MAURITIUS

Mauritius is an island gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a genuine palm-fringed and coral reef tropical paradise, surrounded with golden, powder-soft coral beaches and clear, inviting lagoons that are perfect for sailing, windsurfing or diving. It is also the home of a cosmopolitican culture, created over centuries by the blending of the island's Indian, Chinese, French and Creole populations. Mauritian cuisine is of great variety: French cookery, Indian and Creole curries and Chinese delicacies. Besides from the beaches, you can also visit the racecourse or casinos in historic Port Loui, and you can also explore beautiful islands anywhere.

Airport Information

Name of airport: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport
Airport Tax: MUR 100

Visa

For Hong Kong BNO/BDTC passport holders, visa is not required for a stay less than 3 months
For Hong Kong Certificate of Identity( CI ) holders, Visa is required
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Customs

Customs allowance

Currency

Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
100 MUR / 5.188 USD
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Transportation

Bus
Taxi
Rental car
Rented moped

Time Zone

GMT: + 4
Difference from Hong Kong: - 4

Accommodation

Please click here

Activities

Water Activities

Big Game Fishing

Mauritian warm waters are the happy the happy hunting grounds of marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, bonito, wahoos and other pelagic fishes. One of the world's top fishing spots is the Black River. Launches for big-game fishing are available for half-day or full-day fishing from hotels and private fishing centres. These launches are rented fully equipped and include the services of an experienced skipper whose knowledge of the sea will delight and enthuse the visitor.

Scuba diving

In some regions myriads of multicoloured fishes home in huge coral plates. In other regions just outside the reef you can discover a mystifying world of plunging coral ledges honeycombed with caverns and grottoes sheltering a rich fauna with marine species unique to the island. They are all ideal sites for photographers and amateurs of underwater video sho can shoot scenes in conditions of exceptional visibility. l'Ilot Flamants is an ideal place.
Diving excursions are regularly organised to a number of exciting sites. You can easily find all the equipment you need for diving in anyone of the diving centres which also reserve a special welcome to beginners. The latter will be initiated in a swimming pool before their first dive in the open sea under the close supervision of qualified instructors.

Snorkelling

For those who are non-swimmers, snorkelling can be a most relaxing and enjoyable way to discover our underwater world.

Water-skiing

The lagoons are the theatre of many exciting and stimulaiting activities. Water-skiing, for example can be practised throughout the year by skilled skiers as well as by beginners. Facilities for water-skiing are available at all boat-houses including the services of experienced coaches. One of the hot spots is at Tamarin. From time to time the boat-house staff put on interesting demonstrations to gratify their clients.

Yatching

You may prefer sailing in and outside the lagoon, the conditions are ideal for sailing wind-surfing. Small boats available at most of the hotels. Many yachting organisations offer excursions in the open sea to coastal islands around Mauritius. Grand Baie is also a favourite with yachters.

Parasailing

Those who fancy stronger thrills can always try parsailing and enjoy the breathtakin gview of the lagoon and its kaleidoscopic underwater sea-scapes from a parachute trailed by a launch. The manager of the boar-house will be only too pleased to keep you posted on the currents and the winds.

Fauna and Flora

Fauna

All Mauritian endemic birds, are confined to native forests for conservation, such as the Dodo bird, Picpic, Kestrel, Pink Pigeon, Echo Parakeet. Other introduced species are the red cardinal bird, the pink-billed bengali or the yellow billed mynah. May of our original land animals have gone the way of the dodo and the majority ones are mostly foreign, but most of them are in wild forms, such as the Java Deers, maracaque monkeys, and the favourites of hunters are the hare and the feral pigs. Marine creatures which arrtact more exclamations of delight are the moray eel, seahorse, reef fish; and octopi, sharks, dolphins, turtles are common. Harp shells, cowries, olives, cone shells will also make a good collection of your souvenir.

Leisure

Lagoon

Mauritian is a small island bathing in the warm tub of the tropical Capricorn Sea. Located in the coral reef belt of the Indian Ocean, the island is renowned for its garden of coral reef, lagoon and beaches. The lagoons provide its unusual panorama of underwater life in all its natural profusion. The water ranges from pale turquoise to indigo blue depending on the depth. The corals have grown and developed into flats and platforms ranging from 15-25m in width and exhibiting a natural profusion of pillars, pinnacles, plates and needles providing a whole array of undersea experiences. Sand banks in lagoon provide good and safe swimming for all age groups. They can be found at Blue Bay, Grand Baie, Pereybere, and along the North-East coast.

