery was abolished, the number of slaves on Mauritius was about 70% of the population. Since the end of the nineteenth century, there were also many immigrants from India and China living on the island. The first sugar industries appeared and tea and tobacco cultivation began. On March 12, 1968, Mauritius gained state independence from Britain. At the same time, there were cases of armed confrontations between Asians and Creoles (blacks and mulattoes). The political unrest continued until March 12, 1992, when Mauritius was proclaimed a republic.

Capital: Port Louis Area: 2040 km 2 Population: 1,265,577 (2018) Language: Mauritian Creole, French, English Website: http://www.tourism-mauritius.mu/

Flight time: Flights to Sivusagur Ramgoolam Airport from Moscow – from 14 hours 5 min (1-5 connections) from Saint Petersburg – from 15 hours 45 min (1-5 connections) from Kazan – from 18 hours 35 min (1-5 connections) from Ekaterinburg – from 18 hours 40 min (1-4 connections) from Novosibirsk – from 20 hours 50 min (2-4 connections)

The history of the second island of the Republic of Mauritius – Rodrigues Island also dates back to the Portuguese colonization: discovered in 1528, the island was named after the discoverer Portuguese Diego Rodrigues. The island belonged to the Dutch in 1691-1693 and then to the French and from 1810 to 1968 to the British, after which it became part of the State of Mauritius.

How to get to Mauritius

From Moscow you can get to Mauritius by plane. The regular flights are operated by Emirates Airlines with a connection in Dubai. The national airline of the island Air Mauritius operates joint flights with Air France with connections in Paris. There are also other connecting options, which you can explore using the form below. All flights from other countries arrive at Sir Sivusagur Ramgoolam Airport. There is also an airport on the island of Rodrigues, owned by the state of Mauritius, with domestic flights there.

Climate and weather in Mauritius

Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean, has a tropical monsoon climate with a long wet season (December-May and June-August) and a short dry season (September-November). The average temperature is +26°C in February and +14 to +18°C in July. The water temperature off the coast of Mauritius is +22°C to +26°C all year round.

The average annual rainfall on the coast is 1500-2500 mm, while in the mountains it is 3500-5000 mm. The heaviest rainfall usually occurs between February and March. The cyclone season lasts from November to April. Hurricane force winds with heavy rainfall are most common in January to March and can cause major damage to the island’s infrastructure.

Weather in Mauritius

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Weather in Mauritius by Month

Reviews by Month

Photographs of Mauritius

Cities and regions

Mauritius is divided into 9 districts and 3 dependent territories.

The most popular cities and resorts in the country:

Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius, the country’s largest city with 156,720 inhabitants (data 2010), spread out on the shores of the Indian Ocean in the northwestern part of the island at the foot of the Moka mountain range and Mount Peter Bot (821 m).

In 1635, the settlement on this site was already a famous port. Since 1731, the city was the capital of the French colony in the Indian Ocean and was named after the French King Louis XIV. Beginning in 1735, redevelopment of the city and reconstruction of the port began. When Mauritius passed to England in 1810, Port Louis remained the capital of the island and still is. In the city there is the residence of the President of the Republic, Parliament, government offices.

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In the appearance of Port Louis, characterized by original buildings and rich tropical vegetation, successfully combines signs of different cultures: European, Asian and African. Among its attractions should be called a white-green Mosque Jumma (1805), St. James Cathedral, Museum of Photography, Postal Museum, Museum of masks, Museum of seashells, the Cathedral of St. Louis, Fort Adelaide Fortress and the Champ de Mars at its foot, the picturesque Chinese quarter in the north of the city.

Maeburg is a city on the island of Mauritius with a population of 15,753 (2000 data), the second most important port in the country after Port Louis, located on the southeast coast in the bay of Grand Port. The bay is dominated by Lion’s Mountain, and there is a cluster of small islands in the bay’s waters. The shore of the bay is famous for the sandy beach to the east of Maeburg, there are many dive centers and facilities for windsurfing.

The town was founded in 1805 during the French colonization and was named after Governor Bertrand Francois Mae de Labourdonnais. Maeburg was known for its large slave market. In 1810, the famous battle between the French flotilla and the English squadron took place in the waters of Maeburg.

Today, Maeburg is an important transportation hub for the island, with express bus routes from Port Louis, Curepipe and airport buses running through it.

Among the attractions of Maeburg are the Naval History Museum in a historic building from 1771, a confectionery factory founded in 1870, the church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, a spontaneous market that appears on Mondays.

