I spent five days exploring the island of Mauritius while staying at the Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa. Mauritius is a volcanic island located in the eastern part of Africa. Yes Africa, isn’t that something? It’s famous for its beautiful white sand beaches and coral reefs. As part of my plan to explore Africa, I have ticked another country off my list and I’m here once again with 10 fun or not facts.
1. Mauritius is Beautiful
Mauritius is the most beautiful country I have ever been to. I have never seen a sky as blue as the one in Mauritius. I couldn’t help but gawk at how special this country is especially the fact that it is in Africa. I took so many photos that I shared 10 wallpapers from Mauritius to show you a glimpse of just how beautiful this island is.
2. Sugarcane Cultivation is big business
Mauritius is surrounded by sugarcane plantations. Sugarcane is presently cultivated on 85% of the arable land in Mauritius. Everywhere you go, there is a sugarcane plantation, and it’s not hard to miss. It’s on every street, every turn, every highway, behind most houses, etc. On average, 600,000 tonnes sugar is produced annually with most (530,000) tones of the sugar being exported to the European Union(source).
3. It is mostly hot in Mauritius
The temperature was always around 31ºC during my stay in Mauritius. However, as hot as it was, it rained a few times and there was also an alert for mist falls. The country has a winter season which is from May to October where the temperature drops from hot to balmy with frequent rain and cold breezes. So if you intend to visit, have your sunscreen, flip-flops, beach hats, face caps, sunglasses and umbrella ready.
4. French is spoken predominantly in Mauritius
If you check anywhere, French is not an official language in Mauritius but it is spoken predominantly. You are told ‘’Bonjour’’ first before ‘’Good morning’’ which was okay because I know some words in French. I just really wished I could communicate easily in the language. However, Mauritius is an English speaking country as well which was great for people like me. Most of the foreigners we met spoke French and it was as if they intentionally chose Mauritius because they could converse in their language. Mauritians speak French, English, Mauritian Creole, French Creole and ethnic languages such as Hindi and Mandarin.
5. Mauritius is visa-on-arrival for Nigerians
If you’ve been looking for somewhere nice to go that is not too far with no visa hassle, Mauritius is a good choice and visa is issued on arrival. There is no direct flight to Mauritius from Nigeria. I flew South Africa airways with a stop over in Johannesburg and the total flight time was about 10 hours (5:45 to Johannesburg and 3:55 to Mauritius). My visa was issued on arrival at no cost and the immigration officers were really pleasant and ready to answer any questions we had. However, if you don’t like being the odd one out, make sure to travel in a group lol, because you may not see any Nigerian during your entire stay. I didn’t hahaha.
6. There are no snakes in Mauritius & Mauritius has minimal shark attacks but many jellyfish attacks
No snakes definitely came as news to me. I went on a hike during my stay through Bras D’eau National Park to Post Lafayette Beach and I was talking about how the Park was so similar to Lekki Conservation Centre here in Lagos, when my tour guide told me there are no snakes in Mauritius. I was shocked because I’ve always thought that as long as there’s a bush or forest, a snake resides there. I will like to believe that there are grass snakes somewhere deep in a forest that no one has seen lol.
If you like to swim in the ocean, you will have to be careful not to get stung by a jellyfish. There are minimal shark alerts in Mauritius because of the coral reefs in its waters which prevent sharks form having access to the beaches. However, there are many jellyfish attacks and I was told there was an alert a week before my stay at the hotel.
7. Most of the Mauritian population are of Indian origin
Mauritius is the only African country to have a Hindu majority. Most Mauritians I encountered during my visit are Indian; black and white. Guess what? the Female black Indian Mauritians, have nappy hair. it’s just a little bit more curly but I thought that was really sweet. I got on a local bus during my visit from Post Lafayette beach to Azuri just to experience it and only Indians were on the bus except me lol. The bus had a conductor like we have in Nigeria, who accepted payments and issued tickets.
8. Land purchase grants citizenship
This is good for people who will do anything to change their citizenship lol. Foreigners are allowed to buy land/property in specific areas at the same price it is sold to citizens. You are also allowed to pay over a period of years if required and you automatically become a citizen when you purchase land.
9. Mauritian cuisine is a blend of Indian, French, European and Chinese
Rice and bread are the main foods that Mauritians eat. There was always bread available for breakfast, lunch and dinner; flat bread, roti, chapati, pita, baguette, bouche, bun, etc. For a bread addict, this was really hard for me to resist and I think I ate one type of bread everyday but I made sure to stay clear of white bread. I explored all the food available and I tried some Indian sauces and various seafood dishes.
10. Mauritius was the only known habitat of the dodo
The dodo(raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius. As a result, the dodo is a national symbol for the country and is featured in the country’s coat of arms and immigration stamp.
Until next time, au revior ile Maurice.
Are you tempted to visit Mauritius? Which African country do you think I should visit next?
Thanks for reading.