FAMILY FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS
What to do in Mauritius with Kids!
Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre
Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre is a joint venture between Mauritius
and India for the popularisation of science and technology to the young. Arousing curiosity and
interest in this field is initiated through special programmes and
practical activities. Visitors can embark on a journey to the
frontiers of modern technology, in such fields as medicine,
biotechnology, textile or marine technology. All these are explained
through a participatory approach and exhibitions encourage hands-on
LAventure du Sucre
If you want to discover the origins of
the Mauritian cosmopolitan culture and the soul of the Mauritian people,
try a visit to LAventure du Sucre.
This ancient sugar factory, converted into an extraordinary and ultra
modern exhibition space, shows the construction and evolution of the
island, with a permanent link to the sugarcane industry over nearly
not forgetting the history about sugar manufacturing,
explained with images and old machinery. The Fangourin restaurant/
tearoom welcomes you in its luxuriant park with its delicate flavours
and aromatic cuisine that will surely tickle your taste buds. Homemade
pastries, pancakes and snacks are available all day. At the end of your
visit, experience a free tasting of tempting special sugars and the local
rum at the Village Boutik. A variety of authentic and original souvenirs
with LAventure du Sucre brand name are also available. Guided visits
(about 90 minutes) are available free of charge in English and French at
11h00 and 14h30. An entrance fee is applicable.
Adventure Park of Chamarel
The Adventure Park of Chamarel, in the heart of the sub-tropical
forest spanning 12 hectares, offers a novel array of sporting activities
tailored to all levels. You will travel from tree top to tree top, from
track to track equipped with a harness linked to a life line.
specialize in kayaking in the lagoon around
Ile aux Benitiers and Ile dAmbre, with its mangrove that opens on
to discreet little beaches.
La Vanille Reserve des Mascareignes
La Vanille Reserve des
Mascareignes was opened in 1985 in the south of Mauritius. This part of
the island has, more than any part, kept a feeling of old Mauritius,
whether it be the manner of the people, their traditions or even the
unspoilt scenery. Our guides will take you on unforgettable walks, and you
will stroll through luxuriant greenery where banana trees, palm tree and
giant bamboos provide shade for the thousands of Nile Crocodile which are
reared in this park, and which you can visit in perfect safety. There is also
a live exhibition of geckos, monkeys and snakes. The main attraction of the
insectariums 20,000 species must be the marvellous butterflies whose colours
are simply breathtaking. A special Jungle Adventure playground is available
for the kids.
It is imperative for visitors coming to Mauritius to taste
all the different local menus. The local cuisine originates from the 3
continents just as the origin of its inhabitants. Visitors have the
opportunity to taste a variety of foods, Indian, Chinese, Creole and European
sitting at one table. Mauritian cooking is in a class of its own: it is a
combination of flavours nurtured through its people of different cultural
heritages and cooking traditions.
Mauritians are adventurous with
food, mixing various styles in a menu and happy to try out recipes from
Creole, European, Chinese, Indian or Muslim cuisine.
cuisine is proud of its past but has also gained the finest reputation
in the contemporary world. A few leading chefs such as Paul Bocuse,
Trois Gros brothers and Alain Ducasse have visited the island and
contributed to boost this top-quality cuisine. The local chefs show
positive creativity and 'savoir-faire' in recipes of their own, where
traditional and local ingredients are used boldly, for a perfect blend,
found in the most famous hotels. However, one can choose to experience
the pleasure and taste of local fare, at typical 'table dhôte' or in
various specialized restaurants.
Do not hesitate to try the local
dholl purri (wheat pancakes stuffed with dholl and
served with curry and tomato sauce),
(chilly bites) or
Sub Scooter ride
What a wonderful experience to cruise underwater by 3m
depth on board of its own twin submarine, and thus in full safety! This
unique submarine in the world, called Sub Scooter.
The riders sit one behind the other as on a scooter, with their head
covered by a transparent dome providing a panoramic view of the reef and
all the important air to breathe naturally, without the need of a regulator
in the mouth. Riders can therefore express their instant delight to each
other underwater. A dive will take about 30 minutes, led and supervised by
two qualified dive guide. Available for anyone over 12 years old, even non
swimmers, but in good physical condition.
SSR Botanical Garden
Naturalists throughout the world know the garden for its large collection of
indigenous and exotic plants, including the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies
and many species of palm trees. The 60-acre garden boasts of 500 different species of
plants, of which 80 are palms. Of particular interest is the Talipot Palm, which dies
after a one and only flowering. Deer and tortoises will delight children, while an old
French mansion, the Chateau Mon Plaisir, and the old sugar mill pictures the rich historical
past of Mauritius.
Valriche Nature Reserve
Adjoining the Black River Gorges National Park,
features many hidden treasures: the ruins of a traditional factory chimney
from the early days of Mauritius sugar estates, vast plains where stags
majestically roam, and a spectacular waterfall which cascades through a rich,
fertile forest. Valriche is home to many beautiful birds and animals, and
benefits from the expertise and guidance of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.
