I am an avid listener of Smooth FM 98.1 in Lagos. On a daily basis, you will find me at the office with my earplugs listening to the wide array of music genre available. I also listen to them based on the wide range of programs they have for budding and emerging entrepreneurs. My favorite presenters or OAPs (as they’re called now) are Aderonke, Kirk and Halima Atta. Kirk Anthony handles the program known as the ‘Kazbah destination’ which explores and educates listeners on exotic tourist destination. The program is sponsored by South African Airways and airs every Friday. The icing on the cake is the chance to win a return ticket to a particular destination.
At the beginning of the year (January to be precise), I won a ticket to Mauritius. Mauritius has been on the list of destinations I wanted to visit. So it was really fantastic to have won the ticket just by answering the question of the day. I was called by Kirk to pick up my ticket and on getting to Smooth FM premises, I discovered the tickets were actually two. Imagine my excitement, I called my sister and told her to pack her bags as we were going to the sunny island of Mauritius for a well deserved rest. From the pictures below, you can relate to the serenity on the island.
Once we booked our tickets at the South African Airways located at Churchgate Towers on Afribank Street, adjacent to Law School on the island, we were good to go. We visited TripAdvisor and Booking to check affordable hotel rates, tourist attractions to see and read consumer reviews before making a final choice. Tourists from Nigeria do not need to apply for a visa as a 2weeks visa will be given on arrival at Mauritius and its’ free of charge. Yeap!!! you read it here. We finally settled on Jet Villa Tourist Residence located at 111, Avenue Tourtereaux, Morcellement De Chazal, Flic en Flac-Mauritius. The residence comprise 2 – 4 bedroom luxurious apartment. We made a reservation for the 2bedroom apartment and paid only $280 for a 7day stay.
My first impressions: I used to think Nigeria was green in terms of vegetation till I got to Mauritius and my opinions changed. I am yet to see a more greener environment as the beautiful cities of America, U.K. and South Africa do not compare to the beauty and serenity I have seen and experienced. The experience was awesome. The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the south east coast of the African continent.The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, 560 kilometres (350 mi) east of the principal island, the islands of Agaléga and the Saint Brandon. The islands of the Republic of Mauritius form part of the Mascarene Islands, which also include the neighbouring island of Réunion. The area of the country is 2040 km2, its capital is Port Louis.
The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507. The island of Mauritius was the only home of the Dodo bird. The bird became extinct fewer than eighty years after its discovery.The Dutch settled on the island in 1598 and abandoned it in 1710, Mauritius became a French colony in 1715 and was renamed Isle de France. The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country became an independent state as a Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.
The country’s populace is composed of several ethnicities, mostly people of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent. Most Mauritians are multilingual; English, French, Creole and Asian languages are used. Exchange rate to the U.S $ is 1$= 30MRP (Mauritian Rupee). Enough of history and back to present day Mauritius. I experienced peace and serenity like I had not gotten in a long time. It was overwhelming to the senses and I cannot wait to go back. Secondly, it left me thinking once more on the choice of environment I want my children to grow up in. The views every morning were breathtaking and I could just see myself and my unborn children reading or soaking in the weather. The environment innately encourages children to be curious and enjoy the love of reading which is lacking in our environment. Furthermore, I began to give more thoughts on the country I’d like to retire to and Mauritius comes top rather than the West. It’s idyllic and a paradise on earth.
Tourist attractions visited:
Le Caudan Waterfront We also visited the capital and other locations such as Quatre Bone, Curepipe, Bagatelle and many more. It was a fun filled experience and we enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of the Mauritian people. Port Louis – the capital reminded me of Lagos Island (Marina) with its’ tall buildings and narrow alleys. It was a magical experience and my children are definitely schooling here. No doubt about it. One more thing I found enchanting about the island was the way and manner houses were built…quite romantic with the long french windows and shutters. The french influence is mostly prevalent in architectural pieces across the island. How could I forget the beaches dotting the island? Quite picturesque and vividly brilliant, sparkling like sapphires. Transportation is easy as there are buses plying every destination on the island. Average bus fares range from 10MRP – 32MRP.
If you are planning on visiting Mauritius, you can make your reservations at Jet Villa Tourist Residence via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +2307724807/+2307290630.