10 Reasons to Visit Mauritius
You can go for the natural beauty, brilliant sunshine and endless beaches, but there are even more reasons to visit Mauritius, including golf, diving and snorkelling.
Mauritius is a tropical fantasy of an island in the southern Indian Ocean, blessed with sunshine, trade winds and endless beaches. But there is a lot more to Mauritius than just swaying palm trees and soaking up the rays.
Fusion of Cultures: Uninhabited in 1507, Mauritius has assimilated visitors from Madagascar, the East Indies, Netherlands, France, England, Indonesia and the Far East. Today, it is a model of diversity and tolerance.
Natural History: The dodo has become synonymous with extinction, and this large flightless bird is famous for vanishing as a species in modern times. But few people realize that the dodo lived only on Mauritius. You can see its reconstructed skeleton at the Natural History Museum in Port Louis.
Golf by Design: Golf legend Ernie Els recently designed the region’s top course, Four Seasons Golf Club at Mauritius. Winding past lagoons, sugarcane fields, and along beautiful coastline, it showcases the natural splendor of Mauritius.
Nature on Display: Mauritius has nearly a dozen important nature reserves and botanical gardens to explore, in settings from the city center to the Black River Gorge, and others set amidst tropical mountains and waterfalls. The Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere, is famous for its 85 varieties of palm trees, giant water lilies and other plant species.
Dance Demonstrations: The Se´ga, a traditional Creole dance, is held regularly around the island. Part opera, part orchestrated group dance, the women of the co-ed Se´ga wear colorful ruffled skirts, and the performance builds in tempo and even involves the audience.
World-Class Fishing: One of the top offshore sport fishing destinations on earth, the waters of Mauritius have yielded world records for several varieties of sharks and tuna. In fact, Mauritius hosts the annual Marlin Word Cup, where marlin catches of over half a ton are not uncommon.
Sugar Mill and Restaurant: Visit the Beau Plan sugar mill to learn about the role on sugar in the island’s history and then dine at the Fangourin restaurant set in the garden at the mill. The menu features seafood with dishes such as escalope of sea bream with crayfish butter and sweet potato purée and delicious deserts like Muscavdo “creme brulee” with lavender flavour.
A Green Landscape: The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has turned back time on the island of Ile aux Aigrettes. Cleared of non-native pants and animals, it was returned to its original wild state, where the Kestrel and Pink Pigeon flourish along with giant tortoises.
Diving Discoveries: Diving and snorkeling are fabulous on Mauritius, with many of the reefs and surrounding areas now protected by the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society. The result is a treasure trove of coral reefs, shipwrecks and marine life of all shapes and sizes.
The Flavour of Rum: Once almost entirely devoted to sugar cane production, Mauritius still boasts a booming rum culture. The most famous label, Green Island, is the sole export, but many high quality and aged rums made locally can be sampled at bars.