Why had I lived most of my life on the doorstep of Mauritius, yet never took the 4 hour flight to get here?
Strangely enough, getting to Mauritius was not even on my list of places to see. Why, you may ask? I had always viewed Mauritius as too accessible. I was under the misguided belief, that if I wanted an exotic island escape, it would have to be on the other side of the planet. Now that that childish perception has been completely blown out of the water, let me show you how very wrong I was.
Watersports and entertainment for days! Many South Africans regularly holiday in Mauritius, and many more have even emigrated and made this beautiful island home. From the moment we arrives in the small town of Flic en Flac, I knew exactly what all the fuss was about.
Flic en Flac has a beautiful, long stretch of beach. On day one, it delivered the most breathtaking sunset I have ever seen, and it continued to perform throughout our visit.
The shallow reef is filled with sea life, we were constantly spotting sea urchins, star fish and even scorpion fish to name a few. Coming from Cape Town, where the water is a bone chilling 19°C on a hot day, we took full advantage of the perfect water temperatures and spent hours in the water.
The beach front has a wide selection of local food stalls. We found this to be the cheapest and most delicious way to keep well fed on a beach day. You can rent an umbrella and beach loungers for a few dollars and pop to the stalls at lunch time. The “Euro Cafe” was our favorite and the locals are so friendly you will not want to leave.
No holiday in Mauritius is complete without a day trip by boat to Le Morne and the iconic Crystal Rock. The day includes snorkeling and swimming with wild dolphins which is an experience you will not want to miss.
Part of the tour includes a barbecue lunch, prepared for you on the nearby Bénitiers Island. The island is covered in sparse bush and inhabited by a few local stray dogs, who are all too happy to get any of your lunch leftovers. The ocean is the perfect backdrop to this isolated rest spot. It is also frequented by local salesmen who offer coconut drinks and other delights, so pack a little extra spending money.
Grand Baie is located at the Northern tip of the island and offers more of the unique beauty that follows the entire Mauritious coastline.
Tamarine Bay is located South of Flic en Flac and the perfect sunsets combined with the local fisherman returning from a day out at sea will be etched in your memory for a lifetime.
Touring Inland on the Island
Renting a car is one of the best ways to explore the island. From giant water lilies at the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens to even larger waterfalls and humongous prehistoric tortoises, there are endlessly beautiful view to take in. Mauritius is also home to the famous 7 colored earth at Chamarel , which is the miniature version of the incredibly impressive Rainbow Mountains in Peru that is without a doubt on my bucket list.