Marta's Photo Album of Mauritius, May 2013

May 2013

Getting there

We departed Johannesburg on the services of British Airways at 09H00 for arrival in Mauritius at 15H10. We were served a cheese roll as a snack, this was followed by lunch either a vegetarian pasta or a chicken dish. The flight was really nice with lovely crew on board, best of all it is a short flight and was on time. On arrival we were met by Mauritico Tours and transferred to the first hotel we were to visit on the South coast, Le Preskil Beach Resort fifteen minutes from the airport.

Le Preskil Beach Resort - 4 Star

Le Preskil is in Mahebourg on the south coast of Mauritius 15 minutes drive from the airport. The resort features a private beach as well as a main beach. The private beach is slightly rocky and the main beach has softer sand ideal for children to play in and the swimming is lovely there. There is a full service spa and a children’s club. The restaurants are charming, Tapas has outside tables overlooking the sea. There is a Padi dive centre and lots of water sports. The standard rooms at the back have a shower only; the lagoon rooms also have a shower only, whilst the cottage and deluxe cottages with sea views are with a bath and shower. There is an upgrade to a fully inclusive package which is well worth it. I would recommend this charming property for honeymooners, couples and families.

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St Regis Mauritius Resort - 5 Star Luxury

St Regis is on the south western side of the island, the soft white sands of Le Morne Beach and its turquoise lagoon create a magical setting where lavishly appointed accommodations and pampering converge amid the many charms of Mauritius. The St Regis is a five star luxury resort with 172 guest rooms and suites with breathtaking views over the ocean, located under the Le Morne mountain.

The property is well laid out and has a long stretch of white sand beach with excellent swimming facilities. The deluxe suite in the manor house has enormous proportions with a pool view and the ocean beyond. The junior ocean front suite is right on the beach. I stayed in a deluxe garden and pool view suite with the beach in the distance. There is a charming old fashioned library in the manor house. The spa is complete with a hamman and jacuzzi. The main pool is rimless and overlooks the ocean. The resort has a signature restaurant by introduced by Michelin star chef Atul Kochbar, this is where accomplished chefs present exciting new fine dining experiences. The grand entrance to this stunning property does not feature a lobby. There is a personal check in with your private butler in the villa. The bathroom is glorious with excellent bath products. The dinner was Asian fusion cuisine. The starter was explosive, crab cake with tomato relish. The mains, roasted snapper with lemongrass soya sauce served with marinated Chinese cabbage with a hint of chilli and red capsicum. This was followed by a refreshing dessert of white rose jelly, together with grapefruit and litchi lemon sorbet. The selection of wines was outstanding, French and Red wines from Spain, France and Chile. The breakfast was fabulous, all the pastries and hot food were served outside and the cereals and juices inside. The beach is a glorious stretch of long white sand, great for swimming .This is truly an understated elegant and luxurious property.

This is ideal for honeymooners, couples and families looking for privacy, tranquillity and great luxury.

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Sofitel So Mauritius - 5 Star

Sofitel So Mauritius is located on the Southern coast of the island, on the beach in Bel Ombre. The views are of the mountains, lagoons and ocean with a private soft white beach. The hotel was designed by Kenzo and has very colourful pops. There are 92 guestrooms with furnished patios. Beds come with memory foam mattresses, signature bedding, Egyptian cotton sheets and triple sheeting. The lime green bathroom in the Prestige suite was stunning. There is a Thai Chi area, gorgeous long infinity lap pool in electric blue and flashes of purple. The small beach is white sand and not an important part of the experience. The spa is decorated in all white with exquisite water features throughout.

The luncheon was superb, mohitas with edible hibiscus flowers, superb hot fresh bread baked in the hotel kitchen served with basil tapenade, shrimp tempura, fresh line fish with a spring roll. Dessert was delicately served with a cream caramel and litchi sorbet. The meal was completed with pistachio macaroons and passion fruit jellies all beautifully presented and absolutely mouth watering. There is great attention to detail here. This is a property with a Zen like calmness the emphasis being on absolute style and luxury. Great for honeymooners, couples and singles.

