It’s normal to associate Mauritius with sand and beaches due to the fact it’s an island, however there are many other things to see and do. Although the beaches are spectacular, holidays to Mauritius can include much more than just lying around. For those who prefer a little activity, you will certainly enjoy the many things Mauritius has to offer outside the beaches.
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
A spectacular place to take the entire family, Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is home to many beautiful deer and tortoises. This hands-on garden actually provides visitors with the rare opportunity to touch the wildlife. Located in the north portion of the island, the botanical garden is filled with magnificent giant water lilies and numerous other rare plant species. Locals believe that throwing coins into the pond brings good luck! The garden is extremely vast and can be enjoyed via a guided tour.
Black River Gorges National Park
An absolutely breathtaking and raw part of the island, the Black River Gorges are home to the only remaining traces of the dense forest that once dominated the area. Visitors here will also find the highest peak on the entire island, which is Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 metres. If you’re planning a day in the gorges, be aware of the high humidity and numerous mosquitoes. Due to the sheer size of the gorges, a local guide is highly recommended.
Chamarel coloured earths
Those visiting the island should not miss the opportunity to see the extraordinary natural phenomenon of the coloured earths of Chamarel. Geologists believe that these bizarre colours were formed by a variety of cooling rock strata resulting from volcanic activity that happened millions of years ago. No matter how they were formed, their beauty is unquestionable. A nearby waterfall makes visiting the area all the more special.
Casela Nature Park
This is a great park for families with young children. Located along the west coast of the island, Casela Park has a large collection of wild animals, particularly birds, making this an ideal spot for the bird enthusiast in your group. Known for having the rare Pink Pigeon, there are more than 140 bird varieties and 90 aviaries across the park’s 61 acres. Once inside the park, visitors can sign up for a safari tour where they can meet the many wild pigs, zebras, cheetahs and ostriches that call this park home.
Reserve your spot on a speedboat as you head out from Trou d'eau Douce to see surrounding islands that include Ile aux Cerfs, which is renowned with golfers and water sport enthusiasts. Visitors can also opt for a less speedy activity and hop on a catamaran that sees passengers to the northern islands of Gunner’s Quoin, Gabriel Island and Flat Island.
Other great activity choices
While visiting Mauritius, don’t miss out on souvenir hunting at many of the local markets, snorkelling and diving at Blue Bay, glass bottom boat rides, hiking le Pouce for a 360-degree glimpse of the island, or follow the pilgrimage route to the impressive crater lake at Grand Bassin. With so many things to do, it may be difficult to decide where to begin!