8 Things No One Will Tell You About Mauritius – Indian Ocean

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Port Louis, Mauritius

Home to Mauritius‘ harbor and the capital of this island-nation as well, Port Louis is the only official port of entry and exit for all sea vessels into this country. Used as a base for visiting Portuguese sailors in 1507 and in 1735 the French government made Port Louis as their ships’ port of call. It was in this era when their sea vessels have frequented their passage between Asia and Europe around the Cape of Good Hope. Port Louis harbor handles general cargo and cruise ferries including a bulk sugar terminal for Mauritius‘ main export, sugar.

The Indian Ocean, An Overview:

Covering almost 20% of the earth’s total surface, Indian Ocean is bounded by a number of continents such as the Indian subcontinent to the north, Africa to the west, Australia and Sunda Islands to the east and Antartica to the south. Indian Ocean has of the world’s most important ports such as Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata in India; Colombo in Sri Lanka; Durban and Richard’s Bay in South Africa; Jakarta in Indonesia and then Melbourne in Australia.

Named after India which is taken from the word “ratnaka” meaning the “mine of gems.” Indian Ocean is famous for its mineral-rich sands such as moissanite, ilmenite and chromite. It’s not only a breeding ground for well-defined beaches and sand dunes but the sanctuary of the rare Humpback whale.

Known as the “zone of peace”, Indian Ocean is the warmest of all the 3 oceans. It also holds vital sea “routes” that bestows mainly to Asia‘s economies. While it is the smallest ocean, Indian Ocean is the largest body of water in the world.

About Mauritius:

Located off the eastern coast of Africa, this is an island-country in the Indian Ocean. It is a part of the Mascarene Islands and it has outlying territories such as the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega, St. Brandon and claiming sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago (Diego Garcia islands) as well.

First discovered by Arab seafarers who called the islands “Dine Arobi” in the 10th century, but it was actually the Portuguese who first explored and inhabited this “little slice of a paradise” in the 16th century and called it “Cine”. Yet neither the Arab sailors nor the Portuguese explorers stayed long enough, for it was the Dutch settlers who named this island, Mauritius, in honor of Prince Maurits von Nassau, the Prince of Orange, in the 17th century.

The Dutch left the island in 1710 and after 5 years, Mauritius became a French colony. Before the advent of the Suez Canal, the island was a pawn between France and the UK in the Napoleonic wars. Even if France won, the Brits forced them to surrender Mauritius in 1810 though French settlers were allowed to stay and use their language. After decades of British rule, Mauritius was finally granted of independence in 1968, the Republic of Mauritius was born.

Map showing the island of Mauritius.

Still on board with the IVS Leopard Sun in 2013, we sailed straight for oil discharging to Mauritius after we left Maldives. Famous as a honeymoon destination, Mauritius will entice you and uplifts your soul. A melting pot where its past is a beautiful blend to the present, this island draws travelers from around the world. Let us discover the other side of this fantastic island via the 8 things no one will tell

It Is Almost A Paradise

If Maldives is the perfect paradise, Mauritius fall short of that heavenly perfection. This nation may be a place of “rugged clusters of crags and peaks, green to their summits” (Mark Twain, 1896) except that Port Louis (the capital) is a historic colonial town, home to 40% of its population and Curepipe (another town) is all-time wet and soggy. This thing no one will tell you about Mauritius.

Once There Were the Dutch, Then the French and British

Sega dancers in Mauritius (national dance) of which it is a simple bodily movement without the feet leaving the ground. An expression of the Mauritian way of life.

A thing no one will tell you about Mauritius, this island-nation is a mix of multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual country. About 2/3 of the population is of Indo-Pakistani origin, descendants of indentured Indian laborers (worked for free) brought in by the British that worked in sugar plantations. Both English and French are used as official means of communication but the locals prefer to speak in Creole, a French-based dialect.

Home of the World’s Only Colorful Sand Dunes

Indeed a popular tourist attraction and a thing no one will tell you about Mauritius, found in the southwest of the island is a unique geological formation of sand dunes in 9 different colors. Called “Seven Colored Earths” this is a rare confluence of volcanic activity which brought a number of different elements together with their own distinct color. However, you can only admire this beautiful canvas of nature at a distance as it is surrounded by a fence to protect the sands. Despite the island’s heavy rains, Mauritius‘ attraction is not eroded.

One of the “Fab Four” Countries Not Involved In Any Conflict

In 2017, together with Botswana, Chile and Uruguay...Mauritius has been named one of the 4 countries in the world which has no involvement in war or internal conflict nor tensions with neighboring countries. A thing no one will tell you about Mauritius and for that matter it doesn’t have a national army.

Trou aux Biches is a Favorite Honeymoon Destination

Yes indeed, a thing no one will tell you about Mauritius that its famous beach resort, Trou aux Biches is not only one of the world’s best beaches but a honeymoon destination as well. Aside from the varied water sports that you can indulge with, Trou aux Biches boasts of enviable backdrop for a picture-perfect loll by the sand.

Abode To an Amazing Underwater Waterfall

The most favorite reason as to why people visit this island-nation is to see its breathtaking underwater waterfall. A thing no one will tell you about Mauritius. Although you can only admire the view when you lookout from the window of the airplane. From afar, the site looks like a heart-shaped ravine that opens from the land. But in actuality this is just an optical illusion done by the overflow of sand and silt, an underwater waterfall doesn’t exist at all.

A Rare Pink Pigeon Lives At Mauritius’ Black River Gorges National Park

Certainly one of the world’s rarest birds, the pink pigeon has its home at Mauritius’ Black River Gorges National Park. Situated at the southwestern part of the island, this park also protects most of the nation’s remaining rain forest. A thing no one will tell you about Mauritius.

Black River Gorges National Park in Mauritius.

Where You Can Find Unusual Traditions

Sundowner tradition in Mauritius.

Locals in Mauritius only receive gifts with their right hand because the left in considered unclean. They also have a tradition called “sundowner” wherein people takes time to relax and enjoy their famous rum at the end of the day when the sun sets down at the horizon. These are things no one will tell you about Mauritius.

The American writer, Mark Twain once said: “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and heaven was copied from Mauritius.” This is such a highlight of the beauty of this island and its waiting for you to discover it as well. It has attracted visitors for years with its picture-perfect beaches and lush greenery, a place to let go of all of life’s worries and burdens. So don’t you think it’s time to pack your bags and head off to this paradise soon? Bonne chance!

Reference: Wikipedia

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