Yearly Archive: 2011

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Diving in Mauritius

Underwater diving as a commercial undertaking could have started as far back as in Ancient Greece since there are references, in both Plato and Homer, to the sponge which was found just off the island of Kalymnos. The divers would use weights of up to fifteen kilograms for a speedy decent and, holding their breath, they would dive to depths of thirty metres for as long as five minutes at a time to collect sponges. A lot has changed since then, but the desire to explore the ocean depths has not and diving has become an extremely popular recreational activity....






© Photo by Nico Kux 0

Kite-surfing in Mauritius

Kite-surfing has its roots as far back as the early 1800s although the sport, as recognised today, was only formalised in the mid 1990s. As an adventure water sport, kite-surfing has been described as a combination of wake-boarding, windsurfing, surfing and paragliding all rolled into one extreme adrenaline rush. Obviously, in order to experience the thrill of the sport, a large expanse of water and a fair wind are necessary conditions. The sunny, tropical island of Mauritius, with its beautiful turquoise lagoon, has become one of the most popular kite-surfing destinations in the world. There are a number of locations...






What other countries can learn from Mauritius 0

What other countries can learn from Mauritius

Suppose someone described a small country where free education, up to university level, transport for all school children and free health care – including heart operations – is guaranteed for all citizens. You might suspect this country is either exceptionally rich or headed for financial crisis. Eventually more and more of the richer countries in Europe come to the realisation that they cannot bear the costs of university education and they call on the young people and their families to pay these costs. On the other hand, other countries have never tried to provide everyone with a free university education....






Mauritius and Réunion Island – It’s a love story! 1

Mauritius and Réunion Island – It’s a love story!

Two islands, both alike in dignity, in the Indian Ocean where we lay our scene… An analogy which is more cheesy than a Swiss fondue, perhaps, but it cannot be denied that the relationship between Mauritius and Réunion Island is a special one. Fortunately, it combines the romantic aspects of the above-referenced play without the strife, bloodshed, mutiny, teenage rebellion and cases of tragically mistaken death. Lying approximately two hundred kilometres apart, these two islands lie serenely in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Situated east of the coast of Africa and the large island of Madagascar, Mauritius and...






Mauritius – ideal for pensioners 0

Mauritius – ideal for pensioners

Cold climates do not really suit anybody, least of all people who are in the golden autumn of their lives. After years of hard work, they deserve the warm glow of luxury and relaxation and where better to enjoy it than on the tropical island of Mauritius? A number of people from Europe make Mauritius their winter home; when the weather gets too unpalatable in their native countries, they pack themselves off to the warmer climes of the island where they are always guaranteed a friendly welcome. The retired couples who regularly make trips to Mauritius usually find that they...






Mauritian stamps 2

Mauritian stamps

Mauritius holds the rare distinction of issuing the first stamps in any part of the British Empire outside of Great Britain itself. It was also the fifth country in the world to issue postage stamps at all, only seven years after the first stamps were issued in Britain in 1840. Three years after this Zürich and Brazil both issued their own stamps, followed by the United States of America and Mauritius in 1847. The most famous Mauritian stamps are also the rarest in the world and are known as the ‘post office’ Penny Red and two Penny Blue, so called...






As dead as a Dodo 0

As dead as a Dodo

‘As dead as a dodo’, ‘gone the way of the dodo’ or perhaps even the Dodo’s Caucus Race are all familiar references to this extinct, pedestrian bird. But how much of our knowledge about the dodo is substantiated fact and how much is pure mythology? The dodo certainly existed on its native island of Mauritius where it had evolved without predators to be a flightless, fruit eating creature. Due to the absence of any natural predatory threat it is likely that the dodo roamed the lush, tropical forests trustingly and was then an easy hunting target for hungry sailors and...






Mauritius – a haven for celebrities 1

Mauritius – a haven for celebrities

As the press never fails to remind the watching world, celebrities are hot topics. Sometimes, though, celebrities like merely to be hot and not topics for discussion at all. The place that is more and more frequently being chosen, in which they can relax under the burning sun and not feel their ears burning too much with gossip, is the island of Mauritius. Princes William and Harry, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Schumacher, Claudia Schiffer, Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela… The list of celebrities who have chosen Mauritius as their holiday destination could go on. The professionalism at the various...






