Article by discoverafrica 21 June 2017

The tropical island of Mauritius is one of Southern Africa’s most visited islands. Considered a premium honeymoon destination, this little island paradise offers guests sparkling and clear waters, powder beaches and your pick of luxury accommodation. It’s not limited to romantics however, this is a great destination for families or even solo travellers as there is plenty to keep you entertained.

If you love the idea of exploring pristine coral reefs and underwater waterfalls, or going on a deep sea fishing excursion, a holiday in Mauritius is the best choice for you. Take a look at some of the highlights from the island:

Discover the story of the dodo

Mauritius was formed as a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago, creating the perfect environment for evolution of distinct species that were perfectly adapted to their terrain. Of these species was the dodo, which was sadly driven to extinction as a result of hunting and habitat loss in the 1600s.

This flightless bird has become somewhat of a icon for Mauritius and you can learn more about it at the Natural History Museum in the capital town of Port Louis. It’s worth mentioning that no one truly knows what the dodo looked like. Fossils are few and far between and scientists are still investigating the life and times of the dodo.

Creole culture and cuisine

Like most African islands, Europeans used these isolated islands as stopovers while exploring the world’s oceans. It is believed that the Arab people first landed on the island, followed by the Portuguese. After having taken it’s turn to be colonised by the Dutch, French, and British  in turn, the island gained independence in 1968.

Sadly, Mauritius was also a big part of the slave trade. African and Malaysian slaves were brought there in large numbers. Indian and Chinese immigrants also came to the island to labour on sugar plantations. As a result, the island is a melting pot of mixed races and cultures, although Mauritians are proud to have formed their own Creole identity, with Creole-French being the main language. Almost all Mauritians speak English, so you’ll have no trouble getting around.

Don’t miss sampling some delicious Creole cuisine, a reflection of Mauritius’ colourful past. Take a look at three of the best Mauritius eateries outside the hotels where you can try authentic Mauritian flavours.

Watersports and an ocean waiting to be discovered

Mauritius is warm all year round, while the slightly cooler weather during the ‘winter’ months of January to March brings the temperature to 25℃, while the months between July and September can reach a high of 30℃. Mauritius is humid, so the best way to cool down is to jump into the warm, crystal waters.

Mauritius is known for having amazing coral reefs, with plenty of marine life waiting to be discovered by divers and snorkelers. Watersports are also popular in Mauritius with jet skiing, windsurfing, SUPs and kayaking being the most popular. It’s worth taking a trip into the deeper waters where game fish thrive, making a catch a really exciting activity. Children and those who simply want to relax can swim in the calm waters, or board a glass-bottom boat around the island where the brightly coloured reef fish thrive.

Ultra-luxe accommodation

Mauritius has many five-star resorts and hotels to suit any budget. Warm hospitality and service excellence will really make your stay one to remember. Local people are always willing to assist with a smile, really making an impression on visitors.

Hotels, lodges and resorts are found along the main beaches of the island, offering privacy and solitude to guests. In Mauritius, it truly feels as if you have a whole exotic island to yourself. This is laid-back living at it’s best.

Constance le Prince, a luxury lodge set upon aquamarine waters 

Night time entertainment at your accommodation and in the main town of Port Louis is great for solo travellers looking to make friends and memories. Mauritius is in close proximity to South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar, making flights from those regions short and simple. 

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