The most important residential
towns of Mauritius
are found on the high lands. Although
they are not very pleasant to the eyesight, visiting them allows
the discovery of the day-to-day life of Mauritius, although it
could be seen as a visit to "the dark side of the moon."
Curepipe is almost in the middle of Mauritius where the climate
is rather cool, very humid and rainy almost all year round. The
sky is grey and the buildings are all dark grey from mildew.
Avoid Curepipe and keep a better image on Mauritius.
Beau Bassin / Rose Hill
If you have some extra time, the town of Beau-Bassin / Rose-Hill
are a better detour. Rose-Hill came to life at the end of the
18th century when the malaria disease was spreading in Port-Louis.
People moved their residences to the higher plains where the cooler
climate was keeping most mosquitoes away. Rose-Hill and Beau Bassin
were then the new places to be and until the mid 1900's Rose Hill
and especially Beau-Bassin had plenty of wonderful colonial houses.
Owing to the quality of the earth and the humidity the huge gardens
around these well-kept houses were simply magnificent.
Today, Beau-Bassin / Rose-Hill
is just another busy town
of Mauritius with very few of these luxuriant properties. However,
it takes its charm from being by far the largest residential town
inhabited by all ethnics, which we can qualify
as the true Mauritians.
is full of funny shops, visited by all, especially
the young ones. We suggest to park in the centre and have a stroll
in "Arabtown" and around the fair.
This town is adjacent to Beau-Bassin / Rose-Hill and is slightly
more organised and "modern." Its main attraction is its fair,
which by the way occurs namely on Sundays, the ideal day as the
beaches are crowded.
Although the above does not make these towns very attractive,
we recommend allowing them a few hours especially due to the fact
that they are close to the Plaine Champagne
, which is highly recommended.
Our favourite village: Chamarel
is unique as it is the only typical remote mountain
village of Mauritius. Quiet, pretty and tidy, Chamarel successfully
merges with its surrounding vegetation.
Populated by the Creole community
of Mauritius, Chamarel
is the nursery of this culture and is the place from which most
of the Sega songs were written, sang and danced. Traditional but
not conservative, the people of Chamarel successfully separated
the wheat from the chaff of evolution.
Warm, friendly with a deep sense of hospitality, the people of
have welcomed visitors and tourists since decades
but contrarily to inhabitants of other regions, they managed to
The yearly Fancy Fair of Chamarel remains the most important event
of the region and an occasion for its people to proudly share
with others, the specialities of the village, namely the "Curry
No. 1" (monkey curry). Otherwise, it is the Sunday mass that makes
Too much tourism kills tourism...
What is described above still holds true but owing to its success as one of the last "authentic" villages, Chamarel is today an example of over-exploitation. Several restaurants
and so-called "tables d'hotes" have open along the way in an atmosphere of fierce, unethical competition. Flags, signs and people are placed all along the road almost "ordering" the cars to stop in each restaurant. Big commissions business going on, money flowing to drivers of cars, taxis and minibuses, recommending their passengers the addresses that pay the most... Only one or two don't play that ball and they of course serve the most authentic and delicious creole food; they are easy to find, just ask your driver which restaurant they would NOT recommend...