Tag Archives: diving mauritius

5 Good Reasons to Go on Vacation in Mauritius

Kite Surfing Mauritius

Mauritius evokes most of those clichés “Mauritians are nice.”, “The beautiful beaches.”, “The yellow sand.” These are true and everyone knows it. Indeed, this wonder of the Indian Ocean has some attributes that you will not find anywhere else in the world! On Mauritius, hospitality is legendary. Enjoy!

1. To Practice Diving in Mauritius

In Mauritius it’s what you want, when you want. In other words, you can enjoy many activities (kayak, snorkeling, golf, bike, boat trips, catamaran sailing, hiking, …) or do nothing at all! For diving lovers, you need to experience the charms of diving in Mauritius: warm waters, dives for all levels and skills – training for beginners. On the other hand you will rarely find an island in the world that will offer as much diversity in its dive sites: its coral reefs are protected by various associations and closely monitored by the Mauritian Federation of diving. But for those not yet familiar with diving in Mauritius, be aware that depending on the location of your dive center (East, West, North or South) there are many centers that offer you different spots in terms of wildlife, flora, ship wrecks, but also diving conditions or experience of the diver.

2. Tour the beaches on Mauritius

The majority of guests returning from their holidays in Mauritius will tell you: the beaches are beautiful, long, with fine sand, for relaxation, tanning, ideal for doing nothing at all- just lazing around! If you are planning on family holidays, you will be able to play with your children, with confidence. If you are more into solo traveling, you will finally be able to read the last novel of the year (choose well … it must be thick!). One advice is to let go of your smartphones: there is so much to see on a beach. The Mauritian families picnic on Sundays is one of the many examples. Others can be Indian ceremonies with women who file the surface of the lagoon with a few offerings of flowers or the beach fires lit by some hotels to provide guests with a dance show at nightfall. The beaches go all around the island, you have a vast choice. Our favorite? … That of Mont Choisy, in the northwest. But if you want to enjoy the sunset then Flic-En-Flac or Le Morne remains the best spots. And if you are more into tranquility, the beautiful beach of Belle Mare in the east, will not deceive. Visit Blue-Bay if you want to snorkel in its Marine park and if you are into island hopping, do visit Ile Aux Cerf in the east where the beach is exquisite!

3. Get out of your hotel in Mauritius and tour of the island!

One thing is certain, if you enjoy the hotel in Mauritius, you will not want to go out of its enclosure and you will enjoy the many options that it offers… inside its perimeter: beach, kitchen, water activities, well-planned trips. If you are one adventurer, you should definitely leave that hotel at least once and venture into the unknown around the island!

We recommend renting a car for a whole day trip around the island of Mauritius. One thing is sure! You will definitely return at your hotel tired in the evening because, yes, Mauritius is great if you want to walk around. One small piece of advice, do not forget your map before you go!

Another option would be to negotiate with a taxi driver the previous day, and ask him to show you his favorite spots on the island. Befriend the driver and you are sure to visit the best spots of the island! Avoid the famous Coloured Earths of Chamarel, it is too famous (you can go another time on tour with your hotel for a half day or three hours depending on your location).

Well to make your choice easier, here is a brief description of each corner of the island of Mauritius. In the south of the island you will see the villages of Mauritian fishermen. You can also go along the less crowded East Coast. Since frequent winds blow on the East Coast for a few months, hotel investors have long favored the West Coast to the detriment of the East Coast. Error that was corrected in recent years, due to lack of available land, and for the pleasure of privileged guests. Nowadays, the majority of luxury hotels are located on the East Coast!

While continuing your trip, if you feel a little hungry, buy a doll puree from a street vendor, tour the stalls selling everything and especially anything. The west coast is more spectacular on a windy day: then you will see the lagoons in a unique way. You can even spot the rugged coastline of the nearby sister island, Reunion. So if the wind comes up, go to the west coast to take some original photos.

We should not forget the center of the island! Do not miss the exploration of the Black River gorges and enjoying the wonderful view Trou Aux Cerfs has to offer.

