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Driving South towards la prairie from Tamarin the journey can be broken at La preneuse and some two kilometres away at La Grande Riviere Noire, a little further down at petite riviere noire. All these villages are found on the western coast.

The Black River District derives its name mainly from the natural greyish and black basal­tic mountainous rocks that are the trademarks of the region. There are other natural phenomena that account for its exoticism. The region is best known for the Black River Gorges.

La Preneuse Beach

The opportunity to stop at La Preneuse cannot be missed. it is the most beautiful beach on the western lit­toral that bewitches visitors and compels a few hours’ stay and have some fun swimming, playing on the sand, building castles or chasing the tiny crabs to their lair.

Even lazing on the chestnut coloured beach (Mauritius Beaches) and tan­ning is wonderful.

La Preneuse has a two-century old cemetery. It contains tombs of great visitors and administrators. Colonel Edward Alured Draper lies there in peace and all serenity. Mauritians owe to him one of their favou­rite pastimes: horse riding. The MTC has reserved an event known as the Draper’s mile run over a distance of 1500 metres. There is ample scope also for many sea-related activities that delight young and old.

Grande Rivière Noire

The next stopover is La Grande Rivière Noire, ano­ther coastal village with a population of around 2000 inhabitants, mostly fishermen formerly, but now moving to more sophisticated jobs that tourism and the hotel industry are providing them with. However, the village has lost nothing of its specificity that that part was well known for the typical creole séga, another aspect that forces tourists or young couples or those cherishing such stuffs to spend a few days and enjoy the variety of fun, fare and recreation available. Dancing the séga to the accompaniment of sensual and sensuous music, the sizzling of ample maxi skirts and other breath-taking rhythms carry the audience off their feet and they cannot help joining the all-time entertainment.

 

Big Game Fishing

The village has become famous as a major centre of big game fishing. It has a modem shell museum called “Snellorama”, the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean region. It houses unique specimens of shells collected from the Indo Pacific lagoon to the delight of conchili-culturists.

Big Game Fishing Mauritius
Big Game Fishing Mauritius

London Span, Welmer ltd factory, specialising in the preparation of smoked marlin, St Augustine church-consecrated in 1857 and fishermen’s colony inaugurated in 1963 have helped enhance the look of the village. The church deserves a visit as it is decorated with beautiful paintings including the masterpiece of a local artist named Alfred de la Hogue. The church serves a lively parish with more than 1000 parishioners. Tourists or even campers can attend Sunday morning mass in the company of a myriad of faithful.

The village regained its former spell with the eradication of malaria in the 50s. Colourful villas, varying in shapes and sizes, were constructed on Carlos hill overlooking the sea. They are cosy and beautiful bungalows offering a certain calmness and serenity to the tenants. The view from the sea is just amazing specially at sunset when the sun sheds its last rays on them.

The region does not cease to attract visitors with its  hotels and restaurants of high standard. Natural attractions are galore. It abounds with game, stag, fresh water fish and sea fish, fruit trees, mangoes, wild apples, hibiscus, tropical trees covered with an avalanche of big colourful flowers.

It is also a fishing station par excellence. It attracts buyers and sellers and also curious people who just admire the different types of fish. There is a certain liveliness when die fishermen Land with their fish. Plenty of opportunities for visits and other useful activities exist.

Petite Rivière Noire

Petite Rivière Noire is a small, poor village that never suffers from hunger. Such was the remark of a writer some time back. It lies between Grande Rivère Noire and Case Noyale. It is well-known for its saltpans and present a resplendent view on a nice sunny day. Stag breeding, charcoal making, fishing, picking of seasonal fruits are the usual occupations of the villagers. The typical séga is the very soul of culture.

Culture

Africanism is still very much present. It still hovers over the area. Tourists are avid for exotic organised sega nights and make the best of them. There is a chapel. It is a handicraft jewel made of wood, straw and aloe sprigs. A real fitting tri­bute to nature. Nature, the sea, the woods feed the vil­lagers. Most of the houses are made of wood and iron sheets and straw. It has a deeply ecological character.

Amazing Landscapes

This stretch of Black River is rich in every sense of the word as landscapes beautifully adorned with mountain ranges, green at places, yellowish, and bluish and even black, waterfalls felling from mountain slopes, water streaming down present a fairyland atmosphere.

