Our Guide to

Mauritius Holidays

Mauritius Holiday – Endless natural beauty and the ultimate island escape

Its very name conjures up images of tropical luxury and stupendous extravagance.   There are the beautiful Mauritius cobalt-blue seas, white sandy beaches and luxury hotels. The island is loaded with historic sights, cultural diversity, geographic variation and almost limitless activities to distract guests from the daily grind of beach and pool.

Mauritius has a fascinating history that comes to life in architecture, art, museums and galleries not to mention island architecture. It certainly is a surprise component to luxury Mauritius holiday packages.

Perhaps its single biggest asset is the relaxed charm of its warm and welcoming people. The smells, noises and bustle of the mercantile capital Port Louis, Africa’s wealthiest city, are never far away, while the busy garment markets in the Central Plateau towns of Quatre Bornes and Curepipe and Black River Gorges National Park’s dramatic virgin forests give the lie to Mauritius being just another beach destination.

Mauritius as a country is made up of Mauritius island, Rodrigues Island and a handful of smaller outer islands. The main island is 64 kilometres long and 45 kilometres wide and with a volcanic origin it is surrounded by coral reefs abundant with marine life.  Mauritius beaches are famous, especially the fun ‘Flic en Flac’ beach not to mention Grand Bay, Blue Bay, La Morne and Belle Mare.

English is spoken on the island, all cultures are welcomed and celebrated and the island paradise lives up to its expectations for beautiful, relaxing luxury Mauritius holidays.

Mauritius holiday packages are always enticing where everything is included so you simply relax and enjoy the island vibe.  It combines beautifully with a safari adventure Mauritius holiday so we can help with the entire itinerary.

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More on Mauritius Holidays

See this as our little insight into Mauritius. Facts and figures are not for everyone. So we will keep this brief and interesting, mixing up some statistics and our take on Mauritius.

Where is Mauritius and what should one expect?

This world renowned island nation sits approximately 2,000 kilometres off the south east coast of Africa.

It is one of the most visited countries on the continent and for good reason – it’s naturally beautiful, an island paradise with spectacular beaches and endless activities on land and water.  It continues to offer a sensational African beach holiday finale to any wildlife safari.

English is spoken on the island, all cultures are welcomed and celebrated and the island paradise lives up to its expectations for beautiful, relaxing luxury Mauritius holidays.

What to do in Mauritius?

Mainland Mauritius offers hiking trails through mountains at the Black River Gorges National Park where another rare bird species, the Mauritian Pink Pigeon is resident.

Tea is a major export and you can visit one of the tea plantations up winding roads often enveloped in fog. It’s wonderful to see tea pickers in the plantation and dine at the restaurant tasting the tea of course. Another export is sugarcane and you can visit the plantations and visit the sugar museum to learn about its fascinating history. One of the estates, Domaine de La Etoile has turned eco-playground with quad biking, mountain biking and horse riding on offer plus segways and buggy trips. Explore the slopes of Bambous Mountains where deer roam freely among the forest. There are trekking trails and zipline circuits plus karting for kids.

Mauritius is a secret rum paradise and delightful distilleries offer you the opportunity to see the process and taste the product.

Chamarel is a village in the south with a wonderful geographical formation called the Coloured Earth. Here, purples, yellows, reds and oranges form an uneven volcanic surface, quite a sight to behold. Just to get here the drive is fascinating and beautiful with gorges, mountains and waterfalls.

The expansive coastline of course means abundant water sports and activities. Snorkelling and diving are highlights along with fishing, parasailing and an undersea walk giving guess the chance to walk suspended metres below the surface amongst colourful marine residents.

If weather isn’t ideal for beach adventure or pool leisure, head to the shopping precincts, museums or entertainment areas. Port Louis has a number of museums, galleries and interesting churches, temples and a citadel. The town also boasts one of the top sunset spots on Signal Hill.

Grand Baie is the hub of the island and what was once a sleepy fishing village is now a bustling tourist mecca with shops and entertainment. Kids love the Mauritius aquarium where you can feed the fish and see sharks up close.

If you enjoy visiting stately homes. Eureka is a French colonial mansion not to miss. Once owned by the island’s biggest sugar baron, there are 109 doors, a verandah that wraps completely around the house all with a stunning Moka Mountain backdrop. You can walk through the gardens to a swimming hole beneath the waterfall, a beautiful and leisurely experience.

One of the hidden gems of Mauritius holidays is Mahebourg, the site where the Dutch landed in 1598. It’s an ancient capital with a calm character and charm to it. Here you can sit at a rustic restaurant, stroll along the pink paved waterfront to the bay where British battled the French for the island and visit the National History Museum.

