The Island Paradise of Mauritius – THURSDAY TRAVEL PHOTO

A lot of travel articles about Mauritius start with a quote from the great American writerMark Twain:

Mauritius was made first and then heaven. It was copied after Mauritius.

That’s just honey for any ad man but the original carries a hefty dollop of sarcasm.  In Following the Equator Twain described Mauritius as “… the only country in the world where… the citizen does the talking about the country himself; the stranger is not asked to help. From one citizen you gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven;  and that heaven was copied after Mauritius. “

Ok, so that takes the shine off a bit, but I rather like it when people are in love with their home as long as that love isn’t expressed as aggressive showing-off.  Wikipedia describe the population of 1.3 million as

 multiethnic, multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual

And chilled according to just about everyone…

The island republic in the Indian Ocean is famous for its beaches of white sand, but this photograph proves the interior it worth exploring too. Les 7 Cascades (the seven waterfalls) is a popular hike that requires a guide. The comments and Q&A section on TripAvisor give you an idea what to expect.

Lonely Planet reckon that if you only take one day trip away from the beach it has to be to the wild rolling hills of  Black River Gorges National Park where monkeys, wild boar and deer roam

Once prime hunting grounds, the area became a protected reserve in 1994 after scientists identified over 300 species of flowering plant, nine endemic species of bird and a population of giant fruit bats that numbered more than 4000. This is also an important habitat for three of the island’s most endangered bird species: the Mauritius kestrel, the echo parakeet and the pink pigeon.

Discover Mauritius suggest that deep sea fishing is a must-do activity. So if you want to go all Ernest Hemingway, this is the place to do it, (although he doesn’t seem to have come himself.)

Huge fishes like the Blue Marlin roam our seas and hunt around the island from November to April, and very often until May. The ocean is 70 metres deep one kilometre away from the coast. Mauritius holds several world fishing records (IGFA), including that of the mako shark of 1115 pounds…Fishing boats can be hired from almost all hotels. The most prestigious deep sea fishing competition is the Marlin World Cup which is hosted in December by La Pirogue Hotel.

If you’re thinking of a visit, The Daily Telegraph has good advice on the best time of the year to go…

Just 20 degrees south of the equator, Mauritius promotes itself as ayear-round destination, although most people associate it with winter sun. The island’s peak season extends from October to April, which is hot, humid and rainy, with a slight risk of cyclones January to March. The island’s winter, from May to September, is warm and dry, with fewer mosquitoes and rates that drop by 30-50 per cent.

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