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The colours and rhythms of Mauritius
By Andrew Bock, Travel Journalist   Posted 3 Feb 2008
Sega music is a gentle blend of reggae and east African rhythm that echoes the pulse of life in Mauritius.
Kreol culture, a melange of African, French and English cultures, permeates life there and gives everything a gentle spice, like Sega music.
Elegant female dancers, young and old, gather colourful, loose cotton dresses to dance the Sega on beaches and at concerts to celebrate Kreol culture.
The combination of English manners, French style and African jouissance makes Mauritius an easy pleasure for travellers.
The people have some 250 years experience catering for French tastes so the resorts are imbued with French style and hospitality and excellent food. One chef said 60 per cent of the food on resort menus was imported directly from France. (There must be export opportunities for Australian food producers there!)
Most people on the island speak French and English fluently. This is a blessing for Australians and any traveller with broken French (like this one). At home and amongst themselves, all Mauritians speak Kreol even though it is not yet taught in their schools.
The beaches that ring the island are superb. The royal blues of the Indian Ocean break over reef into a 300 to 600 metre wide lagoon full of blue topaz and aquamarine waters that lap white sand shores. The aquas are irridescent. At times, I felt like I was swimming through gemstone.
The beach activities are great in Mauritius. The sheltered lagoon has enough channels and passes to allow boats, kitesurfers and surfers to escape the reef and enjoy the forces of the ocean. But the lagoon that rings much of the island is about two metres deep, calm and safe even for children. The beaches on the north and west coasts are more sheltered from the trade southeasterly winds that blow most of the year.
Local fishermen enjoy frequent sailing regattas in traditional fishing boats with bright yellow, red, blue and green sails strung on bamboo masts like flags. Deep primary colours with African and Indian hues are everywhere.
Resorts offer a wide range of activities on the lagoon including water skiing, wakeboarding, catamaran sailing, kayaking, diving, snorkelling and kiteboarding for beginners or advanced levels. Le Morne in the southwest is a world-class area for surfing, kiteboarding and kitesurfing and Club Mistral, on the point, offer equipment and lessons.
In the Indian Ocean, between Africa and Australia. Mauritius makes a great stopover between Australia and Africa or Europe but an even better destination. The gentle pace of life, the equanimity of the people, the richness of the colours and the sparkle of the coral, Indian Ocean, will soak into you.
Getting there from Australia: From July, Air Mauritius fly three times a week direct from Perth and once a week from the east coast. Connectivity and baggage transfer (a must in Perth where there are two airports still) via Virgin Airlines. Emirates fly via Dubai. Air Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur. South African airlines fly to Mauritius via Johannesburg. Air Mauritius have daily or near daily flights from Mauritius onto European capitals, South Africa, Madagascar and Nairobi.
Photographs above: copyright Andrew Bock email@example.com
African Embassies, Consulates in Australia
In addition to following - the Australian Govt has consular responsibilities for Gambia,
Malawi and Sierra Leone. Countries not listed may be on:
www.embassyworld.com Many of the
following links are routed via DFAT site:
Algeria Embassy (Canberra)
Botswana High Commission
Cameroon Consulate (Sydney)
Djibouti Embassy (Tokyo)
Embassy (Canberra) &
Egypt Consulates (Sydney/Melbourne)
Eritrean Embassy (Canberra) & Eritrean
Ethiopia Consulate-General (Victoria)
Consulates> (NSW & WA)
High Commission (Canberra)
Lesotho Consulate-General (NSW)
People's Bureau (ACT)
Madagascar Consulate-General (NSW)
Mali Embassy (Tokyo)
Mauritania Chancery (Washington)
Mauritius High Commission (Canberra) & Mauritius
Consulates (NSW, Qld, Vic, SA & WA)
Morocco Embassy (Indonesia)
Mozambique Consulate General (NSW)
Nigeria High Commission (ACT)
Consulate General (Victoria)
Seychelles Consulate-General (Victoria)
South Africa High Commission (Canberra) & South Africa Consulate (WA)
Tanzania Consulate (NSW, Vic,
Consulates (NSW, Vic)
High Commission (Japan) and Zambia Consulate (NSW)
Zimbabwe Embassy (Canberra)
Australian representation in Africa
Most up to date & comprehensive listing on
DFAT Australian missions list
There is Australian representation in the following countries: Angola (Australian), Burkina Faso
(Canadian), Cameroon (Canadian), Cote D'Ivoire - Ivory Coast (Canadian), Democratic Republic of Congo
(Canadian), Egypt (Australian), Ethiopia (Canadian), Gabon (Canadian), Ghana (Australian - later this
year), Guinea (Canadian), Kenya (Australian), Libya (Australian), Mali (Canadian), Mauritius
(Australian), Morocco (Canadian), Mozambique (Australian), Nigeria (Australian), Niger (Canadian),
Senegal (Canadian), South Africa (Australian), Tanzania (Canadian), Tunisia (Canadian), Zimbabwe
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