Qurpipe (or Qurpipe) is a large city on the island of Mauritius, with a population of 85,000 people, the business and commercial center of the country, stretched on the Central Plateau, at an altitude of about 560 m.

The city began its development in the 19th century with the arrival of settlers from Port Louis where a malaria epidemic had broken out. It was the first inhabited locality in Mauritius to have electricity and was thus called the City of Light.

Among the main attractions are the Church of St. Teresa, consecrated in 1872, the Basilica of St. Helena, the Chapel of St. Joseph, the oldest Hindu temple in the city and the Mosque of Malartik, the Old Town Hall, Botanical Gardens.

Grand Baie is a resort town in the north of the island with a population of almost 12 thousand people. Grand Baie is one of the “pioneers” of the resort industry on the island and has a developed recreation infrastructure, with beautiful beaches, many restaurants, stores, hotels and diving centers.

Flick-en-Flak is another resort town in the west of Mauritius, which traces its history back to a small fishing village, and its name comes from the old Dutch phrase “Fried Landt Flaak” – “free country”.

Today, Flik en Flak is famous for its fashionable hotels, restaurants of different cuisines of the world, golf courses, and vibrant nightlife. The resort is also famous for its gorgeous white sandy beach and wide opportunities for diving.

There are many natural attractions around Flick-en-Flack: Casela Nature and Recreational Park, the “Land of the Seven Flowers of Chamarel,” Tamarin Bay – a paradise for surfers and a dolphin habitat.

Belle Hombre is a resort town on the southern coast of the island, where the most prestigious hotel complexes of Mauritius are concentrated. Guests of the resort, in addition to beach holidays, can visit the same name estate Bel Ombre (Domaine de Bel Ombre), founded by Irish botanist Charles Telfair in 1816, which has golf courses and SPA-center. In addition, there are some natural attractions around the resort.

Rodrigues Island is the second largest island of the Republic, measuring 18 by 8 km, located 560 km north-east of Mauritius. The island is surrounded by coral reef, located 10 km from the shore and is a favorite destination for kite, wind and surfers. In addition, the island is developed beach and ecotourism. Thus, there is a picturesque beach, Trou d’Arge. Ornithologists should visit the neighboring islands of Ile aux Cocos and Ile aux Sables, the habitat of a large number of seabirds. On Rodrigues are also located unique caves Patat, the turtle reserve named after François Lega. There are also the unique caves of Patat, the François Lega turtle reserve, and the observation point on Mount Limón.

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You can get to Rodrigues by Air Mauritius in 1.5 hours (up to 5 flights a day) or by ferry once a week (travel time 36-48 hours).

Ile aux Cerfs (or Deer Island) is another famous island in the Republic of Mauritius. It is located east of Mauritius and was named so because of the large number of deer that used to live there. The island has picturesque beaches with snow-white sand, along which stand fashionable hotels. Visitors can enjoy eco-tourism, surfing, and diving in waters rich in marine life.

Reindeer Island can be reached by boat from the nearby port of Point Maurice. Some hotels in Mauritius offer day trips to the island.

Attractions in Mauritius

First of all, Mauritius is famous for its natural attractions, links to them are given below. There are also man-made places of interest, mainly in the capital, you will find them on the Port Louis attractions page .

Mauritius

Mauritius

Not every inhabitant of the earth knows where the island of Mauritius is. A small piece of land and the most paradisiacal vacation spot floating east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, that is Mauritius. Friendly islanders, excellent service, dormant volcanoes and turquoise ocean at the edge of white beaches await you. Your holiday in Mauritius will be the most unforgettable!

The state of Mauritius consists of several islands: Rodrigues, Agalega, archipelago Cargados-Carajos and the island of Mauritius itself. The total area of the country is 2045 sq km, of which Mauritius itself is 1865 sq km.

The population of Mauritius

In all, about 1.3 million people live on the island, and the national composition is very mixed, with one third being the descendants of the first French settlers, Creoles, as well as Chinese, Indians and Pakistanis. There are Arabs, immigrants from North Africa, and the native Malagasy of Mauritius.

Mauritius is part of the British Commonwealth, making English the official language. Although in fact, about 80% of all residents of the state communicate in the local Creole language. French, Hindi, Bhojpuri and mixed dialects are also common.

Religion in Mauritius

In such a nationally mixed population, it is difficult to expect a single religion. The union of peoples and their cultures has meant that the State of Mauritius has no national religion, but four trends are well developed: half of the population practices Hinduism, about a quarter practice Catholicism, and the remainder are Protestantism and Islam.

