World Travels: Mauritius
As some of you might already know I am currently traveling to several different regions of the world. So I figured I would post a new blog every week letting you know where I am, where I am going and where I’ve been.
My first stop is an island paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean called Mauritius. This island can be found about 1,200+ miles (2000 kilometers) of the Southeast coast of Africa.
The main languages spoken in Mauritius are Mauritian Creole, French, and English. It’s interesting to note that when European explorers discovered Mauritius they found no indigenous peoples. Because of this you will find a mixture of influences here. The population in Mauritius contains Indian, African, Chinese and French and the food and architecture will also reflect that.
The capital of Mauritius is Port Louis and the population is over 1.2 million people. The official languages are English and French. The island has so much to see and do (or not do…depending on your mood). There are botanical gardens, rain forests, beautiful remote beaches to relax on, wonderful colonial architecture to admire in Port Louis, waterfalls and forests you can zip line over, and plenty of Mauritian food to enjoy that fuses Creole, Indian, French and Chinese cuisines.
Mauritius is known to be the land of the lost dodo bird. This was the only place in the world where you could find a dodo bird…that is until explorers settled here and managed to help them go extinct. Apparently the dodo bird’s lack of ability to fly didn’t help it escape the dinner table either. Mauritius is also known for its sugar-cane plantations, fusion cuisine and honeymooners!
If you want to eat and drink something uniquely Mauritian you can try rougaille which is a sauce of tomatoes, garlic and chili with Creole-flavored meat or fish and follow it up with alouda which is an almond-based drink concoction that is best topped with ice cream. Yum!
The island is predominantly Hindu but there is actually a 4 religion mix on the island and the Mauritian flag represents these 4 religions, each color of the flag represents a different religion namely the Hindus, Catholic Christians, the Protestants or Reformed Christians, and Muslims. It’s interesting to note that although there are all these different religions on this little island they all live side by side in harmony and peace. They have never had a war or bigger dispute despite being different religions.
All those religions on one island and they have no problems! The contrary is actually the case, there is lots of understanding, acceptance and diversity throughout the whole population in Mauritius. Mauritius also has a Hindu festival every year called the Maha Shivaratri that gathers 500,000 pilgrims to the holy lake of Grand Bassin.
One really interesting fact about Mauritius is that a significant portion of the country’s electricity is produced from sugar cane!
Now I’ve been here before and I just love the place. Paradise is too weak of a word for this place as far as I am concerned. The hotel we are staying at called the Lux Belle Mare, is beautiful and has the best resort, beach, food and service ever! I’ve been to a lot of places but this resort goes beyond any I’ve experienced so far. Click here if you’d like to check it out!
If you’d like to hear some traditional music of Mauritius here’s a song called ‘Anita’ by the late Ti-Frere who was a Mauritian singer who led the sega renaissance there.
Well, now I must go enjoy the sand and sun. I’ll catch up with you next week when I tell you about my next destination – the United Arab Emirates! See you then!