4. Mingle with the population of Mauritius

Before leaving the island boasting a mixed population, check the calendar, you can probably have the chance to witness a national or cultural celebrations. Indian festivals are particularly rich in colors, scents and flavors. Special appeal to amateur photographers …

But if you really want it, it is very easy to get in touch with Mauritians, since they are of talkative nature. The easiest course is to befriend Mauritians, they will suggest you excursions places, recommend you the “real” restaurants – cheap and tasty. Who knows, maybe they will invite you to their table or their Sunday picnic.

5. Taste the cuisine of Mauritius

All those different cultures gave Mauritius some of the island’s most delicious specialties of the Indian Ocean and you will easily find them on small tables and great restaurants. I highly recommend the palm salad (a bit expensive, but rare) or banana flower salad. But you should also taste the fish curry, chicken curry, zourite stew or Indian Veg cuisine.

On the beaches or around, you will surely come across fried noddles(Chinese noodles) or boulettes- Chinese dumplings. Not to mention the small pineapple cut up and sold individually (your children will surely appreciate). Make a cure of tropical fruits, depending on the season. Nevertheless … the abundance of hotels in Mauritius also offers you the opportunity to test some excellent restaurants run by famous chefs.

Well, we hope we have convinced you to spend your next holidays in Mauritius!

Have fun!

Diving in Mauritius – Whales and Sharks

Diving Mauritius

If a scuba diving center advertises “On the menu today: dolphins, sharks and whales!”  in the morning on you are definitely lucky. Mauritius is not only on land, but also under water a real garden of eden. Clear turquoise seas, an abundance of live coral reefs and beautiful tropical fishes. There is no typical “diving season”. Beautiful conditions exist all year round but the visibility can, of course, be affected by waves, plankton, tides or rain. Here is how it was the first time I came to come across sharks and whales!

Trou aux Biches, Mauritius

My trip starts there, in the northwest of Mauritius, after leaving my beautiful villa. In the background, the mountains, Pieter Both can clearly be seen from there.

6:30 am – The crew loads the bottles, two per person as we will be at sea for the day and we will dive twice.

7:00, everyone on board, the captain gave the order to cast off and we quickly leave the Trou aux Biches bay for the lagoon. Behind us the mountains of the island of Mauritius are looming in the mist of the morning, before the silhouettes of the northern islands that aspire us.

Flat Island, north of Mauritius.

We sail blithely on a mirror sea when a fellow cries: “Whale! “. We are beyond the island of Coin de Mire, and our captain made a wide U-turn to reach the spot where the whale has left a large white surface trace, testimony of his ascent to the surface. Engine idling, we are all on the front of the boat and on the upper deck to watch in all directions.

Whale in Mauritius

Encountering whales, is an incredibly moving experiences. It will bring you into contact with strikingly beautiful scenery, unspoiled landscapes and wonderful animals. When you see the whales, the sight is unbelievable. Everyone has their own way of describing this incredible sight. Sometimes instead of the usual outbursts, it is the deafening silence of being lost for words as you hear the enormous humpback whale take one last breath before a dive.

Megaptera novaengliae in Latin. Better known under the common name of humpback whale or humpback whale or humpback. The species of the Southern Hemisphere lives six months in Antarctica during the austral summer sea and dates back to the warm waters of the tropics during the winter to mate and give birth. These whales arrive in Mauritius waters in the month of June and leave in late October.

We lose track of time. Aboard adults swoon with cameras in hand, welcoming their images.

But we also want to dive, and to do our first dive without much delay we head to a site where we are told we will be able to encounter sharks! Yes, SHARKS!

Our sailor was the one who introduced the famous Shark Tank, then accompanied the worldwide TV crews and scientists who wanted to film the legendary pit which I was about to visit. One of the divers hesitate to get off, sharks are not friends, she apprehended. But everyone encouraged her and we know that if our specialist aboard are asking us to follow is that there is no risk. Subject to compliance with the instructions. Small pre-dive briefing , recommendations, and jump right into the blue.

