Mauritius, Africa - a land of sea, sun and rum
Updated: Mar 21
My trip to Mauritius followed after South Africa (read about it here). A few days on the calming shores of the Indian Ocean are just what the doctor ordered after a mesmerising adventure through the depths of mainland Africa.
For our stay in this beautiful oasis and (former!) home to the extinct Dodo, we lodged at the Sofitel L'Imperial. The hotel was nice, the rooms were a bit dated and the staff slightly slow, however, the views and location on the famous Flic en Flac beach more than made up for it.
We arrived in the evening, just in time for a beautiful sunset on the seafront balcony. We started fresh the next day and were ready for the sea and water sports to help us get into the relaxation beach mode.
Over the next few days, we arranged a tour to visit the southern part of the island (it is way bigger than it looks!) and we visited the local town of Curepipe followed by a trip to the dormant volcanic crater called Trou-aux-Cerfs which overlooks the city. The tour continued into the mountains with a visit to the Ganga Talao Lake, a sacred Hindu site set in the heart of the lush island.
The final stop was at the La Vanille Crocodile Park where we met the lovely residents which included giant tortoises, butterflies and of course, the crocodiles.
For our meals and drinks, we did not stray too far from our hotel, plus the beach bar and restaurants were wonderful so the laziness got the better of us. There are however markets around, as well as other places to eat.
Our one other trip was to a local rum distillery called Rhumerie Chamarel, which we visited in the pouring rain (!). This is one of the most famous distilleries on the island and it was a great experience where we learned a lot and...well, tasted even more!
There are many more things to do around the island like a visit to the capital, Port Louis, or a trip following the tea route, however, a word of warning, the infrastructure involved one-lane streets across the island and they get extremely busy at times. We spent a lot of time in traffic, which is why we decided not to go on more trips, but rather enjoy the sun and sea more locally.
Most resorts offer a myriad of watersports and spas and I made sure to indulge in those closest to me.
The verdict - I liked Mauritius, however having been to the Maldives (read about it here), I can definitely say the latter is my favourite. This is mostly because Mauritius is moody in terms of rain, with some parts of the island getting more of it at random times. The food is interesting and pretty much pescetarian heaven, but the spices used are quite intense and everything seems to take a long time (both service and travel). Nonetheless, the colours of the water and the dolphins we spotted unexpectedly made it more than a wonderful experience.