For Mauritius bird lovers, you can head over to Isle aux Aigrettes (Egret Island) which is thought to have been the last resting palce of the dodo. It is a small coral outcrop surrounded by water with tortoises still resident and endangered pink pigeons too. Easy to get to, a daily guided tour is really insightful.

Fascinating History

Mauritius has a fascinating history that comes to life in architecture, art, museums and galleries not to mention island architecture. It certainly is a surprise component to Mauritius holiday packages.

Arab sailors were the first to visit back in the middle ages, naming the island Dina Arobi. Next to explore the region in 1507 was Portugese navigator Diogo Fernandes Pereira. The portugese did not stay long and in 1598 a Dutch fleet landed under Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck who named the island Maritius after Prince Maurice van Naasau, the ruler of the Dutch republic at the time.

Years later, in 1638, the Dutch officially stablished a small colony and set up sugar cane farms. This only lasted a short time until France took control in 1715.

Many of the Mauritius holiday highlights stem from the French East India Company influence. Sugar cane plantations flourished and the island became a crucial base on the trade route.

The French and British tussled for dominance of Mauritius and France surrendered in 1810 with agreed terms that saw settlers retaining land and property, using the French language and the law of France in criminal and civil matters.

Mauritius was important to Britain as a naval base and air station during World War Two. Then in 1968 Mauritius attained independence and saw the creation of its colourful flag with each band of colour importantly reflecting a component of its history and natural beauty. Red was for the bloodshed at the time of slavery and colonisation whilst blue was the ocean surrounding the islands. Yellow was the shining light of independence, its morning glorious sunrises and green represented the lushness of its island landscapes.

The legendary dodo bird was found only in Mauritius before it became extinct and it remains the national animal of the country. It was a type of oversized pigeon that settled on the island over 4 million years ago. There were no predators so dodos lost their need and ability to fly. Dodo was a welcome source of meat for sailors to the shores and so they were killed in large numbers. The Dutch introduced species that ate dodo eggs and within 100 years of human settlement, the dodo became critically endangered and the last was said to be killed in 1681.

Top Five Mauritius Highlights

  1. You set the pace in your ideal island paradise. Relax, swim, walk along beautiful beaches or simply laze by your resort pool.
  2. Marine wildlife is always an attraction and here you can head out to snorkel or dive. Fishing in Mauritius is also phenomenally popular.
  3. Historical trail around Mauritius learning about its fascinating history through architecture, museums, galleries right down to food, tea and sugar cane plantations.
  4. Rugged adventure is also here with mountains to climb, quad bikes to ride, forests to explore and so much more.
  5. Food and shopping go hand in hand as you get out and about around Mauritius. Soak up French flavours, exotic Indian and Arabic spices and colourful markets

Encompass Africa travel company will help you design your own private tour to Mauritius to experience all the above activities. It will be an unforgettable holiday with all inclusive package deal.

Best time to visit Mauritius

Mauritius boasts a tropical climate with warm humid summers running November to April and cool, dry winters June to September.

There is little drop in temperature that warrants anything other than a jumper so it is a great destination throughout the year with the exeption of January and February when cyclone season may hit.

Trade winds impact the east coast of the island at various times throughout the year. There is a saying in the office when planning Mauritius holidays: west is best.

Conservation in Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the last places on earth to have been reached by humans and yet so much of the ecology has been destroyed so conservation efforts are vital. Natural habitats were destroyed for settlement and agriculture, particularly sugar cane plantations. Many native species survived the environmental transformation and others came close to extinction. It attracted international conservation efforts from the Peregrine Fund and the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust that led to saving the Mauritius Kestrel (from 4 birds to over 800). Recoveries of the Pink Pigeon and Echo Parakeet were also achieved. Habitat restoration has been attempted through the control of invasive alien species on some of the vital offshore islets and coastal dry forests of the Mascarenes.

Mauritius is seen as a conservation laboratory for the tropics as teams and organisations there are committed to preserving its future including, not limited to the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society, Reef Conservation and Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. Even the local university has been spearheading capacity building to support conservation efforts since the 1990s with some 100 research projects completed by students. International researchers, conservationists and wildlife specialists spend time here too assessing impact of development to ensure the future remains bright for Mauritius’ land and sea.

Mauritius Feedback

From those who have ventured

We would recommend Encompass Africa to our friends & family. We had a wonderful trip!

Bush & Beach Safari – Chandler couple

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Fantastic time!

Bush and Beach Honeymoon – Kate and Jason

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