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Ile Maurice Sands Resort and Spa - 4 Star

The Ile Maurice Sands Resort and Spa is located on the west coast of the island on one of the most pristine stretches of beach at Flic en Flac. The resort overlooks the translucent blue and turquoise lagoon of the Tamarin Bay and the legendary rock of Le Morne. The property is thatch which lends itself to a true island experience. The rooms are very spacious and all overlook the ocean. There is a gorgeous infinity pool and a good stretch of swimming beach. The water sports centre is well equipped and looks really great. We had dinner prepared for us on the beach. The starter was smoked marlin roll, lemon and champagne sorbet, main course fish and prawns on skewers, grilled sweet vegetables with a passion fruit and butter sauce followed by coconut soufflé with a chocolate and walnut sauce. A lovely Mauritian dinner with so many candles around made for a most romantic atmosphere. This is a well-established property, furnished in an authentic Mauritian style with a lovely feel to it. This property does not cater for children, mainly for couples and honeymooners alike.

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Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa - 5 Star

The Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa is located on the west coast of the island, adjacent to the Sands Resort and Spa. The setting is within 27 acres of lush tropical gardens the turquoise waters of Tamarin Bay lapping the sandy white beach all along the property. The 65 secluded villas each have a private pool attached to them and each is villa is designed with privacy in mind from each other. The bathrooms are extremely spacious and beautifully designed with a very modern feel. The villas are very well appointed and most comfortably furnished. The beach is long and wide with white sand and the swimming on that beach is superb. We had a fantastic buffet breakfast you can also choose to order an a la carte breakfast. The highlight for me was the honeycomb in a box with bees going about their daily chores. This honeycomb was made right there in the breakfast area and was absolutely great! The emphasis here is on privacy and calmness; this property is suitable for families, couples as well as honeymooners.

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Sofitel Imperial Resort and Spa - 5 Star

Discover all the delights of Mauritius at this luxury hotel, set among 22 acres of tropical gardens in the west of the island. Take a moment to relax and experience exceptional treatments at the oriental spa, bask in the sunshine on the beach or enjoy gourmet cuisine in the restaurant. The resort is well laid out within the lush gardens and most of the rooms are sea facing. The rooms are all very comfortable and well appointed, however they will be undergoing a refurbishment soon. The beach is a lovely long white sand beach. I was able to do a dive at the resort’s Padi Gold Star Nemo. The staff were very friendly and we went out in a nice little boat, a 10 minute ride from the dive centre. The dive was pleasant at around 12 meters for 51 minutes. I was able to see a variety of fish including the elusive Spanish dancer and some lovely coral. The hotel is ideal for active families, couples and honeymooners.

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Tamarina Golf And Spa Beach Resort - 5 Star

The Tamarina is carved into the rugged South west savannah land coast of Mauritius between mountain and seas and is an exceptional place for golfing. This is a charming hotel with a lovely atmosphere. Great for relaxation with a game of golf.

Labourdannais Hotel - 5 Star

The Labourdannais Hotel is known as Port Louis’s foremost address for luxurious comfort with high profile conferences and world class cosmopolitan cuisine. This elegant hotel is well located in the financial and business area of the city. Perfectly suitable for business people.

Les Cocotiers Hotel - 2 Star

Hotel Cocotiers is located on the beach in Tombeau Bay, close to Turtle Bay Marine Park. The 48 guest rooms feature minibars and coffee/ tea makers. Furnished patios overlook the beach, sea or pool. The property has a lovely ambiance throughout.

Le Meridien Hotel - 4 Star

Hotel Le Meridien is sitiuated on the north west coast of Mauritius, on the sheltered bay of Pointe Aux Piments with 800 meters of soft white sand. The resort is large with 198 ocean front rooms; there are 24 interconnecting rooms on the ground and first floor. All the rooms feature large bathrooms with a tub and shower. Nearby amenities include big game fishing, sunset cruises and catamaran trips. The main hotel is in need of a refurbishment which will be done soon. The hotel is well set up for weddings and renewal of vows, having lovely private areas set aside for this. The Nirvana area is separate from the main hotel and does not allow children under 12 years. The rooms here are bright and airy and face the ocean. They offer a private check in here, so you are ensured of more personalized attention. The beach in this area is small and you would need to wonder along to the main hotel to enjoy the long white sand beach. The buffet breakfast at the main hotel caters for Indians, Japanese and British, and therefore offers a wide variety of dishes. We had dinner on the beach, with a starter of palm heart salad followed by delicious lobsters washed down with great SA wines within a truly romantic setting. This resort offers many activities and also privacy in the Nirvana area and is ideal for families, honeymooners and couples.

