mauritius

TRAVEL

POPULATION

148,001

LOCATION

NW Mauritius

ESTABLISHED

1638

Port Louis is the business and administrative capital of Mauritius, and has been the heart of the country since the establishment of the port in 1638. The city played a major role in the struggle between the French and British during their occupation of the island. However the cities emphasis has shifted over time, and after significant development over the last few decades it now provides its less hostile visitors with a variety of cultural and commercial attractions.


“the Port Louis Market in full swing is a sight to behold”


Bazaar Port Louis

The Caudan Waterfront has seen significant develop, and is now provides one of the most contemporary shopping and eating experience in Mauritius. However for a more grassroots affair, the Port Louis Market in full swing is a sight to behold. Good deals can be found here, cheap clothes, local produce and spices are plentiful.

The market defies increasing regulation and stalls frequently expand past their permits; we witnessed an entire street pack up their wares and disappear into the crowd as a call was issued further down the road by a young lookout. The only evidence of their transgression was a few tomatoes or carrots still spinning on the road as the police appeared around the corner.

Once you’ve had your share of the chaotic market, Port Louis has its very own China Town to explore. Within you can find shops, restaurants and pharmacies with modern and traditional wares. The chinese community in Mauritius dates back almost 300 years, it is an indication of the surprising diversity you find on such a small island in the middle of the ocean.


“Lush vegetation competed with the urban development, and I found myself reminded of my childhood in Durban”


CHAMPS DE MARS

Port Louis boasts the 2nd old horse race course in the world, we managed to catch a race from a vantage point as we descended a mountain road towards the city. Our driver was only too happy to stop and watch, like many Mauritians he enjoyed the odd tipple and had money on the race.

From our elevated position we could see beyond the race course, it was a reminder that even Port Louis was dwarfed by the ever present Mauritian mountains. Lush vegetation competed with the urban development, and I found myself reminded of my childhood in Durban; lingering colonial influence, the heat and sudden rains, and a natural world that demanded attention and captivated imagination.