Mauritius’ main international airport is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. The airport was named after Mauritius’ first Chief Minister and Prime Minister, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. There are two passenger terminals, with the newer terminal built back in 2013. In 2012, the airport welcomed 2.5 million passengers.
How to get around
The airport is located 48km away from the capital and journey to Port Louis takes at least 45 minutes.
There are bus services that connect the airport to Port Louis. They depart from the airport every 30 minutes and it takes around an hour to get to Port Louis. Taxi services are also available. Journey to the city takes around 45 minutes. Another alternative is to engage in car rental services.
Public transport in Mauritius only consists of busses. There are extensive bus networks operated by five major bus companies. Bus fares depends on distances travelled but they cost less than NZD2.
The fastest way to explore the city is through car. There are several car rental companies to choose from. Taxis are also an alternative. Be sure to negotiate with drivers before you board the cabs as most drivers do not turn on the taxi meters. You can also request for hotels to arrange for a taxi for you.
What to see and do
Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius. While many flock there for their white, sandy beaches. It is also worth exploring the historical landmarks with Indian, Sinitic, French and British influences. Once a base for French pirates back in the 18th century, Port Louis today has undergone economic growth and bustles with life.
A noteworthy place to visit in Port Louis is Place d’Armes, featuring the Government House. This colonial building is the oldest building on the island.
Located in the vicinity is the Natural History Museum, home to relics of natural history like the Dodo skeleton. You can also find out more about Mauritius’ history in Mauritius Institute and Museum.
Head over to The Market for a unique shopping experience. It sells almost everything from herbal remedies to accessories. Try out local delights like faratas (thin pancakes in hot sauce) and badjahs (fried dough pieces).
Explore the Chinese Quarter and shop for items like Chinese silks and porcelains. The Jummah Mosque is ironically located in the Chinese Quarter. This site of worship offers a place of sanctuary away from the vibrant city life in Port Louis.
Visit the Tamil Kaylasson Temple and admire the ornate architecture.
SSR Botanic Garden is also known as Pamplemousses by the locals. It is famed for the giant Victoria amazonica water lilies and home to over 60 species of palm tree, of which 24 are only found in Mauritius.
Catch a racecourse match at Champ de Mars Racecourse, the second oldest racecourse in the world. The racing season lasts from April to late November, with the biggest race being the Maiden Cup in September. Tickets costs between NZD2-4.
Mauritius is also home to many scenic beaches. There are a few popular beaches near Port Louis and they include Mont Choisy and Grand Baie. They are located 30 minutes away by drive from the city. You can windsurf, sail, swim, sunbathe and even water-ski at these beaches.
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