Mahebourg Museum
Mahebourg Museum
4
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Top ways to experience Mahebourg Museum

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles177 reviews
Excellent
51
Very good
97
Average
26
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Stephen S
London, UK40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Solo
I've visited this museum in my wife's home village/town more times than I can remember and there's always something new to see. The old home of the Robillards lies at the end of a straight avenue flanked by rather gloomy serried ranks of pines. The 'craft village', which includes the museum shop, was closed during my Sunday morning visit.

A fine double set of stairs takes you to the 'ground' floor (I presume there is, or was, a cellar below). The faded Java deer, a giant sea turtle, two dodo skeletons and a skeleton of that other, but less celebrated, extinct bird, the solitaire, reside in the first room. The museum contains many interesting and important finds from the waters around Mauritius. The collection, which eventually formed the basis for the Naval Museum, was started by H C M Austen, who in the 1920s was harbour engineer, railway manager and pioneering underwater archaeologist. Mauritius owes him a lot, but he's been utterly forgotten apart from his splendid book, Sea Fights and Corsairs of the Indian Ocean.

The museum contains some artefacts that Austen would have recognised: tickets and cap badges from the Mauritius Government Railways and a superb large-scale model of a double-deck railway carriage (known in Mauritius as a 'storey carriage'), while outside in the yard behind the museum building you can find in a caged enclosure one of the oldest surviving railway carriages in the Southern Hemisphere. Scandalously neglected for decades by successive governments, which have shown zero interest in protecting or preserving anything dating from the 157 years of British administration, the Governor's Saloon is on the verge of complete collapse. The underframe was built in Britain but the teak body was constructed c1871 by Mauritian craftsmen at Plaine Lauzun railway works (the works survive in industrial use, as do many old railway buildings). The only museum administrator who showed real interest in restoring the carriage was sadly murdered a few years ago.

Old maps, a fine painting of the famous St Malo-born pirate Robert Surcouf, a couple of sedan chairs, cannons, an antique bed, fascinating maps and old photographs, plus some thought-provoking displays on slavery, indentured labour* and the environment are all worth your attention, so allow at least an hour - but be prepared to spend longer here than you planned! (* If you want to know more about this subject, don't miss the Aapravasi Ghat Museum and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute).

If you want to see visit the museum you should either be quick or be patient, as the building is in a poor state of repair and will close for refurbishment in September 2018 for at least a year.
Written 1 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lilli
Finland108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
Wonderful museum well worth a visit in Mahebourg. Interesting collections are located on two floors of the pretty colonial building, helpful staff are available on both floors.

Rooms are arranged in a clear manner- the first room has natural history related items (Dodo and Rodriques Solitaire bones) then it’s chronological order: Dutch-French-British periods in their own rooms.

Clear signage in both English and French goes through the main naval history, plenty of treasures recovered from the numerous shipwrecks. History of the (now defunct) railway system came to me as a surprise, check out the governer’s coach behind the building as well. Topics such as slavery and indentured labour are also covered and extensive collections contain beautiful old maps, palanquins, coins, model ships, old photos, china etc.

Gift shop was not open during my weekday visit either. Museum is free so do pop in for a brief visit or spend two hours going through it all.

On the walk back to town, next to the garden of the museum, there is a little bakery in the corner. Grab yourself a hot cheese-potato-sweet corn puff pastry for Rs20 - or the cream puffs and eclairs looked delicious as well.
Written 4 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aerosid
Ballarat, Australia227 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Family
Entry is free and some of the display are just amazing. It has loads of information that only wants to be discovered.
The museum is not efficiently run, there are bone display of the dodo that are being kept in a simple glass cabinet, so I can only imagine that it will eventually turn into dust.
There were meant to be a few handicraft shops just outside, all were closed except one.
I heard a few stories that the place is haunted as it was used as an infirmary during the battle of Grand Port :)
Written 27 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

