Mauritius, my first African country. It stunned me by its beautiful nature and sympathetic people. And the delicious cuisine, so influenced by India. How to find a good restaurant in July (read winter period)? What is the typical local alcohol? As for the nature, Mauritius is very popular for its beaches, but did you know there are also natural parks with breathtaking views? And who can you meet in a preservation site on an island? Read on to discover more.
Restaurant Le Ruisseau Creole
The sun has already set and we are looking for some nice place to have dinner and a drink. But it is winter here, and so all the restaurants we found on the internet are either under reconstruction or just closed. We get a tip from the locals for the restaurant Le Ruisseau Créole. We arrive to the place according to the description and to our surprise find ourselves in a shopping mall. Normally we wouldn´t be looking for a gourmand experience here, but we are hungry and have no other options anyway. The restaurant is a kind of a bigger stall with a big kitchen and outside seating. So far so good. As a plus, there is a football menu to go with the current championship and a big screen to watch it on. The menu, consisting of mix grilled specialities and a beer, is delicious and Michal is happy to have a dinner and a match all together. He did not expect that 🙂
Rhumerie de Chamarel
Established in 2008 by a hotel tycoon who wanted to have some other project too, this rum factory is beautiful in every aspect. The building is surrounded by a garden which is carefully taken care of. During the tour you can see the process of turning the sugar cane into the distilled liquid and of course you get to taste almost all of their production. After all that tasting we were feeling quite clumsy, so we decided to have a lunch in their restaurant. We went for the tasting menu, which was delicious, but since all of it was made or served with more rum, the clumsiness didn´t really disappear 🙂
Black River Gorge national park
This national park is in the southwest of Mauritius and a lot of its places of interest are accessible just driving around in a car. The most beautiful of them all to us was the Gorges viewpoint on the road from Chamarel. It offers great views down to the park and to the beautiful waterfalls around. But the best comes if you take the small hidden path to the right of the viewpoint inside the forest. After a bit of walking we came to a stream, through which we continued a bit to discover the top of the waterfall with absolutely breathtaking views. Such a romantic place!
Le Morne Brabant
This rocky hill towers over the sea and the surrounding plains on its own peninsula in the height of 556 m as a real monument. The lower viewpoint is accessible to everyone by a good and wide path and the views from there are totally worth the trip. But it wouldn´t be us if we didn´t climb to the highest accessible point. The path was an easy via ferrata, but missing the ropes for maintenance, so it was closed. But that didn´t stop us, as well as most of the day´s visitors. Finally we found ourselves next to the little metal cross (which eventually came in the way of Michal´s head – ouch) and were rewarded by breathtaking views of the coral reef which gave the sea all possible shades of blue and green.
The peninsula is surrounded by beaches. The one to the south has a lot of wind and therefore attracts kite surfers. It´s nice watching them with their colourful kites. The beach on the western side however could be easily listed as one of the most beautiful one for swimming I have ever been on.
Ile aux Aigrettes
This is a true must go on Mauritius. The non-governmental Mauritian Wildlife Foundation makes a great work here. The goal is to regain and preserve the native Mauritian flora and fauna on this little island. We participated in the tour which took about 2 hours and the guide did a very good job explaining everything. They are replanting trees like ebony which was home to the dodo. They keep a colony of Giant Aldabra Tortoises, ornate day geckos run about, several species of birds found their home on the island (like pink pigeon, Mauritius Fody, olive white-eye) as well as the adorable callons. It is a truly an amazing experience.