Activities

Boating, kayaking, snorkelling, kitesurfing, hiking, horse riding, cycling, walking, photographing, hunting, admiring the virgin beauty complete the dream of nature lovers and adventure lust people. The Tourism Authority and other stakeholders are concerting their efforts to offer tourists fun and frolic perhaps conceived in their wildest dreams.

Maurice et La Réunion, aussi connues comme les îles sœurs forment partie de l’archipel des Mascareignes qui comprend aussi l’île Rodrigues. Choisir entre l’île de la Réunion et Maurice peut sembler une tâche difficile, mais si vous commencez à considérer ce que vous aimez, vos besoin et quelles sont vos priorités, vous viendrez avec le meilleur choix pour vos vacances.

Voici un guide simple qui souligne quelques informations de base sur ces deux étonnantes îles tropicales. Ile de la Réunion vs Maurice. Que choisir ?

 

La Réunion: l’île Intense

Ce qui est le plus surprenant est lorsque vous atterrissez. Une température de 30 degrés et un air humide sur votre visage : vous réalisez tout de suite que vous êtes sur une île tropicale. Si vous êtes de France ou d’un pays francophone, il n’y a pas de changement radical, la langue officielle est le français, la même monnaie est utilisée et la conduite reste à droite.

Reunion island

Un tour d’hélicoptère pour avoir une vue de l’ile à vol d’oiseau reste une expérience inégalée. L’île de la Réunion est une île volcanique et est très montagneuse dans le centre et un tour d’hélicoptère est la meilleure façon de visiter l’intérieur de l’île. Il y a trois cirques, chacun ayant leurs particularités.

Le paysage montagneux et les nombreuses cirques permettent de profiter des sports intenses telles que: parapente, promenade en montagne, randonnée, tyroliennes, etc …

 

L’un des volcans les plus actifs

Le volcan est un “must see” à la Réunion. Il est en fait l’un des rares volcans encore actifs dans le monde. Heureusement, il n’est pas dangereux. Un paysage désertique lunaire qui vous attend au Piton de la Fournaise. Marcher sur la coulée de lave solidifiée est impressionnant.

Volcanreunion

La Réunion est une île magnifique qui combine amusement, montagnes volcaniques et tourisme écologique. L’île bénéficie d’un climat chaud et ensoleillé toute l’année..

 

Que visiter à La Réunion ?

Cilaos-ile-de-la-reunion

– Les cirques (Mafate, Salazie, Cilaos), Piton des Neiges, Piton de la Fournaise

-Les Sentiers de randonnée

– Cheval, vélo, 4 x 4, golf

– Saint-Leu (plongée), Saint-Gilles, Boucan-Canot

– Pêche en haute mer, le surf

 

Calendrier des festivités de la Réunion

 

– La procession de Cavadee appelé Thaipoosam Cavade la fin de Janvier-début Février: fête célébrée par la communauté tamoule de l’île, dédié à la divinité Mourouga

– Leu Tempo Festival à Saint-Leu, début mai: des concerts, des spectacles de jongleurs, des défilés de carnaval, montre toute la ville

– Festival des goyaviers et des produits laitiers, Plaine des Palmistes, deux jours à la fin Juin: événements autour de la goyave, dégustations de produits locaux, les compétitions culinaires, des expositions et des concerts gratuits

– La Deepavali début Novembre: Fête des Lumières

 

– Le Pandialé, de Décembre à Janvier, à Saint-Paul : Marche sur le Feu.

 

Les avantages de la Réunion

 

– Un tourisme “actif” (randonnée, sports) et un tourisme “passive” (paresseux) qui se combinent très bien

– Un climat favorable tout le temps.

Locations de vacances à la Réunion

 

Les Moins

– La rareté des vestiges architecturaux et la relative faiblesse de l’argument “belle plage”

– La forte hausse des tarifs aériens en haute saison

– L’insécurité dans les milieux aquatiques en raison des nombreuses attaques de requins.

 

Maurice : C’est un plaisir

Le petit bijou de l’Océan Indien, l’île Maurice a un climat idéal et offre des paysages à couper le souffle. Maurice a de belles plages de sable blanc qui entourent le littoral de 320 km. Découvrez le lagon azur et sa barrière de corail à votre propre rythme pendant les séances de plongée. Rencontrez les dauphins pendant une croisière autour de l’île.

