Santosha Guides Vol.1 Mauritius & Rodrigues Islands

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  • 1. Mauritius &Rodrigues IslandVolume 01 1
  • 2. 2
  • 3. Contents. 06. 01. Introduction Page 4 About the Author The Story of Santosha Guides History of Mauritius & Must-Sees 05. Sailing, diving The Island‘s Surfing Story & deep sea fishing Surfing Legends, Windsurfing & Page 65 Kitesurfing Pioneers Local Surfing Rules & Safety Yachting Clubs, Diving Sites, Deep Sea Fishing 02. Best Beaches 06. A golfer‘s paradise 03. Essential Page 69 information for visitors Mauritius: Page 26 A World-Class Golf Destination History of Golf on the Island Where to Stay & Play How to Get There Where to Buy Golf Property02. Where to surf Economic Overview & Money Matters Investment Incentives & Tips for PurchasersPage 22 Geography & Climate Population & CultureThe West When to Go 07. Local cuisineSouth West Places of Interest & Getting Around Page 77The East Tips for Avoiding Potential ProblemsThe North West & North East or Hazards Must-try Mauritian Delicacies Emergency Numbers Markets & Malls Rodrigues Islands Top 10 Tourism Services 08. 04. Language tips Dream weddings Page 60 & honeymoon hotspots Languages Spoken on the Island Page 78 How and Where to Learn & Benefits of Language Learning Learning Tips & Staying Motivated 09. Glossary Page 80 3
  • 4. 01. IntroductionAbout the authorSerge “Sebastien” Staub was born and grew up on his mother‘s familyestate, Le Morne, a picturesque village on the southern tip of the island ofMauritius. He quickly grew into a very passionate, tropical islander and activesurfer, enjoying life to the full on the ocean waves with his Korom (closegroup of friends) called the Madgroms “Mad Grommets”. The story of santosha guides Sebastien’s exhilarating surfing adventures, along with a terrifying near death experience, inspired his idea to create a special tourism guide, a longing he‘d harboured since a very young age. Whether it was exploring the mountain façade of his family estates of Le Morne or in the water confronting Mother Nature‘s most powerful south west passes of L‘Ambulante and One Eye, his passion and eagerness to share his exciting escapades never diminished. During his teenagePhoto: Serge Sebastien Staub aka sSs years, Sebastien‘s keen eye for adventure also perceived the fast pace of tourism growth, further fuelling his appetite for collaborating with foreigners eager to share their holiday experiences and personal views of the island. This was what motivated him to develop the SANTOSHA GUIDES, for the benefit of all. “A Touch of Local Related to two of Mauritius‘ most famous surfing icons - he is nephew adventurer, as well as a true tourism enthusiast, he has assisted Experience” to the influential Whiteshorts tourists with personal tips and and grandson of Mr. One Eye useful information to make their (Mr. Alan Cambier, owner of Le holiday and surfing experience Morne mountain) - Sebastien memorable and fun since he was advocates increased international old enough to talk. awareness of Mauritius and sister island Rodrigues‘ lagoons, waves He also describes in this guide and surroundings. He encourages how one day he came face-to-face the formation of local lifesaving with death while trying to help a organizations in the most popular father and two children surfing at water sports areas such as Le One Eye… Morne. As a life-long surfer and 4
  • 5. Mauritius, sadly, has also seen a Rodrigues experience.couple of missing tourists, believed The Santosha Guides Logo/Idea/to be careless adventurers or Concept has been carefully choseninexperienced riders who, in to represent ‘A Touch of Localconditions where a little local Experience’ and is illustrated as aknowledge might have saved them, ‘Compass’ which defines the ‘truefound themselves in the wrong spot meaning of adventure’, a ‘must-haveat the wrong time. This is where tool’ on any chosen journey, hencethis guide will come into its own ‘The Internet’ is that tool today. Weand prevent others from making the hope you enjoy our contribution tosame mistakes. your journey. Please visitAs a teenager, Sebastien was www.santoshaguides.cominvolved in and supported localsurfing and kitesurfing competitions, You can also follow us on our socialmastering not only the lagoons and media sites on Facebook, MySpacethe swells but also the locals. His and Twitter:invaluable and extensive knowledgeof all the best surfing spots is well www.facebook.com/santoshaguidesdescribed and explained in this www.myspace.com/santoshaguidesguide, a compelling compilation www.twitter.com/santoshaguides.of his personal contributions comand preferences, accumulatingall the best local knowledge and And our Blog, which we regularlyexperiences, places of interests, post new articles on fellowmust-try cuisine, the top resorts, Travel & Tourism Partnersgolf courses and spas, best beaches www.santoshaguides.blogspot.comand sunsets, along with all theexciting entertainment the islandhas to offer and its many unique We trust you will find our first E-Guidebooks to your standards and will findfeatures and idiosyncrasies. key information within.Looking for a wedding venue orhoneymooner hotspot? Look All our partners at SANTOSHA GUIDES are happy to show you our sisterno further. All this, complete islands and share you its beauty and secrets.with seductive images carefully Do not forget to purchase a Travel Discount Card – Sun, Sea & Savingsselected to enhance your own which will give you access to a series of Discounts and Special deals withpersonal perception of Mauritius our Travel & Tourism Partners.and Rodrigues. Who wouldn‘t beseduced by this stunning island? Travel Smart and Save with SANTOSHA GUIDES.Sebastien strongly believes in the‘Santosha principles and practices’ Acknowledgements:meaning: ‘Contentment and Content: Serge Sebastien Staub,Peace, Seeking Joy and Serenity Interview: Louis Paul Maujean, Patrick Desvaux, Laurent Le Bolloch, Nico Kuxin a Balanced Life of God‘s Editorial: Liz Lester, Angela Sara Westcreations’ and this has motivated Photography: MTPA, Pascal Mamet, J. Peerally, Antoine De Maroussem,Yoannthe development of the Santosha Derunes, Ludovic Richard,Tungsten, Habit & LeGallGuides travel series that shares Cover Design and Layout: Ludovic Richard / www.lrichard.com.auvaluable local information with Thanks go to: My Grand Father, Mother and all my friends who all believedsport and adventure tourists and in me and supported me in completing this guide. We hope you will enjoyvisitors to the island after a true reading Santosha Guides as much as we did creating it! I dedicate this Guidetouch of the local Mauritian and to my dear Grand Father who has been such an inspiration to me. For the ultimate adventure and ride, read our guide! 5
  • 6. Photo:Tungsten - Creoles on a coconut plantation making fish traps, called kasiers — Rodrigues Islands 6
  • 7. Mauritius‘ history & must-sees Nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean, south of Africa and east of Madagascar, this dreamy isle sits ideally between the Tropic of Capricorn and the equator, providing a perfect tropical climate all year round. (20 17 S, 57 33 E). Mauritius is the main island, from which the country derives its name. Of volcanic origin, it‘s almost entirely surrounded by sheltering coral reefs. With hundreds of amazing passes with perfect waves, lefts and rights, short and long barrels and deep to hollow tubes, it‘s a surfer‘s paradise. Mauritius also offers numerous vast lagoons for great sailing, diving and fishing diversity, too. There‘s no shortage of top spots, swells, lagoons or wind, but there has been a distinct lack of information about all these things - until now! This comprehensive guide enables you to experience the range of stunning spots on our beautiful island for yourself. Take the swells and gentle sea breezes, add the impressive Indian Ocean climate, great coral reefs, large Picture: Le Morne lagoon, Bennitier and Le Morne Mountain lagoons and a handful of quality breaks and you have the perfect surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing destination.‘The Unique Mauritian Culture’ is a blend of Indian, Chinese and Creolesweetness and spices with an influencing European History, in other words‘amazing local cuisine’. Get a taste for the magical mélange of influenceswith a warm ‘Dol Pourie’, whether it‘s on a street corner in Port Louis,from a delicious hotel buffet or à la carte at a well-reputed table d‘hôte inChamarel.You‘ll find specialties everywhere you go, all worth a try.Shop-til-you-drop at Flacq‘s bustling open-air market, a vibrant and colorfulmarketplace full of fresh local products at great value. The island‘s home tocountless bars and restaurants. Check out the iconic Banana Bar in GrandBay, which hosts both local and international artists, from jazz to soul. In themood for dancing? The numerous nightclubs offer a great atmosphere whereyou can boogie the night away to the sounds of House, Dance and R‘n‘Bmusic played by top DJs. 7
  • 8. Picture:Tamarin Falls The island boasts some of the putting your way through the Moonsamy, aka ‘Mr. Bull’. Deepworld‘s most beautiful private and stunning settings that are simply sea fishing is possible off the East,public beaches, fringed by swaying unbeatable. The Mauritius Open North and West coasts and thepalms and lapped by crystal-clear PGA attracts international and local best operators are based in Blackturquoise waters. Combine that professionals and many a celebrity River and Trou aux Biches. The bestwith the magnificent, exotic sunsets has been spotted practicing their months are the summer monthsand tropical vegetation of the swing on the island‘s championship (October to May.)various game reserves, national courses. Mr. Dominique Theveneau offersparks, private hunting estates and Grand Bay is the place to head fly-fishing and casting outings oncolonial houses such as St Aubin for catamaran cruises and amazing reefs for individuals or small groups.and Eureka where honeymooners sailing trips to nearby islands such Dominique is your perfect guycan make their dreams come true as Coin De Mire, Ile Plate, Ile au to have the time of your life andand you‘ve got a winning formula. Gabriel. In Black River you will find discover the true mauritian passionGolf fan? Mauritius is fast earning a catamaran trips to Ile aux Benitier, and way of living, hunting estatesreputation for being home to some swim with the dolphins and sunset and fishing spots. Not forgetting theof the world‘s most amazing golf cruises to Tamarin Bay while Blue Mauritius Aquarium, home to 100‘scourses. Its fantastic architectural Bay you can cruise to the magical of tropical aquatic life and fish.designs by big names such as Ernie Ile Aux Cerfs. Famous spots forEls and Bernhand Langer offer avid snorkeling and scuba diving include If the sea doesn‘t float your boat,golfers a challenging game. But the famous Silver Star wreck and there are numerouswhatever your handicap, you‘ll find the Cathedral underwater cave. land-based pursuits to participatesomewhere to suit your needs, Mauritius and Rodrigues offer some in. Choose from inland adventurewhether you‘re aiming for a hole in of the world‘s best deep-sea fishing tours, sightseeing in four-wheeledone at one of the top-class hotels with many experienced skippers drives, on mountain bikes or hikingor dodging the water hazards on and fishing boat owners, such as (Yann De Maroussem from www.the new Ile Aux Cerfs, you‘ll love Tamarin local fishing legend, Jerome trekkingilemaurice.com is a great 8
  • 9. hiking enthusiast who knows hisway around the Central plateau andSouth-west), along with a wealth ofother activities. The adventurousamong you should head to YemenNature Park for great quad bikeriding and abseiling close to the 3Mamelles Mountains.The game reserve of DomaineDu Chasseur offers fabulouspanoramic views and sunsets, whilethe magnificent Black River GorgesNational Park is home to wonderfulwildlife, where bird-lovers canspy protected bird species suchas the pink pigeon, kestrels andrare forest trees. While in BlackRiver you should also check theMauritius Wildlife Foundation Picture: Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth(www.mauritian-wildlife.org), theyare leaders in developing Mauritius 25 hectares of tropical vegetation, Since then, Mauritius has enjoyedEco-Tourism. Photographers will consisting of a wide variety of palm a stable democracy with regularlove snapping away at the Vanilla trees, bamboos, eucalyptus and free elections (every five years).Reserve des Mascareignes, home to colorful exotic flowers such as the Along with a positive human rightsNile Crocodiles. hibiscus and orchids, you‘ll enjoy a record, the country has attractedIf gardening‘s your thing, the gorgeously-perfumed day. Walking considerable foreign investmentPamplemousses Garden is one with the lions and cheetah is a first and has earned one of Africa’sof the oldest tropical gardens in in Mauritius, you will experience highest per capita incomes. Duethe world, bursting with exotic an adrenaline rush, one on one to poor weather in the last coupleflowers and tropical trees. If adventure and unique once in a of years, the declining sugar pricesarchitecture‘s your kick, you won‘t lifetime experience. So, where do have slowed economic growth,be disappointed by the 1830 we all get this amazing history and leading to some protests overEureka House, Le Chateau de mixed heritage from? Well, it all standards of living in the CreoleLabourdonnais, St Aubin Colonial started back in the 10th century community, but tourism, textileHouse, The Ruins of Balaclava or when the Arab navigators, already and offshore investments are theMartello Tower, illustrating intriguing familiar with Mauritius, gave it the other major economic contributorshistory from early settlers. name of Dina Arobi but were not and Mauritius is one of the fewHistory buffs shouldn‘t miss the interested in settling. It was only countries which has been resilientmodern sugarcane exhibition of rediscovered by the Portuguese in throughout the global recession.L‘Aventure Du Sucre and the Salt 1505, followed by the Dutch, whoPans of Tamarin, for fascinating facts were believed to have caused theabout the slavery trade. Animal extinction of the famous Dodolovers can spend the day with wild which is now the emblem ofstags, tigers and monkeys at Casela Mauritius. Then came the French,Bird Park, home to 140 bird species who lost out to the British, beforefrom five other continents. Set in independence was attained in 1968. 9
  • 10. The islandsurfing historySurfing arrived in Mauritius in thelate 1960s with the first generationof long-board surfers, which includedThe Paturaus, the De Rosnay, theD‘unnienville, the Henry, the Pougnetand the Koenig brothers and friends.They largely concentrated around theTamarin Bay area, which at the time,was the only place accessible by car. Those that ventured to other He discovered surfing spots along Madgroms dream of the perfectsurfing areas had to hike for hours the South coast of Mauritius and tube. Surfing with him was alwaysthrough sugarcane fields and bush was instrumental in instilling a code a pleasure and honor. Anotherland, often on private property, in of respect and manners among well-respected and Quicksilverthe hope that when they arrived surfers in the area. Many young sponsored pro surfer is Toyo‘, whothe perfect session would await surfers followed Cyril‘s passion and also made us proud while touringthem. Often, it would be dark by became true surfing legends, such South Africa with fellow friendsthe time they arrived, which meant as J.P D‘Hotman, who remains an and team mates Ludovic Henry,a night‘s sleep under filao trees, active pioneer and true defender of Xavier Bechard, Chris Rainer andtrying to escapes hungry fleas and surfing rights in Tamarin to this day. Bradley Britter, together with ourmosquitoes. After a hard night‘s The most prominent pioneer to beloved friend, Sacha Gachet, whosleep, the lucky pioneers would remember in the Mauritian surfing we all miss. A keen and talentedwake up on a deserted white scene is my friend, Ludovic Henry surfer, he tragically lost his lifebeach to be rewarded with perfect aka Denry, who contributed most while skateboarding Tamarin‘swaves with 4-8ft breaks. Australians by carrying the proud colors of Bitumen Hills. Finally, my favoritethen introduced short-boards to Mauritius to the Top 44 in the WSP local rider, son of Tamarin storeMauritius in the 1970s. European Tour back in 2002. He owners, Founky is another trueSince these were so difficult was ranked 33rd at the time and local pioneer. Founky always showsto obtain, L.P Maujean began did us all proud. Ludovic is a serious great enthusiasm and dedicationreshaping old long-boards and guns surfer who draws more passion to the sport and his surfing spiritinto short-boards, ready for use. and satisfaction out of surfing than shines amongst the local communityDuring this time, Cyril Thevenau anything else of Tamarin. If you‘ve damaged yourmastered the short-board and in life. board in Tamarin, Founky is the onerose to dominate the surfing scene Pain Pain is another passionate to fix it.in Mauritius. Arguably Mauritius‘ and respected surfer. A great soul My deepest apologies to thosemost famous surfer, Cyril was surfer, he gave us such a kick with who I‘ve forgotten to mention. Forcaptured on ‘The Forgotten Island a goal to ride as hard as he did. A the record, this spot is very muchof Santosha’ movie by L&R Yates. true tube rider who made all of us worshipped by locals, who patiently 10
  • 11. Picture:Tamarin sunrisewait 6-12 months to get a decent world country and must protect2-3 hour session when she cranks our island and all those living hereup. If you manage to get a ride on and visiting. We hope you enjoy itsthis mythical world-class wave, you‘ll secrets, the unique cultures andbe one of the lucky ones. Tamarin amazing attractions she has to offer.Bay has in itself been a unique wave SANTOSHA (Peace)that brings back the whole localsurfing community, the Madgromsand the Whiteshorts together.Today, the increasing migration ofSouth Africans to Tamarin seesa lot of keen riders out on thewaves, mixing with locals. The Spotis sacred and protected by a smallgroup of locals who bare long waitsfor that perfect wave. The last 10years has seen the wave breakingat its best fewer than 10 times. Atragedy, maybe a curse from MotherNature, to those who abuse suchfree passion and won‘t share such apure enjoyment.All we can say is that we respectthe spot, the surfers who masteredthe reef and must respect ourneighbors and fellow touristswho are our bread and butter inMauritius. We live in a peaceful third 11
  • 12. Surfing legends, local surfingrules, windsurfing &kitesurfing pioneersPhoto: Mr. A.Cambier aka Mr. OneyeThe Legend of One EyeBorn in 1921 in MorcellementCambier, Le Morne, Alan Cambierlost his left eye in a cattle accident The Myth, the Spot and the Mountain are still alivein his early 30‘s, and hence derivedthe name Mr. One Eye. Thisimpressive, bold white man scaredthe many pioneers, tourists and‘whiteshorts’ (aggressive groups ofcompetitive surfers) who dared totrespass on his land en route to LeMorne southern beach. The fear heinstilled earned the local surfers’respect, resulting in the namingof One Eye of this internationallyrecognized surf spot known for itsenormous tubes and amazing kiteride. On the southern façade ofLe Morne mountain, you can spota fascinating feature - a distinctiveface profile with an eye. Thus, ‘TheLegend of One Eye’ was born and isstill very much alive today. Mr. OneEye continues to enjoy his beautiful Picture: Le Morne Mountain,The One Eye Façade,mountain view from his property The Surf Spot & Mr. One Eye, hence the mythwith his extended family. Compliment : Jameel Peerally 12
  • 13. Picture: Compliment HABIT - One of many lagoons that Mauritius and Rodrigues have to offerThe Ruling Years of the WhiteshortsOne of the consequences of where developers transformed surfing history. We respect yourtourism was an influx of foreign and destroyed some of the coast, passion and selfish love of the placesurfers who started coming to the dynamiting the lagoons and and wish you all a happy retirement.shores of Mauritius in the mid- damaging the island‘s fragile Many younger surfers have kept the1970s. These early pioneers not aquatic life. Whiteshort spirit alive and takenonly inspired the locals, but also This action resulted in a strong over the flag, but rest assured thatdiscovered and started promoting backlash from some young local they are only verbally abusive, notMauritius as a top surf destination, surfers, who were angry about the physically like their predecessors.as reflected in the greatest surfing destruction and modification ofmovie ever made, ‘The Forgotten their beaches and the sudden surgeIsland of Santosha’. Together with in foreign surfers at their favoriteMark Twain‘s statement ‘God spots. Some banded together toMade Mauritius and then he made form the Whiteshorts, whoseHeaven’, this movie defines not just mantra was not to share any surfingthe sheer beauty of the island‘s spots with tourists. This group,white-sand beaches, but also its originally aged 25–30 years old,breathtaking reef breaks and other developed a competitive and oftenunique attractions including surfing, aggressive vibe on the beaches,diving and sailing hotspots. giving Mauritius a rough reputationAt the same time, the Mauritian in the international surfing scene.government was actively promoting Most of the Whiteshorts are nowtourism, building hotels and in their 50’s and, although they‘reresorts across the island, which now much quieter, they remain partresulted in a reckless boom period of the dark side of the country‘s 13
  • 14. Picture: A Santosha Secret Wave The movie shows Cyril Thevenau, Joel De Rosnay, L.P Maujean, Boul Rey and others dropping some of the biggest waves ever ridden on Dal, all the way down Tamarin Bay. A true record of the potential that Tamarin has to offer.Surf fans can get a taste of theisland‘s shores can by watching ‘TheForgotten Island of Santosha’ (1974)and ‘The Big Day’ (1973), two classicsurf movies which capture manyunique memories of surfing here onthe island. ‘The Big Day’ chronicleshow one day, Tamarin villagers wereawoken and shaken by the terrifyingnoise of enormous 10 to 15ftwaves. Surfers, of course, embracedthe situation, which presented oneof the biggest surfing sessions eversurfed and, thankfully, recorded. 14
  • 15. Picture: Pascal MametThe Windsurfing & Kitesurfing PioneersWith every sport comes evolution A website you must consult beforeand the faster and more diverse the your surf trip is www.mauritiusurf.sport becomes, the more interest com. Nico Kux is a pioneer in thethere is. Kitesurfing has drawn the sport and will introduce you tomost extreme gliding attention spots you‘ve never heard of. Hisand interest and this revolutionary knowledge of his home town ofextreme gliding sport is one of Cap Malheureux—Kuxville, as hethe fastest-growing water sports named it, is a true paradise and kitearound the globe. It has literally heaven for travelers:taken the world by storm andmost surfing, windsurfing pioneers www.kuxville.deand enthusiasts worldwide and in www.mauritiusurf.comMauritius have now converted to www.kiteivalmauritius.comkitesurfing, mastering the kitingscene with extreme courage and Nico has a fierce rider reputation.innovative skills. His local lagoon knowledge andWe‘re all hungry for some more his time spent on the Northernbeach events and wish to see lagoon will be crucial for your safetyfurther international involvement and enjoyment. The Indian Oceanwith serious sponsors and support, Surfing Company‘s La Gauletteand not just a couple of bottles Shop is one of the best-equippedand a banner, thank you very much! surf shops in Mauritius.You canNew kitesurfing schools have secure all the gear you need fromsprung up in all the main spots, from leading brands such as Naish andBelle Mare to Le Morne peninsula, Cabrinah. Stores such as Onewith its fantastic lagoons, a constant Eye and Santosha Island are alsonorth easterly wind and lovely importers of well-known wind andviews of Le Morne and Baie du Cap. kitesurfing brands “order only”, notIt‘s a beautiful sauvage (or wild) forgetting Billabong and Habit whicharea highly recommended for also offer some great gear. It allamateur riders. depends on your budget and taste. 15
  • 16. Photo: Pascal Mamet - Kitesurfers at Ile aux Flamants “Kiteival 2010”If you‘re worried about weight (of Local gliding pioneer Nico Kux was and local importers of the gear wasyour gear, that is!), you may have the first to introduce Kitesurfing mastering the sport. With suchnoticed that most travel agents in Mauritius followed by windsurf dedication and adrenaline rushdon‘t tend to offer information to enthusiasts such Jean Francois every week-end came the urgehelp you. If you‘re a rider visiting Baraux (Son of Beach), Patrick to become the best at the sport.Mauritius for kitesurfing and Desvaux (Habit), Laurent Le Local competition was establisheddiving, you‘ll be pleased to know Bolloch (Legall) and some local with these regular gathering thenthat you can take 20Kg of gear Tamarin heavy weights Igor, Jean came the masses who all wanted tofree with Air Mauritius. Francois Merven, Bruno Coriollis, compete. The potential for growingWindsurfing was introduced Bertrand Staub, Christopher Tyack the local event to an internationalduring the early 1980s tourism (Santosha Island) and the Faydherb event became the golden price toboost by the same surfing brothers were among the first those pioneers.pioneers who were unable to to challenge the coral reef and The Malibu Windsurfingsurf as the strong winds made push the sport to its limits. With Competition was the firstconditions impossible. Hotels a unique desire to master the windsurfing competition during midwere the first importers of extreme diversity and range of the 1990s. This competition was thewindsurfing equipment on the lagoons, they set challenges and start of what would become one ofisland, providing the tourist with took the sport to a new level. the best International Kitesurfingthe standard gear. But those Hence, extreme gliding was born destination in the World. Nowsame surfing pioneers and a new and the intense adrenaline rush on the KSP World Tour, Mauritiusgeneration were already on top that came with it encouraged OneEye is known as one of theof the scene, experimenting with regular weekend gatherings of most fierce wave and tube, withnew techniques, challenging new locals and dedicated enthusiasts massive 10-15ft wave session. Localbarrel rides and ordering the supervising each other with the kite pioneer Nico Kux (Kitevial)latest windsurfing equipment in latest equipment and manoeuvres and Christopher Tyack (Le Morneorder to perform at a higher level. in the most extreme conditions at Classic) are both keeping the locals Le Morne. and internationals happy with Between themselves and a handful authentic and challenging events of foreign riders, they were the involving the local community. lucky few at the time to have Kitesurfing has taken a greater turn the resources and experience to with many local and international enjoy Mauritius‘ unique lagoons. associations finally seeing the light The sport was very expensive in Mauritius and Rodrigues Islands. and inaccessible to most of the In fact, kitesurfing is so popular here population and only the foreigners now that the drawback is crowded 16
