Stop dreaming about visiting paradise!
Now Mauritius need not be just for exclusive holidays and expensive weddings and honeymoons. With our unique connections we can make your dream come true.
In the middle of the Indian Ocean, in the heart of the Mascarene Islands, Mauritius will enchant you, uplift your soul and make you feel amongst the chosen few. The people of Mauritius are a mix of the descendants of French, Dutch, African slaves and Indian settlers – friendly faces and spontaneous smiles – multiracial and multicultural people living in harmony. A harmony reflected in the turquoise seas balancing the beautiful tranquillity of reef and lagoon with the colourful vibrant life in the villages and marketplaces all over the island. Mauritius has an even subtropical climate between 24-34 degrees and a host of interesting excursions inland, including the world famous Pamplemousses Gardens – if you can tear yourself away from the beach resorts scuba diving, water skiing and sailing.

There are plenty of local companies on hand to book day trips out to sea, or into the interior of Mauritius.
Car hire is well worth taking up to explore the beautiful coastal roads and colourful villages, or climb to the Grand Bassin – the lake in the crater of an ancient volcano. It’s safe, difficult to get lost, and great fun. We can even arrange a car with a driver for you on a daily basis.

Make sure these are on your “must” visit list:

Chamarel Coloured Earths – A twisting metalled road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths at Chamarel. This is a mound of undulating land stretching in contrasting layers of colour, and patches of blue, green, red and yellow earth are believed to be the result of weathering. The nearby Chamarel waterfall emerges from the moors and primeval vegetation. The place is startlingly beautiful – well worth a visit.

Pamplemousses Botanical Garden – The famous Pamplemousses Gardens are known to naturalists throughout the world for their large collection of indigenous and exotic plants, including the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and many species of palm trees. Of particular interest is the talipot palm, which is said to flower once every sixty years and which thereafter dies.

Ile aux Cerfs – The tiny island resort of Ile aux Cerfs off the east coast of Mauritius, has clear, calm waters and long beaches fringed by filao trees. This is a small paradise for lovers of the sea, sand and sun and is easily accessible, 20 minutes by boat from Pointe Maurice. The island has two restaurants, a boat-house and stretches of beautiful beach. Tickets for boat transfers are available on the spot.

Port Louis – Capital and main port of Mauritius, Port Louis was founded by the French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, in 1735. The harbour lies sheltered in a semi-circle of mountains. The town has plenty of character, and proudly parades signs of its historical elegance. Its main square is Place d’Armes, so conspicuous with its row of palm trees. Close by are some fine French colonial buildings, namely the Government House and the Municipal Theatre. Other symbols of proud heritage are two cathedrals, a mosque, the Supreme Court, some 18th century Barracks and a Natural History Museum. To see a fascinating cross-section of Mauritian life visit the lively Port Louis market, standing close to the harbour.

Grand Baie – Grand Baie lies 20 kilometres north of Port Louis with its splendid beaches and its deep and sheltered bay, often as calm as a lake. It has been aptly named the ‘Mauritian Cote d’Azur’. Grand Baie has a host of restaurants, discotheques, clothing and craftswork shops, self-catering bungalows, hotels and beach resorts. It is also the main waterspouts hub in Mauritius where one can indulge in all kinds of water sports like the Undersea Walk, semi-submersible rides, the submarine to name a few. The high class shopping arcade the Sunset Boulevard is also located in Grand Baie.

Grand Bassin – Further up La Marie and Mare aux Vacoas is one of the island’s two natural lakes. Grand Bassin rests in the crater of an extinct volcano and is a place of pilgrimage for a large number of Mauritians of Hindu faith, especially on the occasion of Maha Shivaratree

Domnaine les Pailles – A stone’s throw from Port Louis, the Domaine les Pailles is a unique site where Mauritius can be observed as it used to be 300 years ago. Discover the traditional way of making sugar from freshly crushed sugar cane and see rum being distilled from sugar cane syrup. The train, a horse-driven carriage and colonial architecture blend in to complete the picture. Nature lovers can appreciate the natural water spring and the Mauritian flora, as well as stags, wild boar, birds and monkeys in the nature reserve, on horseback or in Land Rovers. For equestrian sport fans, the stables of Domaine les Pailles have what it takes to impress.

