Take a trip to Mauritius, an island paradise just 45 minutes from Réunion
In the 19th century, slaves from Africa would flee their owners and make the difficult hike up Le Morne Mountain, where they lived as free men and women until slavery was abolished in 1835. Make a pilgrimage up the mountain with guides from Le Morne Heritage, and start early – the climb takes four to six hours. The reward is two-fold: an unbeatable view of Mauritius from above, and a lesson in the pockmarked history of this Shangri-La.
It gets hot and humid fast, but there’s plenty to see in Port Louis’ market, like dry goods and plump local vegetables. Cap off the tour with lunch from one of the many stalls crammed in a small arcade. Locals chug alouda, a milk-based drink flavoured with vanilla and basil seeds, which tastes as intense as it sounds. For savoury fare, try dholl pori – Indian flatbread with bean curry and chutney – or Creole sandwiches.
Blue Safari offers the only commercial submarine rides in the Indian Ocean, taking visitors to depths of up to 35m for 45 minutes. It sounds claustrophobic, but the piped in reggae music and captain’s Creole lilt help to keep your mind off your churning gut and focused on gazing out of the portholes.At this depth, the fish nest in corals and shipwrecks, while Hawksbill turtles glide past the pressurised cabin.
Air Mauritius, will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary on June 12, 2017. It operates direct flights from Singapore to Mauritius thrice weekly. The ‘Air Corridor’ signed between the two countries makes Mauritius a gateway to Asia through Singapore for the islands of the Indian Ocean and countries of eastern and southern Africa.