Mauritius is a beautiful tropical island situated in the topaz-blue waters of the Indian Ocean just off the east coast of Africa. Renowned as tropical island getaway, complete with pristine white beaches and luxurious resorts, Mauritius has a lot more to offer than just a sun-soaked beach holiday.
A fragrant melting pot of peoples, languages and cultures in which colours, tastes and textures remain distinct and mutually complimentary, this island paradise is filled with fascinating historic sites, cultural diversity, geographic variation, multiple water sports and stunning golf courses.
A trip to Mauritius, “land of rainbows, waterfalls and shooting stars,” is a trip to a welcoming and culturally rich land peopled by some of the friendliest and most inviting locals you’ll find on your travels in Africa. First sighted by Arab dhows as early as the 10th century, Mauritius is an intriguing blend of cultures and exotic flavours. The Portuguese visited circa 1510 before the Dutch first took possession of it in 1598, giving the island its present name in honour of their head of state, Prince Maurice of Nassau. The Dutch introduced sugar cane which, in addition to tourism, is still one of the pillars of the Mauritian economy today.
The French imported labour from Africa to work on the sugar plantations, and through the African’s ingrained love of music and dancing the ‘sega’ was born. To the haunting rhythm of the ‘ravane’, a goatskin drum heated on an open fire, the shaker and the triangle, the Africans expressed feelings and emotions and celebrated the rites of passage. Over time the sega evolved and remains to this day the national music and dance of Mauritius. Nearly five centuries after gaining independence, this jewel in the Indian Ocean has evolved into a harmonious mosaic of cultures and religions and remains one of the most popular African vacations.