When you’re on holiday in Mauritius, buying local souvenirs – rather than imported goods – helps the economy and means you take home a more authentic slice of the island with you. We round up 10 of our favourites, made right here on the island.
If you’re looking for an authentic souvenir to help stir up memories of your holiday, purchase a ravanne. These tambourine-like instruments are used to create Sega music and are perfect for playing (or hanging on the wall if you’re not musically-minded). Choose Abaim for a brand with a conscience, an NGO that is active in the community with music sessions and lessons. Abaim aims to keep the heritage of the ravanne alive and empower people through music.
2. Salt from Les Salines
‘Les Salines’ are incredible salt pans in the coastal village of Tamarin, where local workers in wide-brimmed hats can be seen extracting the salt with rakes and salt vats. Pay a visit to Tamarin and see the ancient process in action, where sea water is evaporated under the scorching sun; or simply take a taste of Mauritius home with you by purchasing some local salt.
Available from: Les Salines de Yemen, on Tamarin Royal Road, and all local supermarkets
3. Cassava biscuits
Mauritius is home to Biscuiterie H. Rault, a family business that has been making biscuits from cassava flour for over 140 years. They are made using a traditional method and come in different flavours, which you can try at Domaine Les Délices. Grain and gluten-free, these are great to take home as a souvenir.
Available from: Biscuiterie H. Rault at Mahébourg or at all local supermarkets
4. Spiced rum
The art of rum is made and mastered on the island of Mauritius– there’s plenty of choice! The spiced variety is often flavoured with vanilla and spices such as nutmeg. A bottle of dark rum is an essential for your hand luggage.
Available from: All local supermarkets
Mauritius is home to rolling tea-plantations and a box of flavoured brew – from vanilla to coconut – is a great souvenir from your travels. Bois Chéri is the first and biggest tea producer in Mauritius, and you can take a tour of the factory and museum during your holiday. Finish the experience with a cup of tea in the chalet overlooking the surrounding emerald-green landscape. You can pick up some tea at the plantation itself.
Available from: Bois Chéri tea plantation, Otentik Bazar in Attitude Hotels or all local supermarkets
6. Papaya jam
It takes 18 months to perfect the jams made by Château de Labourdonnais in Mauritius. There are 13 different types of jam – one of the favourites being papaya – and the traditional production process is completely natural, creating a rich taste. You can visit Domaine de Labourdonnais estate, founded in 1774, where you’ll find spectacular green sugar cane fields, beautiful orchards and the grand mansion.
Available from: La Corbeille, the little shop next to Château de Labourdonnais, and all local supermarkets
7. Vacoas baskets
Braiding vacoas leaves is an ancient tradition on the island – and baskets and handbags are the perfect take-me-home present. If you’re staying at one of the Attitude Hotels, visit the Otentik Bazar, a pop-up shopping experience where you can browse local craftspeople creations, including these beautiful baskets and bags. The hotel group has a Positive Impact ethos, so the craftspeople keep all of the money made from their sales, plus many of the products are also sold in the hotels’ boutiques. All of the products at the bazar are made in Mauritius and many are made from recycled materials.
Available from: Otentik Bazar in Attitude Hotels, Craft Market at Caudan Port Louis and all local markets
8. Natural cosmetics
Mauritius is an innovative hub for 100% natural cosmetics and beauty products. Pop into L’Ecolo to buy zero-waste must-haves such as solid bar face cleaner (without the plastic bottle) and handmade soaps. We also recommend Le Rendez-vous at La Croisette in Grand Baie to stock up on natural soaps and shampoos in pretty packaging, making perfect gifts.
9. Macramé wall tapestry
The art of knotting strings is taken to a whole new level in Mauritius. These beautiful and locally-made wall tapestries are a great holiday keepsake to decorate your home and Passetemps Macramé have ventured even further in the creative stakes, making products including baby mobiles and funky lampshades.
10. Locally-crafted jewellery
You can find the most stunning and locally-made jewellery at the Otentik Bazar, a pop-up shopping experience at Attitude Hotels. From modern pieces inspired by the island’s flowers to more traditional bangles, you can return home with some beautiful pieces of Mauritian-made jewellery.
Available from: Otentik Bazar in Attitude Hotels