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Angsana Hotel - 5 Star

Angsana Hotel Balaclava is situated on the north west coast of Mauritius, in the secluded area of Turtle Bay. This five star boutique hotel is a part of the Banyan Tree group and features tropical gardens, outdoor pools and a private beach area. The suites are elegantly decorated with contemporary furniture and wooden floors. All the suites have private plunge pools. The main pool is sea water with sand, really stunning. The cuisine is international and serves authentic Creole and Asian fusion cuisine prepared by master chefs from Bali. Wellness cuisine is also available and in room dining is also possible. The hotel makes the most refreshing smoothies. There is a fabulous spa to calm your soul. The beach is quiet with a lovely natural feel. I would recommend this to couples looking for privacy and tranquillity.

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Intercontinental Hotel - 4 Star

This stunning resort hotel is located on the north west coast overlooking the Bay of Balaclava. The spacious and opulent lobby overlooks the ocean below provides a feeling of grandeur. The well appointed rooms are compact and there is a 2 bedroom suite for families with children. The landscaped gardens are very well maintained. There are three beaches including a nice swimming beach together with one man made beach all offering excellent swimming .Noteworthy amenities include an outdoor sea front infinity pool, tennis courts, a full-service spa and a selection of five restaurants from Asian Fusion to Mediterranean cuisine. This hotel in Mauritius is the ideal base to discover the natural wonders of snorkeling or diving the Baie aux Tortues, shopping for handmade crafts in Port Louis or exploring the Grand Bai area. The resort offers many activities and is ideal for families, and couples.

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The Maritim Hotel - 5 Star

The Maritim Hotel is a luxurious 5 star plus resort of a very high standard and one of the leading hotels of Mauritius. Renovated in the year 2000, this perfect blend of tropical and colonial architecture overlooks Turtle Bay and the historical “Balaclava” on the North West coast. The remnants of this 18th century estate provide an elegant background for a sophisticated and yet totally relaxing vacation. The prestige room is understated luxury on the spacious side having a beautiful bath and shower. The Privledge room is similar but smaller in size and equally comfortable. There is much attention to detail in the entire property. There is a 9 hole golf course and equestrian centre, set amongst the most ancient and beautiful baobab trees and other well established foliage. The hotel offers fine dining with a well stocked wine cellar. We had a gorgeous table with damask linen set on the beach for lunch. The starter consisted of smoked marlin, palm heart salad with a balsamic reduction. The main course was pan fried fillet of sacrechien and lobster tail served with glazed veggies, saffron rice and Asian sauce. Dessert was chocolate fondant with bourbon vanilla sauce. The rolls were fresh and baked on the premises. The beach is a deep long stretch of white sand with excellent swimming facilities all along. I would say this property has one of the finest beaches in Mauritius. The hotel is ideal for couples, honeymooners and families looking for elegant, refined understated luxury.

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Le Recif Hotel - 3 Star

The Le Recif Hotel is located in the North west of Mauritius. The architecture is Mediterranean in style with its open spaces bathed in sunlight with a modern and refined design having 70 rooms in total. The rooms are smallish in size and most charming. The hotel overlooks a small rocky beach within an excellent location. The hotel is intimate and perfect for couples enjoying a magical honeymoon or vow renewals.

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Mont Choisy Hotel - 3 Star

The Mont Choisy Hotel is well located at the Northern end of the island between Trou aux Biches and Grand Bai. There are 88 rooms in total. The entrance overlooks the ocean with a large pool at the front. The beach is on the small side. However the hotel has easy access to the hub of Grand Bai. Tarisa Hotel 2 Star

The Tarisa Hotel is located at the North. The hotel is small and all the rooms are sea facing and have been refurbished recently. The staff are extremely friendly together with very hospitable hosts. There is a lovely pool, the beach is across the road and there are complimentary non motorised water sports.

