Though Mauritius lies in the waters of the Indian Ocean, between the continents of Africa and Asia, it is situated below the equator, it is considered part of Africa. Mauritius is an island nation comprised of smaller islands and archipelagos. Mauritius is southeast of Africa and southwest of Asia. There are seven main islands and archipelagos in Mauritius. In no particular order, they are Chagos Archipelago, Mauritius, Tromelin, Agaléga, Saint Brandon, and Rodrigues.
Locals and tourists alike enjoy the walk up the mountain, which offers a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. To reach the mountain peak, which is the second section of the mountain, a guide is required. After the trek, many head to the beautiful lagoon, Le Morne Beach, to cool down! A sacred place for Hindus, Grand Bassin is located in a crater lake in the district of Savanne. It is a calm and serene place, and requires a proper dress code (legs and arms need to be covered), and shoes are taken off before entering the temple.
During the festival of Maha Shivaratri, usually around February or March, many Hindus go on a pilgrimage journey to Grand Bassin on foot, and carry offerings and statues, while volunteers stand by the road side and offer drinks and food. Grand Bassin is also known as “Ganga Talao” or Lake Ganga, referring to its connection to the river Ganges in India.
Mauritius has two UNESCO World Heritage sites both dedicated to the injustices of the past. In the extreme south-west, the Le Morne Cultural Landscape, featuring the huge Le Morne Brabant monolith is a reminder that this rock and its almost inaccessible caves provided refuge for runaway slaves. Further up the coast at Port Louis’s Bay of Trou Fanfaron, stands the indentured labour camp of Aapravasi Ghat which was the reception point for all of the Indian labourers brought in to take the place of the slaves.
The Bois Cheri Tea Plantation got its start on Mauritius in 1892, and today is the largest producer of tea on the island. The plantation covers 250 hectares, and includes the factory where the tea is made and a museum for visitors to explore the science and art of tea. Visits to the plantation include guided tours of the tea factory plus a chance to see the plantation and explore the museum. At the end of your visit, you'll also get to take part in a tea tasting. Sugarcane used to be the only source of economy for Mauritius, and is central to the island’s history. Sugarcane fields can still be seen all over the island, from the main roads to more secluded areas. To really understand the history of sugarcane and how it’s steeped in the Mauritian culture, along with the rum trade, slavery, and much more. (A trip to l'Aventure du Sucre in Pamplemousses Museum, is a must!) A fabulous restaurant with beautiful views is on site, ready to dazzle you with delicious Mauritian cuisine.
Leading away from the beaches, the fertile, gently sloping land is widely planted with sugar cane and forested areas including ebony and eucalyptus trees. The mountain ranges of Mauritius are volcanic in origin and the island features a broken ring of rugged mountains and a lofty inland plateau area. There are many spectacular pools and waterfalls often with the opportunity for taking a dip! The sea of course is never far away and the seas around Mauritius are simply stunning with sheltered lagoons set within the World’s third largest coral reef.
Mauritius has a single airport located at Plaine Magnien, 9 km from Mahebourg in the south-east of Mauritius Island. This is approximately 48 km from the capital city of Port Louis. The airport is called the SSR Mauritius Airport or, to give it its full name, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan Mauritius Airport, being named after the independent country’s first leader who is regarded as the father of the free nation.