Plage maurice

Lorsque vous visitez l’intérieur des terres, vous découvrirez la deuxième facette de l’île: son relief prononcé où l’on peut découvrir de nombreuses montagnes, cascades d’eau douce, et d’anciens volcans endormis. L’intérieur vous invite à découvrir de nouvelles couleurs et de senteurs enivrantes. La population mixte, un amalgame d’Europe, d’Afrique et d’Asie, vous surprendra par sa chaleur et son hospitalité.

Les meilleures plages dans le monde!

Maurice a remporté le titre des plus belles plages du monde à trois reprises. Difficile de faire mieux. En outre, Maurice a remporté plusieurs autres titres dans l’océan Indien : meilleure destination de mariage, et le meilleur port. Il a été nominé dans diverses catégories telles que meilleure destination mondiale de lune de miel.

 

Calendrier des Festivités de l’île Maurice

– Janvier ou Février: Thaipoosam Cavadee (fête tamoule: pèlerins portent le Cavadee, une arche en bois couverte de fleurs et d’offrandes pour élever leurs âmes);

– Février: Aïd al-Adha (fête musulmane pour commémorer le sacrifice du prophète Abraham); Nouvel An chinois

– Décembre à Février: Teemeedee ou “marche sur le feu” (fête tamoule de purification);

nager-avec-dauphin-ile-maurice

– Février-Mars: Maha Shivaratree, pèlerinage au lac sacré de Grand Bassin (fête hindoue qui dure quatre jours);

– Février ou Mars: Holi, ou «festival de couleurs” (fête hindoue de l’équinoxe vernal, glorifiant la fertilité et de l’amour);

– Août ou Septembre: Ganesh Chaturthi (festival hindou pour l’anniversaire de la naissance du dieu Ganesh);

– Nuit du 8 au 9 Septembre: Fête du Bienheureux Père Laval, qui mobilise les Mauriciens de toutes les religions;

– Octobre ou Novembre: Divali (festival hindou pour célébrer la victoire de la lumière sur les ténèbres spirituelles);

– 15 Novembre: Aïd al-Fitr (fête musulmane de la fin du Ramadan).

Que voir à Maurice?

– Les gorges de la Rivère Noire : plus grande réserve naturelle de l’île

– Trou aux Cerfs- volcan en sommeil dans le centre de l’île

– Grand-Bassin : lac sacré où vous pourrez admirer l’une des plus grande statue de l’océan Indien

– Casela : Parc Aventure

– Ile Aux Cerfs

– Marché de Port Louis

– Jardin botanique de Pamplemousses

– Château de Labourdonnais

Les Avantages

– Une politique de tourisme actif, qui garantit plus de facilités dans le strict respect de l’environnement;

– Les avantages d’une zone franche pour les achats tels que des bijoux, textiles, équipements électroniques;

– La diversification récente du transport aérien à tempéré les prix des billets

– Les plages de sable incroyables et des lagunes d’eau turquoise

– Le récif corallien entoure toute l’île.

– Diversité culturelle

Villas Ile Maurice – un vrai plaisir et une intimité incomparable pour pas cher

Les Moins

– L’île Maurice a un hébergement plus cher que ses voisins

 

Verdict

 

Les deux îles sœurs ont chacune leur charme et leur personnalité. Aucune île n’est plus belle que l’autre ! Tout dépend de vos désirs. Certains préfèrent le tourisme vert et d’autres les plages de sable blanc.

In the northern tip of the island of Reunion, supported by the mountains, lies Saint-Denis, the largest city of the French overseas territories, with more than 145,000 inhabitants.

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Being once a small village of settlers, it experienced an economic leap in the eighteenth century when it became the capital of the island of Reunion. Three centuries later, the city keeps track of its rich past. At Barachois you will have a clear idea of ​​its past: the guns evoke the war against the English. A little, further up the hill, the monuments of La Redoute recall that the blood flowed during battle.

Saint-Denis offers in its old center, beautiful Creole houses and colonial buildings in a single-old mansion style. The Art Library presents contemporary artists, the Natural History Museum has an amazing collection and the city contains within itself something magical.

Culture

Saint-Denis is a mostly harmonious crossroads of peoples and cultures. Old Chinese stores and businesses managed by Indo-Muslims in their kurtah.

All this, like Creole curry, create a perfect blend, combining customs and traditions from three continents- Africa, Asia and Europe. They are no ethnic Reunion but one people with subtle nuances that will welcome you during your stay in Saint-Denis.

