I have fallen in love with the beautiful island of Mauritius and I can not lie.So when I came across a conferance with Iambassador and Mauritius Tourism online with the hashtag #MyMauritius,I applied and crossed my fingers and toes that I would be able to get a place.With only 30 bloggers going to be selected,a great line up of speakers and topics/workshops that I defo need I really really wanted to get selected.
So I applied and every day I eagerly refreshed my inbox waiting and finally it had arrived as nervous as I was I was excited and as I read the first line I screamed like a crazy kid 😉 .I was returning to #MyMauritius but the time leading up to my departure was insanely busy for me with finishing up assignments and marking.But then the day arrived and I headed off to King Shaka International Airport to board my flight to the island.Besides the amazing conferance I was super excited to met some of my Travel Blogger friends in real life.I arrived late on Monday evening and was taken to the South of the island to Kazalala to what was to be my home for the next few days.
What is #MyMauritius Explorer Lab :
The event was sponsored by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA),with the aim of providing bloggers with new skills and showcase Mauritius in foreign countries by building a strong and rich online presence.
As part of #MyMauritius Explorer Lab, MTPA will host 30 bloggers from different countries for a conference and live workshop sessions. Here bloggers will create unique content during their stay in Mauritius and will highlight Mauritius through their content by promoting the outdoor activities, the beaches, local food, Mauritian culture etc.
Now this does sound fantastic and why I was over the moon to be chosen.
Quick Mauritius Facts :
1.South Africans do not need a visa just a valid passport with 2 pages for stamps.
2.The currency used is the Mauritian Rupee and not to be confused with the Indian Rupee.
3.Currency conversion can be done at the airport or your hotel.
4.Winter does not exist lol but carry a light jacket or jersey.
5.Everything on the island is at 1h30 minutes away.
6.Do not be fooled with the notion that you can see the island in two days.
7.Direct flights leave daily from Cape Town ,Durban and Johannesburg.
Iambassador #MyMauritius Day 1
We had a super early pick up as we headed from the South of the island to the East of the island for the first day of the conferance.The location was the gorgeous Lux Belle Mare with views for days.Grabbing a quick coffee it was a chance to meet friends before the day started.
The speakers for Day 1 included :
1) Keith Jenkins – who spoke about the Travel influencer landscape of the Good ,Bad and Ugly.This introduction to the conferance gave me food for thought and got me thinking about where and what I want my blog to become.
2) Becky Enright – presented on influencer ethics and the importance of responsible content creation.Here I got thinking about my own travel style ,the way my travel impacts my readers and I am telling the true story.
3)Jurga Rubinovaite – Since I have had my blog for a few years now I dream of blogging full time and making money from my blog.Jurga shared ways to drive traffic to your blog and that is one of the key ways to earn an income.
4. Julie Falconer – Julie shared the different ways one can get income from your blog.And SEO is plays an important part in this.
5. Peter Jordan – Spoke about Destination Marketing and the challenges going forward.There will be a global change going forward changing from Destination Marketing to Destination Management focusing on locals and the impact of Tourism in their lives.
Kazalala Family Dinner
Like weary travellers we headed back to Kazalala after our extremely long but very informative day only to be greeted by the most beautifully laid out table set for a family dinner with the management team of Kazalala.A quick refresh and we were ready to mingle.Cocktails flowed with delicious island snacks while we chatted to the team and learnt about the brand,the vision and the future.Sitting around a table sharing a meal with strangers is such a wonderful and humbling experience it makes you look at life differently.
Read about my Kazalala Experience here.
Tired but head buzzing with new ideas and inspiration it took me ages to fall asleep but the consolation was that the next morning we had a later start as Day 2 was literally 2 minutes away from Kazalala at the Heritage Resort in Bel Ombre. A lazy start to the morning was just right as Day 2 was jam packed !
Iambassador Day 2 #MyMauritius
The venue for Day 2 of #MyMauritius was another beautiful property Heritage Telfair Resort
A few photo shoots before the conferance was defo in order in such a beautiful property.The theme today was all about content creation and how to get the best content.First up was Julie who schooled us on how to prepare content before trip,one of the key factors is research finding out what you want to see,do and eat then work around that to create your content.SEO is also key and getting the attention of your audience with captivating opening paragraphs.
Then it was onto photography by Laurence Norah.As a keen photgrapher who loves taking photos I was keen to learn more.Prior to the session we were asked to bring our cameras ot mobile phones and download Lightroom for editing.Part of this session included a go and shoot session of wait for it a beautiful Chateux and a gorgeous garden making shooting a total charm.Incase you do not know ,I do not own a camera and all my images are captured on my Samsung S9 phone.A quick edit session and it was time for lunch and ofcourse more photos.