The water is clearer here than near the island – it is of a beautiful silky blue and is clear and clean. Diving in Mauritius will allow you to contemplate colorful tropical fishes but also pelagic species. Here are scorpion fish, stone fish, lost of different eels, and you will see sharks here too: black tip reef sharks, bull sharks and Grey sharks. Pretty kaleidoscope of colors and materials.

Shark Pool, Mauritius

The Shark Pool in Mauritius is a new site in the form of arena in which grows the baby sharks and where pregnant females wait. We follow the teacher who leads us into a gully following the ebb and flow of reflux. We are less than 14 meters deep, and we enter a circular arena, circled round a pile of rocks, polished by millennia. Each is positioned as we had been recommended earlier, down on the rocks, slightly behind the arena.

Encountering Shark during a scuba diving in Mauritius.

Inside, two large females ready to give birth rotate in wide circles, belly full. With very fair skin, white belly, they seem to expect the time toiling like a pregnant woman.

Around them and in a happy mess, small sharks spree. A nursery of fifteen representatives of this species much maligned and therefore in danger. Loud, they pass under our noses without much noticing our bubbles, as if our presence was of no interest. Nothing substitutes the thrill of diving with sharks. You won’t feel it until you live it. In case you do not get that lucky, the Mauritian sea will still live up to your diving expectations with its wide variety of reefs and marine treasures.

In the meantime, tell me: you, would you go see whales? And who would be tempted by a special shark dive? Have you ever had, and where? You tell me!

Have a nice dive!

 

Mauritius: beyond beaches

Located at the heart of the Indian ocean, Mauritius stands out as a dream destination. Between hiking in dense forests, luxurious hotels, world class diving sites and an interesting cultural mix, Mauritius fascinates more than one. Nature lovers will enjoy the beaches and explorers will prefer  the tropical and natural sceneries. Discover together one of the most beautiful countries in the world, minus the flight time.

Located at the height of the Tropic of Capricorn, the island is part of the Mascarenes archipelago like Réunion and Rodrigues Island. The 200 kilometres of coastline of Mauritius are almost entirely made up of coral reefs. As you can imagine, it is ideal for the diving and snorkeling underwater, but that’s not all. All aquatic activities can be practised here. Surfing at Tamarin and Le Morne, while kite surfing is better enjoyed in the South and the East. You can also swim with dolphins and watch whales off the coast of Tamarin.

 

Swim with the Dolphins Mauritius

Swim with the Dolphins Mauritius

Mauritius has some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Famous for its turquoise waters and floury white sand, beaches like Flic en Flac and Grand Bay make the island a paradise for sunbathing. However if you are looking for more than just a simple sunbath, you will be surprised of how much the island has to offer.

Holder of many Big Game Fishing records , Mauritius is a paradise for fishing. Across the island,  operators offer Big Game FIshing trips. This activity  is very much appreciated by tourists. For the time of one day, encounter the biggest sea predators ,like the Blue Marlin and the Espadon.

Big Game Fishing Mauritius

Big Game Fishing Mauritius

The inner part of the island is composed of lush forestation and several mountain ranges. Black River national park is an an ideal place to discover the biodiversity of the island. The park offers several kilometres of trails to discover a tropical flora and fauna in an adventurous mood. In this natural and unspoilt environment, you will come across the most beautiful waterfalls of the island, more than 300 species of plants as well as endemic birds.

Lying next to the national park, the small village of Chamarel is one of the main attractions of the island. The village is home to a rare natural phenomenon, the Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel. This  unique place offers an incredible view of seven color shades of earth in a limited space and the longest waterfall of the island.

Chamarel

Chamarel

Port Louis the capital, is the place where you will find the most beautiful mixture of the Mauritian culture. At every street corner, the city is colored by several religious monuments, Hindu temples, mosques, Chinese pagodas and Catholic churches. Even if the city has somewhat modernised in recent years, it has managed to preserve its charm with its colonial houses and monuments.

Fort Adelaide, also known as the Citadel, is one of the oldest buildings in Port Louis. The Citadel is located on a hill and offers an excellent panoramic view of the city of Port Louis. The closest is the Hippodrome du Champ de Mars, created more than two centuries ago. It is the oldest racecourse of the southern hemisphere.