  • 17. beaches and waters, especially Public Beach of the cosy village mauritius-windsurfing/at weekends. International kite of Grand Gaube. Tel: 499 37 47, Another great water sports takingclubs Mistral is based around the email: info@kiteatnorth.com Skype Mauritius by storm is Surfski.island within the resorts‘ water Kite@North, website: http://www. Island shamaal mauritius oceancenters and pro kite teachers are kiteatnorth.com/ classic 2011 – 3rd editionalways available for tips on how to Mauritius Kitesurf competition: International surfski paddlingfly higher and how to ride those 1- Kiteival is a yearly international association world seriesunique barrels and lagoons. event created and organized by http://www.epickayaks.net.au/Today the generation Y are all two experienced and passionate Mauritius/ocean-classic.htmlkitesurfers and most are enjoying Mauritians: http://www.blackriver-mauritius.amazing Mauritius amazing Nico Kux, Kiteival’s Technical com/updates/Prg_2009.pdflagoons and the couple of local Director - Sindbad Ltd - National Useful Links:and international competition. Kite Instructor IKO Certified. http://www.windguru.comKitesurfing is definitely a true iconic Nico has introduced kite surf in http://www.windfinder.com/news/sport and economic booster for Mauritius in 1998 and organized http://www.surfline.com/weather-Mauritius Tourism. several kite surf events and forecasts/mauritius/mauritius-wind-Most hotels and kite schools in festivals. He has also successfully chart_7143Mauritius provide the equipment participated in international kiteand lessons, but you are advised to surf events and competitions.bring your own gear and test the Albert d’Unienville, Naïade Resortswater for yourself. Rentals can be Events Manager, who has a solidfound at the Club Mistral, based at experience in the organization Most hotels in Mauritius providethe Indian Resort in Le Morne. Club of major international and local the equipment and offer lessons,Mistral is the leading windsurfing (sports) events holidays in but you are advised to bring yourclub on the island and its team is Mauritius. own gear and test the water forwell reputed worldwide for their 2-The Mauritius Kite Surf yourself. Rentals can be found atlove for windsurfing and kitesurfing. International held in September the Club Mistral, based at the IndianA true paradise for all wind gurus welcomes international stars Resort in Le Morne. Club Mistralout there. such as the Australian Felix Pivec, is the leading windsurfing clubLearn to KiteSurf in Mauritius Martin Vari from Argentina (three on the island and its team is wellThere are also training centres times world champion), Will James reputed worldwide for their loveacross the island for a beginner’s (Britain), John Amudson (United for windsurfing.course and in many regions, there States), Bertrand Fleury (France),are places that are calmer for Jaime Herraiz (Spain) to name a Kitesurfing, on the other hand, hasinitiation courses. few. This is the first year that the taken a greater turn with many localKitesurfing clubs KSP is hosting its very first leg of and international associations finallyKiteland ltd New school at the the wave world tour, and this will seeing the light in Mauritius andPavillon hotel Tel: 9313288, email: be held at Le Morne. Rodrigues Islands. In fact, kitesurfingnicolas_mrfish@hotmail.com 3-Le Morne Classic is the latest is so popular here now that theYoaneye Kite Centre, Le Morne addition to the Mauritian Wind & drawback is crowded beaches and- Tel: 737 8296, website: www. Kitesurfing – Christophe Tyack is waters, especially at weekends. Proyoaneye.com the man behind this great event kite teachers are always available forNomad Kite School, Le Morne - Tel: help in September at Le Morne. tips on how to fly higher and how757 9854, website: www.ecole- 4- Mauritius One Eye Pro – This to ride those unique barrels andkitesurf-maurice.com event is the latest Kite surfing lagoons.Son of Kite - email: jcgaley@gmail. event with local partner Patrickcom, website: www.sonofkite.com Desvaux (Kite League). http:// A true paradise for all wind gurusSinbad Ltd, Cap Malheureux - Tel: www.kspworldtour.com/details/3- out there. Learn to Surf in Mauritius255 1850, email: kuxfamily@intnet. ksp-mauritius Roger Theveneau is one of themu website: www.kuxville.de http://www. most influential surf teachers inKite surf paradise - Tel: 4800849/ internationalkiteboarding.org/index. Mauritius, offering ‘Learn How7434299, email: mauritius.kitesurf@ php?option=com_content&task=vie to Surf’ services in Tamarin Bay,gmail.com, www.mauritius-kitesurf. w&id=4954&Itemid=140 depending on the swell conditions.com /www.stand-up-paddle- Mauritius International Visitors: Roger is always keen to give advicemauritius.com /www.kite-trip.com Another great champion and and share his skills with youngstersClub Mistral and Skyriders, c/o regular visitor to Mauritius is and can be contacted directly:Hotel Indian Resort, Le Morne - Tel: Francisco Goya, his love of the rogerthevenau@yahoo.fr925 4960, email: mauritius@club- sport and contribution is amistral.com website: www.club- definitely plus. Please mention Santosha Guides.mistral.com or www.myskyriders. https://www.facebook.com/com franciscogoyaKite@North is located on the http://goyawindsurfing.com/ 17
  • 18. Local Surfing RulesThe local rules in Mauritius today media, the Madgroms would likeare probably not that different than Mauritius to host more eventsthose in Hawaii or Australia - the and be known for the spectacularimportant thing is to respect them! sporting tourism events the countryHere are few do‘s and don‘ts: has to offer, all the while preserving Mauritius‘ unique coastline.If you‘re a traveling surfer, showsome consideration for those localswho have been riding and masteringthe spots before you. MostMauritian surfers work during theweek and only get a chance to surfat the weekend, so try to appreciatethe precious time they have to surfby not getting in their way.Always introduce yourself to thosealready in the water, don‘t ignoreanyone and certainly don‘t overtakeanyone on the line-up or startdropping. Talking of which, don‘tbe a litterbug - the beaches andlagoons are Mauritius‘ crown jewelsbut they are in serious danger dueto pollution. Plastic bottles andbags are not biodegradable and endup eradicating marine life whenthrown in the water so pleasedon‘t pollute.You can do your bit Photo: Antoine De Maroussemto prevent erosion on the beachesby sticking to the proper pathswherever possible. Be aware ofthe local conditions for each site Facts for Adventurers & Riders- some parts of the coastline canbe dangerous if you don‘t have the Many famous professionals visit the island for long periods of up to threeright knowledge. months a year to practice for international competitions or to make movies, many of which are available on the market. Most kitesurfing magazinesToday‘s new, younger generation of have published articles on the world‘s best riders at One Eye and they allsurfers, the Madgroms, which stands describe her as the world‘s most powerful and astounding barrel. She is ourfor ‘Mad Grommets’, is arguably national pride.friendlier to tourists. The Madgroms Mauritius has been described by many professional riders as ‘HEAVEN FORwere named for their extreme EXTREME GLIDING’. When they are just right, the conditions here areconfidence and courage, their desire simply UNBELIEVABLE. But beware, there have already been many whoto ride the best waves, showing thought they could have a go but ended up seriously hurt.greater skills and courage than the I recall such an event in 2005, where a Russian kiterider was knockedWhiteshorts at times, taking the unconscious during a low tide session at La Prairie, Le Morne and spentbest tubes, creating new and the a couple of days in a coma. Without the local knowledge of the current,best maneuvers and generally having the sharp coral reef and the sand bank formation during low tide, harmfulfun and sharing their experiences experiences and even tragedies can easily happen.among local friends and tourists,non-aggressive and cocky alike.Although the Whiteshorts are stillactive in some areas, there is nodoubt that Mauritius is now muchmore tourist-friendly. Looking forexposure to international contestsand challenges, along with thesurfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing 18
  • 19. Remember, for your own safety always have someone supervising you wherever you are, whetherSafety First riding within the lagoon or outside the lagoon, as there are noSafety must be always your priority while on holiday and it is CRUCIAL that lifeguards onsite and you are onyou respect the priority and safety factor. your own. Locals will get very angry if anyone is hurt by an experiencedFor those challenging Mother Nature‘s lagoons, winds and swells, be sure to rider or show-off.research them first, along with the current, before throwing your windsurf, The kitesurfing map, provided bykite or board in the water. With unknown spots, always take a quick dive to Kite Co Ltd, gives you a detailedscan the seabed to check the depth of the water you‘ll be gliding on. Beware idea of what to expect and hazardsof the sharp corals and shallow sections.Once you have identified all the to look out for at each spot. Pleasepotential dangers, then go and give it a try! study the weather conditions beforeAlways look out for the swells, as they tend to rise very quickly, and always jumping in and don‘t be scared toswim with the current if you get stuck in a strong pass. If you are kitesurfing, ask for local advice - it might savebe careful when choosing your kite size as the wind speed and direction can your life. Above all, remember youchange rapidly. It‘s recommended that you do not venture too far outside should never ride alone.You mightthe lagoons. never be heard or found. 19
  • 20. N Rodrigues Cap Malheureux Anse La Raie Grand Gaube Pointe aux Piments Roche Noires Poste La Fayette Belle Mare Palmar Flic en Flac Ile Aux Cerf TamarinLe Morne Pte d’Esny / Bluebay La Prairie Baie Du Cap Ilot Sancho Surinam 20
  • 21. Our Partnerswww.unmariageauparadis.com www.mauritiusxcursioncarrental.com www.islandinfo.mu 21
  • 22. 02. Where to surfThe West1- The Bay of Tamarin or simply ‘LaBaie’Located at Tamarin Village‘s publicbeach on the West coast, this beachhas many breaks with various peaksleft and right. The beach is great forlong boards, body boards, short-board amateurs and beginners.Swell direction: South West - WestTop conditions: 3-6ft. Mid to high Parents are advised to watch theirtides. Surfing hazards: The currents children at all times. Dolphins are acan be very strong. One should frequent sighting in the bay duringtake special care when crossing the morning sessions.river as it can be very dangerousalthough it may look small andweak.2- Dal 3- Black Stone 4- Black River HarborDal has often been described in In front of the Sands Resort Located at the Black River Morneinternational surfing magazines as opposite Tamarin Bay, Black Stone Angler‘s Club (accessed fromone of the best spots worldwide. is a long down the line right hander Martello Tower), she is a great tubeLeft hander that runs for about that is ideal for longboards and mini when she works, with occasional100 metres over shallow reef, with mals. left and right breaks off the pointtwo main sections. On certain swell It has a few barrel sections but of the right-hand side pass. There‘sdirections it can tube, but generally often is hard to get onto with a a very shallow reef and you needis a fast down the line wave, with short board and to get passed the to paddle a long way to get to her,possibility to do some great sections. If you get the right one, so it‘s worth hiring a pirogue formaneuvers. Dal has two dangerous you can get a wave all the way down Rs1000. Swell direction: North/sections. The first section has a fast to the edge of the bay. North Eastand steep take-off with a straight-in- Swell direction: South-Westthe-tube pass. Through the second Top conditions: No more thansection, it has the most amazing Top conditions: 4-6ft. High tides. 4ft. Heavy spot Surfing hazards: Abarrel and hollow tubes with more Surfing hazards: There are caves and very shallow reef and busy harborthan 15 possible maneuvers. She rocks at the take-off and the area nearby. Recommended surfing level:curves inside the reef and dies is occasionally infested with sea experiencedinside the bay. Swell direction: urchins. Also has big currents (accessible by boat only)South-West Recommended surfing level: Intermediate to experienced.Top conditions: 3-10ft. Mid to hightides. Surfing hazards: Watch outfor the very shallow and sharpcoral reef infested with sea urchins.This area is heavily protected bythe locals and the whiteshorts.Recommended surfing level: Useful Link:Intermediate to experienced. Mauritius surf reports : visit www.surfline.com/surf-report/mauritius_7142/map/ 22
  • 23. The South West1- Le Morne 3- One Eye 4 - Fine CurlThis is the most famous lagoon for The legendary One Eye is found Fine Curl is a 20-minute paddlethe most experienced locals and at Le Morne public beach next to from the launching zone of the kitesinternational riders. It‘s important the Berjaya hotel (currently under at Le Morne public beach in frontnot to wander too far outside the renovation). She has very hollow of La Pointe. In the right conditions,lagoon as there are no coastguards and dangerous left and right reef her right generates some excellent,based here. BE VERY CAUTIOUS. breaks and is unpredictable with powerful waves.Pirogues can be rented from Le dangerous sections. For tube riders, Swell direction: SouthMorne or La Gaulette. Ask for she‘s a real treat, as she‘s heavy on Top conditions: 3-6ft. Low to midPicket or Mr. Gerard in Le Morne - the take-off. Swell direction: tide. Safety hazards: Strong currentthey can secure you a pirogue and Southerly swell. and a deep pass with an infesteda guide for the day. Crayfish and Top conditions: 3-6ft. Mid-high tides. shark cave not far away. The wind islocal catch-of-the-day BBQs can Safety hazards: Shallow coral reef highly unpredictable - it can be verybe arranged on Ile Aux Bennitier infested with sea urchins and ginger strong at times but then suddenlyafter your session. Pricewise, you‘re reefs. Frequent heavy current. This drop dead. Recommended surfinglooking at Rs4500 for the day, area can get very crowded. level: Experiencedincluding your food and soft drinks. Recommended surfing level: Experienced.2- L‘Ambulante 4- La Prairie and Ti (small) la Prairie 5 - ChameauAt Le Morne public beach next to A sand bank that gives great right This spot at Le Morne publicthe Dina Robin hotel, L‘Ambulante hander for learners that is located beach, to the right of Fine Curl,is a very fast left hander that runs on the inside of a lagoon at Le has recorded some of the biggestover a shallow reef and end in a Morne public beach, right in front of swells of the entire island. Withbig pass. It is a fun wave in the 3-4ft the Indian Resort pier. waves up to a whopping 15ft, shesize, but becomes very serious from Swell direction: South is very powerful and dangerous4ft and above. Reef is far out and Top conditions: 3-4ft. High tide. and produces both rights and leftshas very heavy rips, so it is a must Safety hazards: Strong currents peaks. Combined with her amazingto have a boat to both access the which makes it hard to get back to hollow tubes and a very heavyspot and to stay with you in case of the beach on an outgoing tide. Boat take-off, she’s definitely the mostinjury. It is quite fickle as it need the is recommended.Very crowded challenging spot on the entire island.right swell direction combined with with surfers, kitesurfers and Chameau is accessible by boat.the right wind direction, but if you windsurfers. Many locals own pirogues and areget these right you can get amazing Recommended surfing level: happy to take tourists out for thewaves. Beginner day. Typically, you can either catchSwell direction: South, South- West Club Mistral‘s learning area for a pirogue from La Gaulette or LeTop conditions: 3-6ft on rising tide. windsurfers and kitesurfers is ideal Morne village. Ask for Ton Pic orSurfing hazards: Extremely strong for beginners, but also offers great Gerard - they‘re both well-knowncurrent - do not paddle out; rent winds and rides for intermediate and have comprehensive knowledgea boat from the boat house or a and advanced riders. It‘s a of the lagoons. Swell direction:local from Le Morne or La Gaulette. spectacular lagoon in a beautiful South Top conditions: 3-6ft. HighThere‘s also sharp coral and the setting affording views of Le Morne tide. Safety hazards: Unpredictablewater is infested with sea urchins. mountain and Ile au Fourneau. and dangerous. RecommendedRecommended surfing level: surfing level: ExperiencedExperienced.In general surfing on the weekendsis left for locals. 23
  • 24. 6 - ManawaWith a long left with a couple ofsmall sections, you can see herprofile from Le Morne public beach,behind Ti La Prairie.Swell direction: NorthTop conditions: 3-6ft. Mid tides.Surfing hazards: Sharks andBarracudas are often seen in thearea. Recommended surfing level:Intermediate or experienced.7 - Baie Du Cap - Maconde 10- Rivière des GalletsLocated at Baie Du Cap, Maconde The beach at Rivière des Galletsis a short left which breaks on the village has a consistent reef break,far right of the pass of Baie du Cap. but it can be very windy during theDepending on the conditions and its winter season. In perfect conditions,size, this wave can be very powerful. her amazing right with heavy barrelsSwell direction: North and tube ride that breaks justTop conditions: 3-4ft. Low to meters off the polished stone beach,mid tide. Surfing hazards: Strong make her truly unique.currents and winds and very large Swell direction: Southlagoons. Bulldog sharks, Tiger sharks Top conditions: 3-8ft. High tide.and Barracudas can often be seen Surfing Hazards: Stone beachfeeding on dead cattle and dogs. with very shallow reef and strongWARNING: Do not surf after raz current. Recommended surfingde maree or heavy rain. level: Beginner, intermediate andRecommended surfing level: experienced.Experienced. 11 - Cemetière (Graveyard)8 - Ile au Sancho Located at the Rivière des Gallets village in front of the cemetery,Located at Baie du Jacotet, a public she has a tiny pass, is fast andbeach near Ile au Sancho is a left is a dangerous ride. It has closebreak inside the bay.You can take out sections but offers someoff from the right-hand side of the outstanding tubes.eroded coral, but this rarely works Swell Direction: North Eastso you need to be patient when Top conditions: 3-6ft. Mid to highsurfing these waves. tide. Surfing hazards: This area has a tiny pass, very strong current and sharp coral. Recommended surfing9 - Big Sancho level: Experienced.Big Sancho is on the other side ofthe island and has numerous leftpeaks from the very far right.Swell direction: North EastSurfing hazards: A very shallow reefand strong currents at low tide.Top conditions: 3 to 8ft. High tide.Recommended surfing level:Beginner, intermediate andexperienced. 24
  • 25. The East1 - Souillac -TelfairLocated at the Gris Gris publicbeach near the pier, this spot has abad reputation for board breakingand harsh injuries. She has scaredmany local and foreign surfers withher surging masses of water.Swell direction: South West The NorthWest & NorthEastTop conditions 3-6ft. Rising tides.Surfing hazards: A very shallow coralreef and strong current.Recommended surfing level:Experienced2 - Iles aux Deux CocosLocated behind Shandrani Hotel/Blue Bay public beach, it has ashort left break, is very fast andcan be hollow at times. She hasmany sections and is a great tube inperfect conditions. The wave breaksjust meters off the volcanic rock.Swell direction: South East.Top conditions: 3-8ft. Low to midtide. Surfing hazards: It‘s a longpaddle out from the public beachand there are strong currentsduring the low tide. Recommended Photo – Santosha Guidessurfing level: Experienced One of many reef breaks Mauritius & Rodrigues have to offer. 1 - Balaclava Bay / Pointe aux 3 - Le Goulet Piments Location: North West The right side of this bay, located Surfing hazards: Raz de Marée. in the Bay du Tombeau, has been Recommended surfing level: described by many as like ‘the Jaws Beginner and intermediate of Mauritius‘. It‘s an amazing right- hander with a long barrel. On the 4 - Calamar other side of the bay, the left is also a good spot. For big wave riders, Location: North West it is a ‘must-stop-by’ on heavy Recommended surfing level: days. It‘s also a great lagoon for Beginner and intermediate kitesurfing and windsurfing. Swell We hope this helps you on your direction: North West and West Top way to finding the perfect wave. conditions: Swell up to 10ft. Surfing There are many other passes and hazards: There are strong currents breaks that aren’t described in this in the area. guide and this is where your inner Recommended surfing level: search for the perfect ride comes in. Experienced Our top tip is to be careful - don‘t 2 - Bernache surf alone and always have people on land knowing where you are Location: North East going. Swell direction: North East and East Surfing hazards: Sharp coral reef and Local Tips: Respect the locals and strong current. often will help you out. Recommended surfing level: Experienced 25
  • 26. 03.Essential informationfor visitorsCountry name: MauritiusConventional long form: Republic of MauritiusCapital: Port LouisMauritius‘ international airport isthe Sir Seewoosagur RamgoolamInternational Airport based inthe South East of the island nearthe village of Mahebourg and thecapital, Port Louis. Several airlinesoffer international flights to andfrom Mauritius, including AirMauritius, Air Europe, Air France, AirZimbabwe, Austrian Airlines, BritishAirways, Condor, Emirates andSouth African Airways.Visas and passportsVisitors must have a valid passportand a return or onward ticket.Tourist or visitor visas are normallygranted for a period of two tofour weeks upon arrival. It isrecommended that visitors checkwith their airline, local MauritianEmbassy or their travel agentregarding visa requirements prior toflying to Mauritius.Visas can be extended upon requestat the Passport and ImmigrationOffice, Sterling House, 11-19 LisletGeoffroy Street, Port-Louis,Tel : (230) 210-9312 to 210-9317Fax (230)210-9322.Economic OverviewSince independence in 1968, increased life expectancy, lower more than 9,000 offshore entities,Mauritius has developed from a infant mortality and a much- many aimed at commerce in Indialow-income, agriculturally-based improved infrastructure. Sugarcane and South Africa, and investmenteconomy to a middle-income is grown on about 90% of the in the banking sector alone hasdiversified economy with growing cultivated land area and accounts reached over $1 billion. Mauritius,industrial, financial and tourist for 25% of export earnings. The with its strong textile sector,sectors. For most of the period, government’s development strategy has been well poised to takeannual growth has been in the centers on expanding local financial advantage of the Africa Growth andorder of 5-6%. This remarkable institutions and building a domestic Opportunity Act (AGOA).achievement has been reflected in information telecommunicationsmore equitable income distribution, industry. Mauritius has attracted 26
  • 27. Companies involved in thesugarcane industry are now turningtheir assets into IRS/RES (IntegratedResort Scheme/Real Estate Scheme)and commercial developments.Mauritius accounts for a dozen newprojects with great ROI (returnon investment) for internationalinvestors.Industries: Food processing(largely sugar milling), textiles,clothing, chemicals, metal products,transport equipment, nonelectricalmachinery, tourism. Agriculture:sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes,bananas, pulses, cattle, goats, fish.Exports: clothing and textiles,sugar, cut flowers, molasses. Exportpartners: UK 31.9%, France 20.2%,US 11.4%, Madagascar 6.3%, Italy5.4%. Imports: manufactured goods,capital equipment, foodstuffs,petroleum products, chemicals.Import partners: France 11.4%,South Africa 10.8%, India 8.8%,China 5.7%, Finland 5.5%, Bahrain5.1% and Germany 4.9%Money Matters Mauritius Facts Public HolidaysCurrency: Full name: The Republic of Mauritius New Year: 1-2 JanThe Rupee, which is divided in 100 Chinese Spring Festival: 22 Jancents. Notes are in denominations Population: 1.3 million (UN, 2010) Slavery Abolition: 1 Febof 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and Haipoosam Cavadee: 5 Feb2000. Coins are 1, 5 and 10 Rs and Capital and largest city: Port Louis Maha Shivaratee: 18 Feb20 and 50 cent pieces. One US Ugadi: 21 Mardollar is worth approximately 28 Area: 2,040 sq km (788 sq miles) Labour Day: 1 MayRupees. L’Assomption: 15 AugCredit Cards: Major languages: English (official), Ganesh Chaturti: 19 SepMajor credit cards are accepted in Arrival of the First Indenturedhotels and restaurants. Creole, French, Indian languages Labourers: 2 NovTraveler‘s cheques in any currency Divali: 12 Novcan be exchanged in Mauritius. Major religions: Hinduism, Eid-Ul-Fitr: 14 or 15 Nov Christianity, Islam (depending on the moon) Christmas: 25 Dec Life expectancy: 68 years (men), 76 years (women) (UN) National holiday Monetary unit: 1 Mauritian rupee=100 cents Independence Day: 12 March (1968) Main exports: Sugar, clothing, tea, jewellery GNI per capita: US $7,240 (World Bank, 2009) Internet domain: .mu International dialling code: +230 27
