The shorter version of my time in Mauritius will be; beautiful island, warm people.
I had a GREAT host and it can be a very touristy place in a good way if that even makes sense.
Why did pretty much every Mauritian kept saying I was from Africa? I am African, and so is every Mauritian, at least in theory and in my mind. Granted, it is an island off the mainland continent of Africa and Mauritius is part of Africa, just like Madagascar.
Anyway, let’s move on to the slightly longer version, shall we?
I got to Mauritius by flying with South African Airways through Johannesburg. As a Ghanaian, I didn’t need a visa to visit Mauritius, however, the immigration official at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport was determined to give me a hard time. (Nice airport, by the way)
He asked who I was visiting, how long I had known the person, what was the nature of the relationship, how long I was staying and how much money I had. And yes he wanted to see the money. I showed him some cash and my Visa card.
He even demanded my host’s address and phone number. He then said my address wasn’t complete. He went ahead and called my host and my host told him off, I think. Soon after I was granted permission to enter, but not until he decided to skip page 10 of my passport and stamp page 16! Someone wasn’t happy and that won’t be me. But, I wanted to protest, knowing it can be a very long and painful process to renew or replace my passport back home in Ghana, when I run out of pages, but who will listen? Besides, a fellow Ghanaian shared a similar experience when he arrived in Mauritius.
My host/ friend wasn’t amused, about how I was treated. He however explained some people have come to Mauritius and never left. Dude, not me. Ghana is not perfect, but I will take it most days. Seriously tell me which country is perfect? Eh? Which one?
Yes, yes and yes, Mauritius is beautiful.
The sunrise and sunsets are stunning from all angles.
It is clean and green.
So much nature and variety of activities to experience.
The beaches are very clean too.
Loads of endless sugar cane plantations everywhere.
These guys are really serious about tourism. I visited loads of places like the capital Port Louis, Grand Baie, Le Caudan. There are really nice hotels lined along the very popular Flic en Flac beach and no, it’s not cheap. If you want to surf, Flic en Flac is one of the best spots to do so.
I still can’t get over the stray dogs though. Yes, there is quite a number of them.As a dog lover and owner, I could not get my head around it. I found some inside some very fancy restaurants by the beach.
Mauritius is very diverse with English and French widely spoken. Their economy relies on sugar, tourism, textiles, IT and financial services. There are people of African, Asian and European descent all living together.
The majority of Mauritians have Indian heritage.
During my visit, the most popular Hindu festival in Mauritius, Maha Shivaratri, which literally translates to the “Great Night of Lord Shiva” was in full swing. Devotees of Lord Shiva converge by thousands, with great reverence to Ganga Talao – the Sacred Lake. During Shivaratri, many pilgrims in Mauritius walk bare feet from their homes to the lake, sometimes carrying huge adorn statutes.
It was a sight to behold. I kept asking what is it with me and Hindu festivals. Do check out my experience in Bali here.
Mauritius was good to me. I felt truly blessed to be there. To think that I almost did n’t get to go because the ticket prices were so high. But, I guess no one can stop a woman on a mission. Knowing that I had a great place to stay and an equally kind host, the rest I had to figure out, and I did. I am eternally grateful for the few friends who contributed to making the Mauritian leg of my trip happen and also very special too.
I had the opportunity to share some thoughts with the business management class at ALU.
I had a few meetings and was lucky to run into the amazing and inspiring founder of ALU, Fred Swaniker.
Mauritius had many opportunities for me including job offers. I might revisit these opportunities later.
I had so much to eat, I can’t even recall them all, but I cannot forget the Mauritian bananas. They are super special and distinctively tasty. How I missed the opportunity to try out the sugar cane from the island is beyond me.
Ah, Mauritius! How you treated me like royalty and I have a feeling I will be back.
I left Mauritius on an Air Mauritius flight to Johannesburg.
So, if you are planning to go to Mauritius, go. It is safe, relaxed and it has loads on offer. Let me help you have a relaxing or adventurous experience in Mauritius. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org