Built in 1842, the Natural History Museum is the oldest museum in the country and is located in the centre of the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis. It is also the oldest museum in Southern Africa. It is the oldest museum in Southern Africa. It gives you an appointment with the fauna and flora of Mauritius and the Mascarene archipelago.
The visit to the museum is like a journey through time and history. You will travel in the footsteps of explorers at the crossroads of European, African and Asian civilisations. You will discover extinct birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and endemic plants of the island.
The main attraction of the museum is the dodo. Discovered in 1580, the species became extinct in the 17th century with the arrival of the Dutch colonists. Other impressive exhibits are the imposing sperm whale skull and the giant tortoise.
Located at the Caudan Waterfront, the Blue Penny Museum is a tribute to Mauritian culture. Through its art and history, it tells us the heritage of the island. The Blue Penny houses unique works of art!
Maps, models and navigational instruments are waiting for you to discover the history of the Indian Ocean route. Various old objects shed light on the periods of French and English occupation. Go back in time through the paintings and maps that take you to the Port Louis of the 18th and 19th centuries. The real statue of Paul and Virginia sculpted by Prosper d'Epinay in 1881. The famous Post Office stamps, masterpieces of our heritage.
There is so much to see to get you started in the capital of Mauritius.
One of the jewels of Mauritian heritage, the Museum of Photography was founded in 1966. Located in the Rue du Vieux Conseil, in the centre of the capital of Mauritius, you will escape from modernity for this place which seems to transcend time. In this magnificent stone building, you will discover the collection of cameras since their creation in 1839.
The museum also houses a large collection of documents and archives tracing the history of photography and film. It is a place of education and sharing, ideal for both professional and amateur photographers. You will also have the privilege of observing an album containing more than 400 newspaper clippings published between 1839 and 1945.
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Built in the 19th century, the Post Office Museum is an architectural masterpiece. Made of carved stone, the building still serves as a post office. Classified as a historical monument in 1958, the museum only opened its doors to the public in 1995. It tells the story of the post office in Mauritius and invites you to discover the world of philately. Mauritius was one of the first five countries in the world to issue stamps (the Blue Penny and Red Penny). This was in 1847.
You will go back in time and discover various objects used by the postmen and postwomen since the Mauritian post office was established. Uniforms, old letters, old mailboxes, stamps, telegraphs and telephones among others.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016, the Aapravasi Ghat is one of the most important places in Mauritian history. Indeed, it served as an immigration centre for the British following the abolition of slavery on 1 February 1835. It is also the starting point of the current diaspora, more than half of which is of Indian origin.
Located on the Port-Louis wharf in Trou Fanfaron, this museum covers an area of 1640 m². Between the 19th and 20th centuries, it welcomed nearly half a million indentured workers from India. This was due to the need for labour in the sugar plantations of Mauritius. This place also served as a hub, with some workers being transferred to Reunion Island, Australia, Southern and Eastern Africa and the Caribbean. Inside, you will find a hospital, kitchens and common rooms.
Built in 1852 and enlarged in 1878, the mosque has an intercultural character. Indeed, it combines Islamic, Indian and Creole architecture, with its decorations, the beautiful carved door with copper motifs, the old clock on the roof. Moreover, the Jummah Mosque is located on the border of China Town! These architectural and geographical details testify to the multiculturalism of Mauritius. You can visit the interior, provided you take off your shoes and cover your legs and shoulders.
Located north of the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis, the Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary was proclaimed a nature reserve in August 1999. It is governed under the Wildlife and National Parks Act 1993. The site covers approximately 26 hectares, and is recognised as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Bureau. It is an important refuge for over 1200 birds that migrate from the northern hemisphere to escape the harsh winter.
The site is open to visitors between October and April, which is the migration period. You will be able to see birds up close and unobtrusively, such as Terns, Curlew Sandpipers, Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit and Sanderlings.