  • 28. Government typeParliamentary democracyAdministrative divisions: 9 districtsand 3 dependencies*; AgalegaIslands*, Black River, CargadosCarajos Shoals*, Flacq, Grand Port,Moka, Pamplemousses, PlainesWilhems, Port Louis, Rivière duRempart, Rodrigues*, SavanneConstitutionMauritius‘ constitution was signedon 12 March 1968 and amended on12 March 1992.The legal system is based onthe French civil law system withelements of English common law.The country accepts compulsoryICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.Customs Terrain Ethnic groups Consists of a small coastal plainTravelers over 18 years of age may Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, rising to discontinuous mountainsimport the following duty-free Sino-Mauritian 3%, and encircling central plateau (lowestitems: Franco-Mauritian 2%. point: Indian Ocean 0m & highest250 grams of tobacco (including point: Mont Piton 828m).cigars and cigarettes), 1 liter of Tide: Tidal information can be found Religion:spirits, 2 liters of wine, ale or at: www.metservice.intnet.mu/tide.beer, 250ml of Eau de Toilette and htm or www.windguru.com Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%,perfume not exceeding 100 ml. other Christian 8.6%, Muslim 16.6%,The following items require an other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, noneImport Permit from the Ministry Natural resources 0.4% (2000 census).of Agriculture prior to arrival: Time difference: 4 hours ahead ofplants, plant material, including Arable land, fish. Arable land: 49.02%, GMT (UK) in winter and 3 hourscuttings, flowers, bulbs, fresh fruits, permanent crops: 2.94%, other: ahead in summer. Daylight hoursvegetables and seeds, imported 48.04%. approximately 0500hrs to 1900hrsanimals and animal products. in summer and 0600hrs to 1800hrsFor animal related products, a Environmental in winter.health certificate from the countryof origin is also required. issuesPassengers are not permitted Water pollution, degradation ofto bring sugarcane (whole or in coral reefs.part), soil, micro-organisms orinvertebrate animals into Mauritius.Drug trafficking is illegal and carries Populationvery heavy penalties.Firearms and ammunition need 1,294,104 with an age structureimport permits and must be 0-14 years: 23.9%, 15-64 years:declared on arrival. 69.5%, 65 years and over: 6.6%.Climate: Tropical, modified by South July 2010 estimate.East trade winds; warm, dry winters(May to November); hot, wet andhumid summers (November toMay). HIV / AIDS 13,000 people living with aids. 28
  • 29. The Press- Le Mauricien - daily- L’Express - daily- Le Matinal - daily- 5 Plus - weekly- Mauritius Times - English-language weeklyTelevision & Radio Media- MBC - state-run, operates The constitution guaranteesthree channels and a service for freedom of expression and ofRodrigues Island the press. State-owned Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)- MBC - state-run, broadcasting in radio and TV generally reflectEnglish, French, Indian languages government thinking. MBC is fundedand Chinese. MBC stations include by advertising and a TV licenceRadio Maurice 1 and 2, Kool FM, fee. Private radio stations wereTaal FM, One World FM and Radio introduced in 2002.Rodrigues. Daily newspapers and weeklies offer balanced coverage in several- Top FM - private FM station, languages. They are often criticalBollywood music and Western pop of both the government and the opposition parties. Two media- Radio One - first private radio groups - Le Mauricien Ltd and Lastation Sentinelle Ltd - dominate the press scene. Television is the most-popular medium. Multichannel TV is available in Port Louis. Internet access is widely available; by early 2008, nearly 27% of the population had access (ITU). BBC World Service radio is available via a medium wave (AM) relay (1575 kHz). Radio France Internationale is relayed on FM. 29
  • 30. The geography &climateMauritius is known for its vast whitebeaches, rugged volcanic mountains,and its large plateau at 550 to 730meters above sea level.The island lies 20 degrees south ofthe equator, just within the Tropicof Capricorn. Mauritius enjoys anequable maritime climate, tropicalin summer and subtropical inwinter, with an average summertemperature of 27°C and a wintertemperature averaging 17°C.The island’s coastline runs over200 kilometers and is surroundedby beautiful coral reefs, cleanwhite sands, and clear lagoons full The populationof tropical fish. The nearest Asianneighbor of Mauritius in the Indian The population of the RepublicOcean is Sri Lanka: Colombo is of Mauritius is growing at a rate3,200 kilometers from Port Louis, of 0.5 % since mid-2009 and wasthe capital of Mauritius. Both Aden estimated at 1,281,200 as at 1st Julyin Yemen and Cape Town in South 2010. The people are descendentsAfrica are 3,680 kilometers from of European colonists, African slaves,Mauritius. Indians and Chinese merchants.In addition to the island of Mauritius Today the island is a melting pot ofand the small island of Rodrigues, all these cultures.the state of Mauritius includes two The Mauritian population consiststiny dependencies laying to the of Indian descent representsnorth—Agalega Islands (70 square 69% of the population. Creoleskilometers) and the Carajoas Shoals the descendants of the African(1.3 square kilometers), which are slaves represents 25% of thevirtually unpopulated. There are also population, Christian Europeans thefive small islands off the northwest minority represents only 3%. Thecoast of Mauritius, and the Chagos religious beliefs of the populationArchipelago lies midway between of Mauritius are as manifold asMauritius and Sri Lanka. This their ethnic background - 52%archipelago was long a dependency are Hindus, 30% Christians, 10%of Mauritius. Muslims and 2% Buddhists. 30
  • 31. The cultureIf you would enjoy a vacation where The languages of Mauritius are a way of life which is both excitingyou can learn about and experience also a beautiful blend of its people. and serene. When you choosedifferent cultures, a Mauritius If you are not familiar with the this lovely island as your vacationvacation is the trip for you! This Creole language, it is in itself a destination, you will have theisland has a rich history; but fascinating blend of language that chance to experience it all first-whether or not you are a history you simply must hear in order to hand. Whether you are a modernbuff, you will delight in the blended fully appreciate. French and English person who is most interested inculture that is Mauritius today. What are also widely used on Mauritius. how a different lifestyle is today, oris culture about that makes it so From traditional dance to modern one who loves the rich traditionsfascinating to so many people? It is surfing, you will find many activities which have resulted from differentabout people from different places; which will be of interest to you cultures throughout history, this isit is about traditions and ways that during your Mauritius vacation. the vacation spot that will suit youthey brought with them from the Whether your preference is for more than any other! As soon aspast; and it is about how all of these participating or being a spectator, you have your very first taste of thisfactors come together to influence the island has much to offer. Even island, you will be glad you chosethe lifestyle in modern times. On your shopping sprees will be an Mauritius!the island of Mauritius, you will experience in culture, as you canfind much important evidence of find traditional artwork and manyblended cultures. The influences other reasonably-priced treats, allcan be seen in the tasty varieties with the special flavor of Mauritius.of food, heard in the language On Mauritius, the old and the newand music, and experienced in and the peoples of many differentthe activities that are popular on backgrounds all come together inMauritius. The beautiful, exciting Photo – Yoann Derunessense of style that is exhibited inall of these factors will make yourMauritius vacation an adventure inculture.When the Chinese, Dutch, Indian,French, and other cultures have allhad their place in the history ofMauritius, one of the most delightfulresults is in the island’s foods. Indiancurry, Chinese noodles, beans andrice, and Creole fare are all widelypopular. The American influencehas made its way to the island,however, as you will see with someof the same fast-foods that arewell-known in the United States.Whether you prefer to dine in astylish, sophisticated restaurant, orto grab a quick bite to eat duringyour active day, you will find boththe unique and the familiar foods.There is something for your everywhim and taste! 31
  • 32. Le Morne mountainA world heritage site From a legend of lemuria to a monument to freedom A story by a friend and great activist of freedom of speech - Jameel Peerally Le Morne mountain has been Le Morne as a world heritage site. my point of focus for the last six In the southwest of Mauritius, years. I’ve spent this time getting overlooking the coast of Black River, to know Le Morne village and its the Morne Brabant mountain rears wonderful people, the mountain in its massive and weather-beaten all its angles and shades of light and head for all to see. This great rock colour. My photos I hope reflect which towers to some 240 metres the greatness of Le Morne as a is much more than a distinctive Mauritian symbol of freedom. After landmark. It bears witness, like all we all came from somewhere nothing can, to a very painful else and made this island our period in the island‘s history. But home. Some of us came as slaves, it also carries an undying message. others as indentured labourers A message of man‘s unquenchable to serve the colonial powers that thirst for freedom. had settled upon the island. As a It used to be a refuge for runaway professional photographer, this is slaves, who escaped the cruelty my contribution, to support and miseries inflicted upon them by their masters. Le Morne , a reminder of the dark days of slavery, now stands, over and above everything else, as a natural monument to freedom. UNESCO is expected to declare Le Morne a World Heritage Site. Le Morne also forms part of the Lemurian origins of the island… ‘Un pays qui n‘a plus de légendes se condamne à mourir de froid.. Mais un peuple qui n‘aurait plus de mythe court vers la mort.’ ‘A country that has no more legends is set to die of cold.. But a nation without a myth runs towards death.’ - Dumézil Goerges 32
  • 33. Legend has itthat…Once upon a time a colony ofgiants inhabited the great crescentof Lemuria. One day they set outin search of the land of Paradise.They searched east, they searchedwest; they searched north, theysearched south, but Paradise was The following Story of Le Morne isnever in sight. Then one day on much closer to realitytheir return journey to their nativeland, while they were roaming over Ton Maxime was born and raised in huge boulders, a large number ofthe Tropic of Capricorn, they found the shadow of Le Morne in full sight skulls and bones lay scattered at thea magnificent island freshly forged of the sea. Everything in his world foot of the towering cliff. The placefrom the depths of the sea by had a function – the winds and the was as silent as a graveyard. He wasVulcan, the blacksmith magician of clouds, the currents and the surf, filled with terror and started to runthe Gods. The Lemurians decided to the rocks, trees and mountains. They as fast as his legs could carry him.remain on the island. were his friends and his constant When he reached home he told his companions. He depended on them father what he had seen.This is how Mauritius was first for his daily bread. They helped and ‘Tell me father’, ‘he asked’, ‘is Lediscovered and settled… guided him in his daily struggle for Morne inhabited by man-eating survival. This is why Le Morne stood demons? I‘m very frightened. I‘llThis race of Titans were master- so high and rugged and stretched so never go near Le Morne again.’builders. With their chisels and far out into the sea. In all weathers, After a long silence, his father said:their hammers they sculpted, over on hot sunny days as well as in rain ‘My son, you must not be afraid ofthe years, the quaint shapes of the and storm, Le Morne was always Le Morne. Listen to me carefully.mountains. One was in the form of there, above the waves, holding its I‘m going to tell you something thata reclining lion, another was like a old, grey head so high that it could will fill your heart with sadness. ButLemurian head, yet another was in be seen for miles around. It guided it is important for you to knowthe shape of a titanic thumb. The the fishermen to their favourite the truth. Many years ago, a longLemurians lived on the island for mooring grounds. It led them back time before you were born, manymany millions of years. Then one home by day and by night well of our people were stolen by forceday, they left for some unknown clear of the reefs and treacherous from their homes in lands very farreason. But before they left, headlands to the safety of the bay. away beyond the sea. They werethey placed sentinels at different But Le Morne was much more than brought to this country to workstrategic peaks, wrote down their a useful landmark. It guarded the as slaves on the sugar plantations.prophecy and gave life to these fishing bays of the entire Black River They were sold to different masters.mountains. coast. It was always there, watching Some were good masters, but manyThis is how the Morne mountain over them as it had watched over were very cruel. When some of ourcame to be posted at the extreme and given shelter to the last of the people could not bear it anymorewestern point to guard the entire runaway slaves. they ran away and hid in the forests.western coast of the island. The Many years ago, when he was still My father worked for a captain inflattened summit served the a boy, Ton Maxime liked to go far the army. He was forced to help hispurpose of an altar from where into the woods and mountains to master hunt down the slaves thatthe Lemurians could gaze at the hunt for deer, wild pig and hare. had run away. One day he couldtranslucent sea right to its bottom. One day he had followed a wild not bear it any longer. There wereIt is from there that they implored pig to the foot of Le Morne. He thirteen captured ‘esclaves marrons’the Lord of the sea to accept their broke through the thick bushes and in chains.offerings. The above belongs to the suddenly he saw a sight that frozeworld of myth and legend. his blood in his veins. Among the 33
  • 34. They were going to be severelypunished the next day. At night,my father freed the prisoners andescaped with them to the top of LeMorne mountain. This place was atthat time very densely forested and changes had taken place on the deaths hundreds of feet below. I wasthe most inaccessible place in the island. Slavery had been abolished the only survivor.whole of the island. The mountain of and all the slaves had been setLe Morne free. But we were cut off from the ‘I wish I had died along with thebecame their home. In the course rest of the island and we didn‘t others. But I now realise that I hadof time, the small group was joined know. Soldiers were sent out to been saved so that I could tell theby other slaves who had run away the forests and mountains, not to story of our people to you, so thatfrom their masters. My father fell hunt down and capture the escaped you could tell it to your children,in love with a beautiful girl called slaves but to tell them that they so that they could know that ourReka. They were married in a simple were free. But we didn‘t know.’ people did not die in vain.’ceremony on top of the mountain. Iwas born shortly afterwards. One day, some soldiers found a ‘Now you know, my son, those‘We were all living happily together. path to the top of the Morne. They bones you saw at the foot of theWe worked together and helped had guns and long knives and they mountain are the bones of oureach other. We hunted deer, wild were shouting in a strange language. people.You can be proud of them.pig, monkeys and tenrecs. We also We all thought they had come to Rather than live as slaves, theyfished in the lagoon and had plenty capture us and to take us back to preferred to die as free men.Youof seafood. We had all the wood work on the plantations. We could see, my son, you have no reasonand the fronds we wanted for our not bear to be separated from each to be afraid of Le Morne. It is yourhouses. We made mats and bed other and to be made to work like friend as it was a long time ago tocovers from Vacoas leaves. We grew slaves. All of us - men, women and your people. It was their last refugeour own vegetables in places hidden children – grouped together on top on earth as well as their tomb.’on the mountain.’ of the mountain on the edge of theIn the evenings, we came together cliff. As the soldiers advanced on The next day, Ton Maxime and hisround a small fire and exchanged us, my father and I threw ourselves father woke up before the sun andsanspek and sirandane and we sang at them, waving our knives. They went to that unknown clearing atand danced. We made our own started firing at us. My father was the foot of Le Morne. There theyravanes, maravanes and triangles. We killed instantly and I was knocked buried the bones in a secret place.were very happy to be free. down. At the same moment, all our‘The years passed. Meanwhile many people hurled themselves to their 34
  • 35. If you‘re a surfer, during the winter season (May to November), which is the time with the most consistent swells, you must either catch an early morning session or wait for aWhen to go late afternoon session to beat the wind. It usually drops between 6am-Mauritius and Rodrigues are 9am and 5pm-7pm.situated in the path of many tropical During the summer seasonstorms and cyclones and have (November to May), which is theonly two distinctive seasons - ‘The best time to sunbathe, swim, sail,Endless Summer’ and ‘The Wild snorkel and dive all around theWinter’. Both seasons can generate island, my personal recommendationextreme heatwaves and cold fronts would be Grand Bay in the northrespectively, from which torrential of the island where you can catchrains and devastating cyclones are some great catamaran trips to Flatborn. Island and Le Coin de Mire. AtBoth islands have a variable this time of year, unique turquoisehumid summer season and waters and very active aquatic lifeexperience very wet winters with are a real treat.You‘ll also have theheavy, tropical rainfalls. These chance to catch some good swellstwo very different seasons have on the South West and South Easttheir downfalls as well as their coasts, along with perfect windadvantages. The major downfall of conditions for windsurfing anda warm summer is the abundance kitesurfing.of flies (both by day and by night) The West coast is very dead duringwhile, in wintertime, you may the summer period, but again itfind yourself dodging the invading depends on the weather conditionscolonies of mosquitoes. Both types and can sometimes be a pleasantof insect can be annoying so be surprise. So, keep your eye out onprepared with the right repellant. the Internet and monitor the localYou have been warned. weather channel. Picture:The Catholic Cross placed by Mr. A Cambier on Le Morne Mountain as a sign of freedom and of God‘s blessing 35
  • 36. Places of interest & getting aroundWant to know where to stay, eat, what to do, where to shop,must-visits and how to get there? Look no further…Places of interest Photo: Pascal MametAlbion, Flic-en-Flac,Yemen, Tamarin, hours. Many get lost in sugarcane from your travel agent. Why notBlack River, La Gaulette, Case fields and on private estates get a group together and share theNoyale, Chamarel, Le Morne, or simply go down the wrong cost? Daily or weekly rates areSouillac, Bel Ombre, Mahebourg, motorway at rush hour. Wasting negotiable and usually start fromBlue Bay, Pt D‘esny, Trou D‘eau precious time on an expensive $25 or €16 a day. Again, everythingDouce, Roches Noires, Grand holiday can be time consuming and is negotiable in Mauritius - you justGaube, Pereybere, Cap Malheureux, very frustrating. But again, it‘s just have to keep pushing for it.Grand Bay, Pereybere, Mont Choisix, another crazy experience of yourPort Louis, Curepipe, Moka,Vacoas, time in Mauritius. So it‘s a goodQuatre Bornes, Ebene, Rose Hill, Ile idea to plan your holiday in advance,aux Cerfs, Ile Au Bennitier, Ile Plate, concentrating on one area of theIle Ronde, Coin de Mire, Grande island at a time.Rivière Sud Est, Pointe du Diable, In order to maximize and getIles aux Aigrettes, Trou aux Cerfs, the most out of your stay, youIle au Darne. The best travel advice definitely will need to have yourwe can give you is to plan your own transport - taxis are expensiveholiday prior to getting there. The and prices vary a lot.You don‘t wantincreasing population and number of to be spending all your spare cashvisitors has, unfortunately, resulted on getting around, so I recommendin an inevitable increase of vehicles that you rent a 4wd (Suzuki Jimmy)on the road. It is just ridiculous which gives the possibility of off-and it can be quite difficult to get road access. If you require morearound, with poor road conditions space for your surf, windsurf andand directions in some areas. The kitesurf gear, you can rent mini-vanstraffic can be very scary during peak from local car rentals or directly 36
  • 37. When choosing accommodation,it all comes down to your budget,taste and, of course, availabilitywhich can play havoc withyour plans. Book early to avoiddisappointment. Depending on yourholiday timeframe and the specificareas you wish to visit, you shouldgive yourself at least a couple ofdays at each place so you can enjoyand make the most of the localattractions, food, beaches, snorkel,dive, windsurf, surf and kitesurfspots. This is why I suggest youbook yourself into two differenthotels at opposite sides of theisland, whether North and Southor East and West. That way, youcan cover the entire island and willenjoy two holidays for the price ofone!Different hotel chains offer differentcombination of packages whereyou can stay at two hotels within 1. West &their group.You can also stay on a South Westluxury catamaran or try a fly/sailpackage. There are so many tailor- In these two distinctive areas, you‘ll and Flic-en-Flac. The South offersmade options to choose from and find a wealth of accommodation, more activities in terms of naturalanything is possible - you only have from luxury resorts and hotels tourism parks and hotels and Ito ask. to eco-friendly spa retreats, strongly recommend you try staying private bungalows and exclusive in different hotels. That way, you‘ll lodges, luxury beach or mountain get to soak up the sun on more villas or self-catering apartments. beaches, try an assortment of Scooters and cars can be hired gastronomy and see different parts from local tour operators and you of the island and its amazing sunsets. can indulge in a wide selection of Le Morne is less crowded and offers local cuisine, from very welcoming numerous type of accommodation, tables d‘hôte to breathtaking top- varying from private villas with class restaurants, all within nearby personal maids and chefs, to villages. The West and South West small, cozy self-catering studios. are quiet areas where many locals Recommended 4 or 5-star hotels live their daily life with ease and include Indian Resorts, Les Pavilions, tranquility. If you‘re looking for a Le Paradis and Dina Robin, which more vibrant atmosphere and lively have great evening entertainment nightlife, the North West is where services such as Sega Dancing which all the action takes place, although is unique to Mauritius, one of the Flic-en-Flac and Tamarin now boast island‘s best golf courses, spas and a couple of bars and nightclubs a fantastic choice of restaurants open until the early hours. with ocean views which are simply Shopaholics won‘t be disappointed irresistible. and there‘s also a vast range of Le Morne is where all the SWK activities, such as dolphin and whale (surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing) watching, diving, snorkeling, big game action takes place all week long, fishing and hiking. so you won‘t be disappointed and I would start my holiday by will be able to see what‘s on offer spending the first week in the straight away.You certainly will be West and South West areas. The blown away if the conditions there ideal place to stay would be right are just right, that‘s for sure. Let‘s on Le Morcellement Cambier, Le also not forget the magnificent Morne. It‘s just 45 minutes from sunsets of the South West, the airport via Souillac and an easy guaranteed to take your breath 20-30 minutes‘ drive to Tamarin away. 37
  • 38. On a shoestring? My personal Just imagine being gently awoken byaccommodation recommendation the sound of breaking waves on thewould be to consider self-catering coral reef or a perfect wind blowingapartments. They‘re cheap, clean and through the coconut leaves… Iffun to stay at and are very popular you‘re looking for luxury, then Dinaamongst the SWK riders. Who Robin and Le Paradis are just forknows, you might meet some real the ticket. Both are amazing 5-starSWK pros and unique characters resorts with exclusive restaurantsthere during your stay. My favorite and bars offering some of thefor SWK riders is Veronique & world‘s finest food and wine. To topJoachim www.mauritiuspalms. it all, they‘re home to two of thecom, offering wonderful converted island‘s best 18-hole golf courses.private studios with amazing views Got bigger fish to fry? Rent youof Bennitier and Le Paradis hotel. own charter for big game fishing orAnother cheap option in Le Morne a luxury speedboat for a quick tripis Pic Pic, where you can cool off around the island, before shoppingin the outdoor pool or work up a at the island‘s designer boutiquessweat on the tennis court. A village followed by lunch at the delectablethat‘s also worth looking at is La Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis.Gaulette, where modern private The resorts also have their ownapartments and mountain villas offer diving centers and instructors,real value for money. There are a and both hotels are part of thecouple of tour operators in the area Beachcomber Group of hotelswho will only be too happy to help www.beachcomber-hotels.com, whoyou with all your accommodation are pioneers and leaders in Indianand car rental requirements. Ocean hospitality.For the travelers seeking a more There are many other placesfamily-oriented and affordable to stay along the South Westhotel, Les Pavilions and The Indian coastline, such as Flic-en-Flac,Resort are more reasonable and Tamarin, Black River, Case Noyalmost probably the best located and all the way to the Chamareland equipped hotels to consider mountain. Lakaz Chamarelfor some gliding action. The Indian (bottom picture) is my personalResort is ideally situated for all your favorite www.lakazchamarel.SWK needs and Club Mistral offers com. The exclusive and exquisiteequipment hire and private lessons. lodges and private villas are set in the tropical surroundings of the Chamarel mountains and offer a tropical outdoor shower experience, spa treatments and a personal balcony with comfortable loungers overlooking the garden and stunning surroundings. One of the lodges even has its own private, heated pool. The main building houses a reading corner and a beautiful veranda where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served. Indulge in a session in the sauna or with a masseuse. The site is nothing less than magnificent and the mountains offer great views of the tropical forest, which blends well with an awe-inspiring pink sky at sunset. The scenery at Chamarel is untouched, with the majority protected as a nature reserve. 38