Weather and Climate of Mauritius

The island of Mauritius has a maritime tropical climate. The country suffers somewhat from cyclones in February and March, with strong winds and tropical downpours, causing flooding in places. But the rains are always short-lived, though very heavy. On the coast the rainfall is 1500-2500 mm, in the mountains even more – 3500-5000 mm. In February the average air temperature is +26 degrees and in July it is +14+18 degrees.

The island has a very long wet season, which lasts from December to May and then from June to August. For the inhabitants of Europe and the CIS, the most comfortable time of rest is in May and the autumn months, periods of a drier, warmer season. During this time, the temperature in Mauritius is kept at a level of +28 + 30, and the water all year round warms up to a comfortable +22 + 26 degrees.

State structure of Mauritius

The Union of the Islands is a proclaimed republic headed by a president, who is elected by parliament for five years for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The country has a unicameral Parliament, with 62 members elected in a general election for a five-year term, and another 8 members appointed by a multicultural, minority and community election committee.

Despite its small size, Mauritius has its own army, with about 20,000 men serving primarily to deal with the aftermath of typhoons and other disasters. The police, riot police, and maritime patrol are there for public order. Mauritius is one of the ten safest places to stay.

The capital of Mauritius is Port Louis, the currency is the Mauritian rupee (MUR). One rupee is equal to 100 cents. The Bank of Mauritius issues coins in denominations of 1, 5, 20 cents and ½, 1, 5, 10, 20 rupees. Banknotes are circulated in denominations of 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 2000 rupees.

Indigenous people of Mauritius

History of Mauritius

It is believed that the first people to visit the island were the Arabs in the IX-X centuries. According to the official European version, the Portuguese colonized the island of Mauritius as early as the beginning of the 16th century, calling the discovered land Sisna, in honor of one of their ships. By the end of the century, in 1598, the Dutch came to the island and renamed it Mauritius after Prince Maurice of Orange. Within 40 years, the first permanent settlement was established, people tried to grow sugar cane, tobacco, coffee and cotton, for this purpose slaves from Madagascar and Africa were brought to the island.

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The French came to the island in 1715 and founded their village, Mauritius was renamed Ile de France and became part of the French crown territory. A little later, a shipyard and several fortresses were built to defend the perimeter.

After the British victory in 1814, the island was ceded to the British Empire and the name Mauritius was returned to it. By the year of the abolition of slavery (1835), the number of slaves exceeded 70% of the total population of the island. By the end of the 19th century, there were many natives of India and China living there, and the first processing plants and tea cultivation plants were built. On March 12, 1968, Mauritius became independent from Britain, and 24 years later proclaimed itself a republic.

A second inhabited island, Rodrigues, was also discovered by the Portuguese in 1528 and named after its discoverer, Diego Rodrigues. The island passed after Mauritius to the Dutch, then to the French and the British, until it became part of the state of Mauritius in 1968.

Cities and Regions of Mauritius

The state of Mauritius is divided into 9 districts and 3 dependencies. Consider the popular cities of the country and favorite resorts of Mauritius:

  1. The capital Port Louis is the most populated city, founded on the shores of the Indian Ocean, in the northwest of the island near the Moka mountain range. As early as 1635, the settlement was a famous port; since English times, the entire administration of the country has been located here. In addition to the beaches, the picturesque town has its own museums, religious sites and an old fortress.
  2. The second port of the country and a major transport hub of the island and former slave market is the town of Maeburg, located in the south-east in the bay of Grand Port near the Lion’s Mountain. The bay is famous for its snow-white beaches and cluster of tiny islands. All kinds of sports are actively developed here. The city was founded in 1805 by the French, which left a mark on the landmarks that survived, such as the old confectionery factory and its Notre Dame.
  3. The commercial center of the country is Kurepipe . It is located at an altitude of 560 meters and is remote from the coast. It was the first town to have electricity, and it has been actively developing ever since. In addition to relic attractions, we recommend a visit to the botanical garden.
  4. The resort of Flick-en-Flack, located on the west coast, which grew out of a simple fishing village. An interesting name of the city comes from the Dutch expression “Free Country. Modern-day Flick-en-Flack, in addition to the beaches and water activities, famous fashionable hotels, hectic nightlife, all kinds of restaurants and even a golf course. There are interesting natural attractions around the city.
  5. The natural island of Rodriguez is a favorite destination for surfers and more. Surrounded by reefs and decorated with caves, it attracts many tourists not only with beautiful beaches, but also with wonderful landscapes, including underwater. The island is famous for the turtle sanctuary and the alluring viewpoint. There are up to five hour and a half flights from Mauritius and a weekly ferry service.
  6. Deer Island (Ile aux Cerfs), named after the exterminated animals, offers an extensive infrastructure for all kinds of water and underwater sports. The coastal waters are very rich in marine life and are a true screen of the marine kingdom. Many hotels offer day trips and excursions, or you can reach the island on your own from the nearby port of Point Maurice.
    Port Louis capital Maeburg Curepipe
    Flick-en-Flack Rodrigues Island Ile aux Cerfs

