Tag Archives: Mauritius tours

The National History and Naval Museums in Mauritius

The National History and Naval Museum is situated in the city of Mahebourg, which is the capital of the Grand Port District in Mauritius. It is located inside the Gheude Castle, which was built as a mansion by the French in 1770. There are three floors here, out of which only two are open for public. The ground floor displays the wreckage of ships, which fought in the Battle of Grand Port, along with cannons, cannonballs and weapons of Robert Surcouf – a French trader. Also displayed here is a large painting of Vieux Port, where the battle took place. It is a perfect place to visit and explore during Mauritius holidays.

Both the opposing admirals were injured and were nursed side by side in this building. They were deeply saddened by the loss of their men and entered into an agreement to end the war. Adding charm to the exhibitions of the French section are parts of the hull from HMS Sirius and wine bottles and cannons salvaged from HMS Magicienne, both of which were British frigates. A huge bell and Spanish coins from Saint Green – a ship that sank near the northern coast of the island – are also housed here. More exhibits include biscuits, which substituted perishable items, a blade and a cigarette tin, used to measure ration by those sailing in the ill-fated ship Trevessa.

The Dutch Section

This section has exhibits, which trace the history of the Dutch settlement in the region. Paintings of the extinct dodo bird and giant tortoise are worth seeing. The tortoise is depicted with two full-grown people on its back and its bones were found strong enough to carry humans. Artefacts include gold Ottoman coins made in Cairo in the 17th century, silver coins from the reign of Aurangzeb in India and Leopold in Austria and a brass sundial. Also showcased here is a fine collection of Chinese porcelain, from the time of King Wang Li of the Ming Dynasty. The objects were recovered from the sunken vessel Banda, under the command of Admiral Pieter Both. However, the best thing here is a bell, which was gifted to Napoleon Bonaparte after he defeated the Austrians in the Battle of Marengo. Carved on the bell is the Crucifixion of Jesus – a part of the Passion of the Christ.

The British Section and the Yard

This area throws light on the modes of punishment and exploitation, used by the British against their labourers. Various types of chains used by the colonists are parts of the exhibition. British Indian currency used in Mauritius can also be seen here by visitors. Also kept here is a miniature replica of a train carriage used in the country. The actual piece is kept in the courtyard, outside the building. People can also feast their eyes with portraits of eminent British personnel and artefacts depicting the rural and urban ways of living. On the first floor are a large bed, models of ships, maps and two palanquins, which were carried by slaves on their shoulders while their masters sat on them. Visiting hours here are from 9 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday and 9 am to 12 pm on Sundays and public holidays. People can visit the site and see its artefacts for absolutely no money.

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Sightseeing in Mauritius-Trou aux Cerfs, Pieter Both and Black River Gorges National Park

Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, is located approximately 2000 km away from the south-east coast of Africa. This country comprises the islands of Rodrigues, the main landmass of Mauritius, the archipelago of Saint Brandon and Agalega. Regarded as one of the most favoured tourist destinations in the world, it is home to some of the most enchanting man-made and natural attractions. Thousands of visitors opt for Mauritius holidays with family and friends making it a favorite retreating spot. It has a tropical climate with crystal-clear ocean waters, picture-perfect beaches and a number of species of fauna and flora. Some of the major attractions in this country are Trou aux Cerfs, Pieter Both and Black River Gorges National Park.

Trou aux Cerfs

Trou aux Cerfs
Trou aux Cerfs

Trou aux Cerfs is one of the major spots of attraction on this island. It is a dormant volcano with a huge crater. With a significant depth and almost 300 metres in diameter, this is situated in the town of Curepipe. This place has become one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country due to this dormant volcano. It has been suggested that it can come to an active state any time within the forthcoming thousand years. This crater, though accessible, is considered dangerous due to its arduous embankment, and silt and water clogging.

Climb Pieter Both

Pieter Both
Pieter Both

Another important tourist destination is Pieter Both Mountains, which is the second highest on this island. Rising over a height of 800 metres, this mountain range is a popular attraction for adventure-seekers. The top of this mountain somewhat resembles a human head due to a huge rock formation. The steep climb is a bit treacherous and tying a rope is suggested while climbing is suggested. On reaching the summit, vacationers will witness a flat surface with an approximate width of over 5 feet.

Home of Dodo – A Recently Extinct Bird Species

Black River Gorges National Park
Black River Gorges National Park

Black River Gorges National Park is a forest reserve, located in the south-western portion of this country. Spread over an area of more than 60 square kilometres, the national park has lowland forests and wetlands. This region is often visited for picnics and excursions. The zone also has over 50 km of well-defined trails for enthusiasts to go on a walking trip. Several varieties of fauna and flora are found here, and this region is treated as a reserve for Chinese guava trees. Some areas of this forest have been made out of bounds to preserve vulnerable varieties. A number of endangered species like flying fox, rusa deer, pink pigeon and wild pigs are found here. Incidentally, the recently extinct bird, Dodo was found in these regions hundreds of years ago. This was the first reason for which Mauritius came to the limelight. A few skeletons of this bird are preserved at some of the museums of the country for people to witness. Those vacationers who are looking for a different experience on their upcoming holidays can opt for a tour package to Mauritius and have a wonderful time at this amazing place.