This beautiful city is a real sea of greenery. Few French towns can boast of having as many trees and many gardens. That is why we find these large or small spaces where orchids, ferns, tropical plants and European roses compete in beauty. Saint-Denis is surrounded by hills forming forest sanctuaries, where you can relax in peace and enjoy the fresh air and the sound of ever falling waterfalls.

Climate

The climate being tropical, there are two main seasons. Winter lasts from April to September, it is cooler and drier, turning temperatures around 20 ° C and summer lasts from October to March and is rainy and prone to cyclones, with average temperatures of 28 ° C.

Fog often prevails in the mountainous parts of Saint-Denis. The temperature over there are always less than 18 ° C. To make the most of your trip, the months of May and June are the most appropriate, thus avoiding the influx of tourists and the wettest period.

The annual rainfall in Saint-Denis is approximately 1700 mm. The three wettest month with an average of 11 days of rain in January, February and March, the austral summer period.

Places to Visit in Saint-Denis

Saint-Denis lives to the rhythm of a mixed Creole tradition. You will discover with pleasure the pedestrian area, La Rue de Paris, the Art Library, the Creole houses scattered throughout the city, the covered market with its wrought iron architecture, Barachois and its coastal cannons, the Cathedral, the state Garden and its Natural History Museum, and the Léon Dierx Museum.

Furthermore, beautiful excursions await you: Quinquinas island, the Chaudron waterfall, la roche écrite, the village of Grande Chaloupe in particular. You will find varied accommodation, hotels, condos or homes where you can stay during your vacation.

Downtown

Saint Denis is principally a place to do shopping with its innumerable shops. Its pedestrian area allows to make purchases safely while blending into the daily life of local people. Likewise, always enjoying the city, you will see lots of Creole original houses, sometimes in ruins, mixed with more traditional and modern architecture.

The Covered market

A large covered hall to purchase small gifts and typical souvenir of Reunion for family and friends. Its wrought iron architecture gives it a very different aspect of traditional covered markets that can be found anywhere else.

Covered Market of Saint-Denis
Covered Market of Saint-Denis

The Barachois

The Barachois is the northernmost district of Saint-Denis and remains. The term “Barachois” is used in some parts of the French-speaking world to describe a coastal lagoon or lagoon separated from the ocean by a sandbar.

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Saint-Denis’ Barachois is one of the most enjoyable walks of the island. Barachois is best known for what is found a little further on the coast itself: its battery of cannons pointing out to sea from Pointe des jardins, from which distances separating the island from the rest of the world are measured in kilometres. The place is also popular with tourists and honeymooners who come to have their picture taken at sunset.

Further east, the Barachois hosts a bowling alley and a concrete pool built in 1959. Designed by Guy Lejeune, while modern architecture symbolized the dynamism of the new department. The basin was filled, renovated, and transformed into a dancing bar.

The Cathedral

 This imposing cathedral situated Rue de la Victoire dates back at 1829. It has a lovely shaded courtyard, filled with a kind of figurative art fountain, made of cast iron, it comprises of a column, a basin and cherubs.

Garden of the State and the Natural History Museum

The shady garden has many treasures. The garden is more than a garden, it is a real plants conservatory. A variety of plants are to be discovered here and there in the aisles. Then its basin located in the center beautifully enhances the quality of its magnificence. Since the nineteenth it hosts the Museum of Natural History, a wide colonial building where the popularization of knowledge is the key word.

Musée Léon Dierx

First Museum of Fine Arts from overseas, it is the initiative of Marius and Ary Leblond that this neo-classical architectural building welcomes since 1911 an incredible number of works by world-renowned artworks as paintings by Cezanne, Chagall, Degas, Delacrois, Manet and Matisse as well as sculptures by Renoir and Gauguin.

The Noor Islam mosque

Located right on the shopping street of Marshal Leclercq, this splendid Mosque was renovated in 1970 as the previous was destroyed by fire a decade earlier. In 1905, the first mosque, which was erected on the same site, was the first of Reunion, and was built at the initiative of Muslim traders of Saint Denis.

Chaudron waterfall

Visiting the Chaudron waterfall and Bassin Bleu is one thing to do. The narrow path winding through the houses of the site remind you that the city of Saint-Denis is very close. Gradually, as you venture deeper, you enter a denser vegetation. The ravine and the river in the background will amaze you.

