AfricaTips

Mauritius: The Perfect Ending To an Epic Trip

Ile Aux Cerfs

Mauritius was always on my radar but it wasn’t really at the top of my list. Well, that changed over the course of five months leading up to my trip. First, my sister’s obsessed with Mauritius. Then, on a flight in the Philippines, I read about the Westin Turtle Bay in a magazine and took a picture of the page. Shortly afterwards, I saw pictures from Loriade’s family vacation and so on. Long story short, I wrapped up one of the best trips I’ve ever taken with four days in Mauritius.

I packed a tripod on this trip specifically for Mauritius, I had every intention of being a real blogger and doing a photo-shoot at the Westin but in the end, I couldn’t be bothered. We’ll have to make do with the few I did take (all mostly on one day). I checked out a number of beaches, got on public bus, I went on a catamaran cruise to Ile Aux Cerfs, I danced Sega with locals and tourists at Banana Beach, I enjoyed a tasty meal from the shack at Mont Choisy beach. I practiced my rusty french, I lay in the sun, taking in views of the Indian Ocean as I sipped on a Mojito. More than once, I said to myself, wow!

Merville Beach
Poolside views on my first Night in Mauritius – Merville Beach

Here are some random things I learned while in Mauritius:

  • Mauritius is racially diverse with the population made up people of Indian, Chinese, African (blacks), and European origin. I did not know of Chinese Mauritians!
  • Textile manufacturing, sugar cane plantations, finance, and IT are big in Mauritius (aside from Tourism)
  • French is spoken so much; it might as well be an official language.
  • Mauritians  speak creole, a bit of a combination of several languages
  • Mauritian street food has Indian, Chinese, and Creole influence. It is yummy and way cheaper than food at resorts
  • Sugarcane juice is good stuff!
  • Like many other parts of the world, there’s a huge gap between the haves and have-nots. A small portion of the population run the country and have access to more resources
  • While you’ll find a lot of French holiday makers here, Mauritius is also becoming popular with Chinese tourists
  • With more time, I could have combined this with a trip to Reunion
Mauritian meal
My first meal was a curry dish with chicken and rice. Reminded me of Indian food, which I love
Practical Information

Accommodation: I stayed on two sides of the island, spending the first two nights at Merville Beach Resort in Grand Baie, and the last two nights at the 5-star Westin Turtle Bay resort in Balaclava (lodging here was free using points, yassss). There are Airbnb, 2-star to the most luxurious 5-star lodging options in Mauritius. Most budget-friendly option would be renting an airbnb or other apartment.

Getting There: I flew to Mauritius on South African Airways from Johannesburg. Good food!

Getting Around: I took taxis and the public bus but I’d absolutely recommend getting a rental car as taxis can get costly.

Currency: Mauritian Rupee

Visa: On arrival with proof of departure flight and accommodation

Where To Stay: You can stay on different parts of the island. The main thing to consider is the time of the year. Since I went in the winter, I was advised to stay in the North/Northwest as that area gets less wind and rain at that time of the year. If you have a car, you can stay anywhere in paradise, really!

Mauritius Activities
Brochure with overpriced activities and some Rupees

 

Merville Beach
My room at Merville Beach was more than adequate, the property is right on the beach which I loved.

 

Westin Turtle Bay
But then I scored an upgrade to a suite at the Westin, this one was luxurious, and FREE!!!!!

 

This is one part of my patio at the Westin. This is one time I wished I didn’t go solo to enjoy all this! Loved the outdoor space

Best Time to Visit: I visited in August (winter) and while there were showers and some winds it was still stunning and sunny. There’s something in Mauritius for everyone all year but I’ve heard shoulder seasons might be best (cheaper plus even better weather).

Activities: I see why Mauritius is great for honeymoons and destination weddings. It’s gorgeous! There are other thing to do in Mauritius such as having beach days (there are several to choose from), joining a catamaran cruise to other islands, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, hiking, market visit, and zip lining. Compared to Maldives, I found there to be a bit more to do here.

Mauritius bus
This is what the bus looks like, but if you aren’t in a hurry it saves you $$ and it’s a good way to join locals. I met the biggest bus conductor on a bus and he gave me the best tips (He looked like The ROCK though!)