Mauritius Market

The main attraction of Port Louis is its market (said: Bazaar in Mauritian creole). Located in the heart of the city, the central market never lacks animation, regardless of the day. Traders will expose all types of fruits, vegetables and exotic spices. But it is the Mauritian street foods that will charm you at Port Louis market.

It is the best place to taste the famous Dholl Puri and gato-piments. In case of thirst, get yourself a glass of Alouda, a drink made from milk and highly appreciated by the Mauritians. Port Louis market is a place not to be missed during a holiday in Mauritius. Although it is crowded and noisy, a visit is really worth the extra decibels.

Dholl Puri

Dholl Puri

Located only a few kilometres from the capital, the Botanical Garden of Pamplemousses (SSR Botanical Garden) will delight quite a lot of visitors, especially nature and plants lovers. The garden exist since 1770 and was constructed by Pierre Poivre (former French Governor). SSR Botanical garden covers an area of more than 37 hectares and is home to an incredible variety of tropical plants including the famous giant water lilies.

After a visit of the city of Port Louis, the Pamplemousses garden definitely worth a visit. If you like plants, make sure you have the services of a guide. For the price of one euro, you will have a guided walk with a plant expert who will be there to inform and share some interesting views.

SSR Botanical Garden Pamplemousses

Still in the North of the island you will discover the Château de Labourdonnais , one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mauritius. Built in 1859, this castle is the ideal place to familiarize yourself with the Mauritian lifestyle of the 19th century. The castle was very well preserved but necessitated  a recent renovation to accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

The property is surrounded by perfectly kept gardens, a distillery, a bar where you can taste typical Mauritian beverages. The Château de Labourdonnais has also a restaurant and a shop where products made by local artisans are exposed.

chateau_de_labourdonnais_mauritius

Chateau De Labourdonnais

Located close to Flic en Flac, the Casela Nature Park is the best place to take a walk in nature. The Park extends over an area of 14 hectares and is home to thousands of birds and more than 150 species of animals. You can interact with animals such as  lions, monkeys,  giants turtles and birds. For adventurous souls, the park also reserve activities such as quad, hiking  and zip line.

Ziplines Casela

Ziplines Casela

Mauritius: Flic en Flac to Port Louis

Beautifully contrasted and blessed with never-ending sunshine, the western coast of Mauritius is the perfect place to spend your holidays. This side of the island is lined with some dazzling white sand beaches like Flic en Flac. The small coastal village of Flic en Flac is ideal for those looking to discover Port Louis and its surroundings. Other than its beaches, the west coast of Mauritius has a lot of natural attractions and sights.

Flic en Flac

flic en flac

Flic-En-Flac

Flic en Flac is known to be the best beach resort of Mauritius. Along its beaches, you will find a series of hotels following one another. Unlike other regions of the island, Flic en Flac records very little rainfall throughout the year. The sun always shines on its dazzling turquoise lagoon.

Flic en Flac climate

Sunset Flic En Flac

Sunset-Flic En Flac

Like Port Louis, Flic en Flac is sheltered from the South East Trade Wind of the Indian ocean and is one of the hottest places in Mauritius. Here the temperature never drops below 26°C and it easily reaches up to 35°C. The temperature of the lagoon varies from 26 to 28°C depending on the season. The beach itself is very spacious and is lined with Casuarina trees which help provide some shade. The climate of Flic en Flac is reflected in its lagoon, crystal-clear warm water contributing to a fabulous aquatic life.

Snorkeling & Diving in Flic en Flac

Diving-Flic en Flac
The beach of Flic en Flac is nearly two kilometers long and you can swim, snorkel or dive all year round. In fact, the beach is a paradise for diving with its numerous caves and wrecks like Cathedral and Rempart Serpent. Divers and snorkelers will really appreciate the lagoon of Flic en Flac as the current is nearly inexistent while visibility is at its best. So get your snorkel and diving equipment ready for the wonderful coral reefs and colorful underwater life of Flic en Flac. Its is advisable to wear protection shoes or snorkel fins to protect yourself from sea urchins and corals.

