Mauritius Island is known to be a relatively stable and healthy country. However, its unique characteristics and assets make it a dream destination. This article lists the 5 things you should know before visiting Mauritius.
Mauritius owes much of its image as a wonderful destination to the beautiful beaches, the wild nature, the multicultural population, the local products, and the unique places on the island.
1. The beautiful beaches of Mauritius
Mauritius is well-known as a tourist attraction, and one can understand why. It offers postcard-perfect landscapes that never cease to amaze. It is the beaches that are most magical: white sandy beaches and beautiful blue lagoons. There are also plenty of activities, such as diving, swimming with dolphins, boat trips, etc. There are many activities to enjoy the sea, but you can also relax and sunbathe. The image of a paradise island with a beautiful beach fits the image of Mauritius. If you research the country, you will find more pictures of beaches and hotels praising Mauritian beaches’ merits.
It is not only the tourists who appreciate the beach but also the Mauritians who do not fail to make a tour and enjoy it with their family or friends. Mauritius has a lot of assets, but the beauty of its beaches and lagoons is still very much appreciated.
2. Mauritius’ flora and fauna
It’s not only the beaches that attract people to Mauritius but also the wildlife. Mauritius has about 691 plant species, 273 of which are endemic to the island, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world, and 150 of which are shared with other islands in the Indian Ocean, like Reunion and Rodrigues, for example. Some plant species found nowhere else are of great interest. There is, for example, the country’s national flower called Trochetia Boutoniana, which is also an endemic flower. Moreover, another endemic plant is Diospyros Tessellaria, also known as the ebony tree. A small side note about ebony trees is that this was the most valued wood during Dutch colonisation and was widely exploited in Mauritius.
Mauritius has over 100 bird species spread across its tropical rainforests, but only a few are endemic. However, most of these endemic species are still alive thanks to conservation efforts. For example, species such as the Pink Pigeon, Mauritius Parakeet, and Mauritius Kestrel have been saved from extinction. But Mauritius is also famous for the rare Dodo, a bird that was only found in Mauritius but became extinct long ago. Mauritius’s wildlife is crucial and attracts many people who like to discover and learn more about it.
3. Multicultural population
The fact that Mauritius is a culturally and ethnically diverse country also adds charm to the island. Mauritius comprises Hindus, Muslims, Sino-Mauritians, Creoles, Franco-Mauritians, and people of colour. A beautiful mix of groups who perpetuate their religion, cultures, and traditions. This diversity can be seen when you visit the island and come across Hindu temples, mosques, churches, pagodas, and other religious places. The variety can also be seen in the food. From the larger restaurants to the more minor street food shops, there is a wide range of choices for all tastes and many types of food to discover.
The people of Mauritius have a history and a past. A mixture of cultures and ethnic groups forms a single population. Moreover, a culturally rich country with so much diversity makes Mauritius an exciting place to discover. The government is, therefore, colourful and continues to be fascinating.
4. Local products
Local products made in Mauritius are also attracting interest. One can notice on the island the extensions of the cane fields. Mauritius is a sugar-producing country but depends less on this sector than in the past. However, Mauritian sugar is still significant and has a lot of history. To learn more about sugar production, visiting the Sugar Adventure is a must. Tea is prevalent in Mauritius, and the most popular tea is vanilla tea. There are also teas with other flavours. You can learn more about it by doing the Tea Route and visiting especially Bois Chéri.
Another drink that shows some expertise is rum, a top-rated product among locals and tourists. Rum, produced from sugar cane juice or molasses, also forms part of the island’s flagship products. Whether white, amber, flavoured, spiced, arranged or aged, local rum is diversified. It is because of several local distilleries that offer a variety of quality products on the local market and for export.
5. Unique places in Mauritius
Mauritius owes much of its popularity to the unique beauty spots it hosts. Beautiful places that are admired, much talked about and only found in Mauritius. Especially the underwater waterfall, which is very impressive. In the southwest of the island, on the coast of Le Morne, there is a magnificent beach and a mountain listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, but if you want a more breathtaking view, you must go up in the air. It is possible to use a helicopter to admire this underwater waterfall. Even if it is only an optical illusion and it is due to the ocean currents that push the sand from the coast into deeper waters. Nevertheless, seen from the sky, the spectacle is magnificent, especially with the turquoise sea.
Another interesting place is the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth Geopark, located in Chamarel, Black River. It is a top destination because of its unique appearance, which surprises and puzzles visitors. The Seven Coloured Earths are sand dunes with distinct colours that offer a colourful show. The colours blend into each other, and one can see a thousand shades of ochre and mauve, brown and even pink, and more.
Léonard Marie Mégane, BA (Hons) Politics, Human Rights and International Relations student, University of Mauritius