Cultivated fields and greenery lush
A landscape-so picturesque! So plush!
Where the crisp turquoise sea is its own master
Life doesn’t go by any faster.
The soul flies to the Pearly Gates
Into the soundlessness of nature’s solace
Such is the alluring charm of Mauritius.
What’s not to love about this tiny, yet surpassingly gorgeous island in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Covering an area of just 2, 040 square kilometres, you can tour the whole coast in less than a day with a car! Wow! Over the years, many of you have been curious to know where does ‘The Little Mermaid’ come from. Does she really belong to the deep, mystic oceans? Or what inspired her to name her site ‘The Little Mermaid’? Should I be disarmingly open with you, finding a perfect name for my website was not rocket science for me. Coming from Mauritius, the land of chimerical mermaids where the bucolic environment is the elixir of peace and unity, I deemed it ideal to call my blog thus for the name spells out the rare exotic beauty of the country and its inhabitants.
Do you want to discover the enchanting richness of Mauritius?
Due to its geographical location, Mauritius is blessed with a summery climate all throughout the year. In fact, it has only two seasons-summer and winter. The coolest months are July and August when average minimum night temperatures drop down to 16.4 degrees Celsius, which is pretty endurable compared to other countries. Mauritius boasts of spectacular sunrise and sunset scenes that are best viewed along the coastal regions. Eye-catching sunrises can be savoured in the east like at Palmar Beach; the radiating soft glow of the sun in the morning from the horizon is mightily bright and mesmerising. Sunsets are dreamy in the west, for instance at Flic-en-Flac Beach where the sun looks like it’s gradually sinking into the pristine waters below.
Sunset at Flic-en-Flac Beach
Sunrise at Palmar Beach
2. Sea and Sand
Words fail to describe the irrepressible pulchritude of the beaches in Mauritius. The seashores are silken white sandy-perfect to entice mermaids to visit the land of Shangri-La. The island is grandiosely surrounded by sparkling blue zircon waters with the sun’s rays cutting through the gentle waves, resembling minuscule pieces of diamond. Speaking from my personal experience, swimming in the coral reef blue lagoons and luxuriating in the ocean’s intoxicating tease for hours is therapeutic to the mind, body and soul as well. Moreover, water activities like scuba diving, water skiing, parasailing, big-game fishing and sea kayak amongst others are super exciting and fun.
Belle Mare Beach
Le Morne Beach
Mauritius is a relatively nascent island, having been created by volcanic eruption some 8-10 million years ago. Majestic mountains like the Piton de La Petite Rivière Noire, Pieter Both, Le Pouce and Le Morne Brabant are a hiker’s sanctum. The Black River Gorges National Park which is the largest national park on the island is home to endemic birds: the lovely Pink Pigeon, the white-tailed Paille-en-queue and the mischievous Mauritian Fruit Bat. Impressive waterfalls like Eau Bleue Waterfall and Tamarind Falls, better known as Sept Cascades among the locals, are common spots for nature lovers. There are four famous volcanoes in Mauritius namely Trou aux Cerfs, Trou Kanaka, Bassin Blanc and Grand Bassin, each with its spellbinding historical opulence.
Pieter Both Mountain
Grand Bassin Lake
Trou aux Cerfs Volcano
4. Cuisine Créole
Mauritian cuisine is a marvellous fusion of Chinese, European, African and Indian dishes, all slightly remoulded over time to reflect the country’s cultural distinctiveness. The dholl puri, best served with spicy bean curry, rougaille and chutney is unmistakably the most popular street food around. Mauritians proudly start their day with a cuppa of the typical ambrosial vanilla tea. And how can we possibly miss talking about SEAFOODS? From the fishermen’s Cordonnier, Vielle Rouge and Capitaine to the prodigious variety of crabs, lobsters and octopuses, it is a gourmet’s joy to indulge in the delectable seafoods. Furthermore, the Mauritian Biryani, boulettes, Alouda, gâteaux patates, gâteaux piments and samoussas are a plenary treat for the taste buds. The list of mouth-watering tropical fruits is endless, including juicy mangoes, sweet litchis, succulent longans and fleshy coconuts.
Grilled tropical fish
Deep fried Mauritian snacks
5. Places of Interest
Whether you are a physisaphile or an urbanite, Mauritius has numerous places of interest to cater to the whims and fancies of its population. The Bagatelle Shopping Mall, Le Caudan Waterfront and Cascavelle Shopping Village host a multitude of high-end shops and extravagant restaurants. There are also a few well-maintained antiquated museums that sustain the colourful heritage of the country. By way of illustration, at L’Aventure du Sucre, you can get a notion of sugar production in Mauritius. The Casela World of Adventures and La Vanille Nature Park are two huge wildlife outdoor parks where people can meet thousands of animal species.
Le Caudan Waterfront
Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius
Cascavelle Shopping Village
6. Mixed Religion
The island is a multi-ethnic society composed of Indian, Muslim, African, French and Chinese descents who live in harmony with one another, respecting the values of religious tolerance, civic peace and democratic freedom. Mauritians glorify celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, Maha Shivaratri, Eid al-fitra and the Spring Festival with equal aplomb. There is an unshakable esprit de corps among the indigenous people as they pride themselves in their native uniqueness. Besides, the folks are notable for their extraordinary warmth and lavish hospitality towards tourists.
The new generation of Mauritians, in general, has adopted a more relaxed outlook on life. They are mostly laid-back and easy-going in contrast to their fore-parents who had nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat to build a coruscating sophisticated Mauritius. One of the oldest, most entertaining activities enjoyed in the country is horse-racing. Movie theatres and a promenade with family and friends ensure quality bonding time. People use the Créole language although they are fluent in at least three languages-English and French being the most widely spoken ones. The Sega is an intensely vibrant, typical folklore dance in Mauritius which is the musical expression of the Mauritian way of life filled with gaiety and peppiness.
Horce racing at Champ de Mars
A group of artists performing the sega dance
Benefiting from a long history of political stability, a good governance record and a robust commercial infrastructure, the island is regularly hailed as one of Africa’s success stories. Since it gained independence in 1968, despite not being endowed with exploitable natural resources, it has continually and intrepidly undergone major economic transformations. Today, it relies heavily on its offshore, finance and tourism sectors to sustain its growth. Mauritius is, in effect, a well-connected international hub with different airlines from a number of different countries. It is indeed a beauty and Mark Twain was not wrong when he said, “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.”
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