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Coin De Mire Hotel - 3 Star

The Coin De Mire Hotel is located at the Northern tip of Mauritius, having stunning views which the island offers. The typical Mauritian architecture and the contemporary decoration contribute to that genuinely tropical holiday atmosphere. There are 102 spacious rooms inviting the guests to relax in a cosy atmosphere. The decor in the rooms is minimalistic, very crisp and clean. The rooms each have a private Zen like garden. The nightly entertainment was excellent jazz and there was a very festive vibe. The dinner was great with a starter of stuffed smoked marlin fish pancake followed by very fresh lobster and mango sorbet with fresh fruits. The breakfast was equally good with an excellent selection of pastries and freshly baked breads. The pool area is great and there is a small narrow beach across the road with the water sport amenities. The loungers are already placed on the beach for the guests. This hotel is ideal for couples and honeymooners seeking an intimate time with relaxed nightly entertainment.

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Bon Azure - 5 Star

The Bon Azure is located at the Northern tip of Mauritius, and consists of self catering luxurious apartments. The complex is built right on the beach and boasts a stunning infinity pool. There are a range of apartment sizes to suit a small family or groups of friends up to ten. The apartments all fully serviced and you can employ the services of a butler and cook. The shopping can be done for you as can the cooking too. This is ideal for upmarket people who prefer the privacy of a fabulous apartment rather than a hotel environment.

20 Degrees Sud Hotel - 5 Star

The 20 Degrees Sud is situated in exceptional surroundings not far from the Pointe aux Canonniers at the mouth of the beautiful bay of Grand Baie. A true haven of refinement and exclusivity: this small, intimate boutique hotel comprises 34 bedrooms decorated with antiques as well as French provincial furniture and furnishings from a well known Belgian interior decorator. Hidden from view behind an impressive carriage entrance door in oak and concealed within an old coconut grove bordering the water’s edge, lies one of the best kept secrets of Mauritius, the Hotel 20°Sud. This property is the first on the island to offer both the luxury and excellence of a five-star establishment within the dimensions of an attractive, privately run hotel. The interior is Victorian in style with a wonderful collection of French antiques and French provencal original furnishings. They also offer a shuttle four times a day into Grand Bai. The hotel is suitable for couples looking for understated elegance and privacy.

Paradise Cove Hotel - 5 Star

The Paradise Cove Hotel is situated on the north coast and is located directly on a private beach, Paradise Cove Hotel and Spa has a lush tropical garden with an outdoor pool. Guests can explore the ocean in the glass-bottomed boat.

The rooms feature a colourful décor and wooden furniture. They all include a private bathroom and a terrace with a view of the beach. A flat-screen TV and air-conditioning is standard in each room. The 4 restaurants serve a variety of local and international cuisine. Guests can dine in one of the small huts for 2, raised on stilts amidst the coconut trees. The Bikini restaurant has views of the northern islands. Cocktails can be ordered at the bar overlooking the swimming pool. The lunch was fantastic with a starter of Marlin, job fish and crayfish for the main course followed by coconut ice cream. The views from here were of the azure blue ocean.Pedal boats and kayaks are all available to explore the local area. Water skiing and tennis courts are available free of charge. After an active day, Spa Cinq Mondes offers a range of massages and treatments. The beach is small but really nice and one can easily do laps in the shallow water of the secluded cove. The emphasis is on romanticism and as they do not accommodate children, the hotel is ideal for honeymooners and couples.

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La Palmeraie Hotel - 4 Star

La Palmeraie Boutique Hotel is set on the white sandy beach of Palmar on the east of the island, 4.7 km from Belle Mare. This small hotel depicts aspects of a traditional Moroccan Riad, and features two restaurants and a bar.

