: Mauritius

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Black River Gorge National Park Alexandra Waterfall Photograph
A trip into the mountains will reveal the lush green and unspoilt beauty of this National Park. You may be lucky enough to spot a kestrel or straw-tailed tropic bird as you gaze towards the far-distant ocean and enjoy the calm beauty of the surrounding countryside. The Black River Gorges region was declared a national park in 1994. It is as famous for its waterfalls, mist covered hill slopes and clear pools as it for its wildlife. The Black River Gorges National Park lies on a plateau slightly higher than the surrounding plains, so the temperature at the Black River Gorges is lower than in the plains. The Alexandra waterfalls provide a beautiful backdrop to the lush hillocks in the Black River Gorges National Park. From the National Park, a visitor can have a splendid view of the southern shores of Mauritius. A trek through the Park is invigorating, as you pass through trails lined with Chinese guava trees and pass through fields of wild sugarcane.

The Plaine Champagne is the highest point in the Park, and as you look down into the valley below, you will get a taste of what paradise might look like. Many tourists who have looked at the panoramic view from the Plaine have felt a sense of awe as they looked down into the Gorge below.

Ile du Phare Lighthouse also known as Grand Port Light just off the mainland of Mauritius.
Small island in the entrance to the harbor of Mahébourg, on the southeast side of Mauritius. 1865. 26 m (85 ft) masonry tower with lantern.This lighthouse guided ships to the harbor of Mahébourg, on the southeast coast of Mauritius. Mahébourg was the original French settlement and remained an important port until the early 20th century, when the British moved all port operations to Port Louis on the opposite side of the island. Located on a small island about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Point du Diable and 15 km (10 mi) east of Mahébourg. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the mainland.

Market trading photograph of the busy Port Louis market in Mauritius
The central market in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis is a boisterous, vibrant spot, and the stalls are piled high with tropical fruit, vegetables and mountains of spices. Jostle with locals as you seek out samosas or other Indian snacks, and keep an eye out for the colourful produce that Mauritius has to offer.

Mauritius Landscape photograph taken while heading out to ILE AUX CERFS via speed boat
Mauritius is a sparkling jewel set in the brilliant turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Sun-kissed beaches, stunning mountains, calm lagoons, bustling villages, patchwork sugar cane fields and swaying palm trees – Mauritius is a tropical island of colourful contrasts where the welcoming smiles of the people reveal the true magic of this enchanting land.

Mauritius has a rich and varied past. Settled by the Dutch and colonised by both the French and the British over the centuries, the cosmopolitan population is now a fascinating mix of Indian, Chinese, African and European origin, creating a kaleidoscope of customs and religions. This marvellous blend of cultures is best reflected in the island’s cuisine – a delicious fusion of vibrant tastes and subtle aromas.

Mauritius offers the classic tropical holiday pastimes – relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, sailing to beautiful deserted islands, exploring the wonders of the coral reefs. The island abounds with places of interest to amaze and entrance the visitors.

Le Coco Beach photograph
Mauritius is one of the most fascinating and cosmopolitan island destinations in the world. It is a Garden of Eden almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs, white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, a great central plateau and impressive mountain ranges. Temperatures during warm months April- October are normally in mid twenties, rising to upper twenties in summer months November-March.

Rochester Falls, Mauritius
Only 2 kilometres from the St Felix Mill are the Rochester Falls. The falls are on the Savanne River and are distinctive because of the vertical columns of basalt over which they cascade. If you go by car (and most do) you may be followed closely by a motorcyclist or fruit salesman who will offer to be your guide and he will probably encourage you to take photos of his friends diving into the pool beneath the falls. You will be expected to make a donation of your choice, but with salaries about 20% of those in Europe or America your 100 or 200 or even 50 rupees is a large sum to your guide.

Grand Baie Mauritius photograph
Grand Baie, home to the five-star Royal Palm Hotel, is possibly ‘the capital’ of the tourist industry. Many of the hotel’s guests arrive by helicopter from the airport to be offered every luxury, from a sauna to masseurs, windsurfing instructors, restaurants and boutiques. The Merville is slightly less fancy, but is also luxurious. Apart from the hotels, Grand Baie has lovely restaurants, clubs and bars to entertain those looking for some excitement. Day excursions by bicycle are a good option as the bay is exquisite.

The town of Curepipe owes its size and prominence to the malaria epidemic of 1867, during which thousands of people fled mosquito infested Port Louis for healthier, higher ground. With the flavour of an English market town, Curepipe is the centre of the island’s tea and model-ship building industries and the best place to scatter your money. Unless these are of particular interest to you, the town itself may be worth a quick visit at most. The surrounding countryside has a more universal appeal.
Curepipe’s main street of historical interest is Elizabeth Ave. lovers Paul and Virginie from Bernadin de St Pierre’s 1788 novel of the same name. West of the town centre,s are not as spectacular as those of Pamplemousses, but they are well kept and informal, with nature trails branching off of the main paths. Just north of the gardens, Trou aux Cerfs crater is the town’s biggest natural attraction. It’s been extinct for ages, and the crater floor is now heavily wooded, but a tarred road leads up to and around the rim to rest stops with beautiful views.

Mauritius Upland Blue Tailed Day Geko photo
This is a Mauritius Upland Blue Tailed Day Geko, it is about 6″ long. It was scurrying with his friends on the bamboo pictured here at the Le Coco Beach Hotel.
All day geckos are in the genus Phelsuma, one of the many genera in the family Gekkonidae. There are over 68 known living species and subspecies of day geckos, most are from Madagascar and the surrounding islands of the Indian Ocean. Phelsuma andamanensis (Andaman Islands day gecko) is native to the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal which is a considerable distance from the Western Indian Ocean habitat of other day geckos. Also one species occurs in South Africa, and another has been introduced to Tanzania

Tamarin Bay , Mauritius photograph
Tamarin Bay is well known for its surfing conditions and was one of the most famous “sweet spots” of the hippy surfers in the late 60’s and 70’s.
The discovery of more regular surf spots around the world and the new sophisticated image of Mauritius have slowly killed its legend. But despite the natural development of the region,Tamarin village is authentic; the houses and villas are almost the same and the people are as open and friendly than they were 40 years ago. By the way, the only hotel of the village, the Tamarin Hotel is a building typical of the 70’s and has been renovated in 2003 in the exact same style.

The beach in Tamarin is not white due to theTamarin river outlet in the lagoon but the bay has a very peculiar vibe. This place is magic, if not mystic, especially on “Big Days” when the whole village is on a buzz,

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