Squinting, fanning their faces with the racing programme, thousands of excited Mauritians gather in the stands of the Port Louis racetrack, which is the oldest in the Indian Ocean (it dates from 1812).
The horses take their places on the starting line, the atmosphere is tense, and everyone is holding their breath. That's racing! The clamour swells, covering the cries of street vendors and bookies. The Champ de Mars on the outskirts of Port Louis, below the Fort Adelaide Citadel, has become a real institution in the course of its 200-year history and horse racing has thus become a national recreation.
This is a must for anyone who wants to get as close as possible to Mauritian culture.
Champ de Mars
9, Dauphine Street
+230 212 2212