“Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius.”
These are not my words but the words of the legendary writer, Mark Twain.
Mauritius is an island country off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The island is also fondly called the pearl of the Indian ocean. Want to know why? You need to experience the country’s sandy beaches, stunning sceneries, diverse ecosystems, and rich culture. You can then identify with Twain’s sentiments.
How many days to visit Mauritius? 7-14 days is how long you need to visit Mauritius. This is enough time to explore the island and experience everything that it has to offer. With ten days and over, you can explore even the less known attractions and get enough time to relax without worrying about tight schedules.
Do you have a travel guide to Mauritius? When I travel, I keep a travel guide handy to help me get the best out of my adventure in each country. I use travel guide books mostly in digital form, but also in physical form from time to time (there something special about bringing the guide book on your daily adventures).
In this article, I have highlighted the top activities to engage in during your visit to Mauritius. I have also covered how to get around on the island and the best timing for your visit.
How well do you know Mauritius? The interesting facts that I have shared at the end of the article will give you an excellent place to start.
What to Do in Mauritius
Can you spare up to 14 days of holiday in the island paradise? When you decide that this is how long you will visit Mauritius, you can never run out of things to do. I have highlighted the best things to try below.
Explore the Water
Mauritius lies on the southwestern side of the Indian Ocean. If you are a beach lover, Mauritian beaches lie in wait for you. Top among the best beaches in Mauritius include Flic and Flac, Le Morne, and Baie beaches.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the beaches. Depending on how many days you visit Mauritius, the turquoise blue water surrounding the island provides endless opportunities. You can spend time on, above, or underwater.
Do you want to have a bird’s eye view of the paradise island? Take a seaplane ride or go for a parasailing adventure. In contrast, you can explore underwater by scuba diving, submarine touring, or underwater scooter riding.
However, if you want to add some thrill to the adventure, what is a better way to do this than sea walking?
Sea Walking is an activity that lets you walk at the bottom of the sea and see marine life closely. Here, you interact with marine animals as they swim so close that you can touch them.
Other fun-filled water activities are sea hovering, water skiing, windsurfing, and kayaking.
A hiking experience in Mauritius combines varied trails and breathtaking views. As you hike, you behold wildlife, forests, landscapes, and diverse plants. Most routes go through parks, reserves, and around mountains.
There are also several peaks that you can summit to have a rewarding view of the island. Unlike the Annapurna, one of the most difficult mountains to climb, Mauritian mountains are easier and more “comfortable” to climb.
Still, choosing to hike the mountains will affect how long you visit Mauritius. As such, you will need ten days or more to hike, rest, and have time for other activities.
The Black River Mountain is the highest among the Mauritian Mountains at 2717ft (828m). From the top, you get to see the expanse of the south and west coast of the island. If you want an easier climb and a 3600 view of the island, then head to Le Pouce Mountain.
Are you a hiking beginner or have kids with you?
Besides, Le Pouce, the Lion Mountain, and Le Morne Brabant are great places to start. Also, I have found that having the right hiking gear can ease your hiking experience. Check out this Hiker’s Gear Guide.
Other hiking places with picturesque views are La Nicoliere Reserve, Corpse de Garde, and Black River Gorges National Park.
Take Nature Walks
In the Island paradise of Mauritius, the highlight of nature walks is walking with Lions. This is a thrilling experience where you walk alongside lions. You get to watch closely as the lions feed, play amongst themselves, and roam freely near you.
Walking with lions happens on the banks of River Rempart (Riviere du Rempart). You can also see tigers and cheetahs.
Compared to hiking, nature walks are less tasking. They are also great options if you are looking for solitude or a quiet interaction with nature. At times like this, I recommend this lightweight camera that you can easily carry around and depend on to capture perfect images.
Mauritius hosts natural parks, leisure parks, and nature reserves where you can walk.
While at it, you can explore local plants and wildlife. Some parks also come with extra activities for both adults and children. Some examples are horse riding, quad-biking, and jeep safaris.
Top among them? Les 7 Cascades, Ebony Forest Reserve, Heritage Nature Reserve, La Vanille Nature Park, and Black River Gorges National Park.
