Mauritius is an island nation and a tourist destination located in the Indian Ocean. It is about 2,000 kilometers off the south and eastern coast of the continent of Africa and includes islands such as Mauritius, Rodriguez, St. Brandon, and Agalega.
The capital of Mauritius, Port Luis, is the largest city and it is located on the main island. Mauritius, Rodriguez, and Reunion, which is a French Overseas Department, are part of the Mascarene Islands, a group of islands also located in the Indian Ocean and east of Madagascar, another African country.
Mauritius’ landmass is 2,040 square kilometers and it has a population of slightly less than 1.3 million based on a 2018 estimate. Two-thirds of this population is of Indo-Pakistani origin, one quarter is Creole (a mixture of African and French descendants) and the population is complete by a small number of Franco-Mauritian descendants and the Chinese people.
The official language of the country is English but only a small subset of the population speaks it. Creole is the more popular and also more widely spoken language. Other languages spoken include Bhojpuri, French, Hindi, Chinese, Urdu, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. It is common to see many inhabitants speaking at least two to three of these languages.
When it comes to religion, Mauritius has a large Hindu population. There are also Christians and Muslims and a small set of Buddhists.
Mauritius is a democratic country and it is ranked high when it comes to its economy and political freedom. It is also one of the most peaceful places to live. Before now, it was a sugar dependent economy but it is now diversified. It has a mixed and developing economy which is based on exports, agriculture, financial services, and tourism. All these result in a high Gross Domestic Product. To learn more about this beautiful country, see this article https://thecommonwealth.org/our-member-countries/mauritius.
Tourism in Mauritius
A huge and important part of the economy and revenue from foreign exchange is based on tourism. This is especially so on the island of Rodriguez. It is a country that attracts a lot of tourism due to its natural and man-made attractions, its tropical climate, and beaches. Since there are many different areas of attraction, it is better to learn what you can do in a particular area of Mauritius rather than the whole country.
For people interested in enjoying all that southern Mauritius has to offer, below are some of the many fun places you can visit, attractions and things you can do.
Pay a Visit to the Crocodile and Giant Tortoise Park
One of the best places to visit in the south is the Crocodile and Giant Tortoise Park which is home to different Nile crocodiles and giant tortoises. There are also many other different animals including mongooses, deer, reptiles as well as endemic flora. For nature enthusiasts, it is a good place to visit. There are guided tours and you can go through different kinds of plantations and forests.
One of the fun things to do is feeding, petting, and playing with the animals if you desire. Here, you will find a collection of rare and beautiful butterflies and insects. You will also often find a variety of birds here. In the midst of all of these, there is a restaurant called “The Hungry Crocodile” built among trees. It offers local Mauritian dishes, crocodile dishes, and international cuisines. It is safe to bring kids along as there is a playground for kids available.
Visit the Grand Basin
The Grand Bassin or Ganga Talao is a wonderful place to visit in the south of Mauritius. It is about 1,800 feet above sea level. Most Indians and followers of the Hindu religion will find this place fascinating as it is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. At the end of February, it hosts the Maha Shivaratri, a popular and important festival where Hindus go to make sacrifices and also pray for peace and prosperity. There are several temples around the Grand Bassin and statue of the Hindu god Shiva. You may read more about the Grand Bassin in this article.
Bois Cheri Tea Plantation and Factory
The Bois Cheri which originated in 1892 is the first tea plantation in Mauritius and the second stop on the tea route. You will receive guided tours allowing you to know about the plantation’s fascinating and interesting past. There is also a museum that gives an insight into the history of tea, its production, and how valuable it has become in the country. The view of the plantation is ecstatic and simply breathtaking.
Visiting Le Morne
Le Morne is a fabulous and interesting place to stop in the south of Mauritius. It hosts one of the best beaches, drawing swimmers, surfers, sun worshippers, and water sports lovers to its reef. There is the impressive Le Morne Brabant, a rocky outcrop famous for being the hiding place for slaves escaping during the 19th century. Le Morne Brabant is now a designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. This place is laden with history and it is a place to visit. Talking about accommodation, there are different hotels that are unique and will leave a lasting impression on you.
Floreal and Adamas
Floreal is a little city with a lot of history, character, interesting products, and filled with wonderful experiences one of which is the Floreal Square, one of the city’s centers of attraction. Here you can find several boutiques where you can shop at good prices. When it comes to eating and wining, you cannot be short of options as there are several eateries available. If you like horse racing, then it is also a place to visit as the Hippique de Maurice will amply take care of your needs in that regard.
Adama, on the other hand, is famous for its diamond showroom and here you will find a variety of diamonds complete with unique designs, colors, and purity. You can also get customized jewelry if you prefer to make your unique design. Organized tour guides like South Tour Mauritius will help you visit this and many more places of interest.
If you are a lover of nature, then this is a country to visit. You will be more than happy you chose to. The citizens are warm, friendly, and hospitable and will be more than helpful, guiding and providing you with all the information and history you may need.