Have fun during your vacation in Saint-Denis!

Rodrigues

Rodrigues est une charmante petite île de vacances située à environ cinq-cent-soixante kilomètres à l’est de l’île Maurice au beau milieu de l’océan Indien. Mesurant seulement dix-huit kilomètres de long et huit kilomètres à son point le plus large, Rodrigues est entièrement entouré de récifs coralliens, d’un lagon bleu azure qui offre des possibilités infinies en plongée et snorkeling.

Nommé d’après l’explorateur portugais Diogo Rodrigues, elle est la plus petite des îles Mascareignes et une aussi une dépendance de l’île Maurice.

Rodrigues est un endroit qui est d’une beauté frappante. L’île est vallonnée de flore et est entourée de plages et d’îles autour de lui, comme l’île aux Cocos.

Son point culminant est le Mont Limon, qui atteint 395 mètres. Le reste de l’île est faite de roche basaltique. Sur le long des côtes se situent de nombreuses criques, calanques et hautes falaises.

Les paysages varient de terres vallonnées aux collines volcaniques abruptes. Le lagon et les récifs coralliens de Rodrigues font deux fois la taille de l’île des îles et abondent de vie marine.

 

La Vie sur Rodrigues

L’île est un melting pot de gens de différentes cultures, de religions et d’ethnicités. Les gens y vivent simplement; d’où le fait que le temps semble s’y être arrêté dix ou vingt-ans de cela.

Son charme et son rythme de vie tranquille et simple attirent les célébrités du monde entier qui viennent profiter de la tranquillité de l’île et de sa bauté naturelle.

rodrigues

Rodrigues est certainement l’un des meilleurs endroits sur terre pour passer un séjour calme et mémorable. Ceux qui aiment la beauté de la nature seront fascinés en voyant les paysages pittoresques de cette paisible île.

La végétation tropicale de la région est extrêmement enchanteresse. En outre, l’île offre des réglages parfaits pour les couples en lune de miel ainsi que pour les familles souhaitant se détendre.

 

Géographie

Cette belle île est le résultat d’activités volcaniques qui ont eu lieu il y  environ 4 millions d’années.

Au fil du temps Rodrigues a développé un environnement unique abritant de nombreuses espèces endémiques: 42 espèces d’arbres; La rousette de Rodrigues; deux espèces d’oiseaux- Le foudie de Rodrigues et La fauvette de Rodrigues; et sur le récif une espèce de corail, deux espèces de demoiselles et de nombreuses nouvelles espèces de crustacés.

 

D’autres animaux endémiques tels que les tortues géantes et le Solitaire sont maintenant éteintes.

Population

Avec ses 38 000 habitants Rodrigues est très authentique. Le charme particulier de l’île provient principalement du mode de vie calme et harmonieux de ses habitants. La bonté et la simplicité sont les traits principaux des Rodriguais.

People-in-Rodrigues

La population se compose de plus de femmes que d’hommes et environ 90% de la population sont des créoles – descendants d’esclaves africains et malgaches- et une minorité de métis, descendants des premiers colons européens.

Religions

La foi catholique y est prédominante. L’Eglise catholique est profondément enracinée dans la société Rodriguaise. L’Église anglicane, l’Église adventiste et les Assemblées de Dieu sont également présents à Rodrigues.

Il y a aussi un petit nombre d’hindous, de musulmans et de bouddhistes. La religion, le respect des traditions et la famille sont les piliers de la vie Rodriguaise. Il y a une très belle mosquée à Port Mathurin et dans le village de Crève-Cœur, les Hindous ont un temple dédié à Shiva.

 

Langues

L’anglais est la langue officielle de l’île, même si c’est le créole et le français qui y sont les plus largement parlées.

Météo

Le climat est agréable à Rodrigues; généralement plus chaude et plus sèche que l’île Maurice. Rodrigues est soumise à des vents réguliers soufflant du sud-est. La pluviométrie y est assez faible.

Les températures saisonnières y sont très peu variables.

