African Travel Tips When Visiting Mauritius

Mauritius is a typical tropical paradise, Mauritius’ reputation for beach bliss is indisputable. Sun worshippers and water sport enthusiasts can make the most of the golden palm-fringed beaches, turquoise sea and coral reef that nearly surrounds the entire island through a great variety of activities. These include catamaran cruising, windsurfing, water skiing, diving, para-sailing, deep sea fishing, golf and adventure sports. Away from the beachfront, mountains; forests with unique flora and bird life as well as cultural, historical and natural sights like craters and giant lilies, mesmerize visitors. With all this to do, Mauritius will let you discover a different rhythm of life, the Sega rhythm…

CAPITAL:

Port-Louis

CLIMATE:

Tropical. Every month is rainy, but Dec-May are the wettest months. Cyclones occur Nov-May. A well-structured system of phased warnings exist. During the cyclone, visitors are not allowed to leave their accommodation and car insurance policies often cease to be valid.

CURRENCY:

1 Mauritian Rupee = 100 cents. Travel with Rupees or EURO traveller’s cheques. There is no restriction on foreign or local currency brought into the country. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival. The airport bank will exchange Rupees into foreign currency on departure. Credit cards accepted are American Express, Diners Club, Visa and Mastercard. Main hotels will exchange traveller’s cheques and bank notes.

ELECTRICITY:

230 volts, 50Hz. Continental 2-pin plugs are most common, but 3-pin round and flat plugs have been noted. Take a travel plug.

HEALTH:

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas. Visitors are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against malaria (exists in certain rural areas, no risk on Rodrigues island), hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Other health concerns include high constant humidity (may affect persons with arthritic conditions); sinusitis and hay fever (Jul-Aug); influenza (risk throughout the year); and diarrhoea.

LANGUAGE:

English is the official language and understood throughout the island. French is also a principal language and Creole is spoken by all locals. Oriental and Indian languages are also spoken.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:

New Year’s Day (1 Jan); Day after New Year’s Day (2 Jan); Chinese New Year (22 Jan); Abolition of Slavery / Thaipoosam Cavadee (1 Feb); Maha Srivatri (18 Feb); Good Friday (9Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Assumption (15 Aug); Ganesh Chaturthi (18 Sep); All Saint’s Day (1 Nov); Arrival of Indentured Labourers (2 Nov); Deepavali (12 Nov); End of Ramadan (14 Nov); Christmas Day (25 Dec)

SHOPPING:

saris; silk shirts; Indian fabrics; basketwork; knitwear; hand-embroidered tablecloths; macrame work; wood carvings; pottery; model boats, diamonds, jewellery; casual wear. Low prices limit bargaining.

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS:

More than half the population is Hindu, so respect their traditions and religion. Dress appropriately when visiting religious shrines (no shorts, mini-skirts, etc.) and remove shoes when entering mosques and temples. Clothing is beachwear by day and casual wear at night.

TIME DIFFERENCE:

GMT +4

TIPPING:

A 10 percent Government Tax is added to all hotel and restaurant bills. Tipping is not compulsory and remains a gesture of appreciation left to the guest’s discretion. Tipping taxi drivers is not customary.

TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS DESCRIPTION:

Port-Louis:

Capital and main port of Mauritius; French colonial buildings e.g. the 18th century Government House and Municipal Theatre; Natural History Museum; market; Edward VII Avenue; Fort Adelaide; The Worldwide Masks Museum; the Caudan and Port-Louis Waterfronts.

Pamplemousses

The gardens are known to naturalists throughout the world for their large collection of indigenous and exotic plants, incl. the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and many species of palm trees; of particular interest is the talipot palm, which is said to flower once every sixty years and then dies.

Grand Bassin:

One of the island’s two natural lakes, resting in a crater of an extinct volcano and is the place of pilgrimage for Hindus, especially on the occasion of Maha Shivaratree.

Chamarel:

A mound of undulating land stretching in contrasting layers of colour; the patches of blue, green, red and yellow earth are believed to be the result of weathering; the nearby waterfall emerges from the moors and primeval vegetation and is startlingly beautiful.

Trou Aux Cerfs:

An extinct crater 85m deep and more than 200m wide; enjoy an extensive view of the island from the rim.

Souillac and Gris-Gris:

Small seaside resort with beautiful cliff scenery and no bathing; in the south is the popular viewpoint of Gris-Gris, where you can see the waves crashing into the dark, hollowed-out rocks.

Domaine Du Chasseur:

Near Mahebourg, a forest park with luxurious vegetation including wild orchids and animals e.g. stags, deers, wild boars and monkeys, covering 2000 acres.

Black River Gorges National Park:

Protects much of the remaining native forests and provides spectacular natural scenery and some of the unique endemic plants and birdlife; number of walking trails and viewpoints.