  • 39. Picture:Quad biking in another popular activity The main attractions in Chamarel, it now offers an open bar which is are The 7 Earth Color, La very busy with South Africans and Rhumerie De Chamarel (center locals. The most popular nights here picture). Feeling puckish? Le are during rugby seasons. Chamarel Restaurant www. While staying in South West, don‘t lechamarelrestaurant.com and miss the Tamarin and Rochester Domain Du Cachet are my favorite Falls. They‘re hard work to reach lunch spots. The combination of but well worth the sensation of the remarkable surroundings, views, paradise when you take the coolest food, service and presentation bath in the reservoir with seven are all the right ingredients to waterfalls pouring onto you. I‘ve guarantee our return year after never felt so relaxed! Not forgetting year. If you‘re staying in Tamarin the Black River Gorges National or Black River, there‘s stacks of Park, with its great hiking trails accommodation available from through dodo and wild guavas trees, the local real estate, in amazing which are very tasty (bright red locations with personalized services or pale yellow). Get up close with such as cooks and maids. Many have some of the island‘s most protected luxurious facilities like spas, pools, wildlife - birds such as the kestrel views to die for and in-house food and pink pigeons and macaque and entertainment. If you‘re looking or deer all fly or roam free here. to make new local friends, why not Another must-see tourist attraction stay at Audrey‘s B&B at Le Grain is the Martello Tower, where you de Sel? Seeking the real touch of can find out about the intriguing local experience? Make friends with history of the South West‘s early fellow travelers with the same vibe settlers‘ occupation together with and stay at the legendary surfing The Castle of La Tour Koenig. Le home of Jacques Lagane. His simple Morne Angler‘s Club (LMAC) offers guesthouse offers a basic kitchen fascinating fishing history and hosts and shower in the typical and numerous trophies, along with the vibrant village of Tamarin Bay. Both harbor which accommodates the locals and the travelers gather here majority of the South West‘s fishing regularly after a sunset for a chilled boats and yachts. beer and a local feed. Alternatively, Tamarin Hotel offers a 3-star service with a diving center and a surf and kite shop with everything you need to take to the water. There‘s also a restaurant, spa, pool and weekly entertainment. The local bars Big Willis and Bali Kopi are great for mingling with locals and other tourists. They‘re always packed on a midweek break Wednesday, as well as with the usual partygoers on Fridays and Saturdays. La Bonne Chute has been one of my favorite eating holes since my teenage years and the menu has not changed, nor has the setup, although 39
  • 40. Picture: Rochester FallsIf you‘re after a day at sea catching reef sharks, catch your own fisha Blue Marlin, there is only one or crayfish, these are the guys toteam you should consider for the ask - they both know this lagoonjob - Mr. Jerome Moonsamy or better than anyone. In fact, both‘Bull’ and his brother ‘Toto’ are have extensive knowledge of thewell known in the area. They own a mountains and lagoons and willcouple of fishing boats in the harbor guide you on a private pirogue forand offer one of the best deep sea the day, snorkeling along desertedfishing experiences in the South coastal reef a kilometer out, whereWest. Not only will you get a 5-star only locals have been masteringservice, you‘ll also have a privileged and enjoying its pleasure. Specialand personalized tour of their lunch packages are negotiablebirthplace. and available upon request. FreshIf you‘re visiting Le Morne village, crayfish and the catch-of-the-dayand want to special local treat, a usually ends up cooking on the firetout around the Lagoon, snorkeling on Le Morne village beach or on Ileor a special diner organize on the au Bennitier. For more sophisticatedthe Village beach with singers, This leisure crafts, JP Charters is youris one of sacred and authentic answer.villages in Mauritius. Their lifestyle Visit www.blackriver-mauritius.comdoes not get more than ‘a touchof local experience’. There youwill experience the real MauritianVibe. Ask for my good friends ‘MrGerard’ or ‘Ton Pic’ to meet yourspecial arrangement. Ask any villagerand they‘ll point you in the rightdirection for these great SouthWest guides, who will give youa local tour, taking into accountyour special requests for the day.Wherever you want to snorkelalong the coastal reef, dive with 40
  • 41. and Dragon Vert in Quatre Bornes. in mind that Mauritian drivers are2. Flic En Flac The Domaine offers services and extremely unconscious of speed facilities for conferences, weddings, and drive like maniacs. Keep toWant to splash your cash in the birthdays and anniversaries. It‘s the left to avoid fatal collisions.island‘s best shops? Head to the always in great demand so booking Before you get to Port Louis, takefactory-priced designer clothing in advance is advisable. a look at Moka, the colonial homestores of Flic-en-Flac. There are After spending the day in Flic-en- of Eureka, with its divine gardens,local beach food outlets aplenty Flac, stay a while for the essential superb food and artisan shop. Takehere. Rotis and Dal Pouries are tropical sunset experience on the another pit-stop at the Domainesfirm favorites for both locals and main public beach. The setting offers Les Pailles, which offers no less thantourists. If you prefer a sit-down two of Mauritius‘ most beautiful four restaurants, a re-creation ofexperience and to watch the mountain backdrops - Tamarin and the sugar history and a train rideworld go by from bay windows Le Morne - and the sensational around the estate, not forgettingor verandas, there‘s are a mile- sunsets here are to die for. There‘s its flagship gastronomic restaurant,long street supplying everything abundant accommodation in Flic-en- Clos Saint-Louis.from Chinese restaurants to Flac to choose from. The popular The Caudan is also a great place todelicious local table d‘hôtes hotels are La Pirogue, The Sugar visit, it is quite an entertaining tooffering traditional seafood, curries, Beach, Hilton, The Taj Resort & Spa experience and see the Mauritiansrougailles, steaks and fries, while and The Sands. carry on with their every daya couple of Italian restaurants Before leaving Flic-en-Flac, stop dealing. At night the place is packed,here make a mean pasta and pizza. off at the Casela Bird Park for the hotel Le Labourdonnais and itsThe most prestigious Domaine a couple of hours. The exciting casino are a favorite amongst localsin Mauritius is the magnificent Safari Adventures here offer big and tourists.Domaine Anna. Ask for my friend cat encounters which prove quite There is also a cinema and aand local owner/manager, Mr. Ah a personal challenge. After Casela, great choice of take away , localHong. He and his brothers are take a slow drive through Port restaurants and pubs to name a few.the proud owners of this amazing Louis. Try to avoid weekday peakestate, together with famous times and especially SaturdaysChinese restaurants King Dragon during the horse racing season. Bear Picture: Antoine De Maroussem 41
  • 42. 3. Port Louis (capital, harbor & market)The country‘s capital and largestcity, Port Louis displays great Islamicarchitecture, such as the JummahMosqu and Fort Adelaide, which soresembles a Moorish fortress thatlocals call it the Citadel. Port Louishas numerous shopping outlets anda vibrant and colorful market whereyou can find anything from fruit andvegetables, meat and fish, souvenirs,crafts, clothing and spices to majormoney exchange facilities, travelagents and tour operators.Must-visits include the NaturalHistory Museum and the NationalLibrary and along with the greatcollection of books, articles,newspapers and black and whitepictures, don‘t miss the stuffedreplica of that abnormal member ofa group of pigeons, the dodo, which Le Champ de Marshas been extinct since the late 17th www.mauritiusturfclub.comcentury. The latest development inPort Louis is Le Caudan Waterfront,where you‘ll find The Blue PennyMuseum, together with great brandsclothing and products, a casino,cinemas, shops, bars and restaurants.With so much on offer, planning anentire day here is recommended. 42
  • 43. Cuisines are on offer. Entertainment in Hotels have remain tropical and4. The North West & North East very typical in Mauritius. Some hotels do go the extra mile and flyPicture: Pascal Mamet international Acts such as “Shaggy” Mr Lova Lova who was the highlight of 2009 at The International Festival Creole which occurs each November. One of the mid week and weekend entertainment and passion of the Mauritian People is gambling at Resort Casinos.You can try your luck at these two resorts ‘La Pirogue and Trou aux Biches’ Casinos. Another gambling activity to experience while visiting Mauritius is the second oldest race course in the World is Le Champ De Mars. Horse racing is very popular in Mauritius, fanatical to a certain degree. Mauritians from all walks of life gather at each meetings and bet their weeks wages on their favorite jockeys, stables or horses. Some of the world best riders gather for an International Racing Day each end of November andOnce you pass the busy Capital of great beer slightly spicier. If you are ride the very best horses from thePort Louis, the drive towards the not into beer have a cocktail or a season. Most horses come fromNorth and its endless round abouts vino and enjoy your first endless South Africa or South Americaleads to the Tourists Capital and summer sunset. Once the village where similar weather conditionsfishing village of Grand Bay. Once sinks into darkness, the party vibe occurs. Most Tour operators offeryou arrive in Grand Bay, your choice and local Creole music ‘The Sega’ is day trip to experience the greatof Mauritius Holidays will finally played along beaches and at resorts highs and lows of Le Champ Desink in, I am in Paradise! This fishing nearby.You can rest assured to get Mars and its crowd.village is vibrant, it has a tropical feel dragged into a party wherever itsand character. It is full of local bars at a local bar or at a local birthdayand restaurants. Many expatriates if you wandering around the backhave opened great venues and now streets or main streets of Grandruns some of the most entertaining Bay. The locals party on their streetsbusinesses in Grand Bay such as and in their local pubs hard everyCocoloko, The Beach House, The week-end. They are always happy toRed Cat Beach Lounge and The sharing our local drink ‘Rum’ andBanana Bar. The vibe is just buzzing singing along to Sega music. Thein Grand Bay where ever its at best local Reggae/Roots/Acoustic1pm or 1am. Every afternoon the music sensation to come out offisherman’s come and sell their Mauritius in recent years are ‘Thecatch of the day on the beach fish Blackmen Bluz’. They often aremarket at around 5pm.You can playing at funky venues and localget anything from fresh Crabs, concerts around the island. They areMarlin,Tuna to live Lobsters. absolutely great showman and theirThe sunset at Grand Bay main best seller ‘Gabriela’ is the nationbeach is to die for and most locals favorite love song.and tourists gather there every Ask your local guide/taxi for currentafternoon to feel the vibration of events you might be surprised withthe night ahead. Week days and some events that happens and areweek-ends are just as similar in opened to tourists in Mauritius.Grand Bay. Another great spot to You can visit most hotels if youcatch your first Indian Ocean Sunset are a non resident, a door chargein style is at the Sunset Beach may apply. If you are dining you canCafe or the Redcat Beach Lounge. get in free and enjoy the facilities.Try our local Phoenix Beer or a Most hotels offer a Banquet orBlue Marlin which is also another A La Carte, European and Local 43
  • 44. Be on the lookout for our you will find many locals whoBritish influence if you are a operate boats trip and excursionskeen architecture and landscape off nearby islands. On offer privatephotographer. The island still has coastal cruise, diving, dolphin watch,some amazing landmarks. A drive big game fishing and snorkeling tripsthrough the city of Rose Hill are widely available.and you will soon see the Britisharchitecture influence of the oldbuildings. Most Post Offices arehistoric Colonial Houses still inoperation to date. One of the mostmythical and historical ColonialResidence to experience and havea lunch stop over and perhapsan overnight stay is ‘La MaisonD‘Eureka’. The flamboyant PatronMr Jacques De Maroussem andhis 3 sons are the gate keepers. Allplay a distinctive role in keepinggood care of the surroundings. TheHouse, its Gardens and Waterfallare of National Proud.You canenjoy a true Mauritian lunch theold fashioned way. Ask for the beefcurry with chili mango chutney,green chili paste with lentils andrice. La Maison D’Eureka offersa truly a unique experience fromthe times of Paul & Virginie. Do Photos: La Maison D‘Eurekamention you are a SANTOSHAGUIDES member to the Manager Other attractions to visitor to Mr. Jacques himself andyou shall receive a special treat - The Blue Penny Museumfrom him. He is an historian and - The National Museumphilosopher with the best kept - The Mauritius Aquariumsecrets of famous Mauritian families‘ - Ile aux Aigrettesdramas that occurred during the - Ilot Gabrieltime of Independence, a remarkable - Ile aux Cerfshost and proud Mauritian. If you - Ile aux Benitiersare residing in the East Coast of - Les Domaines Les PaillesMauritius, you are most likely going - Chateau de Labourdonnaisto find all the resorts quite beautiful, - Eureka Houserelaxing and will feel once again in - Le Domaine Du ChasseurParadise. The most beautiful and - Le Domaine De Bel Ombrerenowned hotels of this island are - The 7 Coloured Earth Chamarellocated in the East Coast. Mauritius - Casela Bird Parkgreat resorts such as One & Only - Black River Gorges National ParkLe Touessrok, Belle Mare Plage, Le - Safari, walk with the lionsSt Geran. - Grand BassinThe beaches are stunning, the only - Pamplemousse Botanical Gardensdownfall is that it can be quite - Vanilla Crocodile Parkwindy on that side of the island. - Trou aux Cerf VolcanoThe Flora and Fauna is untouched - Port Louis Cathedralewith a great range of Mountains - Balaclava Ruinsand hunting Estates to visit such - La Cidatelas Le Domaine du Chasseur. This - Martelot Towerregion of Belle Mare offer one of - La Route du TheMauritius most beautiful island Iles - St Aubin Colonial Houseaux Cerfs, where you can enjoy a - Ile Plate & Ile Rondegolf, a seaside lunch and the most - Trou D‘argent Rodrigues Islandamazing setting and swim. If the seais why you are visiting Mauritius, 44
  • 45. BusesThe bus system in Mauritiusis relatively cheap and regular.Buses are only recommended forsightseeing trips or for experiencingthe true local lifestyle. Some busdrivers will not stop if you carrytoo much equipment or may chargeyou extra for taking up more room.If they do stop, always use the backdoor to avoid accidents or injurywith locals who can get very angry.Brace yourself for the smells, whichcan be quite strong when the heatis on. Bring your deodorant in casesomeone really needs it, besidesyourself!Scooters & bicycles:Although a great way to cruisearound the island and cheaperthan rentals cars and taxis, they Tips for avoiding potential problemshave one restraint – luggage. But ifyou‘re prepared to travel light, you or hazardscan benefit from breathing in thewarm sea breezes (or heavy carbon Prostitutiondioxide from polluting TATA busesand 1930s sugarcane trucks!) Male tourists might be approachedPlease be very careful on the roads by ladies in bars or nightclubs,if taking long routes, as buses and and this is often a set-up forother private car drivers, even taxis, prostitution, so have your witsdo not respect the speed limit or about you. If you escort her backinternational driving codes. They to your place, you could be up forjust do what they want, when they a request of a minimum of Rs1000want, often forgetting to indicate or upfront.stop in a safe place. Drink driving &Some local cyclists have proved thatit‘s not impossible to circumnavigate speed accidentsthe island in just one day. Now, I Regrettably, Mauritius has thedon‘t know how much your arms highest traffic accident rate in theand legs can take but some people southern hemisphere, largely duetake pleasure in experiencing the to drink driving and driving atisland‘s smells, back roads, trails and excessive speeds. If you feel yourmore inaccessible places that only a driver is not responsible or safebicycle can offer. to drive, do not risk your life! FindTaxis: another driver, or if it‘s only a shortIf you need to take a taxi, always ask distance, walk instead.your hotel reception or a local tofind out the price of the journey, thetime it will take and the distance. ElectricitySome cheeky taxi drivers are In Mauritius, electrical plugs are 220opportunists and may charge higher volts. Adapters for power points canfares unless you are prepared and be purchased at local shops or athave some negotiating tips to hand. the airport. 45
  • 46. Predatory fishMauritius has two of the world‘smost deadly sharks living along itscoast - the Bulldog and Tiger. It‘salso home to a significant Barracudapopulation and the deadly StoneFish.To avoid them, use common sense:don‘t stay out too long, don‘t goout alone and make sure you staywithin the coral reef. Remove anyshiny jewelry as Barracudas areparticularly attracted to the sight offlashing lights. Always watch where “Beware that under-you place your feet - in particular, water conditions andyou want to avoid walking over aStone Fish as some can kill within currents in Mauritiusminutes. lagoons vary from one site to another.Sea urchins and Ask for local knowledgecoral prior to venturing onThe ginger and black sea urchins do your own”hurt, so be very careful where youswim and ride.Sunburn &dehydration Lion Stone FishBeing a tropical island, the heat Sea Urchinsfrom the sun and the salty watercan cause dehydration. Ensure youdrink plenty of water before goingout in the lagoons. If you‘re headingto a spot without shops, takeextra water with you so you don‘tget caught out. Wear hats wherepossible and loose, long clothingthat will both keep you both cooland protect you from sunburn.Remember to use sunscreen at alltimes.Low tideIn Mauritius, low tides can generateboth strong currents and bigswells. Within minutes you can findyourself disorientated, miles awayfrom the coral reef you started on.Tips for managing low tides include:Always find out what time the tideis due to go in and out.Observe the lagoon and theagitation of the pass. If the passesare mostly white with raindropspopping up, the current is extremelystrong. If clear and quiet, it‘s safer. 46
  • 47. Tropical storms &cyclonesCyclones move through Mauritius This also means that both islandsfrom November to April. As (although mainly Mauritius) arethe island is almost completely subject to organized street crime, Emergencysurrounded by reefs, cyclones can,at times, pose maritime hazards. thieves and other lawbreakers. For your peace of mind, Mauritius NumbersTropical storms can rage through now has a Tourism Special ForceMauritius‘ beaches with impressive Unit patrolling various locations All calls concerning the services ofthunderstorms and winds of on a daily basis, responding to any the Police Helicopter Squadron orbetween 17 and 33 meters tourism fraud, theft or harm done the National Coast Guard have toper second. Whilst they can be on the most popular public beaches go through the Police operationspectacular to watch from the and at major tourist attractions. and information room. Here are thecomfort of your accommodation, Your responsibility is to make sure numbers to call: Police operationthey are not safe to surf in. In that you and your belongings are and information room: 208 0034 /Mauritius, cyclone activity peaks safe at all times. Never leave your 208 0035 / 999 Police helicopterfrom mid-February to early March, belongings out of sight - take them squadron: 637 3889 / 637 9712causing waves over 15ft high and with you if leaving your car for aperilous Raz de Marées, a dangerous long randonnée (walk or hike). Bearphenomenon whereby rivers and in mind that thieves won‘t thinkthe sea become one - the sea level twice about breaking into your carrises, there‘s a lot of floating debris or villa.and the currents are ever-changing. Mauritius has had an increasingMuddy waters are also tempting number of thefts recorded in thefor sharks and other predators.You past several years with a growingare not advised to surf during this number of gangs operating on theseason. beaches near the upmarket hotels. Stay alert when you are in townDiseases near crowded markets and hold on to your wallet, hand bag or cellMalaria - there is a slight risk here. phone tightly. Keep an eye on yourTake precautions. belongings while sunbathing on theChikungunya virus - this disease is beach and when swimming. Neverborne by mosquitoes and causes carry your passport and creditflu-like symptoms. It’s rare to die cards unless you need to - justfrom it, but the joint pain it causes bring the strict minimum. Watchcan linger for months. It’s now out for copious fake products soldpresent in Mauritius, although it’s by in the markets, as purchases mightno means as serious as in Réunion prove problematic when trying toand less so than in the Seychelles. get them through customs in your country of origin where the law may be more strict. Black marketHow safe is DVDs have been a money-makingMauritius? scheme for many illegal traders so again, be careful at Customs asMauritius is considered by many these items carry heavy penaltiesto be a paradise on earth and and fines. A lot of beach hawkerscrime levels are low but, to be on are desperate and will promise youthe safe side, leave that expensive the greatest products, private islandRolex, favorite diamond ring or gold trips and even the world! Make sureearrings at home and while you‘re you get some kind of proof thathere, keep those massive wads of they will deliver the goods and bedollars out of sight! Don’t divulge to wary of costs - most will chargeanyone, no matter how friendly, the above market price just becauseamount of money you have brought you are a tourist.Your best bet is aalong on your trip. recommendation by hotel staff or aMauritius and Rodrigues both local friend.attract a huge amount of highrollers – and for once, I‘m nottalking about the ocean variety! 47
  • 48. Rodrigues Island Photo: Pascal MametA glimpse athistoryRodrigues Island bears the name of Indes Orientales (‘The Voyages agriculture on the island. In 1761,its ‘official’ discoverer, Portuguese and Adventures of François Leguat the visit of a group of scientistsnavigator Don Diego Rodriguez, on two desert islands of the led by Father Alexandre Pingré toalthough the latter merely East Indies’). Published in 1708, it watch the transit of Venus producedlocated it on a navigation chart provided a precious description of some effervescence among thein 1528. Furthermore, it has been the fauna and flora of Rodrigues, inhabitants. The observations wereestablished that the island was namely the famous ‘solitaire’ made on a hillock at the outskirtsknown and referred to as Dina (Pezophaps solitaria) and species of Port Mathurin that still bearsa Robi on maps dating from the of land tortoises, then abounding the name of Pointe Vénus. It is11th century, drawn by Moorish on the island. The account of the actual location of the Pointenavigators scouring this part of the Leguat was the source of great Vénus Hotel, following in the stepsIndian Ocean. debate and was questioned by of the first hotel on the island andA Dutch flotilla under the many incredulous scientists. It its architecture of colonial Britishcommand of Admiral Wolphart was rehabilitated at long last influence.Harman touched the island in 1601. with the lengthy and enthralling The British took possession ofHowever, the first settlers to set research work undertaken by 20th the island in 1809. At the time, thefoot in Rodrigues on 01 May 1691 century historian, Dr Alfred North island counted about a hundredwere seven French Huguenots Coombes, and compiled in The inhabitants. In 1810, Rodrigues wasled by François Leguat. They Vindication of François Leguat. used as the launching pad for thewere seeking refuge following the Permanent settlement was victorious assault on ‘Isle de France’,revocation of the Edict of Nantes in established again on the island renamed Mauritius pursuant to1685. They lived here for two years during French settlement in the the terms of the Vienna Treatybut finding the isolation and the lack Mascarene region from 1720 to in 1815. The British occupantsof female company unbearable, they 1810. Pieces of land were then were favourable to settlement inset sail for Mauritius on a raft in granted to settlers of French Rodrigues and encouraged theMay 1693. origin, namely the famous Philibert agricultural development of theLeguat narrated his adventures in Marragon and Gabriel Bégué, island to the extent that it becameVoyages et Aventures de François who started exploiting the the ‘attic’ of Mauritius.Leguat en deux îles désertes des marine resources and developing Communication, road and schooling 48
