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Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean around 500 miles from the coast of Madagascar. Here you’ll find perfect beaches, up-market hotels, rocky-peaked mountains and waterfalls. The island is surrounded by coral reefs.
The topography of Mauritius enchanted Mark Twain. He wrote in gushing praise of island in his travel book “Following The Equator”.
The Dutch, French and British empires all claimed Mauritius at different points in history. The inhabitants of the island are a diverse mix of Indian, French, Chinese and Creole.
Since gaining independence from Britain in 1968, Mauritius has enjoyed political stability and sustained economic growth. It is a hugely popular destination for tourists from all over the world, but Mauritius can be a challenge for LGBT+ travellers.
Sodomy is illegal in Mauritius. A recent attempt to overturn the law was unsuccessful. So you could, in theory, still be arrested for having gay sex in Mauritius. But this draconian law is rarely imposed.
In fact, Mauritius has signed up to a joint UN statement calling for an end to anti-LGBT+ discrimination. Mauritius even has laws in place to protect LGBT+ people from discrimination in the workplace. Hate speech is also outlawed.
Irrespective of these laws, the culture is broadly conservative. Gay people are often treated like second-class citizens in Mauritius. Social attitudes are starting to change, as increasingly liberal laws give gay people more rights. But there is still a long way to go before gay Mauritians will feel comfortable to live openly.
Mauritius attracts around one million visitors each year. Tourists tend to gravitate towards the resorts, chiefly in the Grand Baie area. Here you’ll find a wide array of surprisingly affordable luxury resorts, not to mention world class beaches.
When you’re in Mauritius you’ll find no shortage of activities to keep you occupied. You can swim with wild dolphins, take a catamaran cruise around the island and explore the historical sights. The Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, planted by the French East India Company, are among the oldest gardens in the world. You can also see the former sugar factories – the sugar trade helped to make Mauritius rich. The dark legacy of colonialism and slavery can also be seen in the sugar factories, as well as the many descendants of slaves living in Mauritius today.
There are many world-class resorts to choose from in Mauritius. You could consider the Sofitel Mauritius L’Imperial on the West Coast of the island. Another great luxury resort is The Westin Turtle Bay by the Turtle Bay Marine Park. The capital city, Port Louis, is just 13 km away. What’s more, the Westin is known to be a particularly gay-friendly resort.
The best way to experience Mauritius is with a tailor-made package trip. Arranging a trip to the island can be tricky so it’s wise to consult with travel specialists first. Our sister company OutOfOffice.com specialises in luxury-tailor made travel. They can put together a package covering everything from hotels to flights and transfers
When you’re in Mauritius you’ll be made to feel welcome. The Mauritians are very hospitable and understand how vital the tourism trade is to their economy.
Oscar Wilde said that truth is never pure and rarely simple. While living in Mauritius as a gay person is tricky, visiting as a tourist is a very different experience. Although there’s no gay scene to speak of, there isn’t much of a straight scene, either. Mauritius isn’t known for its nightlife. This is a place of extraordinary natural beauty. People travel to Mauritius to relax and explore the incredible landscapes.
When it comes to gay rights in Africa, Mauritius is one of the safest countries you can visit. And if you’re spending money you will be accepted, whether you’re gay or straight.
May to December are the most popular months. The weather is at its most temperate during this time. January to March is cyclone season so probably not the best time to visit – unless you’re a fan of cyclones.
Foreign nationals are eligible to a free 60-day visa as long as they provide a valid passport and evidence of a return ticket.
The currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian rupee.
We recommend using an expert when it comes to booking a trip to Mauritius as a gay couple or lesbian couple. Our colleagues at our sister company OutOfOffice.com are experts when it comes to LGBT travel. Indeed, the properties they work with in Mauritius even offer gay honeymoon benefits to same-sex couples. You can call them on +44 (0)20 7157 1570 or from the USA on 1-888-489-8383 or enquire directly with them on their Gay Mauritius page.
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