Founded in 1805, Mahebourg, one of the town situated in the South-West of the island of Mauritius was named after the famous French Governor Mahé de Labourdonnais. Mahebourg is an old colonial capital of Mauritius located on the shores of the country’s biggest lagoon. It is a quiet and simple coastal village that is animated solely on market days or for festivals. After the main port was moved to Port Louis, Mahebourg bay and streets were left alone for local fishermen, busy markets and a slow-paced life with the beautiful backdrop of The Lion Mountain.
Mahebourg cares only about simple pleasures such as an enchanting museum, a vibrant market, delectable street food, affordable accommodation and beautiful sandy beaches along its coastline. This village has something charming in itself since it is rich in culture and history. If you feel like experiencing the unique and genuine hospitality, Mahebourg is the best destination.
History & Heritage Of Mahebourg
1) The National History Museum
If you want to know more about Mauritius, then The National History Museum is worth a visit. Located along the main road of the town, the museum will explain from the very beginning how the island was formed and till the British Colonies and so forth. Moreover, you get the opportunity of exploring the colonial building along with a tour-guide, who will not hesitate to answer all your questions as well as demonstrate his expertise in this domain. The museum contains the early maps of the island as well as the paintings of the island’s original fauna together with the national Dodo bird. There are also a few dodo bones in a glass case, along with those of other disappeared species such as the Red Rail and Rodrigues solitaire.
2) Rault Biscuit Factory
In the late 1800s, The Rault family started their family business in producing manioc biscuits on the northern boundary of Mahebourg. The crispy and crunchy square biscuits are prepared entirely by hand using a secret recipe which has been passed from generation to generation. Usually, when the factory is visited, visitors are guided for twenty minutes around the factory with the chance of tasting the sample product with a nice cup of tea.
3) Notre Dame des Anges Church
Additionally, you can also visit one of the vintage churches in Mahebourg, the Notre Dame des Anges Church which was built in 1849 and has a beautiful architecture. Despite being an old colonial church, it is visited throughout the day by local people as well as foreigners to give their offerings to Pere Laval.
4) Lion Mountain
If you are visiting Mahebourg and love adventure, makes sure that you opt for a hike up Lion Mountain. Lion Mountain is one of the mountains at the backdrop of Mahebourg. During the hike, you get to explore the forest comprising of different species of trees such as Bois d’Olive, Bois Clou and birds like Paille en Queue among others. Also, you can experience the beauty of the flora and fauna and the blue lagoons.
5) Islands near Mahebourg
Mahebourg is considered to be an impeccable place for strolls along the coast. In this manner you get to admire the views of Ile de la Passe. Ile Vacoas, Ile au Phare as well as Ile aux Fouquets and Ile Mouchoir Rouge. All the islets can be visited but Ile de la Passe is one of the most popular, as it shelters historic treasures from the battle of Grand Port.
Ile de la Passe
Off the south-east coast of Mauritius, Ile de la Passe is an islet as well as a historic island. According to history, Ile de la Passe was one of the defenses built by the French and British inhabitants.
Ile aux Aigrettes
Ile aux Aigrettes has been shelter for many bats, parrots and pigeons and is still till date. On this small island, dry ebony forest can be found as they were grown in abundance. Moreover, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has taken an initiative to replant and reintroduce endangered vegetation, birds and reptiles, as well as rare orchids and the famous pink pigeon. Trips to the island are offered.
Beaches in Mahebourg
Blue Bay Beach
Blue Bay Beach is one of Mauritius’s most beautiful beaches. Situated on the southern coast of Mauritius, it is found in the coastal suburbs of Mahebourg, and is open to the public. Blue Bay Beach can easily be accessed by public transport. Thus, you can also enjoy various sea-based activities like snorkelling.
Pointe D’Esny’s beautiful beach is perfect for the holidays. Its turquoise sea, along with the sparkling white sand, is a breathtaking sight. It is also the ideal beach for windsurfers and in particular, kitesurfers.
Shopping In Mahebourg – The Monday Market Fair
Shopping in Mahebourg is another story in itself.
The Mahebourg market is operational only once a week, on Mondays. Shopaholics should save the day as it is a chance not to be missed. On this day, the whole area of the Mahebourg Waterfront is occupied only with merchants selling their goods and you can hear loads of bargaining taking place.
During the market time, they sell local handcrafts and amazing souvenirs of Mauritius. Apart from this, they also sell a huge range of products ranging from Indian wears , to vegetables & fruits and local spices, among others. The Mahebourg Market also has a section where local gastronomies are sold like dholl puri, fried noodles biryani, homemade Mauritian and creole dishes. Nevertheless, compared to other markets in Mauritius, Mahebourg’s market remains least touristy and remains one of the most authentic and traditional towns in Mauritius.