  • 49. infrastructures were set up at a spices, plastic toys, vacoas baskets,relatively slow pace. The island was strong chilli, honey and evenlinked to Mauritius by means of chrystallized fruits. Sometimes youthe telegraph in 1901, which made will come across a beautiful colonialcommunication way easier and house reminding us of the past ,doubtless incited some of the most with a beautiful tropical garden ,courageous among the Rodriguan colourful flowers and huge endemicpeople to enlist as volunteers in trees. The market is anotherthe Pioneer Corps of the British important place in the life of Port-colonial forces in the Middle East Mathurin, the Fisherman’s Lane isduring the two World Wars. Many teeming with an unusual agitation,of them also formed part of the on foot, pick-up trucks or by bus,territorial unit set up during the buyers and sellers have come fromSecond World War to defend the entire island for that specialRodrigues in the event of a Japanese occasion.invasion in the region.Traditionally linked to Mauritiusby sea, Rodrigues took a leap into Geography and climatemodernity in 1972 when the firstAir Mauritius flight landed at Plaine A sub tropical climate Photo:TungstenCorail. Since then, the service hasdeveloped considerably, from a fewweekly flights by a De HavillandTwin Otter to current daily flights.‘Here we are’ welcome to SirGaetan Duval Airport . The firstimpression is that the island hascome to an halt, a haven of peacewhere the silence is always present.The warm natural welcome andtouching kindness of the localpeople will immediately charm thevisitors and we realize that we arein another world, so far away fromour daily stress.As soon as we leave the airportfor the capital Port-Mathurin,we discover the hillsides where At the heart of the Indian Ocean, tropicbirds gliding through thepigs, fowls,cows and goats ramble at latitude 19°43‘ S and longitude air to and from their nests inthroughout the countryside where 63°25‘ E, Rodrigues Island stretches surrounding cliffs.fences are ignored. Its timeless over a surface area of 108 km2. The island enjoys a tropical climatevillages with evocative names : Baie Some 650 km to the north-east of with temperatures varying betweenTopaze, Mangues, Creve-Coeur, Mauritius, it is the part of Africa that 28 and 35°C during the SouthernLa Ferme, Mont Lubin ,Grande- is closest to Australia. Born from summer, which coincides with theMontagne....... small houses often volcanic activity between 1.3 and cyclonic season (November tooutdated, colourful shops with 1.5 million years ago, the island – 18 April) and between 18 and 27°Ccorrugated iron sheets where km long, 8 km wide – is the smallest in winter. South-east trade windschildren rush after school for of the Mascarene archipelago. bring an invigorating drizzle duringsweets and drinks . The simplicity Rodrigues is a mountainous island the ‘cold’ season. The rainy seasonand calm of the inhabitants are the with a succession of valleys plunging is rejuvenating, turning drainedtraits of the Rodriguans, although to the 300 km2 lagoon, bringing an rivers into unsuspected torrentslife is difficult, they live serenely to exhilarating feeling of weightlessness gushing down to the sea, at timesthe rhythm of the passing time. whilst meandering through steep transforming into spectacular butPort-Mathurin, within a few minutes escarpments and terraced fields ephemeral waterfalls. Some 20 coralyou have already been round it towards its 80-km coastline. One islets bearing such evocative namesbut it is so pleasant to take your of the most characteristic features as Gombrani, L‘Hermitage and Iletime and to explore all the tiny of this enthralling though accessible aux Chats nestle in the lagoon,roads of this peaceful town. There island is its relief. The efforts of mainly towards the south andis no traffic jam, drifting from the most adventurous culminate north-east. Some of them, namelygeneral stores to basketwork in the joys of basking in one of Ile aux Cocos and Ile aux Sables, arestalls, from shop to shop you will the numerous deserted inlets, all renowned bird sanctuaries.find everything from hats, clothes , the while gazing at white-tailed 49
  • 50. PopulationConviviality and authenticityLong isolated from the rest ofthe world, the inhabitants ofRodrigues have developed some Photo: Pascal Mametkind of resilience to sometimesdifficult living conditions, amplifiedby distance. Hence, values suchas solidarity and sharing havedeveloped. In this tight-knitcommunity, where an authenticsmile brightens up the faces of thepeople in the most natural manner,it is almost like everybody knowseach other. This art de vivre in itsmost complete sense has alwaysprevailed within the Rodriguansociety even if the island and itspopulation have joined the modernworld with the emergence of newmeans of communication. In the eraof the Internet, it is no uncommonscene to see vehicles givingprecedence to a herd of sheep. Thepeople take time to enjoy life andlet time have its way with them… A land of mixity Fashioned by the movement of people over time, Rodrigues celebrates the uniqueness of its multi-faceted population. Since the arrival of the first European settlers in the era of French colonization, certain traces have survived over the generations. The predominance of African and Malagasy blood in the mix is explained by a wave of settlement following the abolition of slavery by the British colonial administration in 1835. The population of the island now stands at around 38,000 people and the 21st century Rodriguan is at ease with the contemporary definition of Photo: Pascal Mamet being Creole.ReligionRoman Catholicism is the religion Gabriel gives an indication of the community of people of Chineseof a large local majority and one of attachment of the population to origin that are integrated in thethe greatest prides of the Rodriguan the expression of its faith. Other Christian churches, Muslims andpeople is to have welcomed Pope religious communities complete Hindus.John Paul II in 1989. The island has the picture, namely the Churchalso been granted the status of of England whose followers areapostolic vicarage recently, with a essentially grouped around Portfull-fledged bishop since 2002. Mathurin, Church of the Seventh-The Sunday mass at the Sacré- Day Adventists and the AssemblyCoeur Cathedral in Saint- of God. The island also has a small 50
  • 51. The Sunday mass at the Sacré-Coeur Cathedral in Saint-Gabriel gives an indication of theattachment of the population tothe expression of its faith. Otherreligious communities completethe picture, namely the Churchof England whose followers are Cultureessentially grouped around PortMathurin, Church of the Seventh- Music: At the crossroads of different worldsDay Adventists and the Assembly Culture in Rodrigues is an ode to Scottish (kotis), waltz (laval) – andof God. The island also has a small the beauty of encounters. It keeps forgotten lyrics are sometimescommunity of people of Chinese recalling the influences that marked reinvented to cope with the failuresorigin that are integrated in the the adventure of human settlement of oral tradition in ensuring theirChristian churches, Muslims and on the island. The ‘traditional’ music transmission.Hindus. results from the juxtaposition of One fine day, the sega and the musical forms that meld African accordion united to the delight of and European influences, resting dancers and musicians. Bands of on two pillars. The first of its two young musicians also offer a wide pillars is the ‘sega tambour’, a blend range of contemporary musical of African and Malagasy influences styles – hip hop, ragga, reggae, which also acts as a space for RnB, etc. Now and then, these social regulation. The high notes of styles mix with the rhythms of the the ‘maréchal’ expose the failings accordion, combining tradition with of a neighbour or his wife, the current trends. misfortunes of a rival in love or in The accordion is very popular business, taken up by rolling drums, at traditional balls taking up the bass drumsticks and the ‘bobre’ (a tradition of ‘ranne zaricot’ that are metal string strained over a wooden held on Sunday afternoons. The elbow and attached to a hollow person who finds the bean in his pumpkin) playing in unison. The slice of cake, or is crowned king or other pillar, the accordion, plays queen of the ball, must return the European traditional folk music – favour at the next ball. mazurka (mazok karé or krawzé), 51
  • 52. DiscoveryUniquely beautiful sitesSet off by foot, on a mountain bikeor for a dive to discover Rodriguesto the rhythm of passing time.‘Let time have its way’, ‘Take yourtime’are fashionable mantras. Don‘tmiss the most essential: a faunaand flora that are worth taking thetime to admire. Experience theenchantment of discovery, withpeople that welcome you in thesimplest and most authentic manner.Trekking Ile aux Cocos Caverne PatateAn encounter with Located amidst the south-eastern lagoon of Rodrigues and reputed Embedded underneath a coral plain resulting from the movementpassing time for the sandy necklace of beach of tectonic plates, Caverne Patate encircling its shores, the ill-named is one of the places to visitRodrigues most naturally lends Ile aux Cocos is in fact a natural imperatively while on vacation initself to discovery whilst wandering refuge for colonies of seabirds, just Rodrigues. Against a fee, professionalaround the island and encountering like its twin sister, Ile aux Sables, a guides on the site will take you tothe population. Share the bond of short distance away. Ile aux Cocos the discovery of 2,000 ft (600 m) ofwalking, which has long been the can be accessed by pirogue only stalactites and stalagmites unique inonly means for many people to with an authorization delivered by the Indian Ocean.travel from one place to another.Exalting encounters await you along the Commission for Tourism. Dulyfootpaths that are always kept in registered operators have access togood condition. Listen carefully to the island for the day. It is howeverthe whispering wind: it is said the forbidden to light fires on the islandmurmurs of history can sometimes and only partial access is allowed tobe heard while venturing along ensure the tranquillity of the birdsthe tracks on the rocky soil of the and their nestlings.hillsides or into valleys looking overthe turquoise blue shades of anever-present lagoon. Rodrigues hasthe particularity of offering a varietyof landscapes despite its smallsurface area… 52
  • 53. François Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve On the southern coast, just minutes Scattered remains found namely away from the airport, the François in the limestone plains of the Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave south constituted a feast forTrou d‘Argent Reserve is the result of passion for the natural heritage of the scientists around the world before restoration enthusiasts embarkedAccessible by foot from Graviers, island. Until the 18th century, three on a project to reintroduce akinPointe Canon or Saint François, species of tortoise could be found species of tortoises from AldabraTrou d‘Argent is reminiscent of here according to the accounts of and Madagascar, amongst others.those hidden treasures never to be François Leguat himself and of a The coming back of tortoises tofound. Nestled in an inlet a short certain Julien Tafforet. the island was a source of greatdistance away from the coral reef, Over-exploitation as a consequence delight for the inhabitants. All theit can be reached with moderate of man‘s quest for fresh meat for while, man was making up for hiseffort by walking along the coastline sea voyages got the better of the past excessive behaviour.and preserved narrow creek-like population of reptiles in a matter Since then, tortoises are given allcoves. Like a mirage, it offers itself of decades. Reports by human the attention they deserve at theto the eyes of the visitor in a strong predators on this once lucrative François Leguat Natural Reserveand unyielding manner. Offering a trade are edifying: tortoises were at Anse Quitor. With time, they aretrue change of scenery, its peaceful transported by thousands during taking back their natural habitat,atmosphere is lulled by the rolling multiple voyages to Mauritius upon these limestone plains that oncewaves almost at arm‘s reach, order of the British East India provided a last refuge for the lastbreaking on the reefs and inducing Company. specimens of species that are nowa feeling of safety and tranquillity extinct.in all respect of natural forces. Trou Mount Limon, the highest point atd‘Argent has recently been ranked 1,300 ft (398 m) above sea level,among the 30 best preserved is situated at the heart of thebeaches in the world. This is a place island. Easily accessible, it offersto be enjoyed to the utmost! a panoramic 360° view over the Photo:Tungsten island and its sublime lagoon. Port Mathurin is the chief town and regional administration centre of Rodrigues. On Saturdays, the town is inhabited by a particular atmosphere. It is market day and the day when ships bringing fresh supplies from Mauritius touch the port. The Sir Gaëtan Duval airport at Plaine Corail, in the south-west of the island, is also served daily by the national carrier, Air Mauritius. 53
  • 54. A lagoon withinfinite shades ofblueApproaching Rodrigues by air,one gets the measure of the sizeof the lagoon compared to thesurface area of the island (100km2), roughly in the proportionof three to one. Traditional fishing Photo: Pascal Mamet and at others as distant as theactivities have been conducted since horizon.Various channels also offersettlement on the island in the an interesting panorama of the18th century. The lagoon provides submarine life, namely at Baladirou,for the needs of the islanders in at Grenade as well as at the greatfish and other seafood, namely channels of Port Sud-Est and Saintoctopuses that have contributed François.to the gustatory reputation of After landing on the inlet or beach,Rodrigues beyond its shores. The immerse yourself in the rejuvenatingexcess supply is most often salted feeling of isolation that prevails.and dried before being exported to Your only audible companions areMauritius. the gentle caress of the wind in theThe calling of the lagoon is trees and the backwash that wipesgradually changing: due to its natural away the footsteps on the beach tocharacteristics, it lends itself ideally reinstate its original texture untilto glide sports such as windsurfing the arrival of the next visitors.and kite-surfing as well as sailing.Still, small-scale fishing and fishingfor leisure are activities that attractgrowing numbers of adepts amongvisitors. Boat trips also remaina major attraction, providing acompletely different approach tothe small isolated inlets along thecoastline.Lost in the shades of blue of thesea, indulge yourself in swimmingor snorkelling along the channelsthat, here and there, link the lagoonto the ocean. The ever-growlingwaves of the sea keep crashingon the coral reefs, at times close 54
  • 55. Strong sensationsBetween gliding and sport fishing Rodrigues Island offers the ideal conditions for glide sports, namely wind and kite-surfing: the secure waters of an immense lagoon, trade winds blowing almost constantly and an opportunity for the most adventurous to try the reef waves. The world-known spots of Pâté Photo: Pascal Mamet Reyneux and Mourouk have forged the popularity of the island among characteristics, namely outer reef a dog tooth tuna – one of the eight windsurfers, and more recently edges six miles away from the species of groupers – or a red among kite-surfers. Fanatics coast and shoals rich in fish, the snapper. regularly travel to these spots, sea around Rodrigues is most Seasoned crews whose are boats always eager to enjoy the most favourable for a good catch. equipped with state-of-the-art favourable conditions for gliding. Rodrigues is gradually making itself positioning and fishing technology A run at beating a world speed a name at international level, where offer and manage outings by the day. record even took place there in the discipline has won acclaim in the Two-day trips also take enthusiasts September 2008. Glide sports microcosm of multi-fishing zones. to banks abounding in fish, namely centres on the spot offer an array of Since 2005, not less than three the mythical Grand Banc de l‘Est activities linked to kite-surf: rental World record catches in Rodriguan (Great Eastern Bank), where they of training equipment for beginners, waters have been ratified. Specialists can experiment different fishing proficiency courses or venturing agree to say that it is only the techniques and maybe make the beyond the lagoon for the more beginning to a long series of catch of their life, worth featuring in experienced. records especially since Rodrigues the books of records. offers a very good fishing period Sport fishing from October to June and another excellent one from December to A passion for all ages April – only cyclonic formations could spoil the catch. A traditionally small-scale activity Coverage of such exploits in the and even a livelihood support for international specialist media Rodriguan families, fishing developed definitely contributes to make into a sport with the opening Rodrigues a choice spot for of the island to tourism in the aficionados of multiple fishing recent years. Specialist operators techniques. Choose among jigging, are eager to enable the discovery downrigger fishing and Palangrotte of Rodriguan waters, away from fishing to strike a blue or black industrial fishing zones in the Indian marlin, a coryphaen sea-bream, a Ocean. Due to its geographical giant trevally along the coral reefs, 55
  • 56. RegattasA timeless passionThe passion of Rodriguan peoplewas born out of their constantinteraction with the sea, beyondproviding for their daily living and Divingrepresenting a source of income. All sorts of diving activities are onThe elders still recall certain epic offer in Rodrigues for beginners andboat races forever ingrained in their seasoned divers alike. Barely visitedminds. After having somehow fallen by man, the sea bottom as well asin disuse, the tradition of regattas the exuberant sub-aquatic fauna andwas revived by some enthusiasts a flora offer a fantastic panorama offew years back, proving that what‘s natural beauty.born in the blood comes out in Every diving adventure representsthe flesh… or rather in the tacks. an opportunity to discover a speciesThe sails of numerous wooden that is unique to the coral reefand more modern fibreglass ecosystem or a site of uncommonpirogues started swinging againin the lagoons. From the shore,hundreds of enthusiastic spectatorscan sometimes hear helmsmenforcefully shouting the commandand encouraging their crews onsummer days. The spirit remainsalive and regattas are an integralpart of the lexical heritage of theisland. beauty. An initiatory journey in a unique environment where the thrill of novelty always remains intact at sites with evocative names such as Couzoupa, Trou Zaiguille, Basilique, Trou Pirate, Coco Fesse, Ti Colorado and Aquarium. Of course, opportunities for snorkelling are multiple and diverse around the island. They can be as much a source of enchantment as scuba diving. 56
  • 57. Local craftsThe history of craftsmanship inRodrigues is as old as that ofsettlement on the island. The useof local materials such as the vakoa(pandanus) and the vetiver gavebirth to a real economic activitybased on basketry – baskets,headgear, table mats, etc. Activitiesthus developed around the useof coconut by-products, screenprinting or even wood sculpture.Local designers now offer worksin keeping with the style of the daywith a vision stemming from thedynamic of tradition in everyday life.Plastic artsActivity and vitalityMulticoloured signs hung here andthere suggest the presence of apainter‘s studio and are witnessesto the emergence of a form of Photo: Pascal Mametartistic expression unique toRodrigues. There is even a galleryin Port Mathurin where art loverscan contemplate the works of localartists. Sculpture and photographyexhibitions are also held regularly.Long confined to anonymity due totheir insularity, most local artists areself-taught.Fauna and flora promote the richness of the local emblematic bird of the island – inOver the years, human presence the 18th century. Some shellsand agricultural activity contributed animal and floral life. Once endangered, the bois de and bones have recently beento significant deforestation. unearthed.However, an awareness of the fer (Sideroxylon bontoniamum), the bois d‘olive (Elaeodendron Results in certain areas arevalue of the endemic and exotic encouraging: the chauve-sourisheritage of the island has emerged orientale), the bois carotte (Pittosporum senacia), the dorée (golden bat) is now out ofin the recent past. Wide-scale danger and has been reinstated in aconservation and reforestation bois chauve-souris (Doricera trilocularis), ebony trees (Diospyros natural habitat, namely at Cascadework intensified with considerable Pigeon, but a certain amount ofhuman involvement as well as a egrettarum), the bois puant (Foetidia mauritiana) and many caution is still required. Programmesjudicious and ambitious financing are actually being run to save thepolicy. The initial results are other species are now cautiously looked after. Thanks to conservation yellow fody (Foudia flavicans), onepromising. of the rare species of existingThe island has a nursery of efforts, the famous café marron (Ramosmania heterophylla), which endemic and indigenous faunaindigenous species of internationalstandard and works with prestigious was thought to be nearly extinct,organisations such as Kew Gardens, was saved in extremis and a numberin England. Members and staff of of specimens are now jealouslyNGOs that are passionate about protected.the conservation and restoration The situation regarding the faunaof original habitats on the island remains a source of concern.have undertaken some remarkable Memories are still vivid of thework and fully devote themselves to organised massacre of land tortoises and of the Solitaire – the 57
  • 58. RodriguesPracticalinformationHow to get hereBy boatTwo mixed cargo and passengerboats, the Mauritius Pride and theMauritius Trochetia, serve the island Travel formalities Picture:The arid hills of Rodrigues by Pascal Mameton almost a weekly basis. The trip A valid passport and a return ticketlasts between 36 and 48 hours, are required to enter Rodrigues. Andepending on sea conditions. initial authorized stay of up to three months is granted.By planeAir Mauritius provides a daily Time zone Languagesservice between Rodrigues and GMT +4, two hours ahead of The mother tongue of the majorityMauritius. The number of daily Europe in the summer and three of Rodriguan people is Creole,flights ranges from 2 to 5, depending hours in the winter. the same as in other islands of theon the time of year. The flight takes Indian Ocean but with markedup to 90 minutes. Recommended clothing nuances at times. However, all theOnce you are here Light tropical clothing (preferably official administrative literatureTravelling around cotton or linen) and, of course, is in English, a remnant of British beachwear are best for the summer colonisation. French remains theBy bike months. Appropriate clothing is most popular language in theThe most adventurous and athletic required in public places and places written and spoken media and isamong you can opt for a mountain of worship. For excursions and the language of reference.bike and venture off the beaten trekking, appropriate footwear istracks to discover the best of recommended. If you‘re visiting in ShoppingRodrigues. the winter, bring along a woollen Rodrigues has benefited from a or cotton cardigan as well as a duty-free status for a few years andPublic transport windcheater, especially for the an initial exemption of Rs 10,000Private individual operators provide evenings, which can be chilly. (approx. 200 euros) is granted toinformation for public transport. each visitor. Shops generally open Communication early in the morning, some of themCars & motorcycles Two mobile phone networks from as early as 06:00 hrs. TheyTaxi cabs have been available as a serve the island with access to usually close at around 15:00 hrsmeans of public transport for the international roaming. ADSL and during the week, slightly earlier onlast few years. A number of them Wifi Internet access are also now Saturdays and at noon on Sundays.are based at various points of the available but bandwidth speed A visit to the Saturday morningisland, namely near hotels.You can remains relatively slow for the time market is a must while staying inhire a taxi for a one-off trip or being.You can use the Internet Rodrigues.for the whole day, depending on at hotels and some other typesyour agenda. Car (with or without of accommodation. A number ofchauffeur) and motorcycle hire Internet cafés also enable you toservices are also available. connect to the rest of the world. 58
