Holidays, Travel
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Mauritius

East of Madagascar lies the tiny but beautiful island of Mauritius. We spent a lovely week-and-a-half there in October. It was wonderful and, only four hours away from Nairobi (direct flight), we’ll definitely go back.

The purpose of the vacation was mostly for scuba diving, but I will save that for a later post. We didn’t explore much of the island (hence the need to go back). That’s not to say that we didn’t learn some important things about the island.

  • The island was originally uninhabited by human beings. Arab traders were the first to settle. The Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British followed.
  • The main languages on the island are French and English.
  • The culture is a mix of all cultures that landed on the island, including Indian as the British brought Indians as workers and merchant class.
  • The dodo, endemic to Mauritius and on many souvenirs as well as currency, went extinct because of invasive species and loss of habitat. This was sometime in the 1660s and it took several years for anyone to notice the species was gone. It’s extinction raised awareness of how human involvement can make an entire species disappear.
  • It really is as beautiful as Mark Twain described (I’ll let you look that up).

So, what did we do? Well, there was the diving. After doing a few morning dives, we felt tired so we lazed about at the pool. We tend to be active and adventurous but even we need some quality vacation napping and reading…and bird watching.

We thought about kite surfing as the area we were in, Le Morne, is world renowned for the sport. Unfortunately we weren’t able to fit it in (another reason to go back). After diving, trying to kite surf would be too taxing as both are very physical activities.

Kite Surfers

Kite Surfers plus a couple windsurfers

Before you ask…yes. Yes, indeed, we would like to take on another ocean sport as a hobby! Look how much fun it is! Actually, it was fun even to watch the surfers. The bright kites were beautiful against the sea and sky.

We would also go back to the same resort, the Riu Le Morne (review to be posted later). Tucked right at the lower bay of Le Morne, the area near the resort is perfect for beginners.

If you want to go, it will be a long haul from the U.S. You’ll need to go to Europe and then connect. There are direct flights from Heathrow and from Paris. It’s about 11 hours from Europe. If the long flight doesn’t scare you, I’d recommend making the stay long enough to make the flight worthwhile and to consider also adding on Madagascar (which is nearby).

Did I mention that it’s only four hours from Nairobi? I think I need to start planning our return trip!

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