Best Beaches in Mauritius

The beaches of Mauritius are famous far beyond the island, they are all sandy and white. Whether public or private, they are all equally cleaned of algae and coral and even screened. Nudism is illegal for all tourists, up to and including deportation from the country.

Beaches adorn the island all around, but the most popular ones are worth noting:

  • Le Morne;
  • Tamarin Cove;
  • Flick-en-Flack;
  • Trou aux Biches;
  • Bel Mar,
  • Blue Bay;
  • Mont Choisy;
  • Pereiber;
  • Trou d’Eau Douce.

All are located near the favorite resorts and are fully equipped with all amenities.

The natural beauty of Mauritius

Mauritius is an island of volcanic origin, but all the volcanoes have long been silenced. The most elevated plateau is considered to be Kyurpipe, its height is 400-600 meters above sea level, and the highest point of the island is the peak of Riviere Noir – 826 meters.

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The island has dense tropical forests and the mountain plateaus are drowned in thickets of conifers. During the development of the island, the forest was heavily deforested and there is not as much of it today as there once was. Mauritius has many different rivers, the longest being the Grand River, which splits into two branches, one running to the southeast and the other to the northwest. The island’s rivers are laced with beautiful waterfalls. And in the craters of extinct volcanoes and mountain crevices formed the clearest of lakes. Many of the mountains discoverers jokingly called “Cat and Mouse”, “Thumb” and other intricate names.

The eastern part of the island is dotted with mango trees, while the southwestern part is dominated by eucalyptus and Canadian pines. Coconut groves stretch along practically all the beaches of Mauritius. The coast of the island consists entirely of lagoons and white beaches, which makes a holiday in Mauritius a paradise. The coastal zone is shallow and the ocean waves are protected by a strip of coral reefs.

There are about 700 species of plants in Mauritius, many of them rare or endangered. Since March 12, 1992, Mauritius has been a republic, and in honor of this event, the national flower of the island was chosen as the flower of the tree Trochetia boutoniana (local name Boucle d’oreille), also endemic. The tree blooms with red-orange flowers from June to October.

Attractions in Mauritius

The main and most visited attractions on the island of natural origin. In any city and in any hotel you will be offered a whole list to choose from, in addition, the small size of the island allows you to live and rest in one place, and in between a tour of the entire perimeter of Mauritius and all the memorable places.

The natural beauty is sometimes impossible to describe. Casela Nature Park, La Vanille Nature Reserve, Black River Gorge, Domaine-le-Pay Park, the colored sands of Chamarelle are the pristine things that the island authorities are trying to preserve for posterity in pristine condition.

On the southwest side of the island, the largest waterfall of the island, the Tamarin falls. Lovers of beautiful photos and interesting pictures are sure to visit the Lion’s Mountain: its proud profile can be seen from afar and really looks something like a lion. One of the island’s long-extinct volcanoes, Trou aux Cerfs, has become well known for the beautiful lake and pine scenery that has formed at the bottom of its 200-meter crater.

For man-made attractions, we recommend visiting Fort Adelaide in the capital, which is well preserved to this day and is now a venue for shows and fireworks. Also walk down the main street of Port Louis, there is a decent cluster of beautiful old buildings 150-180 years old and various museums such as the Natural History Museum which houses a stuffed exterminated Dodo bird. As in some other countries, a visit to the local Chinatown will add a lot of positive emotions to your vacation.

Not far from the capital, in the village of Pamplemus, there is a botanical garden with an incredible number of rare and exotic plants – a gorgeous sight. There you can also take a tour of a sugar factory. And in the mountain range of Tru-o-Beach you will be conquered by a huge aquarium with 1 million liters of water, which feel good and live in all kinds of sponges, molluscs and more than 200 species of colorful exotic fish.

In the capital there are many interesting museums, especially popular among tourists are the following: Museum of Photography, the postal museum and the museum “Evrika”.

Do not forget about the city of Maeburg, where the original crocodile farm turned into a park with animals, birds and beautiful plants. And the lake Grand Bassin and the Indian temple will help you to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of beauty and serenity.

