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Mauritius through my eyes: Africa’s hidden gem

June 11, 2024


Hello everyone, my name is Solene Mahon, I'm an international student from the beautiful island of Mauritius, currently studying in Canada. Through this blog, I want to take you on a journey to discover the hidden gems of my homeland. Mauritius is a unique blend of cultures, stunning natural beauty, and rich history that I am excited to share with you.

An arrangement of cultures

Numerous nations have colonized Mauritius during its long history, including the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British, all of whom left a lasting cultural legacy. After gaining independence in 1968, Mauritius has been known for its lively mix of African, Indian, Chinese, French, and Creole influences. Our festivals, dialects, and everyday interactions reflect this blending of cultures, making Mauritius a singular and peaceful melting pot.

A nation of cultural intersection, natural beauty, and historical significance

Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is called the "Star and Key of the Indian Ocean." Its advantageous location has rendered it the intersection of cultures and commercial lines for centuries. As a Mauritian, I take pride in our status as one of the biggest exporters of sugar cane and our national symbol, the dodo, which sadly became extinct. Today, Mauritius has Africa's second-strongest passport. It is well-known for its breathtaking beaches, green surroundings, and pleasant, sunny climate, making it a top choice for tourists looking for adventure and relaxation.

Cultural richness and natural beauty

Le Morne

Le Morne, a breathtaking UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site, holds a special place in my heart as a symbol of resistance to slavery and a paradise for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts. Alongside its panoramic landscapes, the site boasts the mesmerizing phenomenon of the underwater waterfall, adding to its allure. Reaching its summit fills me with an indescribable sense of accomplishment, offering an extensive view of the turquoise water, pristine beaches, and lush greenery. Le Morne's historical significance connects me to my roots and fills me with pride, serving as a testament to freedom and resilience. Each hike is an adventure, allowing me to reconnect with nature and heritage. Le Morne's serenity and beauty make it a cherished symbol of my love for Mauritius.

Port Louis – the capital

As a proud Mauritian, Port Louis, the country's capital, holds a special place in my heart. Every visit is a celebration of my heritage and the vibrant culture of my country. The Central Market, affectionately known as Bazar Port Louis, is where I immerse myself in Mauritius's sights, sounds, and flavours. It's a sensory delight, from the colourful stalls selling fresh produce to the aroma of exotic spices. The Caudan Waterfront is a bustling mall that blends modernity with tradition. Strolling through its corridors, I'm captivated by the array of shops, dining options, and entertainment, all set against the backdrop of the sparkling ocean. The best culinary experience in Mauritius is found in Port Louis. 

There, amidst the bustling streets, you will discover the freshest Mine Frit, Boulettes, and Gato Piment. These traditional delights not only tantalize the taste buds but also offer an authentic taste of Mauritian heritage. Port Louis is where I find the island's most authentic and flavorful meals, making every visit a culinary delight. Port Louis is not just a city; it reflects Mauritius's beauty, diversity, and charm, making each visit an unforgettable experience.

Dance and music

One of the most cherished aspects of being Mauritian is our rich tradition of music and dance, particularly Sega. It's not just a form of entertainment; it's woven into the fabric of our identity. Growing up, family events were often centred around Sega shows. I fondly remember gathering with loved ones on the beach, dressed in traditional outfits, ready to dance to the rhythmic beats of the Ravanne drum. These moments were more than just dancing; they were a celebration of our culture and heritage, a way to connect with our roots and each other. The joy and camaraderie shared during these gatherings are genuinely unforgettable, showcasing the resilience and spirit of the Mauritian people. 

In summary

I hope my blog showed you some of Mauritius's undiscovered beauty. There is something in Mauritius for everyone, whether it is the rich cultural diversity of Port Louis, the historical significance of Le Morne, the addictive beat of Sega music, or the delectable tastes of our food. I encourage you to visit and see the beauty and diversity that makes Mauritius a truly remarkable destination.

By Solene Mahon