Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometres (560 mi) east of Madagascar. In addition to the island of Mauritius, the Republic includes the islands of St. Brandon, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands. The island of Mauritius is renowned for having been the only known home of the dodo. This is an idyllic, tropical year-round destination with beautiful beaches, sparkling blue water, coral reefs, forests and top-class hotels.
Getting to Mauritius
There are regular flights from Europe, Asia, Australia, the USA and Africa direct to Mauritius. From South Africa: There are direct flights from Johannesburg daily and scheduled flights from Durban and Cape Town.
Safety and Security
As is the case in any country in the world where there are less privileged people in large numbers and tourists are highly visible, it is advised that travelers be vigilant of their hand luggage and valuables at all times.
Mauritius is an all-year round destination with fabulous weather. From October to April (summer) temperatures are around 30°C. It rains from January to March but there can be cyclones during this time. From July to September (winter) temperatures are around 25°C and it is drier. Sea breezes relieve the heat as does a dip in the ocean.
Holders of Passports issued by many countries including the USA may receive a tourist visa at the airport, provided that he/she: (1) holds a valid recognized passport (beyond six months at arrival) (2) holds a valid return passage ticket to country of origin or residence (3) has confirmed booking of accommodation (4) has adequate funds to meet cost of stay in Mauritius(5) is eligible to re-enter his/her country of origin or residence.
Mauritian society includes people from many different ethnic groups. The republic's residents are the descendants of people from continental Africa (Mauritian Creole people usually known as 'Creoles'), India (Indo-Mauritian), France (Franco-Mauritian) and China (Sino-Mauritian), among other places. The Mauritian Constitution makes no mention of an official language and its one million citizens speak either English, French or Mauritian Creole, a French-based creole.
Medical facilities are available, but more limited than in the United States. All travelers should visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic 4-8 weeks before departure. Some vaccinations are recommended as is a malaria prophylaxis for travel to rural areas, except for Rodrigues Island.
The Mauritius Golf Open is a competitive Open that began in 1994 and since then has grown dramatically. The first was held at the beautiful Constance Belle Mare Plage, and hosted around 90 professional and amateur golfers. The big draw for the amateur golfers (whose positions usually get filled very quickly) is that they each get the chance to play against two different professional golfers.
The professionals appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of the Open and being that is held in December it is a nice way to spend the end of the season. Similarly the amateurs appreciate the great competition they get to play against while also enjoying a more relaxed setting.
The Pongal Celebration is a public holiday in Mauritius, which is home to over 100,000 Tamilians. The temples are beautifully decorated and the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam temple and the Navasakthi Vinayagar temple are symbols of unity for the Tamil community that strives to be connected to the native lands.
The celebration is a time to be thankful for wealth and the cultural uniqueness of the Tamil people. The Pongal Celebration helps the community bond worldwide.
The biggest wins! Visitors are encouraged to join in and put their deep-sea fishing skills to the test during the South Indian Ocean Billfish Competition. Many fishermen enjoy participating in this competition to find the biggest fish of the day. The billfish is known for setting records for size. The tropical waters of Mauritius are home to the billfish and many fishermen travel from all over the world to try and catch the big one.
The festival of Colour, also known as Holi, is a Hindu festival celebrating happiness and prosperity. This traditional Indian holiday is a little out of the ordinary and is celebrated with the traditional event of throwing multicolor water and powder on each other while wishing one another good luck. This festival is one you will never forget.
Other Holi festivals are found throughout the world in heavy populated Indian communities. Some of the countries that celebrate this vibrant festival include the United States, Figi, Guyana, South Africa and Suriname.
Mauritius is known for its horseracing season and The Duchess of York Cup- International Race is the first to kick off the exciting horse racing season. Horses are brought in from other countries like Australia, and France. The Duchess of York Cup is hosted at the Champs de Mars (the oldest racetrack in the southern half of the world).
ii.In addition to foreign horses there are also mostly foreign jockeys, which adds to an overall excitement at the track. There is also opportunity for some betting which makes the race a bit more exciting. This is something you don’t want to miss!
There is nothing more invigorating then running a race around the beautiful Mauritius. Pick your course either 80km or 35km and begin at the distinct Yemen Nature Reserve and complete your run at the amazing sugar cane fields at the Bel Ombre Estate.
While on your run you will explore the beautiful wildlife and amazing scenery that make up the Black River Gorges National Park. If you are a serious runner prizes are given to the top 3 who rank for both the male and female brackets. Take the challenge!
The Mauritius Marathon will take you along the coast of Mauritius so you can enjoy the ocean view while you run between Tamarin and Saint Felix. The scenic route will keep your attention while you pass through sugar cane fields, beaches and white washed salt planes. This marathon brings out many sports enthusiasts throughout Mauritius so you will be sure to see much of the Mauritius culture.
This is a marathon like no other. The indescribable views will have you mesmerized on your run and you can also know that with your registration fee you will be helping both Friends in Hope and the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society.
The Barbe Cup is another horse race event you will not want to miss. The excitement is overwhelming and the crowd is invigorating. Bet on your favorite horse and watch it race around the Champ de Mars located in Port Louis. This will definitely be a great time for everyone.
Kiteival is a competition like no other. This out of the ordinary event includes kitesurfing and festivities and is held all throughout Mauritius. Anyone can participate who feels comfortable with his or her kitesurfing skills. People kite all over the island exploring the land and the beautiful views the island offers.
The festival ends with a very competitive race in Anse la Raie where only the best participate to compete against other kitesurfers. Professionals rate the participants who then can improve their skills with the professional’s advice. It is an exciting weekend that visitors rave about.
Surf Skiers from all over come to gather in Mauritius to compete in the 3rd Edition of the World Surf Ski Series in which Mauritius is known for being a top downwind course in the series.
The athletes represent around 8 different countries and they all compete to be the best paddler in the world.
The Ferney Trail is the perfect spot for amateurs to begin their climb to be a top mountain racer. The course allows for competitors to either jog or race the 28km or 10km. This race is extremely popular and has been attracting well over 700 participants since the first race in 2008. Visitors who participate love the adventure of the Ferney Trail.
The Indian Ocean Triathlon is simply the most beautiful Triathlon in the world! Competitors race through ocean island scenery during the Mauritius Indian Ocean Triathlon. Starting at Les Pavilions Hotel in Black River Gorges, competitors run along golden beaches, swim through blue waters and cycle past lush greenery. This race is both seriously organized and accessible, and allows you to share your sports adventure and passion for running with family, friends and other competitors – while discovering the country and its culture.