By Stephanie Takyi, Stephanie Takyi is a digital nomad with a big wanderlust for life and a zest for exploring the world.
Sunday 11 Mar 2018 3:00 pm
March 12 will see Mauritius celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain.
This Golden Jubilee is a historic moment, which will be marked with ceremonies, live music and performances on the island throughout the year.
With so many national events and activities, we’ve put together our guide of things to do and see when visiting this island in the Indian Ocean.
So from trying rum shots to going on a sunset cruise, here are 30 things to get you started:
1. Go for a hike around Tamarind Falls
The best way to fully experience Mauritius’ rich natural habitat is to go on a hike.
The Tamarind Falls (or Seven Cascades) is the one of Mauritius’s canyons and is not to be missed. Located in south-west Mauritius, it is an amazing combination of 11 waterfalls, mountains, rivers, forests and lush green vegetation.
Book a hiking tour with Vertical World who can help get you to Mauritius’ hard-to-reach natural areas.
2. Go sea karting
Mauritius is the only place in the world where you’ll find a sea kart tour.
Whether you opt for an hour-long session or half a day with Fun Adventure, you will have some action-packed fun racing from Black River to the breathtaking coastline, taking in everywhere from Flic-en-Flac to Le Morne Brabant.
3. Have a cup of tea
Bois Cheri Tea is Mauritius’ most famous tea brand and you can join the factory tour for a behind-the-scenes look at how the final product is produced, from tea leaf picking to packaging.
Tickets also include a visit of the plantation, the museum and a tea tasting at the Bois Cheri Chalet where you will enjoy your cuppa in peace and tranquility.
4. Find shade from the sun at Jardins de la Compagnie
November to April is when Mauritius is at its hottest as temperatures can range from 23 to 33C. The winter months of May to October are cooler, at around 17 to 23C, with the wettest months being December to March.
Even in the ‘colder’ months, Mauritius’ tropical sun will still shine with a fierce intensity. The best place to find shade is the Jardins de la Compagnie.
This secret haven is filled with towering banyan trees, a huge number of statues, quiet benches and fountains.
5. Try shots of rum
If you like rum, head to Mauritius’ Rhumerie de Chamarel.
As part of the tour of the rum distillery, you will discover the rum making process, and sample a range of rums.
With alcohol content ranging between 40% and 50%, you’ll more than likely leave Rhumerie de Chamarel feeling a tad merry.
6. Feast your eyes on Mauritius’ Seven Coloured Earths
One of the island’s most intriguing natural phenomenons is the Seven Coloured Earths, a colourful geological formation dating millions of years.
The multi-coloured lunar-like landscape consists of sand dunes in seven distinct colours – red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow – which never erode in spite of torrential downpours and adverse climatic conditions.
You will also find a children’s playground and some giant tortoises.
7. Take a selfie at Maconde
No holiday is complete without taking the perfect selfie to make everyone back home jealous.
For this Instagram-worthy moment, head to Maconde, which is located on the south-west tip of Mauritius, where you can enjoy stunning views of the island’s southern coast.
8. Go on a sunset cruise
Mauritius oozes luxury and if you’re looking for a dose of it, why not go on an unforgettable sunset cruise?
From 5pm till 7pm, JPH Charters offer catamaran sunset cruises along the west side of the island.
Starting from the Black River, you’ll experience a tropical sunset as you cruise along the coastline down to Tamarin Bay.
9. Discover Mauritius’ heritage at the Le Morne Brabant
Le Morne, with a summit of 556 metres (1,824 ft) above sea level, is one of the most dramatic sights in Mauritius and Mauritians are quite patriotic about it.
The breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site was once a refuge for runaway slaves, who formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne.
You can eat and drink to your heart’s content here with a menu of fish and chicken skewers, sausages, olives, beer, local rum, soft drinks and wine.
10. Feel Mauritius’ breeze
Mauritius’ breezy east coast is a favourite with windsurfers and the exclusive Club Mistral Prestige at St. Regis Resort Mauritius caters for all levels.
One Eye on Le Morne Peninsula is voted the third best kitesurfing spot on earth and is a fixture on the annual Kite Surfing Pro World Champion Tour.
You can try kitesurfing with Le Morne Kite School.
11. Join a walking tour exploring the capital’s history and street food
My Moris is a cultural touring company founded by Maya and Shakti.
Their tours help visitors see Mauritius ‘from the inside’ through its history, religions, languages, crafts, and cuisine.
Their An Exploration Of Port-Louis’ Street Food tour is one of the great ways to discover the cosmopolitan heritage, as well as the delicious street food stalls of city.
Each neighbourhood tells a different story, from the heady scent of spice street to the bustling China Town.
At each stop, you’ll sample typical Mauritian street food, including steamed dumplings in broth, deep fried chilli cakes and gato brinzel, a spicy aubergine fritter.
You can also visit one of the last letterpress companies in Mauritius with My Moris, where you can smell the fresh ink, touch the lead characters and listen to the deafening sound of old printers.
Together with the typographer, you will compose and print a text as people did back in the day.
If you love music then you will love discovering the Mauritian sega tipik and the ravanne (a percussion instrument made with sun-dried goat skin) on the music tour.
You will also learn about the evolution of sega from the slavery period to today.
12. Chamarel Waterfall
One of the most photographed spots in Mauritius is the Chamarel Waterfall, which is surrounded by the lush vegetation of Black River Gorges.