 

Beach day! Selfie before we get into the water 🙂

 

Merville Beach
Breakfast views at Merville Beach

 

Off to learn Cultural Dance (Sega)

 

Ile Aux Cerfs
Its picture day!!!!

 

Ile Aux Cerfs
Perfect Conditions at Ile Aux Cerfs. So many ways to chill!!!!! #takemeback

 

Ile Aux Cerfs
Who would you stand with?

 

Loved the colors of this speedboat at Ile Aux Cerfs!

Other Tips:

  • Many resorts have some free activities, take advantage of those.
  • It’s okay to bargain with taxi drivers
  • Book your activities with tour companies directly and not with the resort (saved me 40%)

Have you been to Mauritius or any countries on the Indian ocean? Did you find there was enough to do or did you get bored after a number of days? Do you think they’re overhyped? Any surprises?

PS: This is the seventh post about my time in southern Africa, catch up on all the other posts leading up to this here: Kick-off, Itinerary, Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Safari, and Johannesburg. 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Mauritius: The Perfect Ending To an Epic Trip

  1. Teal waters…. swooon! So beautiful! I have been to Zanzibar. Spent 6 days and didn’t get bored even though we didn’t really do a lot there. We had spent the first few days of our holiday jumping from place to place so it was nice to just relax for a change.

    I don’t think I’m much of an island girl though, especially solo travel-wise. I’d rather make it a combined trip with somewhere else, just like what you did.

    1. Zanzibar is the first place I ever wanted to visit and I still haven’t gone but the waters there look perfect as well as in! Every time I see teal waters it feels like the first time, I can’t get over it.

      Its lovely to have that chill time after running around satisfying our hunger for adventure. I agree with you, I haven’t ever just been on an island for long and thats why I snuck it in at the very end. Maybe I’ll change my mind with a ‘permanent’ travel buddy so let me never say never haha!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’ve never visited any of the countries on the Indian Ocean but best believe all that is going to change soon.

    I agree that those countries shouldn’t be done solo. You want others to experience it with you plus it seems like it could get lonely in these kind of places.

    1. Lola, let us follow you on the gram when you go o! The locals I met in Mauritius made it fun for me sha 😉 I might have gotten bored without them.

  3. Okay girl that selfie with the hat is fierce. Whew!
    And the island looks so beautiful. Wherever there is teal blue water, I’m in.
    Mauritius still isn’t on my bucket list, just like Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, etc. As much as I love the beach, I usually like a place that has other attractions, markets, monuments, character. But, those places are perfect for honeymoons and just relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Not everytime adventurous traveler. So, will definitely consider for that occasion.

    Great post, enjoyed every bit.

    1. Thank you (see blushing !!). The Island is beautiful, but I’m with you on beach trips though, so much that at some point I totally swore never to go on just a beach trip (and never to go on a cruise as well haha). I like them best built into the tail end of a trip filled with some of the other things you’ve mentioned. But let me ‘never say never’ because maybe three years from now I may only want a beautiful beach with nothing else in sight. I’d be surprised myself but who knows?

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love this D! Can never get enough beach! Been to Tanzania, Zanzibar and Seychelles and I still want to do Mauritius, Comoros Islands, Cape Verde and every possible island on the African continent. The pictures are pretty dope, love the one with the colored boat 🚣. Well done and well written as usual

    1. Thanks chica! Na only you waka come to all the beaches o! Cape Verde and Sao Tome are high high on the list. Seychelles is there as well. Infact, yes, everything!!

    1. Awww, I love you too boo! I can’t wait to come back with you, and I don’t care if its your honeymoon #thirdwheelandhappy

  5. Same here! Every single picture I see from the islands in Africa make me want to visit said islands! Yours (Dee) are taking me down memory lane, back to a place I LOVED (I’m legit obsessed with Mauritius lololol). I cannot wait to visit Seychelles, Comoros, Cape Verde and Madagascar!

  6. Eeeee thank you for the shoutout, Dee!! I didn’t realize my pictures provided an added incentive/ motivating factor when you were considering going to Mauritius – thanks for letting me know. 🙂 I remember when you mentioned you’d be going to Mauritius on Instagram. I’m pleased to see you had a great experience and have lovely pictures of your time there. Also, kudos to you for going there solo!

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