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La Cuvette Beach, Grand Baie, Mauritius

In Mauritius there are many beaches which compete for the coveted title of the most beautiful beach on the island. Using the process ingeniously employed in L’ecole des fans, however, Mauritius can boast that every one is a winner. Indeed, to nominate the most beautiful beach on the island is like asking Paris, the humble shepherd of Greek mythology, to nominate the most beautiful of all Olympian goddesses. Just as the young Trojan prince had to make the difficult choice and give the prized golden apple to Aphrodite, if we have to face the agonising dilemma of voting in favour...






Mauritius for expats 0

Mauritius for expats

Mauritius, a small island which is part of the Mascarene Archipelago in the south-west Indian Ocean, is a very popular country for expatriates.  Tax benefits, a safe environment for children and breath-taking surroundings are part of what makes so many people decide to emigrate to this little republic. The hot, wet summer officially runs from November to April with average temperatures ranging between 23ºC and 33ºC, while the winter months from May to October are cooler and dryer with average temperatures between 17ºC and 23ºC.  While the summer months can be uncomfortably hot and humid at times, the size of...






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Economy of Mauritius

Economically speaking, this tiny island paradise has one of the highest per capita incomes in the entire region of Africa and the Indian Ocean, while the capital, Port Louis, is the second largest financial trading centre in the region.  Its political stability and ethnic tolerance make this one of the most attractive places to invest. If asked, the majority of people would probably say that sugar-cane was the largest economic sector in Mauritius.  While nearly 90% of all cultivated land is devoted to the sugar cane crop, it accounts for only a quarter of all export earnings.  In the 17th...






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Grand Baie – the tourist capital of Mauritius

Known as the liveliest spot on the island, Grand Baie in the north is a vibrant town, packed with restaurants, night clubs, shops and boutiques as well as a wide variety of accommodation from cosy bungalows to luxury hotels.  A mere one hour drive from the airport in the south, Grand Baie is a definite must-visit for any tourist. One of the first things a visitor to Mauritius wants to know about any recommended destination is what the beaches are like.  Grand Baie boasts a large, clean expanse of beach but due to the high number of fishing boats although...






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Port Louis – the capital of Mauritius

In the west of Mauritius, sheltering under the protective enclave of the Moka Mountain range, lies the capital city of Port Louis.  This city, which is the largest on the island and is also the main port, was founded in 1735 by the French and named in honour of their king, Louis XV.  Due to its strategic location it became an important naval base for the French fleet; one hundred years later the British, recognising its powerful position, built Fort Adelaide, or more commonly La Citadelle, on one of the hilltops overlooking the port and city. Port Louis is also...






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Forum about Mauritius

Going to a new country can be a daunting experience.  Even if a travel agent has booked your hotel and airport transfers, there are still hundreds of questions you may want to ask.  Do I need any special medication like anti-malarial pills, what are the best ways to travel, is there anything special to visit that is not on the beaten tourist track?  What better way to find answers to your questions than to visit an online forum on Mauritius where you can benefit from the experience of others. The forum of Isla-Mauricia is an excellent place to start.  With posts...






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Nature Parks of Mauritius

The first National Park declared in Mauritius was the Black River Gorges National Park in 1994, a sprawling forest haven of indigenous flora and fauna, misty hiking trails and spectacular waterfalls.  Situated in the central highlands, the park is considerably cooler than the rest of the island and even has its own distinct micro-climates, ranging from the damp, rainy upland forests to drier, lowland forests.  The wildlife in the national park is all indigenous, from the mischievous Macaque monkeys to the brightly coloured kestrels, pink pigeons, Mauritian echo-parakeets and the famous white-tailed tropic birds that are depicted on the Air...






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Places to go in Mauritius

The very name Mauritius conjures up white sand beaches, palm trees, the still blue waters of a lagoon and exotic fruity cocktails in the sun.  While the island has these in abundance, there are many other places of interest to visit, from the extinct volcano to the world heritage sight of Le Morne Brabant, from tours of the salt pans to interacting with animals at Casela Nature Park. Trou aux Cerfs, the 80 metre deep volcano crater situated near Curepipe on the central plateau is a magnificent place to visit for any age group.  The deeply sloping sides are lushly...