Indulge in the Mauritian Culture
The Mauritian culture is African mingled with Indian, European, and Chinese heritages. The major religions are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.
The best of the Mauritian culture manifests in the island’s cuisine and music.
Would you like to sample some Mauritian food? Be prepared to have lots of seafood, spices, and chili.
Most restaurants and resorts on the island serve Mauritian dishes. They are great places to try out. However, to have your fill of the authentic Mauritian dishes, venture into the streets and further inland. Street food and snacks are also cheaper. You can find food stalls in major cities and towns, markets, and near beaches.
When it comes to music, popular styles in Mauritius are Sega, Reggae, and Seggae. Seggae is a fusion of Sega and Reggae. The music was an expression of sentiments by African slaves in the past. Today, vigor and excitement accompany the dance and songs.
Sega is the most popular music, and the songs are in Creole, the mother tongue of the Mauritians. It is therefore performed on all occasions and in most social places.
Are you ready to swing and sway to the beats of Sega? I have shared a YouTube video that shows what the music involves below. Watch it to polish your moves before joining in.
Transportation in Mauritius
To start with, getting to the island nation of Mauritius is pretty straightforward. The country is served by one international airport that is enough for the small island.
There are direct Airlines that fly to Mauritius. They include KLM, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Air India, and China Eastern.
Once in the country, you can choose to tour using public or private transport. Compared to other islands such as Malta, where you can buy week-long bus tickets, public transportation is different in Mauritius. You pay bus fares using cash for each trip with an extra charge for large luggage.
Getting around by bus costs about $1-$2 for short trips and approximately $4 to move from one end of the country to another. That said, the bus service can be a bit slow, making cabs/taxis a better option when in a hurry. However, taxi prices can be up to 20x that of buses.
Other transport options in Mauritius include bicycles and motorbikes. When staying in a hotel and only moving for short distances, it’s best to rent a motorbike. If you want to keep in shape, you can rent a bicycle. It is inexpensive and fun to use.
Something else; you can get an aerial view of the island by traveling in a helicopter. The Police and Air Mauritius offer sightseeing tours using helicopters. You can also explore the ocean using boats.
When to Visit Mauritius
You can visit Mauritius all-year-round. Nevertheless, May to December is the best period to enjoy everything that the island has to offer. The weather is mild, with almost no rainfall, and the temperatures are cool with the sun shining all day long. The period gives you a wide range to work with when deciding how many days to visit Mauritius.
- The warmest months are January and February.
- July and August are the coldest months.
Note: January to March is the cyclone season and the worst time to visit Mauritius.
Mauritius is located near the Tropic of Capricorn. This accounts for the tropical climate with year-round warm weather. As such, the island experiences two distinct seasons; wet and dry, but rainfall in Mauritius is mostly heavy inland than around the coast.
November to April is the wet season with humid, warm, and sunny weather. Temperatures average at around 76.40F (24.70C).
The dry season runs from May to October. The weather is cool and dry, with temperatures dropping to a mean of around 68.70F (20.40C).
Note that the temperature difference between the wet and dry seasons is just 7.70F (4.3C). This is the reason why Mauritius is a forever warm country.
Interesting Facts About Mauritius
Did you know that Mauritius was the home to the dodo, a fifty-pound bird that is now extinct? You can read all about dodos in the book, Dinosaurs to Dodos.
Read on for other interesting things about this tiny Indian Ocean island country below:
- Mauritius has an area of 788 sq. mi, making it the 26th smallest country in Africa and the world’s 26th smallest country.
- The island is named after Maurice Van Nassau, a 16th-century Dutch prince.
- It has been colonized by the Netherlands, France, and Great Britain. You will find all these foreign cultures among the locals.
- Most Mauritians look like Indians because they are descendants of Indian convicts brought in by the British in the 1800s.
- Among African countries, it’s only in Mauritius where Hinduism is the main religion. This is according to Wikipedia.
- Students, the disabled, and seniors travel for free when using public transportation.
- The island is 40 miles long and 28 miles wide.
The more time you spend in Mauritius, the more you discover everything that makes the island a paradise. Few destinations draw such praises. So, if you have decided to head to the island, then make it count by setting aside as much time as you can. I suggest 7-14 days.