  • 59. Mauritius &Rodrigues top 10tourism services Picture:Yoann DerunesOur Top 10 Tourism Servicesconsist of a selection of the bestwebsites and online magazinespromoting Mauritius and RodriguesIslands‘ tourism activities. We hopethis list helps you in your researchprior to traveling to these two I came across Mysterra in my early memorising the world‘s bestamazing Indian Ocean islands: days researching for SANTOSHA islands, waves and souls on the GUIDES and recommend his planet, capturing the moments to1 - www.mysterra.org website. Fabrice Bettex has been a share with us all. Another talentedMauritius and Rodrigues website on dedicated photographer, keen diver photographer, Jameel Peerally,diving the flora and fauna. and one of the best writers on the contributed the black and white two islands for over a decade. His windsurfing pictures and is another2 - www. dreamteam-mauritius.com work is a veritable ‘Piece of Art’ local with a reputation for fantasticLocal Tour Operator based in Black and his site www.mysterra.org truly photography bigger than his cameraRiver deserves the number one position zoom! in our ‘Top Ten Tourism Services’ Santosha Guides want to thank3 - www.mascareignelocations.com Fabrice showcases Mauritius and you, along with Pascal Mamet,Mauritius holiday rental services Rodrigues‘ history, culture, flora and for his dedication to the ‘Sport fauna and its many diving sites with Tourism Events’ and your4 www.kitesurf-rodrigues.com such passion and genuinely amazing photography contributions toKitesurf Operator Rodrigues Island experience. Not many websites www.pascalmametphotography. ‘tell it like it is’ like Mysterra. This com and contributors photographs5 - www.aumariageauparadis.com is the best diving and snorkelling Jameel Peerally www.jameelpeerally.One of Mauritius Best Wedding site for the Indian Ocean Islands blogspot.com and Yoann DerunesPhotographer and will whet your appetite with a for their contributions, thank you. true flavour of the place prior to We‘d also like to thank the MTPA6 - www.blackriver-mauritius.com you experiencing it for yourself. for their photo contributions,Dolphins Tours and Catamaran Trips In fact, Mysterra gives you such an as well as the new tourismSouth West authentic taste of the islands with entrepreneurs and friends www. descriptive detail that you feel you mascareigneslocation.com.You7 - www.mauritiusxcursioncarrental. are already there in spirit, if not in guys are doing a great job. We atcom Cheap Car Rental Mauritius body. Santosha Guides look forward to Thank you, Fabrice, for your brilliant promoting such young and fresh8 - www.rotourco.mu contribution to our home and organisations.Rodrigues Tour Operator your second home through your We‘re always on the look-out for excellent descriptions of these new authors and photographers9 - www.restaurant.mu beautiful islands. to contribute to the developmentMauritius best restaurant directory Other dedicated photographers of SANTOSHA GUIDES. Contact: include Mauritian-born brothers marketing@santoshaguides.com if10 - www.islandinfo.mu Eric & Ian Regnard, based in you wish to give your insights aboutFREE Travel Information Guide given Australia. They have been any Indian Ocean island.at the airport globetrotting while shooting and 59
  • 60. Language tipsPicture: Julie Indira Do you know your poisson from your pommes frites? Whether you‘re heading for a honeymooning hotspot, to shop ‘til you drop in the designer boutiques of Grand Baie or are purchasing a property in Mauritius, it makes sense to get a grasp of the local lingo before you go. Any attempt at the language will always go down well with the locals and even a few basic words in French or the lingua franca, Creole, are sure to impress new neighbours. Here are our top tips on how to The main languages spoken to cost a penny. Borrow books or pick up a few words and phrases to in multicultural Mauritius are DVDs in your target language from get you by. With just a few hours a Mauritian Creole, French and your local library, where you should week, you‘ll pick up the basics or English. As a previous British also find details of evening classes. If fast track your français in no time. Colony, the island uses English as its you find the prospect of ‘going back It‘s easier than you think! official language in Parliament, but to school‘ a little daunting, help business dealings, newspapers and is at hand… at the touch of your So, the flight‘s booked, television programmes are usually keyboard and mouse. Why not learn accommodation‘s sorted and in French and even English language online, in the privacy and comfort you‘ve splashed out on some new programmes are generally dubbed of your own home? Play games, shades… What else do you need to into French, so it makes sense to download phrases to your iPod or do before you go? Mais oui - learn fine tune your français before you mobile phone or complete a course the lingo! go. at your own pace, dipping in and out at your leisure. This tiny isle has been dubbed How and where to learn a ‘melting pot’ due its linguistic How hard is it to learn? situation and harmonious ethnic If you studied languages at school composition and today, you‘ll find a some time ago, you’ll find that things French is not ranked as a Mauritian society made up of many have changed - it’s now much more particularly difficult language to different ethnic groups, including fun! Create a routine, set yourself learn and it helpfully shares the the descendants of people from short-term goals and make time on same alphabet as English. it‘s the the Indian subcontinent (Indo- a regular basis for your language second-most commonly taught Mauritian), continental Africa learning so it becomes an active language in the world after English (Mauritian Creole people, generally part of your life. Pushed for time? and if you learnt some French at known as ‘Creoles’), France Learn in your lunch break. Some school, you‘ll be pleased to know (Franco-Mauritian) and China (Sino- find studying for 10 minutes a day that you‘re likely to retain some Mauritian), among other countries. more effective than marathon snippets of ‘linguistic flair’ from your You‘ll also hear many other sessions once a week, so little and childhood classes. languages, with expatriates settling often works well, even if it‘s just a here from all over the world, from word a day. Australia to America and Sweden to South Africa. Money an issue? It doesn‘t have 60
  • 61. French originsFrench is a Romance language,meaning it‘s of Latin origin.Romance languages share asimilar grammatical structure will certainly help! ‘But watch to learn the basics in just 12and many words are alike. It can out for ‘false friends’, or words weeks.therefore help if you already know which sound similar to a word Looking to refresh yoursome Spanish, Italian, Catalan or in English yet mean something rusty French? Try ‘Ma France’,Portuguese as these are striking different, potentially causing which has games galore, suchsimilarities between them, in their confusion. There are quite a as solitaire and pétanque, tosounds, structure and vocabulary. few of these in French, e.g. improve and enhance yourAnd because many English words actuellement actually means knowledge of the language with aand expressions are of French ‘currently’, ‘at the present time‘. polished edge. Immerse yourselforigin, you‘re probably much more Use en fait or à vrai dire for in the videos, learning the lingoau fait with the French language ‘actually’. If you ask the way to la as you go. The weekly email tipsthan you think. pub, you‘ll probably be directed help you learn the authentic day-Ever been to the ballet, watched a to the nearest billboard or TV to-day language in no time.Grand Prix or had déjà vu? Maybe screen rather than the local as Want to improve your streetyou‘re an entrepreneur, have treated it‘s short for la publicité which cred or keep your cool whileyourself to a massage, enjoyed a means ‘advertisement’. And schmoozing at the local fête?croissant, a casserole or had pâté whatever you do, don‘t ask if you Check out the ‘Cool’ slangon toast washed down with a glass can pet un chien if you want to phrases and add colour, realismof champagne (now, that would be stroke a dog - pet is a familiar and vitality to your spokendecadent!) Perhaps you live in a noun meaning thump, bash, dent French. Keep your cool and getcul-de-sac in a village, with a café or vulgar slang for ‘breaking a buzz as you break out of theon the corner and park your car wind’! formal language, wowing nativein a garage.You see - fait already Learn for free with the BBC! speakers with vibrant, streetwiseaccompli ! Some aspects of spelling, If you’re starting from scratch, lingo. Speak with vibrancy, punchpronunciation and conjugation in the BBC offers not only and flair and they‘ll just love youFrench might seem tricky at first, phrasebooks, language learning for it. It could also help you getespecially if you have no prior DVDs and TV programmes, but out of sticky situations!knowledge of another Romance fun, interactive online courses Watch the ‘Don‘t Try Thislanguage, but get your head around and downloadable phrases. Its Abroad’ videos and enjoy othersome simple rules, along with a few dedicated Languages site at people’s embarrassing languagecharacteristics that the language www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/ mistakes. Laugh at humiliatingis well-known for, like the throaty has a wealth of free materials for blunders and howlers in ‘Lost for‘r’ and nasal sounds which can beginners and more advanced Words’ and submit your own ortake a bit of practice, and you‘ll be learners of French. Simply log on read other people’s experiencescommunicating in no time. to find your feet in French in no of moving to French-speaking“Nouns are either masculine or time! countries.feminine and adjectives agree with Get a ‘Guide to French’ and One of the site’s Producers,them accordingly’ Unlike English, listen to native speakers to Delphine Désard, has lots ofFrench has six vowels: a, e, i, o, u, y tune your ear and perfect your tips for learners: “Watch French‘The letter ‘h’ is usually silent, e.g. pronunciation of the alphabet language programmes and moviesheure (hour) sounds more like before learning fascinating with subtitles and compare‘er’, not ‘her’.You‘ll come across facts and key phrases. Want words and translations. Readother silent letters at the end of to ask where the beach is or online newspapers, listen to thewords, such as the ‘t’ at the end of order food? Pack or download French radio, on long wave if theport (pronounced ‘paw’) and the printable, handy holiday ‘Quick reception is good! But best of all,‘s’ at the end of Paris (pronounced Fix’ phrases with authentic immerse yourself in the country,‘paree’) ‘Luckily, most French words audio from native speakers… if you can. Go there as manyending with -tion or -sion are spelt essential, accessible help on times as possible to practisealmost exactly the same in English your iPod, MP3 player or what you’ve learnt.’and usually mean the same, too. E.g. mobile. Take your first steps inprésentation, télévision’ French with beginners‘ courseLots of English loan words are ‘French Steps’ and you’ll notused in French, e.g. le week-end only learn the basics, you‘ll getand un job, and depending on a BBC certificate! Sign up forwhich Francophone country weekly email tips giving help andyou‘re in, direct translation can encouragement through a coursework in certain situations, which 61
  • 62. Parlez like a pro 15,000 people learn more than 30 such as barbecue or pétanque languages, in 60 countries and at evenings, as well as art gallery visits,Want to learn the lingo fast? 500 destinations worldwide. From film and theatre nights. There‘s alsoAs Delphine points out, nothing chic Paris and colourful Québec to paragliding, canyoning or canoeingbeats immersion in the country the exotic beaches of Guadeloupe, trips… the choices are countless.itself. Whatever your age or level, Cactus offers a variety of French Nothing beats total languageyou can spend anything from a Language & Activity courses to suit immersion in all things French andlong weekend to a year attending all levels, passions and budgets. Add the schools also provide tuitionlanguage classes abroad, staying at a little joie de vivre with an activity and accommodation in the home ofa hotel, self-catering apartment or such as wine tasting or give your your own private teacher, a uniquewith a host family, by far the best body a workout, not just your brain, opportunity for a full immersionmeans to ensure you pick up the on a Language & Sport combination experience, enabling you to reallylanguage rapidly and accurately, course. Share your passion with ‘live’ the language at your own pace,with the added bonus of a holiday others from around the globe and without the distractions by otherthrown in! come back having learnt a lot more speakers of your native language. than just the language. Why not The one-to-one formula gives youThis method really worked for whet your appetite and get a taste the full attention of your teacherme… I studied in the South of for the gastronomy with a culinary and is suitable for all ages and typesFrance and it was one the best combination of French and hands- of learner, especially beneficial forexperiences of my life! I made on cookery lessons? Alternatively, those who feel shy in a large class.friends from all-around-the-world. a ‘French and Oenology’ course Mealtime conversations, visits,It’s not all about sitting in a will not only teach you how to television and social contacts areclassroom... Language & Activity recognise a good wine, mature it all in French and tailored to yourcourses are the perfect opportunity and serve it, but how to build your needs. Experience life as a local andto combine language classes with own wine cellar – santé ! you‘ll soon be speaking, and evena whole host of exciting activities, Arty types can combine language thinking in French, giving you theeven if you‘re a mature student. lessons with capturing captivating confidence to communicate fast andFor example, classes with Cactus landscapes on canvas. Golf fans accurately, accelerating the learningLanguage focus on the four main can practise their swing on an process. Total language immersionlanguage skills of speaking, listening, impeccable French fairway, while 24/7, along with a complete culturalreading and writing combined with the adrenaline-seeking adventurous experience. Parfait !aspects of local culture, but they can surf the waves or ski the IALC (International Associationfirmly believe that picking up a slopes. Unwind after your language of Language Centres) accreditedlanguage is as much about getting classes with tempting treats such as language holiday specialists,out there and doing it as it is about Hydrotherapy, Thalassotherapy and GoLearnTo.com offer a wealthlearning verb tables, so they offer Yoga on a ‘Balneotherapy course’ of quality courses including crasha variety of courses suitable for all - indulge in some spa treatment course ‘live-in and learn with yourlevels from complete beginners to including a Vichy shower, seaweed teacher’ weekends.advanced, with morning language wrap or Hydromassage before You can choose to specialise inlessons, leaving the afternoons free relaxing in the hammam, whirlpool a specific area of French such asto enjoy a favourite activity or to baths. Ah, c‘est la vie ! conversation, business, tourism,try something new. Along with organised excursions buying a home, living abroad andCactus Language Training is one of to nearby cities, beaches and other so on and their flexible coursesthe world‘s leading language training local areas of interest, many schools allow you to add a day‘s cookerycompanies and every year it helps hold after-class socialising activities course to the weekend, or wine 62
  • 63. tasting, for example. Whether that of Paris. Immerse yourself in French-speaking world lend theyou‘re looking to perfect your French and French-speaking culture language its colour and characterpâtisserie or how to cook up a at one of the centres here or on but, despite the differences in accentcassoulet, with week-long courses Rodrigues island. and some vocabulary, knowledgeyou can leave the classroom behind of French should enable you to beafter morning language lessons The benefits of learning French understood in any Francophoneand get your gastronomy fix with country. Mauritian Creole If youcooking with a Michelin Star chef or Along with the value and pleasure want to give Mauritian Creole a gopainting lessons, for example, in the of knowing another language, it and earn yourself some extra kudosafternoons. breaks down barriers between from the locals, you‘ll find that itsStay in a fabulous French farmhouse, cultures and even a little knowledge phonology is very similar to thata stunning 19th-century château can make all the difference to the of French as it‘s based and writtenor in the medieval hilltop village attitudes of the people you meet on French sounds and writing. Alsohome of a professional chef.Visit in other countries. It’s well worth called Kréol Morisyen, Mauritianthe buzzing local market for an the effort! Spoken worldwide, Creole is the primary vernacular, oratmospheric journey into regional French is an important language lingua franca, of the country and isculinary delights on an action- of tourism, international politics spoken widely by Mauritians all overpacked gastronomic program. Roll and business and is used prolifically the island, who tend to use it atup your sleeves and try your hand across many continents, making it home while speaking French in theat pastry making or learn how to a useful and often essential tool workplace. Although its vocabularymake olive oil, chocolate or all of communication. It‘s spoken as is of French origin, it has slightabout cheese production. Discover a native or adopted language by pronunciation and grammaticalthe gourmet secrets of cooking approximately 130 million people, differences to standard French.with edible flowers and create an or Francophones, with many more Originating in the 18th-century asoriginal menu of floral recipes in a speaking it as a second or third a form of communication betweenfairy-tale setting on the ‘Cooking language. It‘s an official language French colonisers and the peopleWith Flowers course’. Want to get in no less than 30 countries, they enslaved (whose primaryyour hands dirty? How about the around 20 of which are located in languages included African dialects),‘Mussel Harvesting And traditional Africa with the others in Europe Mauritian Creole has evolvedBread Making Course’? (France, Switzerland, Belgium, from an eclectic mix of variousAspiring photographer? Live the Luxembourg and Monaco) along languages, reflected in the country‘slanguage through your lens on a with places such as Mauritius, multicultural ancestral past. As welllanguage and photography holiday in Andorra, the Canadian province of as French and African languages, apicture-perfect, idyllic countryside. Québec and Vietnam. It‘s also the plethora of English words have alsoHappy snapping! official language of les Dom-Tom infiltrated the language and otherLike Cactus, GoLearnTo.com (France‘s overseas departments and diverse sources, such as Portuguese,offer after-class activities, with territories) including Martinique have also left their mark. With morepossibilities to practice sports such and Guadeloupe and is used as an influence from the East Africanas sailing, scuba diving, tennis, horse administrative language in Laos and Bantu languages than its New Worldriding and diving. Cambodia. In the political world, counterparts, Mauritian CreoleYou can even learn French formally French is an official language of differs from Atlantic French creoleswhile you‘re in Mauritius. Founded international organisations such as but is closely related to Seychelloisin 1884, l’Alliance Française de l’île the EU, NATO, the International Creole, Rodriguan Creole andMaurice in Bell Village Port Louis is Red Cross and the UN. The Chagossian Creole.the oldest Alliance Française, after variations in accent around the 63
  • 64. Picture: “Sega” by Pascal MametLearning tips &staying motivated- Language learning takes time and French or Creole, of course! - Above all, enjoy it and don’t allowcommitment. Be realistic and don‘t - Do some research into the local it to become a choreexpect to remember everything culture and show your appreciation Got a taste for learning typicalyou’ve learnt of it. This way, you can charm the French or Creole expressions and- Use any method which works for locals and win their respect by idioms? The table below will proveyou.You might like to write words making a beguiling, all-important helpful in your future travels toon post-it notes and stick them first impression.You‘ll receive Mauritius and Rodrigues Islands.around the house or play language bucket-loads of admiration in Don‘t be shy, have a crack. MostCDs on your way to work, while return Don’t worry about making people in Mauritius are friendly andjogging or cooking. Try making mistakes - it’s all part of the learning you will instantly bond with them.shopping lists French and saying process and you’ll learn much more Here‘s your chance to practicephone numbers out loud quickly by having a go. Mauritians some basic words ahead of the real- Repeating activities helps are friendly, easy-going and will be thing:consolidate what you‘ve learnt pleased that you‘re making an effort- Improve your accent and to speak their language, making So, what are you waiting for?confidence by listening to audio/ allowances if you‘re not spot on. There‘s no excuse now for notvideo clips in French over and over Just make sure you mind your knowing at least a few basic wordsagain, imitating them out loud to manners and etiquette in French or Mauritian Creole.familiarise yourself with the sounds - Enjoy observing the locals Bonne chance !- Grammar doesn‘t have to be conversing and gesticulating withscary - it‘s simply the term for the each other, conveying messagesmechanics of the language. Basic with hands and facial expressions. Useful links:knowledge of the rules allows you Another ‘handy’ method of BBC Languages‘ French resources:to say what you want to say communication you could do well www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/- If your concentration‘s wavering, to pick up! Cactus Language:stay focused by reminding yourself - Keep track of your progress - you www.cactuslanguage.com/en/why you want to learn. The thought might be underestimating just how languages/french.phpof buying your dream property or much you’ve improved. Go back GoLearnTo.com:even just a trip to the local market occasionally to something you did www.GoLearnTo.comcan be a fantastic incentive to keep early on to prove to yourself just L‘Alliance Française, Mauritius:going how much you’ve learnt.You’ll feel www.afmaurice.com- Team up with a ‘learning partner’ a deep sense of achievement andand keep each other motivated, in your confidence will soar! 64
  • 65. 05. Sailing, diving & deepsea fishingYachting ClubsPt d‘Esny, Private Yacht Club. Thisunique point with all-year-roundwinds has a very large beach andlagoon, making it ideal for both kiteand windsurfers. Because of thetricky access (which is hard to find),it never gets crowded, but if you‘rea client at the yacht club you canuse the beach as your launchingarea and spend a pleasurable daythere.Le Morne Angler‘s Club. Based in Diving:Black River, this private club offersgreat deep sea fishing packages and Mauritius offers fantastic diving foralso plays host to the Marlin World beginners and advanced divers alike,Cup. who can dive throughout the year, with November through to MarchGrand Bay Yacht Club being the clearest and best time This members club offers northern for the sport. Dive centers offer adeep sea fishing and excursions as range of diving trips that make thewell as other independent most of the time of year. The Eastcontractors and more reputable side of the island offers some of thecompany such best dive sites, although in July andas Blue Safari for their famous August it‘s often too rough to diveunder water excursion or undersea there.walk. GBYC is a great day out if you Picture: Morne Angler’s Clubfancy a little meal and a cold Around 40 diving centers formbeer, on the north beach you have a the MSDA (Mauritian Scuba Divingprotected bay which offers great Association) which offers diveswimming and snorkelling. Popular packages in various regions. Manywith local kids who usually loves have links with local hotels and candiving off the jetty. GBYC offers the help you with just about everythingbest view of Grand Bay most you need for all types of diving,active lagoon. Daily traffic from including live aboard trips, day trips,excursions, diving boats and night dives, equipment rental andcatamaran is a must experience. dive courses. Divers wanting to ‘do their own thing’, should look at joining the Mauritius Underwater Group. This independent group is a non- profit dive club that organizes dive trips on weekends. Dives are led by qualified leaders and include access to first aid kits and emergency breathing equipment. With approximately 120 members, the club provides the opportunity for tourists to meet other tourists and locals who have significant experience of diving in Mauritius. 65
  • 66. Deep Sea Fishing Deep sea fishing is another all-year- round sport in Mauritius, which hosts a range of international competitions held by the various anglers‘ clubs around the island. The types of fish you can expect to catch include: - Tuna: Shoals of Yellow-fin tuna can be found in March and April. - Wahoo: Reputed to be the fastest running fish, the Wahoo start to arrive in September. - Sailfish: These ‘sail’ through the air when hooked. - Bonito: A smaller species of tuna, sometimes known as Skipjack Tuna. Dive site - Sharks: Can include Blue, Hammerhead, Mako, Tiger, Black Fin suggestions and White Fin. - Marlin: Both Blue and Black - Whale Rock: Famous for the Marlins can be found from OctoberPhoto – Jerome Moonsamy aka Bull huge rocks and stone corals, to April. AlbacorFishingTeam.blogspot.com Hammerhead sharks and a range of Most hotels, resorts and yachting fish species. clubs around the island offer deep - Silver star wreck: A 40-meter dive sea fishing activities all year through. to where an old fishing boat sank in The best time for Marlin fishing is 1990. Excellent for advanced divers. between October and November, - Grand Bay: Offers around six shoals of Yellow-finned tuna arrive diving sites with depths ranging in Mauritius‘ waters during March, from 11-18 meters. When the while Wahoo, the other species can water is clear, it‘s a very pleasant be seen during September. dive along the reef with plenty of Tuna, Marlin, Shark, Wahoo and colorful coral and fabulous fish to Bonito are trademarks of the local see. fishing business, which runs all year - Belle Mare lagoon: An ideal dive round. However, there are seasons for beginners, which takes you to in which catching certain species depths of 12–30 metres with the is easier. With deep sea fishing, one opportunity to see beautiful coral, has to look for the big game fish sharks, Barracuda, Stingrays, Tuna that subsist in the subterranean fish and Kingfish. sea and when the conditions that - The Sirius: This dive takes you prevail in Mauritius are favourable down to a British ship sunk in for them. In fact, the place is also 1810 during the battle between the referred to as the ‘archangel bliss’, British and French navies fighting with a surfeit of affluent varieties of for Grand Port. The ship ran into a game fish populating our waters. coral reef during the battle and later Mauritius holds several world fishing blew up after French raiders set her records (IGFA), including that of the on fire. Today, it is home to an array Mako Shark of 1115 lbs - the Blue of multi-colored coral and fish. Shark of 400 lbs - a Bonito 45.5 - Cathedrale: A spectacular lbs - a White Tuna of 224 lbs and a underwater cave which starts as a Becune of 125 lbs. African records cliff near Flic en Flac and is teeming (GUFA) mention a Yellow Tuna of with a selection of fish, lobster and 212 lbs and a White Tuna of 224 lbs. other crustaceans. Other specimens recently caught - Rempart Serpent: The reef has include Blue Marlin weighing 1430 a comprehensive range of typical lbs and 1355 lbs. tropical fish, Lionfish and several Here‘s a great Mauritius fishing species of Moray eels. Those pesky website link: Stone fish are something to look http://www.fishingmauritius.co.uk/ out for. content/view/20/37/ 66