Around Flic en Flac

Casela
Other than its beaches, hotels, and villas, Flic en Flac has everything for the well-being of visitors. The village is equipped with numerous facilities like spas, clinic, beach restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, supermarkets and shopping malls. Nightlife there is much appreciated by locals and tourists alike. Few kilometers away from the village you will find the Casela Nature Bird Park, one of the oldest attractions of Mauritius.

Hotels in Flic en Flac

Beach villas Flic en Flac
Over the last years, Flic en Flac has seen a lot of development. Many hotels and villas settled to level the increasing number of tourists. There are more than 10 large hotels along its coastline. But beware that some hotels are better placed than others in view of front beaches. Pearle Beach, Hilton and Villa Caroline are the better placed for bathing and snorkeling. Nevertheless, you can still stroll along the beach and find your own bathing spot.

Port Louis

Port Louis

Port Louis at night

Mauritius isn’t just a beach destination, its capital city Port Louis is a living proof of that. With nearly 150, 000 inhabitants, Port Louis and its old streets is the liveliest city of Mauritius. The city is home to the major administrative and financial institution of the island.

Enclosed by a mountain range and the sea, Port Louis is the hottest city of Mauritius. When visiting Port Louis, it is very easy to spot the ancient buildings, Creole houses, and religious monuments. It is common to see a mosque, a temple, and a church just streets apart in Port Louis. This is the result of the great ethnic mix of the Mauritian society.

Port Louis is representative of the island’s colonial past. Alley after alley, the city of Port Louis reveals more and more about its culture and authenticity. You just have to stroll art and history will be everywhere around you.

The Port Louis Market

Mauritius Market
Also referred to as “grand bazaar” by locals, the Port Louis Market is the oldest market of Mauritius. It is the best place to find anything that the island has to offer. From exotic fruits and vegetables to tastiest Mauritian street foods, the market is a delicious food trip. Amongst the many street foods you will find there, the Dholl Puri is certainly the most famous of them all. In the case of thirst, we recommend you visit one of the many stalls of the market to taste the Alouda, a typical local milk-based beverage.

The market is quite crowded and loudly on weekdays, but this curiously adds to its charm. You will discover attaching and welcoming characters at the stalls. It is so nice to amble and ferret out the beauties of Mauritius in this market. In addition to the food, you will find the best handicrafts and souvenirs of Mauritius in the extended section of the market. Souvenirs like miniature musical instruments, clothing, spices, scents, original sculptures and many more.

Port Louis attractions

Port Louis Attraction

Fort Adelaide in Port Louis

The city of Port Louis is a must-see attraction in Mauritius especially for travelers who want to get soaked in the beautiful mix of culture and traditions. Place d’Armes, Champ de Mars, Fort Adelaide Chinatown, Jummah Mosque or Saint Louis Cathedral are charming religious architectures worth visiting. Port Louis is also the ultimate place for shopping in Mauritius, the Port Louis Caudan Waterfront is one of the biggest shopping malls of Mauritius. The waterfront has it all, hotels, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, live music and events, you can really a good day there.

Driving in Mauritius

Port Louis and Flic en Flac are just minutes away by car and a little bit longer in by bus. While the bus is inexpensive in Mauritius, it tends to be time costly. The easiest way to get around the island is to rent a car. This requires bringing a valid license, but you will be able to visit the different attractions at your own pace. Car rental tariffs are fairly competitive across the island and the price of fuel is fairly low. Driving is on the left and road signs are mostly displayed in English. The only downside of Port Louis is its regular traffic jams, especially from 8hrs to 9hrs in the morning and 16hrs to 17hrs. So plan your trip to Port Louis accordingly.

Have nice holidays in Mauritius!

Diving Equipment in Mauritius, Réunion Island and the Seychelles.

Diving in Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles

Diving in Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles

Scuba diving is an important activity around the islands of the Indian Ocean like Réunion Island, Mauritius, the Seychelles, etc.

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