Our family used to live in St. Francois Xavier between Goa and Perimbe streets and the Port Louis market is a place that generations have been going to. We were told by our Grandmother that My uncle Raoul Pitchen who could not say a word for 5 years since his birth, was taken to Père Laval for prayers and thereafter before going home, they stopped at the market to purchase some provisions. Raoul picked up an apple and said “Apple”. His first word was heard !!! Amazing indeed. Could have been a miracle.

“Bazar Port Louis” is a major tourist attraction and the most visited place in Mauritius by locals as well. Also known as the Central Market, obviously situated in the Capital, Port Louis, on Farquhar Street, on a site previously known as “Bassin des Chaloupes”. The market was erected in 1839 under the British Empire Rule.

The bustling market has developed over the years after it went through many ups and downs, the most recent one is the fire in 1990 where it was seriously affected. It is today a heritage-protected hall. The original ironwork gates dedicated to Queen Victoria still stands proudly.

We systematically accompany our clients to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the colourful market to avoid any problem with the clarity of the merchants’ intentions. My schoolmate Runghen who himself owns a crafts stall at the market, is always on “Radio One” to carefully warn tourists to sharpen their bargaining skills to shred prices to almost half as unfortunately a few have been overcharged and ripped off. A note of caution also on the hygiene prevailing or the smell of Poison Salé (dry fish), dry octopus and Bombli (Bombay duck).

The market makes shopping lots of fun. There are on stock for you a large array of fresh vegetables, fruits, local products, medicinal plants, souvenirs, pareos, saris, t-shirts, local clothing, hats, coloured beach baskets, wood sculptures, model boats and artisanal jewelry. There is a treasure trove of goods waiting for you.

Do not forget to try your luck at the lottery at Coronation found near the entrance. For any health issue, the herbalist has a variety of organic herbs that can help to cure. Interested in street food, then sample the Dholl Puri, Roti, Samoussas, Gateau piment, noodles, curries and end the delicacies with an “Alouda” (contains vanilla, basil seeds, agar jelly and milk served over ice).


Christian Lefèvre