10 things not to miss in Mauritius
With the world’s golfing community descending on Mauritius for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open – the first ever event tri-sanctioned by the Sunshine, European and Asian tours – its an ideal opportunity for the island to showcase the rest of its many highlights.
If you can tear yourself away from the fairway, here’s our pick of the best things to see and do while you’re here.
The rugged southern coast
If you’re down at Domaine de Bel Ombre for the tournament, a drive along the southern coast road to Souillac is an easy diversion. Along the way you’ll encounter small fishing villages, delicious local street foods, and fabulous views of the ocean.
Kitesurfing at Le Morne
In the opposite direction lies the flat, sheltered lagoon at Le Morne, one of the best places in the world to try your hand at kitesurfing. This adrenalin-fuelled sport has grown hugely in popularity over recent years, so book yourself an introductory lesson or sit back and watch the pros in action.
There’s no better way to experience another country’s culture and history than through its food. While in Mauritius, try out some of our favourite snacks and sweet treats, like the ubiquitous dhal puri (check out this recipe from Cannelle et Caramome) or a plateful of pretty pink napolitans.
Ile aux Aigrettes
This island nature reserve about 800 metres off the coast of Mahebourg gives an insight into the extensive conservation work undertaken to protect rare endemic species like the Mauritian pink pigeon. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Aldabran Giant Tortoise in its one-hectare home.
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Pamplemousses is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere and a genuine tropical treasure trove. The grounds are full of unusual tree specimens like the Indian almond and Caribbean laurel, not to mention 85 global species of palm. But best of all are the astonishingly huge amazonica waterlillies, which adorn the rectangular pond.
The handsome Creole mansion known as Eureka was formerly a sugar plantation, but is now a museum and one of the most popular visitor attractions on the island. The meticulously preserved residence is packed with elegant period furniture and antiques, and with its wraparound verandah and 109 doors and windows, it is thought to be one of the largest houses in Mauritius. Don’t miss the spicy Creole flavours at the museum’s restaurant, La Maison Creole.
Ganga Talao is a both a peaceful lake in the crater of an extinct volcano and a pilgrimage site for Mauritius’ Hindu population. Also known as Grand Bassin, the lake draws the faithful year round who come to pray, meditate and make offerings to Lord Shiva. But the site is popular with tourists too, who come for a stroll around the lake path or to sit among the temples and watch the local monkeys at play.
Kayak Amber Island
Up on the east coast, Amber Island is a tiny forested islet surrounded by tangled mangrove and the flat, multi-hued waters of the lagoon. Easily reached by sea kayak, the island offers a chance to paddle peacefully through this rich ecosystem in search of numerous crustaceans and sea turtles.
Try a scuba-doo sub-scooter
Make your way up to Trou aux Biches beach on the northwest coast, and experience one of the most unusual aquatic experiences in Mauritius. These self-propelleed scooters – originally designed in Australia for visiting the Great Barrier Reef – are fuel free and eco-friendly, and with a maximum speed of 2.5 knots allow you to experience the subterranean world at your own pace.
If you’re still craving golf, never fear. With an Air Mauritius heli-golf trip you can fly in style to some of the most beautiful golf courses in Mauritius. After taking in the sensational aerial views you’ll be down on the green within minutes, enjoying a new golfing experience in a gloriously tropical setting.
Here at Air Mauritius, we’re proud to be one of the sponsors of the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Stay in touch with all the latest news and happenings live from the tournament by following the #MeetInMauritius hashtag on our social media channels – simply join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So, start your flight with Air Mauritius and book your next big adventure with us today.