The public have access to an upper deck view where you can witness the sheer magnitude of this 272ft waterfall. There is also a base for swimming.
13. Be happy at the Statue Of Harmony
The gigantic Statue Of Harmony, Swami Sivananda, can be found on the waterfront of Mahebourg.
It was built by volunteers out of cement, stones and pebbles. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice this statue has an infectious smile, which is bound to make you grin for a while.
14. Get spiritual at a Hindu temple
In Mauritius, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism co-exist peacefully, though Hinduism is more prevalent.
The Hindu temples are very beautiful, especially the huge Lord Shiva located in the rainforest area of Ganga Talao (or ‘Grand Bassin’ as the locals call it), and is the tallest statue in Mauritius at 33m.
As it is a sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus, expect to be greeted by other Hindu god and goddess statues. It’s a wonderful spot on the island for serenity, peace, and greenery.
15. Enjoy some under the sea action
You can go on submarine rides with Blue Safari, or take an undersea walk among the corals and fish of a crystal clear lagoon.
Sea walkers wear a special helmet connected to a breathing apparatus, meaning they don’t even have to remove their glasses.
World-class big-game fishing – tuna, marlin and shark – is found on the west coast and Mauritius hosts the Blue Marlin World Cup every July.
16. Explore Mauritius on a bike
Electrobike Discovery allows travellers to visit lesser-known areas on one of its electric power-assisted bikes.
There’s a range of bikes and tours from Chamarel to Le Morne Brabant, or Souillac.
17. Have a rum inspired lunch
Next to Rhumerie de Chamarel is the restaurant L’Alchimiste, which creates fine food with ingredients mainly sourced from the estate itself.
As to be expected, some of the dishes have been infused with rum.
18. Go to a market day
Out of all of Mauritius’ markets, the Mahebourg is probably the least touristic and the most traditional.
It’s where locals go to find bargains on items like spices, clothes and children’s toys.
While there, try some of the food, including biryanis and kulfi.
19. Visit National History Museum of Mauritius
Get in touch with Mauritius’ past at the National History Museum of Mauritius, which is located in Mahebourg.
Its collections trace the colonial history of Mauritius from the arrival of the Dutch to the British Rule.
20. Have a brew-tastic time
Located in the village of Moka, just outside of the capital Port Louis, lies the newly established Flying Dodo Brewery.
It is the first and only brewery in Mauritius, serving a full-flavour blonde, smooth semi-sweet amber, a Belgian-style wit and an experimental IPA.
In addition, a new beer is created every month. We’ll cheers to that.
21. Go to the beach on a Sunday
Sundays in Mauritius are made for going to church then heading to a beach to relax.
Mont Choisy Beach is a favourite with the locals as it’s not too crowded.
22. Have lunch with a view
The Falaise Rouge faces the Grand Port bay.
Guests can enjoy a buffet of local specialities while looking out over the magnificent panorama of the lagoon and the south-east coast.
23. Save the date for Mauritius’ carnival
Head to Flic-en-Flac, a beach town bustling with shops, restaurants and nightlife.
The annual carnival in July is a popular time to visit, with beach-side barbeques and creative floats.
24. Have an authentic Mauritian culinary experience
As Mauritius is an island with many ethnicities, the food tends to be a mix of everything.
La Table du Chateau, situated in the heart of the of the Labourdonnais estate, is one of the refined eateries on the island that creatively showcases the fusion of different food cultures.
Italian chef Fabio de Poli has lived on the island for 20 years and fuses Mauritian flavours with a modern European sensibility.
It’s a culinary experience not to be missed.
25. See Mauritius’ animals at the Black River Gorges
Black River Gorges is a national park and a magnificent area to spot the island’s native species.
Endangered species such as the Mauritius kestrel, the echo parakeet and the pink pigeon all roam freely here. You might also spot wild boar, macaque monkeys and deer.
How to get there and where to stay:
The child-friendly Maradivas Villas Resort is the only resort in Mauritius that provides its guests with the quiet opulence of private villas. They come fully decked with your own private plunge pool and secluded tropical outdoor shower.
It’s situated in Flic-en-Flac and spreads over 27 scenic acres alongside a white sand beach and the Tamarin Mountain.
The hotel boasts three restaurants: Cilantro, where authentic Indian food is served; or you can head to the Teppanyaki for an intimate Japanese dinner; and for something casual, there’s the Breakers Bar.
The Maradiva Spa is the ideal place to harmonise your body and soul. The Spa’s design is strongly influenced by Indian philosophy, with Ayurvedic treatments from an Indian Ayurvedic doctor.
LUX* Le Morne is a sassy 5-star hotel located in south-west Mauritius.
Everyday at LUX*, there is a treasure hunt – spot a bottle buried in the sand or secreted in the gardens and get an unexpected treat. It might be a LUX* Me massage or dinner for two.
Its alfresco cinema, Cinema Paradiso, is situated near the beach. All you need to do is turn up – bean bags and fresh popcorn are provided while you watch films under the stars.
Air Mauritius is the only airline to fly direct non-stop from London Heathrow to Mauritius, but you can also choose from UK regional airports and fly to Mauritius via Paris or Amsterdam in conjunction with their partners Air France and KLM.
Economy Class return fares with Air Mauritius start from just £790 per person, including all taxes and charges, or spoil yourself with Business Class return fares from £2700 per person.
For further information on Mauritius visit Tourism Mauritius.