  • 67. Best BeachesLa Cuvette beach at Grand Bay isgreat for sailing, windsurfing andwaterskiing. This remarkable smallcove, halfway between Grand Bayand Cap Malheureux , is one of thefinest bathing spots on the island.Belle Mare is popular with localsand visitors alike and provides milesof white and spotless beaches.A deep lagoon runs along theshoreline and the coral reef which and restaurant, situated along the Pereybere beach offers deep watersencircles the island. The waters main road. Enjoy the fresh catch- and if you‘ve got kids, is one of thehere are calm and safe from strong of-the-day from the fish market, a best beaches for peace of mind ascurrents. highlight which is also the end-of- the calm sea here is very safe forBlue Bay is one of the most popular the-day attraction for restaurateurs. families. It‘s also popular with youngbathing spots in the South East Tamarin Bay is probably the most people on holiday, acting as a trendyof the island and an ideal spot for family-friendly beach, with diverse meeting point and it‘s somethingwindsurfing and sailing. facilities, although a huge pass of a party beach with its fun andLe Morne offers kilometres of swallows the river mouth at low vibrant atmosphere.beaches for bathing and is very tide and at high tide, crossing can Ile au Bennitier is a 3-mile longpopular for surfing, windsurfing and become dangerous. The sunset at island very much on the touristkitesurfing. Dinarobin and Paradis Tamarin Bay is a must while visiting track. Many boat activities andHotels are the lucky hosts to the our island. Feast on local produce dolphin watching boats offer a 1/2island‘s most exotic beach and such as Boullet Poisson (steamed day picnic near the famous Bennitiercoves. fish cakes) or Tofu, vegetable and rocks. A popular island with localsFlic en Flac provides white beaches beef steamed cakes. Hidden at the and tourists, you absolutely mustfringed with filaos or Casuarina end of the bay, kick back and watch the sun gotrees. A popular spot with locals and Tamarina restaurant bar at Le Beach down on a sunset BBQ tour with JPtourists, especially at the weekend. Club is discreetly tucked away and Charters.If you like crowds, this is your place offers a relaxing outdoor setting The Trou-aux-Biches is an idealfor people watching. with a sensational view of the Bay beach for youngsters as the waterGrand Baie Beach is one of and great cocktails to match! level isn’t too deep. It also makesMauritius‘ most vibrant beaches. It‘s Ile aux Cerfs is a small island off the for an interesting shoreline wherea genuine fishing scene, with local East coast. The beach runs almost tourists can observe the stunningfishermen boats bobbing alongside around the entire coastline and its coral reefs and exotic fish. Otherhigh-powered speedboats, yachts, tranquil shores provide an idyllic Mauritian beaches include Montcatamarans and sailing boats. Once setting. Only accessible by boat, Ile Choisy, Roches Noires, Palmar anda quiet fishing village, it‘s now Aux Cerfs now has an 18-hole golf Trou d’Eau Douce.Mauritius‘ most visited coastal course with a restaurant cateringvillage. It‘s also home to the island‘s for players and keen holidaymakers.nightlife, with open bars under the It also holds some of the best beachstars. Banana and Cocoloko are parties, which are organised by localGrand Baie‘s most atmospheric bar hotels. 67
  • 68. As a former colony of the BritishEmpire, golf has been practiced onthe island for over a century andthe first competition took place in1902. Recently awarded the covetedtitle ‘Golf Destination of the Year -Africa, Indian Ocean & Gulf States’along with past ranking as the No.1long-haul golf holiday destination,Mauritius has established itself asone of the world’s emerging golfdestinations par excellence. Theisland‘s favourable climate meansyou can tee off, surrounded bygently swaying palms and aromaticblossoms, with magnificent views ofthe sparkling Indian Ocean, all yearround. Photo: Le Touessrok 68
  • 69. 06. A golfer’s paradiseHome to an increasing number of to golf tourism, the island boastsworld-class championship courses 10 courses, each offering a uniquewith a wealth of upmarket facilities golfing experience to all levelsto boot, there‘s everything you of player, including a number ofneed for the game and it‘s not hard championship-quality 18-holesto see why golf champions and designed by the likes of Ernie Els,film stars choose this tiny isle to Gary Player, Peter Markovitch andpractise their swing. This upmarket Bernhard Langer, who have createdisland’s changing the traditional History of golf on courses to present a challenge formindset of being just a honeymoonhotspot and is now firmly the island the better player, yet also provide a playable and enjoyable experienceestablished on the world golfing for the recreational golfer.circuit, appealing to golf groups and Mauritius is said to have been the third country where golf wasgolfing families alike.You‘ll discovera picturesque golfing Mecca - played after the UK and India. It‘s Where to stay andthe perfect place to purchase a been a golfing paradise since 1902, play at tee timeproperty overlooking the fairway when the island’s first golf club,and combine a great round with the historic Gymkhana, which is Some of the best courses aretropical island luxury. It‘s a golfer’s still perfectly maintained today, attached to the large 5-star hotels,dream come true! was opened by the Royal Navy. which offer free or discountedFrom thick African elephant or When sugar prices plummeted, land green fees to their residents orBermuda grasses and water hazards became available for redevelopment can be used by guests from theto bounteous bushes to bunkers, and many resorts decided to create neighboring or sister hotels. Othersthe uncrowded golf courses their own courses as the tourism have arranged for green fees to beof Mauritius offer an exciting sector grew. Having matured discounted at nearby courses andexperience of varied terrain in a into a serious golfing destination, more and more courses are nowstunning, natural setting dotted with Mauritius now plays host to accessible to tourists looking tovolcanic peaks, sugar plantations and prestigious tournaments such as sink a satisfying putt in stunningverdant forests. With dramatic vistas the European Senior Tour and the surroundings.of mountainous horizons against prestigious MCB Mauritius PGA Obviously, you don‘t have to staya beautiful backdrop of brilliant Open, drawing in big names from and play at the same place andblue skies, the gorgeous green of the golfing world, which have also here‘s selection of courses whichperfectly-manicured fairways fringed helped in putting the island firmly might just be your (golf) bag:by palm trees and idyllic white- on the global golf map. The catalyst Le Touessroksand beaches lapped by dazzling, was the creation of The Legend The 18-hole, Bernhard Langer-crystal-clear turquoise waters, it‘s course in 1994 for the PGA Open. designed championship Lea wonder how players manage to The first of its kind in Mauritius, Touessrok course is set on its verykeep their mind on the game! the course was designed by South own tropical island, Ile aux CerfsMatch that with luxurious, African champion, Hugh Baiocchi, (Deer Island). Punctuated withworld-class accommodation and and is the crowning achievement of coconut palms and fringed by whiteexceptionally friendly service and the award-winning Constance Belle sands against a backdrop of greenhospitality, and you have a winning Mare Plage, located along one of mountains, it‘s hard to imagine acombination. Mauritius ticks all the the most beautiful beaches on the more glorious golf setting. Withboxes for even the most discerning East coast. This superbly-designed nine lakes and a number of holesgolfer so it‘s no wonder that the course, which wraps itself around requiring tee shots across sea inletsgame has become one of the the foot of a volcano and traverses to the fairways, even pros are putisland‘s top sports and is among the a flood plain, more than lives up through their paces here. One ofmain attractions of Mauritius for to its name and still plays host to the Leading Hotels of the World,today‘s visitors. the Mauritius Open today. It‘s a the chic and romantic Le Touessrok veritable treat for accomplished resort was designated ‘Best Hotel golfers, keen amateurs and casual in Mauritius’ at the Europe and players alike, who will also enjoy Africa Property Awards and won the challenge of the resort‘s two the accolade of ‘The Leading other courses, The Links and Hotels of the World Best Leading Lémuria, both well worth playing. Commitment to Quality in Middle Today, despite being a new kid on East & Africa’ in 2009 and positively the block as a relative newcomer exudes cool, modern elegance. 69
  • 70. Paradis Hotel & Golf Club - Paradis Hotel Golf Club allowed for 18 holes: 4 hrs 30 mins. - Saint-Geran Golf Club Dress code: Polo shirt, BermudaKnown to the locals as the ‘green - Shandrani Golf Course - The shorts, socks and soft spikeson the ocean’, where the fairways Mashie Course (golf shoes). No jeans, t-shirts orand greens curl along the shoreline - Tamarina Golf Estate and Beach tennis shoes allowed. Reservationof a breathtaking bay against a Club procedures: It’s essential to bookbackdrop of the iconic and majestic - The Anahita Golf Course your tee-off at least two days inLe Morne mountain, players tee off - The Gymkhana Club advance. Upon reservation, pleasea mere 20 metres from Mauritius‘ - Trou aux Biches Hotel & Golf Club make sure you indicate your placelargest lagoon at the 18-hole course of residence and if possible, leaveat Hotel Paradis. One of the finest Central - Vacoas a phone number. The agency willluxury hotels and winner of the contact you beforehand to arrange‘Traveler‘s Choice’ award in 2009, The Gymkhana Club is the tee-off time. A land transfer serviceit‘s situated in a superb location on island‘s oldest golf course and is proposed by our agency and gearthe Morne Peninsula on the island‘s although it may not feature all the and equipment is available for hireSouth-western tip. complexities of modern courses, on the spot. it remains perfectly maintained. The Legend Golf Course is a superbThe One&Only Le Saint Géran Since it welcomes non-members 18-hole course designed by South for a nominal green fee and offers African champion, Hugh Baiocchi.Guests of the One&Only Le temporary membership, it‘s surely A Par 72 and 6,014 meters, it‘sSaint Géran are offered not just the most affordable 18-hole course accessible solely and free of chargecomplimentary green fees, but free in Mauritius. The 4,870 meter-long to the Belle Mare Plage Hotel andwater skiing, snorkelling and glass course is a par 68 and lessons can the Prince Maurice Hotel residents.bottom boat trips. The lush Gary be booked although its drawback Facilities include a clubhouse withPlayer 9-hole course seamlessly is its situation and the weather a restaurant, rentals and a golfwraps the peninsula for over a conditions. The Gymkhana is academy.mile and even boasts its own golf located in Vacoas, roughly in the The Links Golf Course is the otheracademy providing intensive training middle of the country where the course of the Constance Hotelswith video analysis or simply just to rainfall is highest and it‘s also a Group. An 18-hole of Par 71 andfine-tune your skills. fairly long drive from any coast. East 5,942 meters, it was designed byWhile many golf resorts and Coast Rodney Wright and Peter Alliss.courses are, in theory, individually Le Touessrok Ile aux Cerfs Golf Contrary to the Legend course, theautonomous, some have developed Course is one of those wonderful, Links course is accessible to non-strategic alliances to offer reciprocal unique courses of the world and residents as well. The course countsdeals to enhance the avid golfer‘s has recently been ranked No. 10 a clubhouse with a restaurant,experience by ensuring numerous in the top 100 Golf Courses in the rentals and a golf academy amongoptions when it comes to picking World by Golf World magazine. its amenities.a course. Paradis, for example, has Situated on the Ile aux Cerfs islet, Dress code: Polo shirt, Bermudasigned reciprocal agreements with just 1km off the shore from Trou shorts, socks and soft spikesGolf du Château and Tamarina Golf d‘Eau Douce on the East coast, (golf shoes). No jeans, t-shirts orEstate & Beach Club. transfers by speedboat are available tennis shoes allowed. ReservationHere‘s a full list of the island‘s golf every 20 minutes (10 minutes‘ procedures: It‘s essential to bookcourses and resorts: transfer time.) This 18-hole Par 72, your tee-off at least two days in- Belle Mare Plage Golf Club - The 6,476-metre course was designed advance. Upon reservation, pleaseLinks by Bernhard Langer and has its own make sure you indicate your place- Belle Mare Plage The Resort - The David Leadbetter Golf Academy. of residence and, if possible, leaveLegend Golf Club With a coastline of tiny bays, a phone number. The agency will- Coco Beach Hotel Golf Course inlets and promontories, natural contact you beforehand to arrange- Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa undulating topography, volcanic tee-off time. A land transfer service- Ile aux Cerfs Golf Course rock outcrops, lakes and gullies, as is proposed by our agency.- Le Golf du Château - Heritage well as a profusion of tropical trees Rates: There are no green fees forGolf & Spa Resort and plants, this tiny island is simply residents of the Belle Mare Plage- Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort - Bel perfect for golf. All 18 holes have and Prince Maurice hotels but ClubHombre views of the ocean. Cars are compulsory at the rate of- Bel Hombre Golf Course, Bel The course is open from 6:30am approx. €15 Euros for an 18-hole.Ombre to sunset daily and greens fees are For non-residents, the green fee- Lemuria Championship Golf at 156.60 Euros / person, 18 holes: is €100 including the compulsoryCourse (including boat shuttle). We have (non-exclusive) golf car and a basket- Belle Mare Plage Golf Club specially-negotiated greens fees of of 40 practice balls. A maximum of- Maritim Golf Course 125.40 Euros / person, 18 holes: 4 hrs 10 minutes is allowed for an- One & Only Le Touessrok Golf (including boat shuttle,) valid only 18-hole play. Complete gear andClub if you book through us. Total time equipment is available for hire on 70
  • 71. the spot. The Paradis hotel‘s 18-hole courseSouth East Coast enjoys the most impressive setting,The Golf Course at the Shandrani as it‘s situated both at the foot ofhotel is a 9-hole Par 29 of 776 the majestic Le Morne mountainmeters. It‘s yet another course and right on the seashore. Thisby the sea with a tee-off just 100 18-hole course is 5,899 m long andmeters from the hotel reception Par 72. It‘s accessible to all residentsand comes free of charge to all of any Beachcomber hotels,residents of the Shandrani hotel and including the Paradis hotel itself andof any other Beachcomber hotels, neighboring Dinarobin and Berjayawhile the public can have access hotels and the public.against a green fee. Rates are as follows:Indicative Rates (for non-residents): Green fees for residents: (9 or 18Green fees (9 holes) = €17 / holes) = 15 Euros / person. Greenperson. fees for non-residents (9 or 18Lessons: Group lessons on Fridays; holes) = 83 Euros / person. Lessons:free of charge for residents. 1 person = 24 Euros, 2 persons =38Individual lessons between €16 and Euros. Residents and non-residents€23. should book two days in advanceResidents and non-residents should and first days can be booked priorbook two days in advance and first to arrival. The course also has adays can be booked prior to arrival. clubhouse with a restaurant, rentalsDomaine de Bel Ombre Golf Du and golf lessons.Château is an 18-hole championship North Coastcourse with 5 different tee options The Trou aux Biches course is aon all holes. A 9-hole Par 3 course, 1,984-meter long 9-hole Par 32,ranging in distance from 60 meters ideal for golfers of intermediaryto 165 meters is available for all level. It‘s accessible to all but freelevel of golfers. A double-sided of charge for the residents of thedriving range utilizing top quality Trou aux Biches hotel (and thoserange balls is available from 07.00 of the other Beachcomber hotels).to 17.00. There‘s also a large putting Rates: Green fees (for Beachcombergreen. hotels residents) 9 or 18 holes =Any resort golf course needs to 8 Euros / person. Green fees (fordeliver a challenge for the better non-residents) 9 holes = 23 Euros /player, yet provide a playable and person 18 holes 37 Euros / person.enjoyable experience for the Lessons: Group Lessons onrecreational golfer. Le Golf du Mondays and Thursdays; free ofChâteau has just the right balance charge for residents. Individualand variation in length of holes, lessons 25 Euros / person. Residentswidth of fairways, green sizes, and and non-residents should book twoultimately the risk and reward days in advance and first days can beelement that is crucial on any booked prior to arrival. The coursechampionship layout. at the Maritim hotel is a Par 29,South Coast 9-hole designed by Graham Marsh.Adjacent to the Heritage Golf Green fees are free of charge for& Spa Resort, this spectacular, Maritim hotel residents and lessonsinternational 18-hole golf course are available.(Par 72 at 6,498 meters) was Raring to get on the fairway? Idesigned by the South African hope that you will all enjoy thearchitect, Peter Matkovitch, of experience, accept the challengesMatkovich & Hayes. and reap all the rewards of theseWest Coast courses, designed with passion, loveCarved into the rugged South West and attention to detail. Have fun!savannah land coast of Mauritius,between the mountains and thesea, Tamarina Golf Estate andBeach Club boasts an 18‐hole,Par 72 Championship golf course, amodern clubhouse with pro shop,bar and restaurant and 119 luxuryvillas. 71
  • 72. Mauritius - a golfproperty hotspotAs one of the world‘s truly worth non-citizens and citizens that are major factors in the rapidcosmopolitan countries, this looking for an alternative place of growing popularity of this island forinternational island has become residence (at a minimum price of overseas property investment.’a highly sought-after destination US$ 500,000) by allowing them A top tip is to take plenty of golffor golf property and some of the to acquire luxury villas in specific balls as the recycling of golf ballsmain reasons purchasing property resorts approved by the Board of is a big industry for enterprisinghere are the appeal of a stable Investment (BOI). Foreign property Mauritians, often paying bettereconomic and political climate, purchasers are thus permitted than more conventional forms ofaccessibility, an advantageous time access to luxury residential employment. It‘s not unusual tozone, a modern infrastructure property of international standard, see snorkels in water hazards!(harbor, airport, road networks, along with high-class facilities and Don’t be surprised, either, if offeredschools, hospitals etc.), the island’s amenities such as golf courses, a welcoming, cooling flannel orlongstanding commitment to marinas, health and beauty centres, complimentary iced tea at thetourism and, of course, the fabulous swimming pools, nautical and sports conclusion of your round.Yourand favorable year-round climate facilities and top-class restaurants. shoes and equipment will also befor golf and spectacular scenery. In An added bonus is that buyers scrupulously cleaned by an attentiveaddition, the friendly people here also profit from tax benefits in this member of staff. As everywhere onwelcome foreigners with open peaceful and stable democracy. The Mauritius, service is exceptional.arms, there‘s minimal crime and country‘s attractive tax structure Golf widow? There‘s always the spa!high levels of personal security. All is an added incentive to foreign If golf‘s not your cup of tea, therethese factors add to the appeal investors - there’s no wealth tax or are plenty of other land or water-for golf fans wanting to buy their capital gains tax. One of very few based activities to try or fascinatingown slice of tropical island life and countries to prove very resilient places to visit. Persuade your golf-make Mauritius the up and coming during the economic downturn, it loving partner to swap their clubsdestination for quality golf. continues to show positive GDP for a day away from the fairway and growth. immerse yourselves in the island‘sAlthough sheltered from mass Mauritius continues to develop itselftourism, this tiny tax advantageous as a world-class offshore financialisland is a successful, developing and investment hub for bothcountry with regular flights to private and commercial segmentsmajor destinations and, in addition of the international market and isto its close links with Europe, is ideally positioned to benefit frombecoming the gateway to Asia and the African and Asian markets.Africa. With a tropical climate As an emerging market, propertymodified by southeast trade winds, investors are showing huge interestthe island enjoys warm, dry winters and prices have risen under thefrom May-November and a warmer IRS, which has seen exceptionalseason from December-April growth with the future outlook(although cyclones can affect the highly buoyant. Furthermore, underisland during this period). the Real Estate Scheme (RES),Investment incentives born in 2007, developments areAs you can see, there are so more affordable, with no minimummany attractions to purchasing starting price.a residence near a course here, Director of Cluttons Resorts,but one of the most interesting Robert Green, is marketing golfis that property can now entitle property on the island and saysyou to residence status. A buying in Mauritius is predominantlyprecedent-setting new property a lifestyle choice: ‘Buyers arelaw, introduced a few years ago, looking for a sound investment forentitles non-Mauritian individuals themselves and the family, oftenor companies to buy land on this with a view to ultimately retiringidyllic island and offers a chance there. The tropical climate and safefor internationals to embrace the environment make Mauritius themystique and magic Mauritius has perfect lifestyle destination. Golf,to offer. beach, eco-nature and a beautifulNon-Mauritian citizens can now climate all add to the appeal, but itbuy a freehold property under the is also the general political stabilityIntegrated Resort Scheme (IRS), of the country, combined withintroduced to attract high net- the bonus of automatic residency, 72
  • 73. What‘s availableproperty-wise?What could beat staying in anelegant hotel, self-catering villas orapartment bordering the course?Well, having your very own place tostay and play!Mauritius has numerous IRS villasscattered throughout the countryand one of the advantages ofowning a property bordering acourse is that there will always bethose perfect views of a beautifully-maintained landscape – guaranteed.You‘ll also reap the benefits ofexcellent terms and conditions foryour membership, including specialadvantages on booking preferences,not forgetting all the facilities onoffer at the resort, such as fantasticrestaurants and relaxing spas.Furthermore, as a course becomes The course‘s designer, pro golfermore established and more popular, Ernie Els, says the Anahita Golfthe value of your property should Course benefits in as many ways asincrease. possible from its beautiful, naturalThe Anahita Golf Course and The setting and the 18th hole is one ofFairways most impressive in the world: ‘YouAt Anahita The Resort, you can take have spectacular rocky outcrops,advantage of all these benefits and large native trees and jaw-dropping summer 2010, the latest real-estateselect from a choice of freehold views of the mountains and Indian development here, The Fairways,properties in an unrivalled and Ocean.’ is the first IRS to offer residentialexclusive location. For sheer beauty, To complete your golfing freehold serviced land for sale onthere are few courses in the world experience, the Mauritian-styled the island. Near established townsthat can match the spectacular clubhouse has a golf pro shop, and vibrant cities on the East coast,Anahita, which offers 5 tee positions as well as a restaurant, bar and such as Trou d‘Eau Douce, Bel Airand allows every handicap to fitness centre. Presenting creative in Flacq and Mahébourg, all buyersenjoy an exhilarating tee-to-green cuisine with the signature Four at The Fairways will enjoy all theexperience, from the pros and Seasons‘ attention to detail, Le Club benefits and facilities of this 5-staramateurs to children. Situated on restaurant overlooks the 18th hole Mauritian resort. Foreigners receivethe east coast of the island, it‘s a and offers delicious all-day dining to a residency permit once their homechampionship 18-hole Ernie Els- treat your taste buds while soaking is constructed and the schemedesigned USGA (a certification for up the atmosphere with exceptional allows individuals to purchase landall high-quality golf courses) course views of the greens and surrounding and build and personalise their ownmanaged by Four Seasons, leaders lagoon. home through a set of guidelines forworldwide in Hotel & Resort architectural and landscape planningmanagement. A lively central village boasts – ‘YOUR LAND,YOUR HOME‘‘ An‘At Anahita The Resort, we have bars, restaurants and boutiques, exclusive 18 freehold plots of landmany guests who return time and a kids‘ club, wellness centre and are available with full ownership -again specifically for the golf. There a signature Four Seasons Resort nine with woodland views and ninehas been a 25% appreciation in the Hotel. Complementing all this is adjacent to a man-made lake, alllast 2-3 years for properties resold the Four Seasons Golf Academy, located near the coast. The plotswithin our Resort and some sea equipped with the latest technology afford amazing views onto thefacing villas have even seen a rise of to enhance any golfer‘s game. It‘s a Bambou mountain range or alongup to 35% appreciation on price. truly unforgettable place for your fairways 1 and 2 of the golf course.This spectacular course meanders tropical golfing holiday. In addition, owners will have thethrough the exclusive estate, which Fancy an exclusive Anahita World option of entering into a rental poolhas been built with environmentally- Class Sanctuary address with agreement, allowing proprietors toconsciousness planning in mind and access to 6km of unspoilt coastline, let their villas while away from Theis specially-designed to preserve the a golf course, water sports and Fairways, not that you‘ll ever wantcoastline‘s natural beauty. first-rate restaurants? Launched in to leave! 73