Beaches

The North-West is the most famous sandy beach sector of the island which can be justly named the 'Mauritian Riveria'. From Baie du Tombeau to Cap Malheureux, you can find the highest number of holiday resorts in the island to suit all tastes. At 'Le Goulet', near Tombeau Bay, and at Balaclava in the famous Baie aux Tortues, corals belonging to the Ice Age have emerged as small islets and mushrooms. Other popular beaches are located within Trou aux Biches to Mon Choisy and Pointe aux Canonniers, and the most popular are the Grand Baie and Pereybere. Other beauty spots located along the east coast are the Ile aux Cerfs (Stag Islet), Le Gris Gris; Along the south coast, there are Ilot de Deux Cocos, sandy and boulder beaches from Pointe d'Esny to Blue Bay, especially the Riambel lagoon; and the Ile aux Benitiers along the West coast.

Other Activities

Other activities include cycling, horse racing, soccer, golf, tennis, hiking.

Tourist Attraction

Black River Gorges - The forest-clad slopes of the Gorges and the Machabe Forest nearby, contain some interesting specimens of indigenous timber as well as fine plants perculiar to the island.
Casela Bird Sanctuary - Almost 2500 birds are now housed in some 90 aviaries, where extremely rare species inhabited . It was enlarged in 1982 to house other animals such as tigers, monkeys, lemurs, deer and giant tortoise.
Chamarel Coloured Earth - in the district of Black River are coloured dunes of volcanic ash which are naturally displyed in orderly pattern.
Charmarel Falls - fairy-like ambience waterfall, next to the Coloured Earths
Domaine du Chasseur - a spectacular mountain park, and contains 2000 acres of tropical rainforest and a diverse variety of animal life - wild boar, Java deer, Javanese stags, white-tailed tropical birds and even the extinct Mauritian Kestrel. Now, its Paragliding Club is a new attracition.
Domaine Les Pailles - You can trek in specially built Landrovers or on horseback, and admire Mauritian wild life. You can also visit the traditional sugar mill producing sugar cane, and rum-making disillery. Having fun in rambling in the spice garden, the art gallery and the lodge. There are facilities like three restaurants, riding club, play area for children, etc.
Eureka - a beautiful restored colonial house with antiques used by early European settlers
Grand Bassin - a crater lake of an extinct volcano. An area of pilgrimage for Hindus.
La Nef - the former home of the Mauritian poet Robert Edward Hart, is now a historic museum containing some of his belongings.
La Vanille Crocodile Farm - Located in the heart of an unspoiled forest where Nile crocodiles imported from Madagascar are bred. There is also a small zoo of Mauritius animals which are found in the wild.
Le Val Nature Park - is a natural reserve where giant prawns are bred in ponds and varieties of anthuriums.
Mask Museum - an interesting exhibition in Trou-aux-Biches, there is also an aquarium downstairs which displays a colourful variety of Mauritian fish, invertebrates, live coral and sponges.
Natural History Museum - founded in 1880, known as the Mauritian Institute, houses the famous dodo and numbers of other stuffed animals which represent the fauna of Mauritius. The institute also functions as a library with a collectio of over 50 000 books and contains a special section for researchers of the Mascarene archipelago.
Naval Museum - contains various objects found in the numerous wreckages surrounding the island. This house also has an historical balue as it was here that, in 1810, the English and French naval commanders (Willoughby and Duperre) were given medical aid after being wounded in the Battle of the Vieux Grand Port.
Pamplemouses Botanical Gardens - established in 1735, the gardens boast 500 different species of plants: palms, the giant water lillies, spice garden and the Talipot palms. There are beautiful gardens in Curepipe and one in Beau-Bassin, which keeps giant tortoises.
Plaine Champagne - from Plaine Champagne, the highest part of thecentral plateau, there is a superb view of the Black Gorges and the sea lining the horizon.
Rochester Falls - waterfalls formed by funny columns of contracted lava
Vieux Grand Port

Tours and Activities

Colonial Mauritius - You can trace back to its colonial history by the fine houses built by the French and English, the history of the sugar cane industry. You can also visit the sugar mill, distillery and spice gardens, and mountain reserve area where you can spot rare endemic animals
Shoppers Extravaganza
Naturally Cruising

Shopping Guide

Adamas Duty-Free Diamond Boutique
Floreal and Curepipe
Happy World Shpping Centre
La Serenissima
Orchard Centre
Super Centre

Weather

Jan - May: over 30C
Jun - Sep: 14C - 22C
Oct - Dec: 24C
Humid Season: Apr - Jun
Best time to visit: Apr - Jun, Sep - Nov

Language

Official Languages: English
Language of Business and Administration: French and Creole

Electricity

220 volts / 50 Hz
Useful Tel. No.
Mauritius Government Tourist Office: 201-1703
Airport information counter: 637-3635

Public Holidays

1996
1 Jan; 2 Jan; 4 Feb; 17 Feb; 19 Feb; 21 Feb; 12 Mar; 20 Mar; 01 May; 17 Sep; 01 Nov; 10 Nov; 25 Dec
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