Undersea Walk – Experience the thrill of safe and fascinating underwater adventure for all the family from age 7 onward by joining an interactive underwater tour at any one of the three specially chosen locations around the island namely Grand Baie, Anse La Raie or Belle Mare. Even if you cannot swim or dive you will enjoy this undersea experience.

The Caudan Waterfront
 – In November 1998 Port Louis got a new look with the addition of the Caudan Waterfront to its skyline.

Housing large and spacious shopping centres, fast food outlets, restaurants, cinemas, casino and a luxury hotel, it is architectural marvel.

Catamaran Cruises – Reach the jetty in Pereybere (north) or Riviere Noire (west) and get on board the catamaran boat. After an exciting 2-hour boat crossing in the open sea, reach Ilot Gabriel, a perfect preserved small Eden. Discover the beautiful submarine marvels, the immaculate beaches. Throughout the cruise, fresh soft drinks are offered. Lunch is served on board the catamaran in an abundance of fresh drinks and food.

Sega – Sega is the local speciality dance which is a must see. The music for the Sega is derived from the African music of the old slave days, with added Creole patois lyrics. Listening to its beats and the overall atmosphere it creates will make the most inhibited and introvert visitor join the dance floor trying to match the swaying hips. Most of the hotels have a Sega performance once a week.

Blue Safari – Diving in a submarine is, in itself, a unique experience. A 40-minute cruise, 35 metres below sea level, on board one of the crafts operated by Blue Safari will make you live unbeknown emotions. This underwater adventure, unique in the Indian Ocean, will reveal coral reefs, impressive wrecks and an anchor dating back to the 17th century and will appeal to everyone from the toddler to the 90-year-old. Blue Safari operates two fully air-conditioned submarines, a five-seater and a ten-seater. Service also available for night dives and honeymoon dives.

Not to mention…
Curepipe – the island’s main urban centre, a pleasant town with good shops and restaurants. Between Curepipe and Floreal is the spectacular Trou aux Cerfs, an extinct crater 85m deep and more than 200m wide from where you can enjoy an extensive view of the island.
Casela Bird Park – stretching over 20 acres and carrying more than 140 varieties of birds from five continents. Attractions include tigers, fish, tortoises, monkeys, orchids, and the overall green scenery and peaceful atmosphere created by trees, streams and small cascades.

Mahebourg – one of the main fishing centres, lying in the bay of Grand Port. For an incursion into the past, visit the age-old biscuit factory where traditional methods are used in the preparation of biscuits from manioc (cassava) following a proudly held family recipe.

La Vanille Crocodile Park – in the south of the island in the heart of an unspoilt forest lies this farm where Nile crocodiles imported from Madagascar are bred. Also to be found is a small zoo with wild animals that can be found in Mauritius.

Trou aux Cerfs – this is a crater of an extinct volcano located in Curepipe. It is 85 metres deep and more than 200 metres wide. From here one can have a panoramic view of the western part of the island. It is also possible to go down the crater.

Deep Sea Fishing – for people interested in deep-sea fishing Mauritius offers a lot. Its waters abound with large varieties of fish: marlins, dorados sharks, sailfish, yellow fin tuna, wahoo, barracuda and bonitos among others. Big game fishing competitions are organised from October to March. From March to May is the yellow fin tuna season. The main fishing activities extend from the southwest to the north coast. Boats for deep-sea fishing can be booked from most of the beach resorts.

 

Diving – the Mauritius Scuba Diving Association consists of about 5 diving centres located in large hotels along the coasts. Aqualung diving lessons are available at these centres. Beautiful coral gardens are found at a depth of 15 metres and are home to over 1000 different species of fish. Note the use of spear guns and the collection of shells and corals are prohibited.

Horse racing – the horseracing season is from the beginning of May until the end of November. The meetings are held during weekends at the Champ de Mars racecourse in Port Louis.

If you’d like to know more email me: charmaine@hallmarktravel.com

Meet me in the gallery!