  • 74. ‘It‘s very easy for investors torent out their properties here,’the team at Anahita The Resortexplain. ‘We‘re in charge of themarketing and rental of the resortproperties, which makes for acompletely hassle-free experiencefor homeowners.’Apart from the obviousconvenience of owning a propertya short putt away from the fairway,there are many other advantages ofowning a home bordering a course.The value of your home shouldincrease, particularly if, as is the caseat Anahita The Resort, only a limitednumber of villas are available.Best of all, residents can immersethemselves in the authenticMauritian culture and live ‘La BelleVie Mauricienne’. But get in quick ifyou want to secure a place here -the first phase sold out in less than6 hours in summer 2006!Prices are available on applicationand the real estate buying processand application for Mauritian of the island his home. is technically challenging forResidency is taken care of by Ciel The Domaine lies in dense tropical, low-handicappers, but also highlyProperties Ltd (CPL), the developer forest with a natural waterfall and enjoyable for recreational golfers.and promoter of Anahita World adjoins one of the most pristine With five sets of tees and bunkers,Class Sanctuary and a leading stretches of white-sand beaches on water hazards and strategically-industrial and investment group Mauritius. Its spellbinding setting placed blind greens, golfers are givenbased in Mauritius operating in is nothing less than spectacular unique possibilities for a game jam-the Indian Ocean and Sub-Saharan and remains as mesmerising and packed with incomparable momentsAfrica. For resale of properties, CPL unspoilt as ever. The magnificent and memories.asks for a standard 4% commission. private estate and former plantation Golfers looking to fine-tune theirLe Golf du Château and Villas resonates with the romance of game can visit the driving range orValriche centuries of colonial history, PGA-run golf academy for top-classSheltered by a coral reef, the deep heritage and style. With a number of instruction and even tuition fromblue of the Indian Ocean turns luxury international hotels, this area PGA professionals. There‘s also ato emerald green along the wild, of the island retains its exclusivity 9-hole catering for beginners andsouth-west of the island, which sees and appeal for upmarket travellers. those after a swift round, along withstunning, sandy beaches stretching The Heritage Le Telfair, a member a driving range to practise yourfor miles. Nestled in a peaceful and of the Small Luxury Hotels of swing and a pro shop.unspoilt pocket of the island lies the World, was voted ‘Best Golf Forming part of the Domaine, theone of Mauritius‘ best-kept secrets, Resort in Mauritius’ at the World Villas Valriche development is setformer sugar estate, Domaine de Travel Awards in 2010. This sublime around the course and sits adjacentBel Ombre. 5-star establishment is well- to the Valriche Nature Reserve,Situated in the Savanne region, deserving of this esteemed honour which provides the perfect territoryjust 35km from the airport and and offers all guests unlimited for walking, mountain biking and40km from the country’s capital, free golf throughout their stay. exploring the island‘s natural floraPort Louis, the former château Le Telfair’s exceptional 18-hole and fauna. Designed by leading localof renowned Irish surgeon and championship course, le Golf du architects responsible for some ofbotanist, Charles Telfair during the Château, is the masterpiece of the world’s most attractive hotels,19th century is set in a wonderfully- architect Peter Matkovitch. Winding the villas are built in Mauritianpreserved environment. Seduced its way through the contours of plantation-style, set in 525 acres ofby its natural beauty and tranquility, the former sugarcane fields, with lush, tropical landscaped groundsTelfair discovered ‘a piece of Eden’ wide, undulating fairways carved on a rolling hillside overlooking theand made this extraordinary corner through the plantation, the course sparkling Indian Ocean. 74
  • 75. Around 100 properties are Resorts, says Villas Valriche hascurrently under construction, many been designed to suit all ages: ‘Itof which are either completed caters for both holidaymakers andor close to completion. A second permanent residents alike. Adjoining18-hole championship golf course the Valriche Nature Reserveis already planned and recent and overlooking the coast, theresearch confirms that Villas Valriche development offers stunning viewsrepresents outstanding value and a wealth of activities, from golfwhen compared to other luxury to water sports.’developments on the island, offering With Golf du Château membership,among the lowest price per square owners have full use of the coursemetre for truly premium build (with a green fee equivalent toquality and design. that of the hotel guests), accessThe estate facilities at Villas Valriche to sports and the beach club andare first class and villa owners preferential access to hotels, spaautomatically qualify to become facilities and Valriche.members of the exclusive Le Golf Accessibility & improvement ofdu Château Club, with its attractive infrastructureclubhouse and restaurant, as well Encompassing many people’sas the Sports & Racquets Centre, island idyll, Mauritius is the mostthe residents‘ Beach Club and the accessible island in the Indianluxury spa.You‘ll also have privileged Ocean. Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles,access to local 5-star hotel facilities. British Airways, Emirates and VirginVillas Valriche is part of the Atlantic are among the airlinesMauritian government‘s IRS and already serving the island and therea professionally-managed rental are a number of improvementspool will be operated by the scheduled over the next few years,5-star Heritage Resorts, providing including direct flights to and froman attractive revenue income Shanghai in September 2011. Airto villa owners. To top it all, the Mauritius, the national carrier,owners‘ share of the net revenue also offers helicopter transfers tois substantially higher than in many various hotels and golf courses andother competing developments in express buses travel between theMauritius or indeed elsewhere. capital and Mahébourg several timesThere are numerous restaurants to a day, stopping at the internationalchoose from, including the elegant airport.Bel Ombre Château , run by therenowned French chefs Jacques Plans to improve investment in bothand Laurent Pourcel, who invite private and public infrastructureyou to indulge in haute cuisine and include the airport and Airports ofdecadent dining surrounded by Mauritius Ltd have announced thatrolling mountains and panoramic they will be investing €325 millionviews. There’s also a multitude of over the coming three years toon and off-shore activities, such as modernise the Sir Seewoosagurkitesurfing, diving and climbing for Ramgoolam International Airportthe adventurous, as well as two in the south east of the island.health spas for those looking to The new airport terminal willchill out. Feeling green? Take one of accommodate four millionthe eco-tours around the beautiful passengers per year. Best of all,nature reserve and experience its there are plans to overhaul thetranquil serenity. island’s road network and there willCluttons Resorts are currently be critical improvements in easingmarketing luxury villas here with car traffic. Great news for golf fans!five designs to choose from and achoice of 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, eachwith an infinity pool, large verandas,air-conditioned bedrooms andstate-of-the-art communications.Nearly all of the villas havespectacular, panoramic sea viewsand prices start from US$780,000.Robert Green, Director of Cluttons Kiara Villas 75
  • 76. Tips for purchasersAll administration is conducted inEnglish and therefore all notaries,developers and solicitors speakEnglish.You‘ll find everybody speaks Useful links:at least French and English and very The Mauritius Gymkhana Club:often a third language such as Hindi, www.mgc.intnet.muCantonese or Creole. Knowledge The Legend Golf Course atof Creole is not necessary but a few Constance Belle Mare Plage:words will always be appreciated by www.bellemareplagehotel.comthe locals. Le Touessrok: www.A resident permit is issued letouessrokresort.comautomatically by the Board of Paradis Hotel & Golf Club:Investment on signature of the www.paradis-hotel.comdeed and potential buyers are The One&Only Le Saintadvised to visit the island for the Géran: http://lesaintgeran.signature, or to appoint a power oneandonlyresorts.comof attorney to do so. Notary fees Heritage Le Telfair:are included in the purchasing price www.heritageletelfair.muand the government has simplified Cluttons Resorts, for informationthe administration process for on Villa Valriches:foreign investors, with the Board of www.cluttonsresorts.comInvestment allocated three working Ciel Properties Limited Developer,days to deal with every request. for information on The Anahita GolfSo, what are you waiting for? Course: www.cielgroup.comPractically every course on this For information on The Fairways:island provides a breathtaking view www.anahitaproperty.comand fantastic amenities, making you Four Seasons Resort Mauritius atwonder why you ever played golf Anahita:anywhere else. This premier golf www.fourseasons.com/mauritiusdestination is set to realise everygolf enthusiast‘s fantasies and offersthe ultimate hole-in-one experience.What could be more pleasant thanholidaying on a dream island whilsthaving the opportunity to improveyour golfing skills? Wonderful world-class fairways await so practise youraim for that hole in one and pocketa perfect property on the green! 76
  • 77. 07. Local cuisineBoth Mauritius and Rodrigues offer in Mauritius, the heart of the palm vegetables are available throughouta vast variety of delicious cuisine, is very tasty and makes a great the year and complement many ofreflecting the diverse nature of the accompaniment to seafood.) the main dishes.many cultures that make up the - Mauritian curried beef: A range Quatres Bornes‘ markets andislands. Tickle your tastebuds with of spices are mixed with tomatoes, shopping malls offer a wide rangeCreole, French, Indian or Chinese. onions and coriander to make this of fresh food, clothing ranges andAbsolute must-tries: delicious curry. spices.You haven‘t visited Mauritius until - Mango Achards and Piment Confit: The Mahebourg Market is anotheryou try the following delicacies: Mauritians are masters at making attraction you must experience. The- Creole rougailles: The basic their own food delicacies and place pulsates with colors, clothing,ingredients of most Creole cuisine accompaniments. food and typical local products.are tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic - Spiced Lamb with Spinach: This Cheap imports make their wayand chilies. combines lamb with ginger, chillies, first to the market for the local- Indian curry: Made up of curry, cumin and turmeric all served community.traditional blends of home-crushed with cooked spinach. While on the island, you must tryspices, curries are adapted to suit - Pumpkin sautéed with fenugreek to experience the locals‘ flavorsomethe locals by adding tomatoes. seeds, onions, garlic, curry and home-cooked meals, either in their- Camarons (giant prawns): These chillies makes an excellent homes or in a local villages tableare often served with a delicious accompaniment to any of the above. d‘hôte. Ask any local where to findred sauce made from tomatoes, - Lentil Noire: A rich side dish you a personal chef who makesginger and herbs. Mauritians always have with their such simple but tasty dishes.- Millionaire’s salad: A magical mix rice and curries.of oysters, shrimps, crayfish, crabs - Dol Pouri, Samoussas, Gateauand Rosenbergi prawns, this colorful Piments and Farratas are available atdish is served with sauce rouge and every street cornersthe heart of a palm tree (one of - Rougaille saucisses, black lentil andthe best and most expensive treats rice is a must-try Local fruit and 77
  • 78. 08. Dream weddings & honeymoon hotspotsTying the knot? Whether you‘re share the occasion. For the more - Pamplemousse Garden flourishesthinking of celebrating your wedding energetic honeymooners among with delightful plants and flowersin Mauritius or just flying in for the you, there are plenty of watersports galore. With alleys of palm trees,honeymoon, you can expect your and activities as well as the chance lakes, gardens, trees and picnic areas,special day to be filled with glorious to dance the night the away. there are plenty of places to choosesunshine, long lazy days on pristine Whether it‘s a simple celebration from for the ceremony and photos.beaches and fantastic cuisine, but in a tranquil setting or a full-blown - Yemen Park is an imaginative safarithere are many options to make party with hundreds of your loved park complete with lodges for ayour special occasion even more ones, this island will be the ultimate blissful wedding night. The park isspecial. host for your nuptials. an elegant getaway, suitable for bothGetting married in Mauritius is a ceremonies and honeymoons.fairytale dream for most couples. Where to get - Casela Leisure Park is anBut here‘s how to make it happen. idyllic spot with 1500 birds of allYour special requirements and hitched in varieties and colors, as well asrequests ARE achievable - all Mauritius‘ Top gorgeous gardens that provide ayou need to do is ask and makesure your travel agent/wedding Parks, Gardens & picture perfect backdrop for your ceremony.coordinator have all the details Beaches - La Vanille Reserve desand that all requests are well Mascareignes combines lush greenplanned in advance to avoid any gardens with an assortment ofdisappointment. The island is home to gardens animals.The list of options for weddings in overflowing with beautiful flowers - Black River Park ‘Les Gorges’ wasMauritius is endless: you can get and fruit, which would provide declared a National Park in 1994married in a simple beach ceremony, a perfect background for your and locals love spending a lazyon a remote island off the coast, wedding. Surround yourself and afternoon or hiking here, watchingon board a yacht, in a hotel, or in your guests with bougainvillea, the waterfalls and losing themselvesbeautiful gardens. Couples may alamanda, mango, hibiscus, in dense tropical forests, lookingchoose to have local witnesses or anthurium, pineapple and banana to spot the rare wild pigs, deer orcan go for something larger, with trees or heliconia and coconut kestrels.a number of friends and family to trees for a truly tropical setting. 78
  • 79. Where to sayyour vows in ahospitable hotel:Some of the most popular hotelsinclude: Royal Palm, PrinceMaurice, Dinarobin and One&OnlyLe Touessrok, Shandrani, TheResidence, Belle Mare Plage, BeauRivage, Paradise Cove, MaritimHotel, Legends and La Pirogue.One very popular hotel is theBeachcombers‘ Trou Aux Biches. It‘sone of the most romantic resortswith lovely gardens and spectacularbeaches. Weddings take place on thebeach or at a decorated location in which is drawing weddings and 1. Helicopter airport transfer tothe hotel’s grounds. honeymooners in their droves. This your hotel remote island was once home to 2. Rent a private villa withWedding and British settlers, hence its name, back personal chef and chauffeurhoneymoon ideas in the time of legendary local lovers, 3. Dive in tandem Paul and Virginie. The place draws 4. Spend a day on private island memories of the couple‘s nostalgic seclusionLooking to say ‘I do’? Why not get times and the true irony of their 5. Dining experience at One&married afloat, on a catamaran story. Only Le St Géranwith private crew and chefs? Sailing 6. Treatment at Givenchy Spaaround the island with an overnight 7. Sailing around the islandstay at a resort of your choice is 8. Dine on your own beach undernow becoming the trend. This way, the stars (can be arranged by theyou get the beauty of both worlds. hotel)Another accessible, mythicalisland, Iles Plates, has opened The Honeymoon 9. Get married at Eureka Gardens 10. Shopping till you drop at theGovernor House, a new restaurant suggestions island exclusive duty free stores 79
  • 80. Glossary 1847 Blue Penny and Red Penny called Fort Adelaide after the wife stamps. of William 1V dating to when the British possessed the island. CA Coco Island - In the backdrop Caudan Waterfront - Le Caudan of Blue Bay Marine park, on theAquarium - Located in a small Watefront is a must for shopping. South-East coast of Mauritius, therelaxing village in the North West Le Caudan Waterfront is also a majestic Ile des Deux Cocos (theof Mauritius, is home to a large business centre, a melting pot Island of Coconuts). Day tripsnumber of species including over for local artists and the favourite and glass bottom trips are highly200 species of fish, invertebrates, meeting place for gastronomes, recommended.live coral and sponges, originating tourists and locals looking forfrom the waters around the island. leisure and entertainment on the Coin De Mire - Located some water’s edge. 4.5km off the north coast ofB Mauritius, Gunners Coin is a small Casela Bird Park - The Casela islet (some 76 hectares) that hasBalaclava Ruins - The Balaclava ruins Bird Park houses over 140 species been declared a nature reserve asand the Dutch ruins at Vieux Grand of birds from Africa, Asia and per the Forests and Reserves Act,Port are located several meters Australasia, many of which have 1983. The islet has a high pointahead of Baie aux Tortues. The been threatened with extinction. on the west side at 162m and is17th century French sailors named The park is perched on the side of otherwise flat; being of volcanicthe Balaclava ruins after the huge the Rempart Mountain and offers origin, beautiful rough cliffs can betortoise population found in this great views of the cane fields and seen where a number of endemicplace. The Balaclava ruins offer an coast below. birds nest. The islet is surroundedinsight into the medieval history of by turquoise waters making it athe island. Chamarel – This typical village in good place for swimming and a southwest Mauritius is home to two rich marine life for snorkelling andBennitier Island – translate in natural wonders - the magnificent diving. Some remains of a CatholicFrench - Île aux Bennitier includes Chamarel Falls and the colored and a Hindu shrine can also bea large island, with coconut earths of Chamarel. noted on the islet.plantations and is permanentlyinhabited and the smaller Îlot Champ De Mars - Well situated at Crocodile Park - La VanilleBennitier. The main island is 2 km the end of a prestigious avenue in Crocodile Park is found near thelong and 500m wide lying off of La Port Louis, the capital city, which, south of the island near Riviere desGaulette. in racing circles, is still called “La Anguilles one of the most famous rue du Gouvernement”, the Champ rivers in Mauritius. As the climateBlack River - is a district of de Mars racecourse is ensconced is perfect there are other speciesMauritius on the western side of in a natural depression at the foot that share their habitat with thethe island. Famous areas include of charming hills. Today, the M.T.C crocodiles. The crocodile park hasTamarin Falls. Black River Gorges rightly prides itself as being the many exotic animals and speciesNational Park is a national park oldest horse-racing club in the from around the world and doesstretching on an area of 6,574 Southern Hemisphere, and among not just house crocodiles.hectares in the hilly south- the oldest in the world.western part of Mauritius. It was Dconstruction in order to save the Château de Labourdonnais - isnatural vegetation of the island and one of the most popular tourist Dodo Bird - Dodos, the largemake it one of the most important attractions in Mauritius, was built flightless birds endemic to the islandMauritius sightseeing. on a property that was originally of Mauritius and first observed an old concession obtained in 1777 by Dutch sailors during the lateBotanical Garden - The botanical by two young orphans, Mary Louise 16th-century were all but gone onlygarden is most famous for its giant and Henriette Tréouart de Longpré. 100-odd years after they had firstwater lilies, spice garden and unique In 1814, Jean Baptiste Germain been discovered.collection of 85 varieties of palms acquired a portion of the estate andfrom Central America, Asia, Africa built the first sugar mill. Domaine Du Chasseur - Domaineand the islands around the Indian du Chasseur (The Hunter’sOcean. Built in 1967 this amazing Citadel - Found atop a hill (Petite Domain) is a private nature reserve Montagne) at about 100 metres spread over an area of 1000Blue Penny Museum - is a stamp altitude is a fort called the Citadel hectares at 300 metres above seamuseum at Caudan Waterfront in in the city of Port Louis. Situated in level located at Anse Jonchee in thePort Louis, the capital of Mauritius. a very strategic point with an open South East of Mauritius. This altitudeIt opened in November 2001.The view of the harbour and the entire gives the visitor an exclusive view ofmuseum collection includes the city of Port Louis, the Fort is also the island: the green sugarcane fields 80
  • 81. with the rough earthen roads going Terribles, Cocoloko & Red Cat by the noted French governor, Mahethrough them, the open waters of Lounge. de Labourdonnais. Today Port Louisthe ocean, the rocky mountains in is the largest city in Mauritius. Portthe surroundings. The park has a 30 Grand Bassin - known also as Ganga Louis is surrounded by a mountainkm trail that can be visited on foot, Talao is a lake situated in a secluded range, called the Port Louis Mokaby mountain bike or quad bike or mountain area in the district of Range which makes it wortheven by a mini jeep safari. Savanne, deep in the heart of watching. Port Louis has conserved Mauritius. It is about 600 meters many historic and colonial buildingsE above sea level. The Grand Bassin is through the years. a holy lake for Mauritian of HinduEbene City - Located only 15 faith. It is said that the water inside Pamplemousses Botanical Gardenskilometers from the capital city the lake communicates with the - The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolamof Port Louis, Ebene City is a waters of the holy Ganges of India. Botanic Garden, formerlyrelatively new addition to the island known as royal botanic gardens,of Mauritius and has provided a Gymkhana Golf Club - is the 4th pamplemousses covers about 37much needed boost to both the oldest club in the world and the hectares. It is found on the siteeconomy of the island as well as to 1st in the Indian Ocean and golf where Mahé de Labourdonnais,the country’s standing in the global was played since 1844. The course the famous French Governor whoinformation technology sector. designed and built by the British once lived at Mon Plaisir, created a Royal Navy army in 1902. vegetable garden.Eureka House - is a unique Creolehouse built in 1830 in a magnificent I Rgarden surrounded by waterfalls ofMoka River and the Moka Range. Ile aux Aigrettes - Ile aux Aigrettes Rodrigues Island – is the smallestEureka House is reputed to be one is a tiny coral island (25 hectares) of the Mascarene Islands andof the largest houses on the island, just off the coast of the town of a dependency of Mauritius. Awith 109 doors and windows. Mr Mahebourg. The island has been population of 40,000 this island,Jacques de Maroussem is the estate declared a nature conservation site Rodrigues is a must do while visitinghost and private guide. and today is being preserved by the Mauritius. Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.F Riambel – One of Mauritius most Île aux Cerfs - known in English under rated beach in the southernFlacq Market - Flacq is one of the as the deer island is an island near coast of the island.most important villages in Mauritius. the east coast of Mauritius in theThis meeting point for inhabitants Flacq district. This paradise island of Sof the East Mauritius, boasts the Mauritius constitutes of around 100country’s largest open air market. hectares of land. Nowadays there Surinam – A local village off theThe extremely colorful market are no more deers on the island, east coast famous for the river andattracts a large number of people. but you will find there some of the Rochester Falls. Also has a great surf worlds beautiful beaches and as spot near the river mouth.G such it is one of the must place to Souillac - A village close to the visit and see in Mauritius. southernmost point of the mainGabriel Island - known also as island. It is the capital of SavanneÎlot Gabriel, is located near the district.Round Island and the Flat island, Mat the extreme north of Mauritius, Tabout 10 kilometers north of Cap Mahebourg - Mahébourg is oneMalheureux. The distance between of the main fishing villages on the Tamarin – Most vibrant south westGabriel Island and Flat Island is only island. Built on the magnificent beach where locals gather every750 meters. The size of the island is Grand Port Bay it was founded in. afternoon, great bathing and surfer42 hectares and the highest point is The main attraction of the city is hangout.of 28 meters. the Monday markets which are one of the biggest and best on the VGrand Baie – Situated in the North island and can be found right nextWest of Mauritius, this fishing to the main bus station, and the Vacoas – Mare au Vacoas the watervillage is the most vibrant and most Mahebourg waterfront area. reservoir of Mauritius.tourist coast, shopping galore andrestaurants heaven. Grand Baie is P Walso known for its night-life as ithosts most of the island best bars Port Louis - is the capital city and Wolmar – Quad biking, huntingand night-clubs, including Banana main port of Mauritius, Port Louis grounds and a series of hotels, LaCafé, Zanzibar or Les Enfants was constructed in the year 1735 Pirogue, Sugar Beach, Hilton. 81
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