For your next holidays in Mauritius, you are looking forward to a truly exotic experience? Put yourself in a Mauritian’s shoes and live like a local during your stay. How to dress, how to travel, what to do and what to eat… Here are a few tips.
How to dress
- Casual wear… and “dodo” slippers required! These cheap and comfortable flip-flops are part of the local dress code. They are recognisable by their distinctive blue and pink colours.
- Take the direction of Port-Louis to go bargain hunting along the streets and sidewalks of the capital city. On La Corderie street, which is known for its textile stores, you can buy some good fabric that you can then leave at a tailor’s.
- Other must-have Mauritian accessories include a straw hat for your sunny day at sea, a woven basket to shop at the market, and – of course – a lasting smile on your lips.
How to travel
- A reasonably well organised network of buses operates at full capacity, though no timetable is displayed and the “bus stop” sign is not also visible.
- “Taxi-trains” are regular cabs, which charge at bus fare and are sometimes crowded with several passengers. However, they are convenient for short rides or to travel to the bus stop, for example.
- Biking may be more risky or physical, but it is ideal for short distances, to ride to the beach or to go buy some stuff at the corner shop.
What to do
- Inaugurated in 1812, the Champ de Mars still attracts thousands of visitors during the horse racing season, which stretches from late March to early December. A not-to-be-missed event for race-goers from Mauritius and abroad!
- An essential moment in your day would be the morning or afternoon walk: up Signal Mountain in Port-Louis, on Candos Hill in the area of Quatre Bornes, at the Trou-aux-Cerfs in Curepipe or along Mon Choisy Beach in the North.
- On Sundays, you can join a team to play domino or “carrom” (Indian table game) under a tree or a shop awning, while sitting on old concrete blocks. And do not forget the weekly petanque tournament!
- On the local council pitch, on the beach or on the streets, football is an all-road sport in Mauritius. And if the weather is not favourable, there always is an English Premier League match on TV. Liverpool Football Club or Manchester United : pick your side!
What to eat
- You cannot start a typical day in Mauritius without a cup of vanilla-flavoured tea with milk and cane sugar, a “pain maison” (local bread roll) with butter and Kraft cheddar cheese, with a banana on option.
- For lunch, go for the BEST “dholl puri” (Indian flatbread made with yellow split beans) or the BEST “boulettes” (Chinese dumplings) in the area, wash it down with a “bwar fré” (fresh drink) to make space for a second serving.
- In the evening, you can cook fresh vegetables you brought from the market and the fish you caught yourself or bought with fishermen on their way back from the sea, in a tasty broth or curry. Before supper, we usually snack on traditional “gajaks” (appetizers) such as chilli cakes, “moulkou” (savoury, crunchy Indian snacks) and boiled peanuts.
In the week-end
- We Mauritians buy the local newspapers (usually all the available weekly papers) to keep ourselves informed of the country’s politics and economy. We read the newspapers and check the lotto results, while sipping a cup of hot Mauritian tea.
- Public beaches are where Mauritians gather in the week-end, with their families and huge picnic equipment. What to expect? Barbecue, local beer and traditional music under the filao trees.
- Music is an essential part of the Mauritian culture, and the island takes pride in many talented artists, who perform in different bars and cultural centres, such as Kenzi Bar in Flic en Flac, Bazart in Mahebourg, Hangar in Pointe aux Canonniers and Banana Beach Café in Grand-Baie.
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