Each room has a geometrical design with a romantic ivory canopy. It comes equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and a minibar. It is best to request a room on the first floor in order to have a great sea view. Le Sheherazade restaurant is situated at the swimming pool and illuminated by Moroccan lanterns and serves a cultural fusion. Le Momo’s restaurant serves Mediterranean, French and Oriental tradition while Oasis Bar offers colourful cocktails and flavoured rums. This is the only hotel that serves all meat Halaal certified. The dinner was an Indian buffet theme with a large variety of curries. The nightly entertainment was very interactive and great fun. Guests can enjoy a journey in the glass bottom boat, take kite surfing lessons on site or enjoy other activities such as kayaking or water skiing. The beach is really long with white sand and offers excellent swimming. We had a glass bottom boat ride, what a fantastic excursion, we were served rum, soft drinks and very tasty cheese samoosas. The ride was hosted by Jason and we were loaned avant-garde sun hats for the trip, it truly was fabulous. Ideal for families, couples and honeymooners.

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Constance Le Prince Maurice - 5 Star

Constance Le Prince Maurice is a luxurious 5-star hotel set in a prime location in the centre of Poste De Flacq. The rooms have a balcony, CD player, climate control and a separate sitting area. There are in total 79 suites, some junior suites and others family suites as well as over water villas which all have private plunge pools. There is a stunning collection of shops in the lobby and one can really spoil one’s self. The gardens are exquisite within a place of such understated elegance. The resort is Asian in design with minimalist features and there is much use of water features all around the property. This induces a sense of tranquillity to the soul. There is also a gorgeous spa set in the beautifully landscaped gardens. There is an excellent swimming beach. This resort is ideal for honeymooners, couples and families.

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Le Tropical Hotel - 3 Star

Le Tropical Hotel is located on the East coast and faces the beautiful Trou d Eau Lagoon. The recently renovated hotel is surrounded by a tropical garden planted with coconut trees. The style of the hotel is French Provencal and has a lovely feel to it.

There are 70 standard rooms all with a sea view and of an average area of 33square meters, are painted in light luminous tones with sliding doors opening up on a terrace. There are comfortable sun beds which allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The hotel offers an all-inclusive package and also provides free and direct shuttle service to Ile aux Cerf island nearby. There is no water skiing, no pedalos and no parasailing. There is also no kids club. We enjoyed a typical Mauritian cuisine luncheon outside. This consisted of chicken stew, pumpkin, papadums meat and fish served with chilli all very fresh and most delicious. There is a sega show once a week as well as light music on other days. They offer an all inclusive package. The ocean offers a beautiful backdrop and is a feature of this lovely property.

I would recommend this property to couples looking for total relaxation

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Bougainville Hotel - 3 Star

Bougainville Hotel is located on the East coast, built along a very wide beach of fine white sand with a lovely swimming beach. The 51 bungalows have been renovated in 2012 and are painted in a warm ochre which is in total harmony with the surrounding trees and flowers. They offer an all inclusive package, which enables one to make the most of what is on offer. I would recommend this to couples and families.

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The Residence - 5 Star

The Residence Mauritius is located on the beachfront in Belle Mare, on the eastern coast of the island. Situated just 48 kilometres (a 50 minutes drive) from the airport. There are 136 rooms decorated in the magnificence and splendour of yesteryear palaces. A butler is assigned to each room and suite and will unpack, pack the luggage as well as run a bath, take care of the laundry and provide ironing services. I stayed in a garden suite on the ground floor with a patio. The room has a sitting area, is furnished in shades of cream and is very spacious and comfortable. The bathroom has a walk in in dressing room, really big shower and gorgeous bath. I asked to butler to do run a bath for me. He did a petal bath using the fabulous fragrant products they have in the bathroom. It was very relaxing. I had asked for two garments to be ironed which is the complimentary allowance each day. The ironing was impeccable.

The dinner menu consisted of degustation menu, shrimps satay with peanut sauce, papaya salad, followed by pan fried honeycomb rockcod fish fillet, pumpkin gratin and fennel broth with pineapple. Soft chocolate cake with banana ended a fabulous plated dinner. There are a number of shops within the resort and one can purchase anything from snacks, toiletries as well as top quality clothing. There is a great kids club which is very colourful, fun and well equipped. The beach is truly beautiful with long white sand offering excellent swimming. If you prefer the pool, there is a large infinity pool with white towels already set up for the guests. Breakfast the next day was excellent, there was a good variety, best of all was the unusual poppy seed and honey yoghurt. This spectacular property is suitable for families, honeymooners and couples who enjoy understated elegance and luxury with pampering.

