Santosha Guides Vol.1 MAURITIUS & RODRIGUES


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  • Hi Bertrand, thank you for your kind words, I am meeting with the Minister of Tourism next week. I hope that I will secure the funds and make Vol.1 product come to life. Time to produce and distribute it now that the online and branding has been completed. Also keep and eye on my second product very best
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  • Great travel guide that will spark the beautiful west coast and the south.
    Cote nord was a great success in unveiling the north to the international tourists...Santosha was much needed for the immerging west and south coast of Mauritius....
    With a local touch !
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Santosha Guides Vol.1 MAURITIUS & RODRIGUES

  1. 1. Mauritius &Rodrigues IslandVolume 01 1
  2. 2. 2
  3. 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. 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. 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 and explained in this, a compelling compilation 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 / 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. 6. Photo:Tungsten - Creoles on a coconut plantation making fish traps, called kasiers — Rodrigues Islands 6
  7. 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. 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 is a great 8
  9. 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(, 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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: 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 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 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 and economic booster for Mauritius in 1998 and organized 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, 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. 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 event is the latest Kite surfing lagoons.Son of Kite - email: jcgaley@gmail. event with local partner Patrickcom, website: Desvaux (Kite League). http:// A true paradise for all wind gurusSinbad Ltd, Cap Malheureux - Tel: out there. Learn to Surf in Mauritius255 1850, email: kuxfamily@intnet. ksp-mauritius Roger Theveneau is one of themu website: http://www. most influential surf teachers inKite surf paradise - Tel: 4800849/ Mauritius, offering ‘Learn How7434299, email: mauritius.kitesurf@ php?option=com_content&task=vie to Surf’ services in Tamarin Bay,, www.mauritius-kitesurf. w&id=4954&Itemid=140 depending on the swell /www.stand-up-paddle- Mauritius International Visitors: Roger is always keen to give / 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 website: definitely plus. Please mention Santosha or www.myskyriders. franciscogoyaKite@North is located on the 17
  18. 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. 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. 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. 21. Our 21
  22. 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 22
  23. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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:, 250ml of Eau de Toilette and htm or 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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