Etant soumise à un climat tropical, il n’y a que deux saisons:

L’Eté

De Novembre à Avril avec une température moyenne de 24 – 34 ° C pendant la journée

L’Hiver

De Mai à Octobre avec une température moyenne de 16 à 27 ° C pendant la journée

Festivals

La plupart des festivals et célébrations à Rodrigues sont les mêmes que ceux célébrés à Maurice. Les grands festivals sont la Diwali, le Holi, le Nouvel An chinois, la Noël, la Pâques, et l’Aïd el-Fitr.

 

Histoire

Au 10ème siècle, les Arabes ont visité les îles Mascareignes. Une carte du 12ème siècle par le géographe arabe Ash-Sharif al-Idrisi, montre clairement l’île Rodrigues. L’île a été nommée d’après le navigateur portugais Diogo Rodrigues Dom en 1528.

Au cours du 18ème siècle, plusieurs tentatives ont été faites par les Français pour développer l’île. Esclaves africains (les ancêtres de la population actuelle) ont été apportés à Rodrigues pour développer l’élevage et l’agriculture. En 1809, après une brève bataille avec les Français, les troupes britanniques ont pris possession de Rodrigues. Avec l’occupation britannique, l’esclavage fut aboli.

 

L’Ile aux Cocos

L’Ile aux Cocos est  situé 4 km à l’ouest de Rodrigues.

Cette petite île, émergeant de la lagune est une magnifique réserve naturelle et est devenu l’une des principales attractions touristiques de Rodrigues. L’île est couverte de cocotiers, filaos et vante une longue plage de sable fin.

Ile aux Cocos Rodrigues
Ile aux Cocos

L’eau est peu profonde dans le lagon entourant l’île aux Cocos et à certains endroits, il est possible de voir les coraux et les rochers au-dessus de la surface de l’eau.

Ceci est la raison pour laquelle le voyage en bateau vers l’île Cocos est une aventure pour lui-même, et en plus de la promenade en bateau vous aurez le plaisir d’admirer la vie marine à partir du bateau.

 

Sur l’île Cocos, il est possible de voir des milliers d’oiseaux. Un petit chemin qui traverse le centre de l’île nous permet de découvrir les différentes espèces d’oiseaux. Le meilleur moment pour voir la plupart des oiseaux est au cours de la période estivale.

Pour visiter l’île aux Cocos il est nécessaire d’obtenir une autorisation appropriée. Cette autorisation est généralement obtenue par les voyagistes que dans le cadre des visites organisées. Une partie de l’île  aux Cocos ne peut pas être visité et est fermé au public.

Sega Dancing Mauritius

Apart from its world class mauritius hotels, the island has a lot to offer in terms of culture. One of the most interesting aspect of the Mauritian culture is its music, the Séga. A music born at the time of slavery. Suffering endured by slaves, brought without their consent, who worked in harsh conditions in the sugar cane fields.

The roots of the Séga

The first slaves, brought from Madagascar, showed ingenuity in the way they adapted their musical heritage to the local context.

Uprooted from their beloved motherland, the only way they could express themselves were through chants and ditties.

To accompany such chants, usually performed at night in their camps, they had the ingenuity to transform objects used in their everyday lives and elements from their surrounding environment into musical instruments.

These instruments were however often confiscated and destroyed. Fortunately enough, the instruments were made with such a simplicity that they could easily be replicated.

According to Jean Clement Cangy, author of the book “Séga Des Origines… à nos jours” literally translating to the “Origins of the Séga”, “The rather big calebasse used to make the jegyiava was replaced by a coconut and took on the name of the bobre, bob or bom. The jegy became the zez and had only one chord. The pitilanga was known as the makalapo”. Some of these instruments such as the makalapo and the bobre take their unique resonance from the ground or even from the human body.

Music played a salutary role against colonial oppression. It gave the slaves a certain emotional and intellectual freedom while transmitting part of their history through their lyrics.

 “You can reduce a person to a state of slavery but this person will never be 100% dehumanized. The Séga is a salutary music which holds a certain universality within it. It is a symbol of freedom…”, says Emmanuel Richon, curator at the Blue Penny Museum and author of a book entitled Séga, ancient and recent testimonies (2009).

The Ravanne

One of those instruments built by the slave and without which the Séga doesn’t exist is the ravanne. The Ravanne is built from dry cattle skin. The skin of the ravanne must be heated to make it taut and this can be a major concern for all ravanne players.

Nowadays, Ravannes are mostly made from synthetic material while the traditional ones have the best sound.

Marclaine Antoine has designed a ravanne using artificial skin. And today, synthetic ravannes are widely used. Zul Ramiah created a kit with tension regulators and Menwar has made a ravanne with its skin stretched with cords from behind.

Alphonse Ravaton, also known as ti-frer, remains an emblematic local figure and is known as the father of the “Séga typique” in Mauritius. When a friend of his showed him a ravanne with two holes in it, he answered: “I have a remedy for this. Boil an aubergine and peel Cook up some flour to make glue. Then stick the aubergine skin over the holes with the glue and there you are!”

“The ravanne generates an energy which transforms me, that galvanizes me.” Menwar.

The Origins of the Séga

Blues Music and the Séga are the results of the same historical circumstances, Originating from the south of the United States and Mexico, the blues erupted from the daily toil imposed on the slaves working in cotton fields in the 19th century. The songs they chanted while working mingled with the rhythms of digging and harvesting gave birth to this now famous musical genre. Likewise, the bal zarico from Rodrigues was so named after the melodies sung by the bean workers.

The ravanne played an essential role in the reunification of the slaves after the abolition. “The ravanne beat sounded in Chamarel, tike a call to arms, can be heard from Coteau Raffin to the Morne and even in Case Noyale”, says Cangy. In the 19th century, European instruments like the harmonica and the guitar and later on the piano were integrated into the Séga. For many years, typical Mauritian Sunday family picnics, particularly within the Creole community, have been accompanied with the beat of the ravanne and the rhythmic clapping of hands. The original Séga is characterized by plaintive melodies sung in rather hoarse tones of voice, but nowadays there exist some modern versions of a much more light-hearted nature.

Séga in Modern Literature

Many expressed their views on the Séga with a fascination that sometimes had a touch of paternalism. Writings which make the heart of Séga amateurs and enthusiast tremble with emotion.

The séga is the rhythm that beats like the heart of the island. The trance-like state of Incantation, it is prayer and praise, it is the joy and the pain of living.” Pierre Renaud (1972), L’île Maurice.

“Their instrument is the tam-tam: It is a type of arc onto which a calebasse is fixed. They get a sort of gentle harmony out of it, which accompanies the songs they compose: love is always the theme of these songs.” Jaques Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1772). Voyage à L’île de France, Paris

“They have an excellent musical ear, their songs which are accompanied by the bobre, a type of guitar with a single string that Is pulled tight over an arc attached to an empty calebasse and by a tam-tam, a with the hands, are played in perfect rhythm and great  Harmony.” Baron d’Unienville (1838). Statistics of Mauritius.

Instruments of the Séga

·         Bambou

·         Banc

·         Bloc

·         Bobre

·         Crapeau

·         Dholack

·         Jembe

·         Jerry-can

·         Kalimba

·         Katchia Katchia

·         shaker

·         kordéon

·         mukalapo or makalapo

·         maravanne or kaiam or kayamba

·         mayoches

·         ravanne

·         serpe tl ros triangle

·         zèse or zez

Seychelles-Culture

You have a lot yet to discover about the Seychelles Islands. For those willing to spend their holidays in a hotel or villa in the Seychelles, here are is what you need to know about the island.

The melting pot of the many different types of people who settled the islands makes up the colourful culture of the Seychelles. In the 17th century pirates and corsairs have been using  the Seychelles as a sanctuary to the French settlers and their dependents who established the archipelago’s spice and coconut plantations, from the Tamil and Chinese merchants who set up the region’s first small businesses to the British colonials who altered the Seychelles economically.

Each batch of new residents contributed uniquely to the notable blend of language, music, arts and religion that portrays the Seychelles. Seychellois culture mirrors the traditions of all the different races and nationalities that settled the archipelago, including the Islamic mariners, the French settlers, the British colonials, the Tamil and Chinese traders, and the African slaves.

Seychellois Creole

Creole refer to those native to the country of whichever ancestry. The majority of people living in the Seychelles are Creole. They are mainly of African and Malagasy origin. However, today it also includes people of mixed African, Malagasy, Indian, Chinese, French and British origins.

Seychellois Creoles
Seychellois Children

Africans and Malagasy were brought as slaves to work on sugar and coffee plantations. These slaves were the last to be introduced to the Indian Ocean.Their origins lie in East Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Madagascar.

Creol Seychellois is one of the official language of the Seychelles. Creole has been developed from the French dialects of the original settlers. Its vocabulary is mostly French, with a few Malagasy, Bantu, English, and Hindi words. Most Seychellois can speak and understand French although English is their principal languages.

