What do: postal stamps, bow hunting and a sexy dance have in common? Mauritius, our beautiful island that’s filled with a little something for everyone, is an off-the-beaten-path traveler’s dream.
Here are our top 9 picks for the most unique things to do or see in Mauritius:
A Waterfall Underwater
Image credit: Photographer Unknown (via KULfoto.com), via http://twistedsifter.com/
Have you seen all of the recent posts about the ‘underwater waterfall’ that’s at the south end of Mauritius? It’s a truly unique part of our island, an unusual image created from sand and silt deposits.
We don’t really get how it works, but if you’re super curious check out Ethan Segal’s blog: Starts With a Bang.
Not Just Another Day at the Races
Photo by Hamish Mungur
Are you a horserace fanatic? You really must stop by the Mauritius Turf Club, which is the 2nd oldest racecourse in the world.
The season usually runs from April until late November, but you can still stop by the track year-round. A short glimpse of the races:
Going Postal With a Rich Twist
Photo by Petr Kalivoda
We realize that postage stamps probably don’t sound all that exciting when you’re in a tropical paradise, but our stamps are worth it. A fellow named Joseph Osmond Barnard was a stowaway on his way to Sydney, was discovered and ‘put to shore’ on Mauritius. He wound up designing two of the rarest stamps that exist: the 1-penny and the 2 pence. Visit the Blue Penny Museum for more stamp info and eye candy. See a Palm to Remember
Photo by Cumulus Clouds
For those of you planning a Mauritian wedding or honeymoon, how’s this for romantic? The Talipot Palm is a very special tree that grows here. The romantic part: it only blooms once every 60 years and then it dies. That is something truly unique to see, if you’re lucky enough to see one. A Majestic Backdrop for Our Cultural History
Photo via Move Mountains Travel/St. Regis Mauritius
The nearby Le Morne Brabant Mountain in the Southwest of Mauritius is a UNESCO site with a history. It was once a hiding place for runaway slaves in the 18th century and was nicknamed ‘Maroon Mount’ for the small settlements that arose (‘Maroon’ comes from Spanish for « living on mountaintops »). Take a moment to look at the Slave Route Monument, a place that embraces the hard-won freedoms and diversity that Mauritius is so famous for.
May I Have This Dance, Mauritian Style?
Sega Dancer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Do you Sega, or would you like to? It’s our signature Mauritian dance. Most describe it using just two words: exotic and erotic. We prefer to think of it as sexy fun.
The style originally came from slaves and it eventually developed its own unique Mauritian identity with diverse influences, usually sung in Creole and supported by drumming. The dance itself is shuffling, with most of the moves from the hips and upper body. Have a peek:
Video by Agape prod
Hunting for Something Special?
Photo by Fayez (we know- the Rusa deer are adorable-!)
Mauritius is also an unusual hot spot for bow hunting*, especially for Rusa deer or ‘Tioula’ hunting.
They were originally imported over from Java in 1640 and now make up one of the ‘big six’ of Mauritius hunting: the Rusa deer (where you might get lucky enough to snag a stag with points); wild boars; for bird hunters: partridges, Guinea fowl and pheasants; and Japanese hares.
*We might not necessarily be avid hunters at Ido Productions, but we do believe in the concept of ‘to each his own.’
A Lushly Overgrown Volcano
Photo by S. Molteno
Trou aux Cerfs in Curepipe, Mauritius is a ‘dead volcano.’ It’s proof positive that a wealth of growth and beauty are born from volcanic debris.
It’s also one of the best spots to have a full view of Mauritius from- though it may become active again at any time in the next 1,000 years or so-!
Not the Exotic Pink Bird You’d Expect
Creative Commons Photo
We of course couldn’t end our list without mentioning one of our very unique Mauritian birds: the pink pigeon. Forget what you think you know about pigeons- ours are special. They’re on the endangered species list but are slowly recovering and not easy to spot.
Beyond their romantic pink coloring, they court and are also monogamous. The male pigeon sits the eggs during the day, and the female sits them at night. They really are unusually Mauritian.
Did You Enjoy Our List?
So there you have it, our top 9 uniquely Mauritius things to see. For those of you that have already visited us, have you got anything to add to the list? For those of you who haven’t (yet-!): which one is most interesting? Can’t wait to hear back from you all. Until then we bid you adieu. ~Ido Productions