periandro
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg10,004 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
The National History Museum (Naval Museum) is in a beautiful colonial mansion South East of Mauritius. It was built towards the end of the eighteenth century and was part of the Rivière-la-Chaux estate. Jean de Robillard, a marine lieutenant, owned the house until he died in 1809. Due to the said ownership the Museum is sometimes called “La Maison de Robillard”. The last building owner prior to its conveyance in favour of the Mauritius Government was Nemours Gheude, whence the name “Gheude Castle” with which it’s also known. The huge garden where the Museum lies is a very nice one, and it’s therefore very pleasant to saunter about on that garden owing to both the trees and plants belonging to different species and the quaint village houses standing there.
The Museum consists of three floors but only two of them are accessible to the public. There are several sections where one can learn about the different colonisation periods of Mauritius. Therefore the visitors interested in History can be taken into a historical journey of the island dating back to the 18th century. In such a sense, the Naval Museum houses reminiscences of the French colonial empire. Likewise, the remnants of the great Naval Battle of Vieux Grand Port as well as artifacts of many other ship wrecks such as the Pieter Both (the first Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies) can be seen there.
Inside the Museum, apart from the items already referred to, one can see different types of objects, all of them of an undeniable interest: from the weapons used by the corsair Robert Surcouf to a near complete skeleton of a dodo. Likewise an exciting collection of items salvaged from naval battles as well as fascinating early maps, coins and furniture, among other things, can be beheld in that Museum. An attractive bell exhibited there was recovered from the wreckage of the boat Saint Géran which sank off the East coast of Mauritius in the Middle of the 18th century. Another bell also exhibited was formerly in use at the Headquarters of the East Indies Naval Station. As far as furniture is concerned, there is a model of a bed used under the Compagnie des Indes, and on the first floor there is a poster bed which belonged to Mahé de Labourdonnais, the first French governor of Mauritius.
In addition to the foregoing one can behold a picture depicting a dodo, which resembles more a caricature, by Johannes Savery (1589 – 1654) (Oxford University Museum), and an oil painting depicting the Beau Rivage sugar factory by Numa Desjardins; some miniatures of ships such as the Saint Géran, a piano of the Royal Navy, the Bell Marengo, the chair of Charlie Telfair (1778 – 1833); some items evoking the famous novel “Paul and Virginie”, by Jacques Bernardin Henri de St. Pierre, such as statuettes made by Prosper d’Épinnay and a copy of one of the first editions of that literary work, as well as many other items of the utmost relevance for everyone interested in the history of Mauritius.
The National History Museum in Mahebourg is consequently a gorgeous place whose visit shouldn’t be missed while in Mauritius on account of its very interesting features lying not only on the collection of items displayed inside the building but also taking the history of the building itself into account. Therefore, the exterior of that magnificent edifice is something worth being contemplated attentively.
Written 19 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Reflectorgo
Cork, Ireland550 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
We visited on a national holiday and were delighted that this museum was open in the morning, although the gift shop was shut. It is a beautiful old colonial mansion, dating from the 1700s, and it is very historic. It is where the English and French leaders met while ill, and being nursed, became friends and worked out the future of Mauritius in a cooperative way instead of fighting. There are basically very 2 large rooms (which would have been originally subdivided) on each floor. Also a large landing which makes a display space. charming old fashioned and very interesting display of Mauritius's piratical, naval, historical past, many interesting oil paintings and some good stuff about the Mauritius railway which closed 70 years ago, there's also an original railway carriage outside. The grounds are beautiful and wooded and covered in trees. We had the place to ourselves and felt a bit as if we were visiting a colonial mansion. There is no entry fee which I think is good. Highly recommended. Next door to it is a bakery which sells nice bread and pastries to take away. Idon't know if there is a cafe in teh museum because the "village" in the grounds of the quaint little cottages with the shops etc. were all closed becuase of the public holiday.
Written 21 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Loki P
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Family
Very informative and beautiful, the Museum itself is kept in excellent condition. Love all the trees :)
Written 17 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cerris1
Cleobury Mortimer, UK336 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
Small museum with lots of info and free to visit. Check out the old railway carriage parked up behind the museum by the toilets and take a look at the museum shop along with the other gift shops at the side of the main museum building
Written 29 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PrestonGuild
United Kingdom55,942 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Family
The museum is an old colonial house built in 1771 and was the residence of a French sugar baron that became a hospital at the time of the Battle of Grand Port in 1810 when both the French and British commanders were convalescing in the same room.

It became a naval museum in 1950 before adopting its present guise as the National Museum of Mauritius. Its a bit of a hotpotch with relics from ships, naval memorabilia including the bell from the shipwreck of the St Geran. There is art, coins, natural history as well as the history of sugar plantations.

Admission is free, there are guide cards which explain the exhibits but what the museum really needs are the staff to provide regular tours of the museum. There were only a few people there when we visited and many were just wandering aimlessly. We were lucky as the person accompanying us during the visit was knowledgeable about the museum.
Written 19 November 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Johannes
Midrand, South Africa154 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Very detailed history of Mauritius all in one place. It seems relative small, but there is lots of information. All for free, but you can leave a donation.
Written 24 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

psdeepa
Mumbai, India6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
A wonderful visit to the museum! Good collection and insights into the history of Mauritius. A visit here can be combined to/from the airport to optimise time.
Written 13 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 82
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

MAHEBOURG MUSEUM (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All things to do in Mahebourg
Day Trips in MahebourgSpas & Wellness in Mahebourg
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire