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The Mauritius Backpacking Guide
Over the years, Mauritius has become quite popular among other countries despite its small size. However, during conversations with foreigners, perplexity is the expression written on their face when encountering the word “Mauritius.” As a small summary, Mauritius is a volcanic island situated in the Indian Ocean with climate temperature ranging from 17 oC to 33 oC (winter to summer) and neighbouring islands – Reunion and Rodrigues.
Still reluctant to visit Mauritius? According to Mark Twain, Mauritius is incomparable to heaven because the latter is far better than that. With its mesmerising azure seawater and sandy beaches, multicultural as well as multilingual society and eye-catching flora and fauna, the word “regret” will not ever cross your mind. Backpacking lovers, Mauritius did not forget you. It offers a large variety of sites namely:
Speaking of places for backpacking in Mauritius, we cannot forget Port Louis itself – the capital of the country. Situated in the west coast of the island, it is characterised by sophistication while at the same time maintaining orthodoxy, demonstrated by the reflection of the colonial era in urban architecture – buildings with French stylistic approach from the 18th century, a fortified citadel, a catholic cathedral, as well as a mosque.
Fort Adelaide – bearing the name of Queen Adelaide, was constructed between the years 1834-1840, 240 ft. above sea level. Due to this elevation, you backpackers will have the pleasure of contemplating the large panoramic view of the city, the harbour, without forgetting the famous place of horse races; Champ de Mars.
Besides, last year’s event “Porlwi by Light” which was a huge accomplishment, will once again take place in December. To recapitulate, the face of Port Louis was brought back to life with street lighting, artists, hawkers, food at almost every street corners, screen projection except that it was projected on buildings itself. Therefore, for everyone visiting Mauritius in December be sure not to miss it on the 2-4 December.
Seven wonders assembled in the same place or more accurately, a seven-coloured earth. History states that the decomposition of basaltic lava into minerals caused the evolution of the colours. What is more surprising is that these colours remain intact despite torrential rainfall. If you want to visit Chamarel, the best time to benefit from its full beauty is at sunrise. Besides, those who love swimming in shallow water, Chamarel Falls – a waterfall of 272ft tall, awaits you while for alcohol lovers, there is a rum distillery available in the locality.
Mystery lovers, this area is the absolute place to visit. Located between Mont des Créoles and Mont du Lion, Plaine Magnien hosts seven pyramids which origin is still being questioned until now. Some believes that these were the works of the Mayan civilization while some states that these pyramids can be found only in Egypt, leaving them perplexed. A more rational theory by a local historian on the other hand claims that a sugarcane company named “Mont-Desert-Mont-Tresor” was refining the land in 1944, amassed the stones together making a pyramid.
Did you know that Curepipe hosts a volcano – Trou aux Cerfs? You have no reason to be afraid; it is a dormant one although it can wake up at any time. Are you still feeling adventurous? Trou aux Cerfs serves as a health track for Mauritians who want to do their regular physical exercise. In addition to that, you will get a beautiful view of the crater from the viewpoint available. If ever you are lucky enough, you might be able to contemplate a beautiful sunset in the evening.
Furthermore, if you love floras and faunas, the Botanical Garden is a place where you can spend some family time or enjoy a romantic moment with your partner. However, be sure to bring an umbrella because Curepipe is usually rainy and unpredictable.
Ile aux Cerfs Island
Obviously when visiting Mauritius, you should not forget surrounding islands. Also called “Deer Island,” Ile aux Cerfs is located in the eastern part of Mauritius – close to Flacq district. Constituting of 100 hectares of land, the island were once the shelter of deers. This island is perfect for a family trip or for relaxation and it is free from noise pollution and air pollution unlike urban areas. Local companies might also offer packages involving boat excursions, lunch, and snorkelling. While at the same time, you can also benefit from a five stars hotel with a golf course, and several restaurants present on the island itself.
Tips for backpacking in Mauritius
- 1. Always plan
It is said that one who fails to plan, plans to fail. Similarly, remember to plan your budget accordingly. Avoid buying everything such as expensive clothes, jewellery, etc. in advance since they can be available in Mauritius at cheaper prices. In short, pack lightly and wisely.
- 2. Flight saving
Regularly visit travel agencies or airport companies’ websites for deals and promos. If you want to save money on flights, try the economic class instead of the first class one. It might be less comfortable but as a result, you will save money, which in turn will enable you to use it elsewhere.
- 3. Accommodation saving
Websites such as TripAdvisor are very useful to help you find a suitable accommodation for the budget you will allocate to this service. A little piece of advice: If hotels are too exorbitant, opt for beach guesthouses – they use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning.
- 4. Transport Saving
Try to be eco-friendly when travelling short distances by hiring a bicycle. Although, buses are usually crowded, prices tend to be relatively low while if it is a taxi, always remember to ask for the price and bargain with the driver in advance. For those able to afford car rentals, google might come in handy to find rental companies.
- 5. Food Saving
One of the best ways to save money in Mauritius is avoiding restaurants. They will often be overpriced while serving you the same food westerners eat. Instead, opt for street food or small snacks. For example places selling our famous dish the “Farata” which is at most Rs20.