After a divine lunch which never semed to end ,we headed back to learn video from Caspar Diederik After a quick theory lesson it was off to go create movies using different angles and views.Having never done video I was impressed and can not wait to put my video together.
Exhausted after another long day it was time to go back to Kazalala.Each day I was falling in love with #MyMauritius and I could not help it.Dinner would be in the Chateaux and a quick tour followed by a wine tasting session started off an amazing evening.I will be doing a detailed post on this evening soon.
#MyMauritius Day 3/4
Day 3 was all about discovering the island as we headed off on different around the island.My group headed off to find the “Tea Route” (post coming soon) and Ganga Talao.It was great learning about Tea production and watching the various processes.A tea tour would not be complete with a delicious tea tasting.
A stop at my beloved Ganga Talao was as always for me food for my soul.There is just something magical that keeps drawing me back here.A quick prayer in the temple and a few wishes my heart felt content as we headed back to Kazalala.
A few hours of free time meant it was time for fresh coconut water and some pool time.My feet welcomed the cool water.My coconut was freshly cut and I felt so healthy drinking it up.Then it was time for dinner with friends.
My Day 4 was spent at The Ravenala Attitude Hotel while everyone headed off on more tours.I will be doing an indept review of this utterly beautiful property.A programe of activities were drawn up for me including some spa pampering,cooking classes creole classes.For now I will just share some images of this property.Day 4 was the only day we had to create content for the Gala Dinner on Saturday night.
By 11am the next morning we had to submit content for the 10 different categories.I submitted for about 5/10.I knew it would be a late night and my check out was at 5am the next morning ,so I had to pack and sort out my life.We headed off to Sugar Beach Resort which is out of this world for the awards event at the Buddha Bar on the beach.
Beautiful crafted cocktails,an incredible sunset with creole music was the back drop for the evening.It was a bitter sweet evening as many of my fellow bloggers were flying home that same evening.I hate goodbyes …..
It was then time for the awards ceremony.A large screen was set up and each category was displayed and then the winning content.And no way did I ever think I would get an award as the group was made up of very talented bloggers and photographers.And then it happened… my images and name popped up on the screen and my friends were like go go you won ! It has still not sunk in ! The award was a beautiful sculpture of #MyMauritius island and it said “Best Food Photo”.And a lil later I got given a gimball as a prize something I have been after for ages.If you still wondering what is a gimball it is a stabilizer for your phone it makes taking photos and videos so much easier.I will be reviewing the product soon.
And then it was time to say goodbye to #MyMauritius and thank Iambassador and Mauritius Tourism for a fantastic learning opportunity.
My fellow bloggers have all been creating amazing content on their experiences.Check them out below :
1. Emily Lush – https://wander-lush.org/tag/mauritius/
2. Sara Essop – https://inafricaandbeyond.com/things-to-do-in-mauritius/
3. Robson Cadore – https://loveandroad.com/mauritius-photos/
4. Julie Falconer – https://www.aladyinlondon.com/2019/11/4-days-in-mauritius.html
5. Annike Myhre – https://resfredag.se/hotelltips-pa-mauritius/
6. Melvin Boecher – https://www.traveldudes.org/travel-tips/10-places-shop-mauritius/140235
8. Meg Peta Sproat – https://www.gotthepassports.com/africa/mauritius/unique-mauritian-experiences/
10. Lea Hajner – https://escape-town.com/luxushotel-mauritius-constance/
11. Aram Vardanyan – https://www.meganstarr.com/travel-to-mauritius/
12. Roobens Fils – https://www.beenaroundtheglobe.com/what-to-do-in-mauritius/
13. Mathilde Jx
14. Lisa Ekhall Stentvedt – https://www.fjordsandbeaches.com/mauritius-honeymoon-only/
15. Veruska Anconitano – https://thefoodellers.com/en/best-5-stars-hotels-mauritius
16. Sandy N Vijay – https://imvoyager.com/chamarel-mauritius-top-things-to-do-in-chamarel/
17. Patrizia Belsito – http://fashionfortravel.com/mauritius-mini-crociera-a-ile-aux-cerfs/
18. Celine Simon – https://www.je-papote.com/sugar-beach-ile-maurice.html
19. Greta Omoboni –https://gretastravels.com/underwater-scooter-mauritius/
20. Madhurima Chakraboty – https://www.orangewayfarer.com/why-visit-
21. Nivedith Gajapathy – https://www.macrotraveller.com/places-to-visit-in-mauritius/
22. Sangyune Lee – https://m.blog.naver.com/imagelogger/221709566305
Stop wasting time and go book your ticket to #MyMauritius ,writing this post has made me want to #RatherBeInMauritius.
Be Inspired !