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

You might also like

Family holiday in Mauritius

Mauritius is an ideal family holiday destination and is great for kids of any age. The island offers great value for money on family holidays, with the choice of all-inclusive resorts and self-catering apartments and houses. Many resorts and hotels are child-friendly, offering children’s swimming pools and play areas, kids’ clubs and programmes packed with fun activities and services…

Mauritius in July

Climate July sees mild temperatures and low rainfall in Mauritius: days are sunny with averages in the low 20s. Highlights of the month/disadvantage + advantages Some of the less sheltered beaches can get windy in July, so pick a resort or hotel on the north or west coast for more shelter. July is an good month for kite surfing and surfing. ...

Mauritius in April

April is a hot, humid month although there’s less rain than in earlier in the year. There’s still a slight chance of cyclones. Highlights of the month/disadvantage + advantages The island is busy over the Easter holidays, so if you prefer quieter beaches then plan to travel outside of this period. April is the start of the best time of year for surfing in Mauritius, and it’s…

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…

Curepipe

Curepipe, Mauritius’ second biggest town, lies inland just south of the centre of the island, is a great day trip destination if you want a break from the beach. Beautiful colonial architecture lends the town a lot of charm, while its attractions are varied, from peaceful botanical gardens to a colonial mansion-turned museum. The town is also known for its shops: if you’re looking for…

Grand Bassin

Lying inland in the mountains of the southwest of the island, Grand Bassin, or Ganga Talao, is a crater lake sacred to Hindus, who believe that it was formed when Shiva spilt drops of water from the Ganges River in India. The largest natural lake in Mauritius, Grand Bassin is surrounded by candy-coloured statues of gods and Hindu temples. During Maha Shivaratri, which takes place at the…

Popular Mauritius Safaris

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

 | 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....

 | 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....

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:


   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2