Mauritius or The Africa The Media Never Shows You

I visited Mauritius for the first time in 2016 and cannot wait to return to this part of Africa the media never (rarely) shows us.

Since 2015,  #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou shows positive images of African people and cities – images that defy the regular narrative of Africa as a dark continent of poor, unhealthy, and needy people on social media. On Twitter I’ve seen beautiful photos of Ethiopia, Senegal and Ghana. I’ve also seen photos from members of the African Union that are not as well known such as Djibouti.

Mauritius is another country that does not always come to mind when one thinks about countries in Africa. Located east of Madagascar and south of The Seychelles (other island states in the Indian Ocean that are part of the African Union), it is a beautiful melting pot. Reflecting Mauritians’ ethnic makeup, Mauritian food is a mix of Chinese, Indian, Creole, and European cuisine. The majority of the population practices Hinduism, but there are large numbers of Muslims and Christians as well. Further, the island has something for everyone: young and old, kids and teens, business and slow travelers, solo travelers and couples, art and culture lovers, or nature and adventure seekers.

You can see below (and on my page on Instagram) some of the photos I took when I was there. There is information to help you plan a trip based on my experience after the photo gallery.

Consider the following information if you are interested in visiting Mauritius:

Key resources to plan your trip

There is an official tourism website. Bonjour Mauritius is another good resource.

Languages

French and English are two of the most spoken languages.

Money

Various currencies can be exchanged for the Mauritian rupee at the airport, hotels and bureau de changes throughout the island. There are also ATMs in a few places, especially hotels, on the main island.

Transportation

Most international flights arrive at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport on the main Mauritian island. My family and I traveled on Emirates Airlines via Dubai. There are also flights from South Africa, Tanzania or Kenya on Air Mauritius and South African Airways. Travelers coming from Europe have several options including flights from Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), Amsterdam (KLM), Paris (Air France) or London (British Airways).

Immigration (Visa Policy)

Besides being “visa free” for US, UK and EU citizens, the citizens of several African countries – especially in East and Southern Africa – can visit Mauritius without a visa. Others, including Nigerians and Cameroonians, can get one on arrival. (Note: You can check here the visa requirements for your country of citizenship).

Accommodation

There are various types of accommodation available including Airbnb and resorts. We stayed at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa. (Note: I will write about our stay in another post.) 

Activities and Excursions

Besides eating at the resort, we had a great time visiting the colorful market in Port Louis as well as riding quad bikes and chasing waterfalls in Chamarel after zip lining, trying the walkway and seeing the seven colored earth. We also visited Grand Bassin, loved the botanical garden in Pamplemousse, and got on a catamaran in Grand Baie to visit Ilot Gabriel. I encourage you to read Dee’s experience if you plan to visit Mauritius solo (especially as a woman).

Have you been to Mauritius or another island state part of the African Union?

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