Visiting Mauritius and want to make the most of your time here? Put the outdated guidebooks away and check out this list of 10 unique things to do in Mauritius.
MEET THE GIANT TORTOISES
Before Mauritius was inhabited by humans, unique creatures such as giant tortoises and dodos roamed the land freely, hakuna-matata-style, not worrying about any predators. Unfortunately, both the Mauritian giant tortoise and the dodo quickly became extinct when humans came to settle in Mauritius since they were a great source of food and easy to catch. In order to balance their role in the Mauritian ecosystem, tortoises from Aldabra, Seychelles were introduced to the island. You can see these naturalized Mauritian citizens during your visit at La Vanille Parc des Mascareignes, the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden and even at the Chamarel coloured earth site.
VISIT ILE AUX AIGRETTES
Ile aux Aigrettes, a small coral atoll is located in the south east part of Mauritius, a short boat ride from Pointe Jerome. There, you will travel back in time and learn about the dodo, tortoises, geckos, birds, and indigenous and introduced plants in Mauritius. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes since you will be walking for about 1.5 to 2 hours through the dry coastal forest while discovering the fascinating flora and fauna. We have to add that this is a great educational tour for both children and adults!
GO SWIMMING WITH WILD DOLPHINS
So everyone knows someone who has swam with trained dolphins at the aquarium, but how many people do you know who have swam with dolphins in the wild? You can be the first of your friends to go swimming with dolphins in their natural environment! To swim next to these majestic mammals in the tropical waters of Mauritius is one of the most unique and memorable experiences that you will cherish for a lifetime.
VISIT A RHUMERIE
Whether or not you are a rum connoisseur, you will love discovering the rum making process when visiting one of the many rum distilleries in Mauritius. A few of the ones you can visit are: St. Aubin, Chamarel, and Labourdonnais. They all make excellent rums that you will want to bring back with you as souvenirs. During your visit, make sure to ask about the Mauritian tradition of rum arrangé, or flavoured rum!
HIKE LE MORNE BRABANT
How often do you get to hike a mountain that has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site? Le Morne mountain is a proud symbol of resistance to and fight against slavery. According to stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, it was the mountain where runaway slaves sought refuge when they could no longer bear the cruelty of slavery.
DANCE THE SEGA
Mauritians love the séga music, which was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Although it originated from the pain and suffering of slaves, this music brings joy to Mauritians, regardless of their ancestry. It can be heard everywhere: on the radio, in supermarkets and shops, in people’s houses and cars, and even on the beach!
Experience the thrill of deep sea fishing, while you wrestle with big fish such yellow-fin tuna, dorado, wahoo, bonito and the famous blue marlin, if you’re lucky! Mauritius ranks as one of the world’s most popular big game fishing destinations amongst deep sea fishing enthusiasts.
RELAX ON AN UNINHABITED ISLAND
For the ultimate day of relaxation, escape the ordinary and book a day cruise to one of the many small uninhabited islands that surround the main island of Mauritius such as Ile aux Cerfs, Ile Plate, Ilot Gabriel, and Ile aux Bénitiers. Choices are numerous but they all deliver a day of complete relaxation: swimming in the warm, turquoise waters, soaking up the sunshine on the white sandy beaches, or enjoying the shade under old casuarina or palm trees, swaying in the wind, and enjoying a delicious barbecue lunch and Mauritian cocktails!
DARE TO EAT THE CRUSHED CHILLIES WITH EVERY MEAL
Piment crasé, the Mauritian ketchup as I like to call it: fiery hot chillies crushed with pineapples, mangoes or apples? Sounds good, doesn’t it? It is usually served along with your food at all restaurants in Mauritius, and they all vary, depending on the recipe that the restaurant uses or the fruits and chillies that are in season. Start with adding just a little to your dish if you’re feeling brave and by the end of your vacation, you’ll be wanting to bring back a few jars of crushed chillies with you!
VISIT A COLONIAL HOUSE
Step into the past as you visit the numerous colonial houses in Mauritius. Most of them have guided tours, where you can learn about the previous inhabitants, the families’ history, and life on the island during that time period. Most houses also have a restaurant, where you can enjoy a delicious Mauritian meal in beautiful, lush surroundings.