China Town, the cradle of Chinese immigration to Mauritius, is a place that blends elements of the past and the present. The place was created during the 18th century, during the first wave of immigration of Chinese workers to Mauritius. At that time and because of the language, immigrants from China were directed to China Town. China Town is a "town" that runs along the Royal Road for about 500 metres. It gathers merchants and old shops (sometimes in ruins), Mah-Jong houses, traditional restaurants and other fortune tellers.
The jardin de la Compagnie is one of the places not to be missed in the Mauritian capital. A small piece of greenery in the middle of buildings that have grown like mushrooms. This is where the French landed in 1721. In the shade of its century-old banyan trees, you will find statues and other monuments honouring those who played an important role in the history of Mauritius. Its full name, 'Jardin de la Compagnie française des Indes Orientales' is a testimony to the French occupation of the island. The French effectively left Mauritius to the British in August 1764.
Fort Adelaide, also known as the Citadelle, was built during the British colonial period in 1834. It served as a defence against any enemy approach. Standing at over 100 metres above sea level, Fort Adelaide offers a breathtaking and panoramic view. You can see the Moka mountain ranges, the streets of the capital, including the Champ de Mars racecourse. The Citadel has recently been renovated and opened to the public, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful view of the city.
Built in 1812 by Colonel Draper, the Champ de Mars is the oldest racecourse in the Indian Ocean. It is also the second oldest in the southern hemisphere. The races are held during the weekend and are of great interest to Mauritians. The racing season runs from May to December. At the Champ de Mars, you will have the opportunity to live a unique experience in close contact with the local population.
Located in the north-west of Mauritius, Le Pouce mountain reaches an altitude of 812 metres. It is the third highest peak in Mauritius after the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire and Pieter Both. Le Pouce is part of a mountain range which includes Pieter Both and the Signals Mountain.
Although the ascent is not difficult, the last fifty metres as you approach the summit are very steep. For those who are afraid of heights, the descent can be more complicated! Once at the top, you can admire the islets further north such as Coin de Mire, Ile Plate and Ile Ronde. A panoramic view that will take your breath away!
At 820 metres, Pieter Both is the second highest peak on the island after the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire (828 metres). Pieter Both was the name of the Governor General of the Dutch Indies when they discovered the island. The particularity of this mountain is the huge rock at the top, which is a balancing act! The first person to reach its summit was the French amateur climber Claude Peuthe, in 1790.
The Saint-Louis Cathedral is located near the Champ-de-Mars, in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis, a place designated by the governor of the time, Mahé de Labourdonnais. The parish of Saint-Louis, the first parish on the island, has existed since 1722. Several churches were subsequently built (in 1752, 1778 and 1814), as their foundations were defective. The cathedral is named after Louis IX.
The place was not used for religious celebrations but served as a warehouse, armoury and barracks. During the French Revolution (1789-1799), part of the church was used by the Colonial Assembly for sessions.
The Shri Sockalingum Meenatchee Ammen Kovil, commonly known as Kaylasson, is the main place of worship for Tamils. The temple, dedicated to the god Shiva, is one of the most beautiful in Mauritius. You will have the opportunity to discover the Tamil culture and contemplate the splendour of this place; its statues, its bright colours and its engravings testify to the skill and know-how of the craftsmen who came from India in 1854. It is an important place, especially during the Thaipoosam Cavadee festival (in January), which commemorates the triumph of Muruga (son of Shiva) over evil.
Located on the side of the des Signaux, Marie Reine de la Paix is a Catholic place of worship that could be described as an open-air church. It is also an ideal place to enjoy the view of the capital, Port Louis. It is necessary to climb 82 steps carved into the rock to reach the monument.
A 3-metre high statue of the Virgin Mary has watched over the capital since 1940. Carved from white Carrara marble, the statue holds the globe of the world in her hands.
The capital of Mauritius is rich in history. Witnessing the French and English occupation, you will see the statues of Mahé de Labourdonnais and Queen Victoria side by side. Port-Louis is full of places to visit, both historical and cultural and social. You will be close to the local population to discover its culture, composed of several. The capital will dazzle you with its authenticity. An experience to be enjoyed in complete peace of mind!