The Gymkhana Club,
set in the highlands at Vacoas, was initially reserved for the high-ranking
members of the colonial service until independence in 1968 when the locals
took over. It was until 1994, the only 18 hole golf course on the island.
With the tourism boom, Belle Mare Plage Resort and Spa,
belonging to the Constance Hotels Group, opened the first seaside golf
course. Since then, the greats of the golfing world-professionals as well
as amateurs-have walked these links. Le Paradis,
of the Beachcomber Group, laid out its 18 hole at the foot of Le Morne,
in the south west whilst One and Onlyâs Touessrok, chose the picture postcard
island of Ile aux Cerfs. In the south, Bel Ombreâs 18 hole stretches between
the sea and the hills, in an idyllic landscape. Five other hotels offer 9 hole courses:
Shandrani (south east), Maritim and Trou aux Biches Village (north west), Sofitel (West)
and the St. Geran (East).
Aquarium Mauritius is
situated at Pointe aux Piments, a coastal and charming village in the north of the island.
The aquarium has adopted a new ecological system of operation and a circuit of tanks will guide
you to the depth of the ocean. Our largest tank, âThe Deepâ, over 15m long,
holds a variety of sea creatures, which can be seen at close quarters. Our
numerous tanks and pools, in five buildings contain a rich aquatic life
found on and around our tropical island. A âtouch poolâ allows our younger
visitors to interact with a variety of marine species. Whether young or old,
enjoy a unique experience âwithout the fear of being eatenâ. Enjoy a light
snack or drink while taking in the stunning view of the natural sea cove at
Pointe aux Piments and take home a souvenir to share with others from our shop.
Events, Festivals or Annual Events
Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. Our population coming from three continents has brought traditions and beliefs from their ancestral countries. Religious festivals are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year.
There are 15 public holidays in Mauritius every year. Seven of them are fixed holidays: 1st and 2nd January, 1st February, 12th March, 1st May, 2nd November and 25th December. The remaining public holidays are religious festivals with dates which vary from year to year.
Thaipoosum Cavadee Tamil Devotees have their tongue and cheeks pierced with pins.
In a trance they show penitence by carrying the âCavadeeâ a wooden arch, covered with flowers and a pot of milk at each end.
Chinese Spring Festival â Chinese New Yearâs Day is celebrated each year on a different date, because of the adjustment of lunar days to solar days. According to Chinese customs no scissors or knives are used on the day of the festival. Red, the symbol of happiness, is the dominant colour. Food is offered to ensure abundance during the year and the traditional wax cake is shared with relatives and friends. Firecrackers are set off to drive away evil spirits. The Spring Festival ends up with the Dragon Feast a few days later. Chinese dancers and musicians take to the roads and perform the traditional Lion dance.
Maha Shivratree â Thousands of pilgrims, all dressed in white, walk long distances and converge to the sacred lake of Grand-Bassin, carrying the âKanwarââ wooden arches covered with flowers and small mirrors. Maha Shivratree is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva. Hindu devotees fetch holy water from the lake, and ceremonies take place over three to four days. The whole scene is reminiscent of the great ritual on the banks of the Holy Ganges in India.
12th of March, National Day On this same date, Mauritian got its independence in 1968 and became a Republic in 1992. Do not miss the National Cultural Show that occurs annually where all the religious communities of Mauritius join hands to celebrate their patriotism.
Ougadi Ougadi is the Telegu's celebration of New Year.
Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated by Hindus on the 4th day of the lunar month in August/September, it commemorates the birth of God Ganesh. Small replicas of the God with the elephant head are taken to the beaches or to the riverbanks to be immersed before sunset.
9th September Every September 9, Mauritians of all faiths walk or drive to Ste-Croix near, Port-Louis to visit the tomb of the Blessed Jacques DĂ©sirĂ© Laval, the âApostle of the Black Peopleâ. The celebration around PĂšre Laval, who is believed to have healing powers, reminds us of the fervour of the Lourdes pilgrimage in France. Father Laval was the first person beatified by Pope John Paul II after the latter became Pope.
Diwali Diwali is the most jovial of all Hindu festivals. Celebrated in October/November, it marks the victory of Rama over Ravana, of light (truth) over darkness (ignorance). It also commemorates Krishnaâs destruction of the demon Narakasuram. Small clay lamps line up walls, balconies and yards. They are lit at sunset. Their golden light, which is believed to guide the Goddess of wealth and good fortune into the houses, can be seen everywhere. Diwali, is a celebration of pure joy, happiness and for many Mauritians, a time for sharing.
Fire Walking This Tamil ceremony takes place between December and February. After ten days of purification, meditation and praying, penitents go to the temple where they walk slowly across a pit of burning coal and then dip their feet in milk to cool them down.
Holi This is a time for joy and sharing. Men , women and children smear each other with coloured water and powder and wish one another good fortune.
Id-el-Fitr The Id-El-Fitr festival signals the end of Ramadan- the fasting period for people of Moslem faith. They exchange gifts, give to charity, visit the family and wish the best to each other.