Entertainment in Mauritius

Besides blissful relaxation on the beach and interesting excursions on the island, Mauritius offers a huge variety of entertainment for all tastes. From active activities – horseback riding, tennis, skydiving, golf, mountain biking and a huge number of water activities.

For a lively family vacation, there’s Leisure Village, a water amusement park on the island. The hotels have slot machines and casinos for gambling tourists.

We should also mention diving, which is available on the island of Mauritius all year round. This is a very popular hobby, because in the coastal zone swim beautiful tropical fish and dolphins, beautiful corals and even sunken ships. On the east coast, you can tickle your nerves with a shark walk. Mauritius has many diving centers, where experienced instructors will teach you how to dive if you are a beginner and experienced divers will show you interesting routes and dive sites.

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Alternatively, you can go scuba fishing or just swim in a boat with a transparent bottom. By the way, hotels on the island offer variations of wedding tourism from the ceremony itself to romantic rooms for honeymooners and special walking tours for two.

Cuisine and Restaurants in Mauritius

The cuisine of Mauritius was formed by the mixing of the culinary skills of three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia. The local chefs and cooks approach every process of cooking creatively, mixing traditional ingredients with new ones, in addition, the local menu abounds with various seafood.

Echoes of French, African, Indian and Chinese cuisine can be found in the universal love of spices, with traditional curries and Creole tomato sauce being a favorite. Be sure to try the crayfish “Camaron”, a local appetizer based on pancakes with stuffing in sauces, including spicy.

Not to mention the classic Creole and Mauritian restaurant La Vieille Rouge in Grand Baie, where the menu offers a variety of fish and seafood. Or, for example, one of Maeburg’s elite Chinese restaurants, Le Jardin De Beau Vallon. You will definitely not want to leave here.

Hotels in Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the best places on earth for a good vacation, so you can’t go budget here. All hotels belong to one of the categories: Super Deluxe, Deluxe or Superior. The level of service on the verge of a dream: the island, as a rule, resting very wealthy tourists.

On the coast of Mauritius, you can rent a villa or apartment, but less than $ 3,000 you are unlikely to pay. Of the Deluxe level, one of the popular hotels in Port Louis is the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel. A good hotel is the Royal Palm Hotel in Grand Baie, located on the beach. Of the Super Deluxe hotels, the Belle Mare at the resort of the same name gets the most attention.

Shopping in Mauritius

In principle, Mauritius is not the country where they organize shopping tours. But on the island in the resort towns and near each point of interest are open souvenir stores and stalls. The most elegant souvenir is considered a model of an old ship, handmade. Everywhere sell small trinkets with symbols of Mauritius – a bird Dodo, as well as small flasks with colored sand Chamarel.

If you’re looking for a handmade souvenir, the Craft Market in Port Louis is the way to go. People from all over the island come to Qurpipe for the bigger shopping experience or to find brand-name stores and boutiques.

Craft Market

Transport in the State of Mauritius

In the VIP level resorts, which of course include Mauritius, the most popular mode of transport is a cab. The best option is to rent a car for the whole day: it’s quite acceptable, but in any case it is recommended to bargain with local cab drivers, it’s a tradition.

Also in hotels in Mauritius, you can rent a bicycle, scooter, sometimes even a boat, and, of course, a yacht. Those wishing to rent a car must be over 23 years of passport and will need to show an international license. Remember: in Mauritius traffic is left-handed, as in Britain.

Buses are available all over the island and there are bus terminals in every town. The first transport goes on the route at 5:30 and runs until 20:00, in the cities of the Central Plateau goes until 23:00, but in the countryside schedule is somewhat shorter: from 6:30 to 18:30. As a rule, there is a stop on demand, and tickets are sold from the driver.

There is rail transport on the island, but it serves only the sugar cane plantations. Water transport provides connections to neighboring islands.

Do I need a visa to Mauritius?

A very convenient fact for a holiday in Mauritius is that the visa for visiting the island is issued directly at the airport, and for free. Visa is issued only for 60 days, and be prepared that you will need to present a guarantee of your solvency at a rate of $100 per day or more.

How to get to Mauritius

How to get to Mauritius?

From major European cities in Europe every week (and during the season even more often) direct chartered and scheduled flights with connection in Dubai. Travel time is about 10-12 hours. But there are other connecting options.

All airlines arrive at Sir Sivusagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius. The airport is located 48 kilometers from the island’s capital. Earlier it was called Plaisance Airport. From this airport there are domestic flights to Rodrigues Island.

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