Wildlife, flora and fauna of Mauritius

Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs which teem with more than 400 marine species, including pinner and bottlenose dolphins, a variety of shark species (although these are rarely venture beyond the reefs and into the lagoon around the island that people swim in), sperm and humpback whales, colourful tropical fish and deep-sea fish such as tuna and marlin.

Swimming with bottlenose dolphins  Credit: mauritiusmemoirs.com

On land, the fruit bat is Mauritius’ only native mammal, while the island is home to several introduced species. While Mauritian giant tortoises have gone extinct, giant tortoises from the Seychelles have been introduced to the island and there are several places where you can see them (and feed them). More than 100 species of birds have been recorded on Mauritius, including seven endemic species: the Mauritius grey white-eye, Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon, olive white eye, Mauritian fody, Mauritius parakeet and Mascarene paradise flycatcher.

Beautiful turtle abound in Mauritius  Credit: taxfreeshopping.mu

The best place to see endemic Mauritian species (some of which were saved from the brink of extinction) is Île aux Aigrettes, a small island reserve which is being returned to its pre-human state, and which protects birds such as pink pigeons and Mauritian fodies, as well as Mauritian fruit bats, two Mauritian native reptiles (day geckos and Telfair’s skink), giant Aldabran tortoises from the Seychelles and a stand of old ebony trees. The lush forests of Black River Gorges National Park, in the south west of the island, are also a great place to go bird spotting.

Amazing colours can be found beneath the surface of Mauritius' clear waters  Credit: afrotourism.com

In terms of plants, Mauritius has remarkable biodiversity for its size, with nearly 1000 species, around 300 of which are endemic. While the island has lost nearly all of its trees, Black River Gorges National Park protects the largest tract of native forest on the island, and there are other reserves where you can find native species as well as projects that are rehabilitating forest areas. The national park and the smaller reserves are the best places to immerse yourself in Mauritian plant life, while the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens is an excellent place to learn about rare and endangered species.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

day 1 to 3

Tuck yourself away from the rest of the world
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

day 4

An unforgettable overnight
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

day 5 to 10

Enjoy the tropical paradise
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)
  • Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

day 11

End of service!

View Full Itinerary

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Mahebourg

A sleepy colonial city on the southwest coast with a pretty waterfront, Mahébourg hasn’t seen large-scale tourist development so it retains lots of authentic charm. It’s a great place to get a taste of real Mauritian life of fishermen heading out on their wooden boats and lively local markets alongside an interesting museum, local eateries and street food stalls, where you can chat…

Mauritius in December

Climate In early December, the weather is warm and dry, but as the month progresses so does the rainfall and humidity. Highlights of the month/disadvantage + advantages December is one of the two busiest months in Mauritius and there’s a big spike in hotel prices and flights, especially around the Christmas and New Year holiday period. It’s one of the best months of the year to…

Mauritius in February

February is a hot and humid month in Mauritius, and it’s the second rainiest (after January). There is still a chance of cyclones in February although they aren’t that common. Highlights of the month/disadvantage + advantages The weather in February isn’t ideal for a beach holiday, but the skies do tend to clear up after a rain shower and there are fewer people this month after…

Why go to Mauritius?

Mark Twain once said: “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius.” This paradise on Earth is the kind of tropical island fantasies are made of: powdery icing-sugar white sandy beaches shaded by swaying palm trees, crystal-clear turquoise ocean, year-round sunshine, lush forests and volcanic mountain backdrops – and some of…

Romantic holiday in Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the most popular destinations in southern Africa for romantic holidays and honeymoons, and it’s easy to see why. There’s not much that can top a tropical beach holiday for couples wanting a romantic break, and Mauritius’ exquisite beaches and islets offer the perfect combination of sugary white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and crystal-clear calm sea for…

Mauritius in September

Climate September has the lowest rainfall of any month in Mauritius which means plenty of sunshine for long beach days. Day time temperatures are in the low 20s and night time temperatures drop to about 18C – bring along a sweater or jacket for nights. Highlights of the month/disadvantage + advantages September is still low season in Mauritius, so it’s a great time to travel for…

Popular Mauritius Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari

Start your trip in South Africa and finish in Mauritius. Experience the stunning beaches and the Big Five in the Phinda Private Game Reserve. ...

 | South Africa and Mauritius Island Holiday (12 days)

South Africa and Mauritius Island Holiday (12 days)

South Africa has so much to offer, from spotting the elusive leopard, to exploring Johannesburg's historical sites. Include the tropical island of Mauritius for an even more unforgettable vacation....

 | Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town, enjoying the remarkably untamed wilderness of the Kruger National Park and swimming the pristine beaches of Mauritius....

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