Beaches Grand:

Baie has many beaches and spots for safe bathing, sailing, windsurfing and water skiing; Blue Bay is one of the finest bathing spots of the islands, is close to Mahebourg and has a natural bathing pool; Le Morne & Tamarin are known for their surfing spots; Iles aux Cerfs is an island resort with 2 restaurants, a boat-house and beautiful beaches.

Rodrigues Island:

About 560 km east of Mauritius where you can be charmed by locals’ easy way of life; the nature lover will find several species of endemic tropical fauna and flora and can enjoy hiking, bird watching, angling and mountain biking; visits to the Caverne Patate and surrounding islets e.g. Ile aux Cocos (a haven to some rare species of sea birds) can be arranged.

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Quick Fixes To Planning Your Trip to Boston, MA

This article is perfect for those looking for quick tips to traveling in Boston, MA, the place where most people would say the history of America began. Below, you’ll find useful tips and points to keep in mind and prepare before and during your trip to this New England peaceful paradise.

Boston Is Of Resolutions, Culture, Traditions, and History

The reason why Boston remains to be a popular tourist destination is that it is undeniably one of the most revolution-rich cities in the United States. Deep within its history, there’s a mishmash of tradition, culture, constructive transformations, new-found freedom, and revolutions. It was home to some of the most inspiring and forward-thinking thinkers of our time and broke barriers historically and culturally.

Here’s the thing about a trip to Boston, MA – much of what you do and what you experience depends on the time of the year. The city boasts of historic indoor and outdoor shopping destinations like Faneuil Hall to make your heart skip a beat, giant ocean tanks and aquariums like the New England Aquarium, museums of fine art like the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, theaters, legendary grand homes of renowned historical and public figures strewn throughout its unprecedented landscape.

Easy Transit In and Out of Boston, MA

It takes less than an hour’s flight from New York City and about one hour and a half from Connecticut by Amtrak. Of course, with a charter bus, making pit stops in between is a must. It offers opportunities to savor the mysteries of old towns, soak in the untainted countryside, explore uncharted landscape… and, of course, let’s not forget that selfie.

Tips For Planning Your Itinerary in Boston, MA

  1. First up would be finding the most affordable and convenient flight into Logan International Airport in East Boston, Worcester Regional Airport, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport or the T.F. Green Airport in Warwick in neighboring Rhode Island. Ironing out how you’re getting into the city will always be the most important item on your agenda.

  2. For those who are traveling in a large group, suffice to say, Charter Bus Boston would be more than happy to be at your service! Getting a group in and out of Boston would be a breeze with a bus at the ready, complete with chauffeurs and experienced staff at hand. This way, you wouldn’t be flying blind… and in this case, it would be driving blind.

  3. Where to stay in Boston, MA? Next up would be a place to catch the important shuteye in between trips to museums and a place to call home for a while. Research reveals that staying in the midst of Boston, MA can cut a big chunk out of your budget so, if you’re looking to save a buck or two, try looking for accommodation on the outskirts of Boston. The ride in and out of the metropolis might take approximately 30 to 40 minutes per trip but with a well-planned itinerary, it won’t matter much. After all, it sounds like a great time to catch a quick nap on the charter bus too.

  4. Things to do in Boston, MA – planning and putting together your travel itinerary could be fun and simple if you’re traveling in a small group or as a couple. However, for large groups with people of varying preferences and differences of opinion, the better idea would be to group your friends up in accordance with their interests. For instance, list down attractions categorically for the foodies, art lovers, shoppers, fitness enthusiasts, history lovers, kids and the elderly. Our tip would be to keep things flexible and loose. Having a good idea of what you want to do is different from being unable to shapeshift according to current situations. If it’s raining, hiking should, needless to say, be struck off the list. Another tip would be this – book admission tickets ahead of time and note down the opening hours.

  5. Checking the weather channel. With four very clear, distinct seasons, Boston’s weather has a reputation for being more than a little dramatic. Winters sees snowfall throughout December right through to March; spring is growing season which means you can ditch the jacket; summers are humid but completely in control; while fall weather makes it seems like it is the best weather on earth. This is particularly important if you have young children or elderly travelers with you. Knowing what to bring ahead of time will save you a headache or hunting things down in the middle of a city you’re unfamiliar with.

Keeping Everyone On The Same Page, On The Same Bus

Moving around in a large group can take a toll of just about anyone and we’re here to make the trip more memorable. Once you’ve got your trajectory planned out, get in touch with our friendly customer service personnel and we’ll hook you up with the best Boston charter buses in the market. Relax in the comfort of the bus while getting the chance to bond with your fellow travelers is literally priceless in every way.