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Constance Bel Mar Plage - 5 Star

Constance Bel Mare Plage is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in the North East on the stunning Bel Mar Plage beach. It stretchs along 2 km of private beachfront and with an offshore coral reef and great swimming. The property includes 7 restaurants and 6 bars. Spacious accommodations feature elegant décor and some overlook a private pool. All the air-conditioned rooms at Constance Le Belle Mare Plage include a separate living area with iPod docking station and satellite TV. Marble bathrooms contain a large bath tub. Some have views of the Indian Ocean.

There are a variety of international à la carte and themed buffet restaurants which face the pool, beach or golf course. We had a fabulous lunch at the 18 hole golf course restaurant the Deerhunter. The starter was diced zucchini with garlic, breaded cheese and tomato with honey. The main was fish cooked in banana leaf served with sweet potato and glazed vegetables followed by chocolate fondant and coconut ice cream. The atmosphere here was elegant colonial style reminiscent of a by gone era. The 4 swimming pools are surrounded by tropical gardens and sun terraces with sun-loungers. The “Kakoo Club” provides supervised entertainment for children. A tour desk can organise excursions or activities like golf, tennis and water sports. Boutique shops are located in the main building or at Palm Beach Boutiques across the road from Constance. These are a delight and make for excellent shopping. This resort is ideal for honeymooners, couples and families.

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Centara Poste Lafayette Resort and Spa - 4 Star

The Centara Poste Lafayette is located on the East coast of the island. The resort is a contemporary interpretation of the islands architectural heritage, blending in with the lush surroundings and flanked by a pristine beach with its own sparkling lagoon to one side and the green mountain to the other side. The rooms generally are compact, with modern and crisp furnishing and are all brand new. The standard rooms offer mountain views and are located in the building across the road .The rooms in the main building are all sea facing ideal in order to face the ocean. The beach is nice and private with soft white sand. There is a lovely free form pool overlooking the ocean as well as a children’s pool. The gift shop is charming and there is a great kids club. The dinner was at the main restaurant and was scrumptious. The buffet style breakfast was really good with a nice variety.

I would recommend this for the young and active, also for families, couples and single travelers.

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Blue Lagoon Beach Hotel - 3 Star

The Blue Lagoon Beach Hotel is located on the South East coast of the island fairly close to the airport. The resort is intimate and overlooks the sea. The pool area is lovely and spacious. The staff are most welcoming and friendly. The resort is ideal for families and couples.

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Tours: Chamarel and Grand Bassin

Chamarel is located in the South West coast of Mauritius. T he village of Chamarel is home to two natural wonders, the coloured earth and the Chamerel Falls. After a little hike you can view the falls from a viewing platform. At the coloured earths there is an Aldabara tortoise sanctuary with enormous 100 year old tortoises to see. We drove higher up to see the statue of Shara a Hindu deity. We drove 1800 feet above sea level to Grand Bassin a natural lake within the crater of an extinct volcano. The location is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. The sacred lake is very interesting as you can observe many Hindu Rituals.

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In Conclusion

Mauritius is not just a beach but a cultural experience. One can be entertained in the resort for your entire stay; there is a host of excursions and activities to make this an action packed holiday. Mauritius offers a traditional beach holiday coupled with plenty of sight seeing, cultural and sporting activities. There is quad biking, zip lining, fishing, kite surfing, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkelling and great shopping. Mauritius is great to visit all year round. May is the one of the winter months with little rain, the sea temperature drops slightly but the water is still comfortable to swim in.

General Info and Tips

  • Visas are currently not required for South African passport holders. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the return date and have four blank pages.
  • Drink bottled water only.
  • Car hire can be easily arranged, you will need an international drivers license.
  • Money changing facilities are available at most hotels, but the rate is better on arrival at the airport. It is worth using a credit card generally.

Special Thanks

A very special thanks to Holiday Tours and all the wonderful people in Mauritius who made our stay so unforgettable.