Religions And Beliefs

Practically all the inhabitants of Seychelles are Christian. More than 90 percent are Roman Catholic. Like other Africans, many Seychellois Christians still follow traditional religious practices. These may include magic, witchcraft, and sorcery. It is a common practice to consult a local fortune-teller known as a bonhomme de bois or a bonne femme de bois and to use charms known as gris-gris to harm one’s enemies.

Magic in the Seychelles

Many Seychellois continue to believe in witchery, magic and sorcery. Shamans known bonom di bwa (from the French “bonhomme de bois” or “man of the woods”) are frequently consulted to provide supernatural guidance for solving everyday problems. African slaves brought over their traditions of gris-gris or black magic. In some ways, this Seychellois folk tradition is very similar to Haitian culture. The Seychellois believe in ghosts, and if someone dies in their families they regularly keep watch over the coffin in case the wandering soul turned into a “dandotia” or zombie.

Music in the Seychelles

The Seychelles has developed very typical musical traditions, which have made fans all around the world. African influences dominate, particularly in the moutia and sega music that is often accompanied by dance.

Sega Dancing
Sega Dancing

The Moutya dance was the typical dance back in the times of slavery. It is a slow, achingly erotic dance that is usually performed to the beat of a single drum. Moutya songs are, in fact, prayers that the early slaves adapted into work songs. Moutya was once seen as so rebellious that the British colonial authorities banned it.

In contrast, sega is a musical dance with a more Calypso-like rhythm. Sega is popular in many of the West Indian islands, including Mauritius and Réunion. The one rule of sega dancing is that the feet must never leave the ground. It is usually executed by swaying of the hips and moving the arms and hands.

The music of the Seychelles is diverse. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentation—such as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Réunion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music. A complex form of percussion music called contombley is popular.

The Flag Symbolism

Seychelles Flag
Seychelles Flag

The Seychelois’ flag consists of wedges or rays emanating from the lower left corner. The colors are yellow, red, white, and green, with a blue wedge at the upper left. The flag symbolising the ocean, the link to Africa, and the multicolored nature of the population is proudly raised on the 29th of June, on thir independence day. The government that gained power through a coup in 1977 had Marxist inclinations and used rhetoric fitting that ideology. The country has used a national rhetoric of development and the innovative spirit, especially in regard to the development of the outer islands.

Seychelles Food & Drink

The favourite dish is curry and rice, which may be eaten two or three times a day. The curry may be either fish based or meat based. Coconut milk is often used in the curries. Some even consume curries comprising of both meat and fish.  Seychelles proposes a delicious cuisine with a blend of flavours that is definitely a feast to the taste buds. A typical drink is palm wine, fermented sap tapped from coconut palm fronds. And you will also have the chance to taste the famous Aphrodite endemic to the island- the Coco De Mer.

Coco D'amour- Alcoholic Drink made from Coco de Mer
Coco D’amour- Alcoholic Drink made from Coco de Mer

The Seychellois Creole cuisine merges an array of cooking styles, including English, French, Chinese, and Indian. Creole cooking is rich, tasty, hot, and spicy. Its fusion of fruit, fish, fresh vegetables, and spices is a pure bliss in the mouth. Basic ingredients include pork, chicken, fish, octopus, and shellfish. Coconut milk makes a good sauce for seafood meals.

Seychellois Cuisine
Seychellois Cuisine

Fish is served in severak ways: grilled on firewood, curried, in boullions or soups and even as steak. Turtle meat is called “Seychelles beef” and it is very famous on the island. People also enjoy salads and fruit desserts of mango, papaya, breadfruit, and pineapple which are tropical fruits available during specific seasons on the island. Locally made alcoholic beverages include palm wine(calou) and Bacca which is a powerful sugarcane liquor drunk on ceremonial occasions.

Festivals and Celebrations

Festivities Seychelles

The national day is celebrated on 18th June to commemorate the adoption of the constitution in 1993. On the 5th of June Liberation Day is celebrated in commemoration of the 1977 coup and on the 29th of June Independence Day is observed. Labor Day is on the 1st May and New Year is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd January. Christian holidays that are also public holidays include All Saints Day (1st November), Immaculate Conception (8th December) and Christmas Day (25th December).