India Travel Tip – How to Eat a Banana Safely

For the first time traveler to India, eating can be one of the main sources of fear.

“Will I get Delhi belly?”

The answer is a resounding, “Most likely!” but don’t let that put you off traveling in the most ridiculously magical country on Earth.

Ok, back to the banana. Here’s how you should eat a banana in India. Hold it by the stem with one hand while you carefully peel it with the other…so far it’s just like eating one at home. But here’s the important part-you must ensure that if you’ve touched the outside of the banana, you don’t then touch the part you’re going to eat.

Why? What might make you sick is not the banana itself, it’s the germs in any tiny water droplets etc on the outside of the banana. So with any peelable fruit, just be sure never to touch the outside then the inside-it’s a little tricky with oranges, but there you have it.

For the same reason you should not accept salads in restaurants, or the free glass of water they give you with your meal. The salad would be great, but the water it’s washed in may make you wish you were dead. In some of the restaurants which cater particularly for foreigners, they may tell you they have ‘filter water’ which would then be OK for you, so this is not a blanket rule, but be guided by the surroundings-if it’s a five star hotel, you’re right to eat anything, as it’s all made for foreigners to eat, but if you’re in a little roadside stall in the middle of nowhere-ganj and all the patrons are local, then play it safe or you could ruin your holiday. Also, never travel to India without comprehensive travel insurance, you don’t want to find yourself really ill with no-one to call.

Regarding getting Delhi-belly as a first time traveler to India, here’s the consensus. Most people do in fact get sick in their first week, if they’re eating at even reputable local restaurants, more certainly if they’re eating from roadside stalls or drinking anything with milk or yogurt where the local electricity supply is unstable (that’s everywhere, by the way). But with the dozens of repeat travelers I know personally, none of them have ever been sick on a subsequent visit, except maybe for a cold here and there.

It’s like your body just needs it’s Indian baptism, then you’re fine. It’s baptism by both fire and water, you could say. But it’s well worth it, as once India gets under your skin, not to mention through your digestive system, you’ll never be the same.

And another thing about bananas-they can be deadly in more ways than one. Don’t eat them in front of hungry urban monkeys or you may have a nasty fight on your hands-did I mention travel insurance?

6 Tips To Keep Pickpockets From Stealing Your Purse Or Wallet

As any good traveler knows, pickpockets can be a something to think about avoiding when traveling. So how do you keep your purse or wallet safe? Follow these short guidelines and you will significantly reduce your chances of being ripped-off.

1) Remain alert and aware

This may seem simple, but remember you are walking around somewhere new, you may be staring straight up in the sky admiring the architecture of a building, or fumbling with your map and not paying attention to the kid behind you with his hand in your half open purse. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy what you are there to see, just keep an eye out from time to time as to who is near you and look at your map in a more strategic place.

2) Use a money belt or something else difficult to get into

I have traveled with a money belts, backpacks, and thick canvas shoulder bag with heavy duty zipper holding my money and other important documents. All of these work great for making it too difficult to get to your belongings. Money belts are sometimes hard to get into without showing some skin or other embarrassing things. You can opt for one that goes around your neck instead of around your waist. Backpacks have many pockets and some of them are facing backward and easy for pickpockets to get into. If you use a backpack make sure your belongings are not easily accessible or even better use a hidden compartment. For example, I have a pocket in mine that is against my back, that works great.

3) Plan ahead

If you know where you are going and what you want to do, you are much less likely to get stuck pulling out your map and being lost in getting directions. It’s easier to pay attention to whose around you as you enjoy the area. This doesn’t mean you have to have every moment planned or you can’t change your plans and be spontaneous, it just means be aware of where you get your map out and don’t look lost. A tourist with a destination is a harder target.

4) Leave valuables at home or hotel

You don’t need to have every document with you every step of the way. Often times simply carrying a photocopy of some things will be plenty of documentation. Also, you don’t need all your money or your favorite expensive watch. If it’s not on you to be taken, they can’t take it.

5) Watch for signs

So you are alert, you have a money belt, you planned ahead and left unnecessary items at home, now what do you look for to help you avoid a possible pickpocket? Many times pickpockets work in groups. Two or three people will cause some sort of ruckus while another one or two will walk behind people slyly taking things, and you won’t even notice. For example, someone could get “stuck” on the steps getting on or off a bus or train, holding up the line of people so they can grab your things. If this happens, be aware of who is around you and hold on to your belongings closely.

6) Did I mention remain alert and aware

Again, one of the best ways to help you avoid having a pickpocket find their way into your life, is to be aware of who is around you and what’s going on.

Although pickpocketing can happen to innocent, and often naive tourists, it is not a given it will happen to you. Just be careful, remain aware and follow these simple steps you can help save yourself the agony of being pick-pocketed.