Hi everyone, since I haven’t been particularly active with my website of late, I thought I would try something new with the goal of inspiring myself to write more and also you, the reader, to get out and see this beautiful world. The idea of these posts is to provide some insight into the destination including what to do, costs, accessibility, etc. Depending on the success of these posts and demand for content I may write more from my archive of travel. Any feedback would be very much appreciated.
Why travel to Mauritius?
Pristine beaches abound the coastline while gorgeous mountains rise from the interior. Hidden waterfalls, beautiful hiking and scuba diving. A smorgasbord cultural mix of Indian, French, and Creole resulting in delicious cuisine. Friendly locals, what more could you ask?
Where is it?
Located 1,132 km off the coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is an African island in the Indian Ocean covering 2030 square km of land. The currency used is the Mauritian Rupee, although many hotels and retailers will take Euros. The vast majority of people on the island speak French, although English is widely used.
Is it easy to get there?
Despite its relative geographic isolation, Mauritius is remarkably easy to get to. With flights from many European destinations including the UK and France, gateways in Africa, and now Air Asia opening a route to service Southeast Asia, it’s never been easier. We booked early and our flights were S$500 per person (330 Euros), a steal in my opinion considering the distance.
What is there to do?
As stated in the introduction, Mauritius is a natural paradise. The beaches are beautiful, and no matter where you stay on the island, you are likely just a stone throw away from one. We stayed in La Pointe Aux Cannoniers on the northern part of the island. Although public transit does exist and is very reliable for short distances, the best way to get around would certainly be to rent a car. This allows you to easily access the interior of the island through Black Gorge National Park, which offers some brilliant hiking, as well as meander down the coast and check out different beaches. A word of advice on car rental, rent the car while in destination, as this is much more affordable than what you will find online before you travel. Although we didn’t have an opportunity on this trip, Mauritius offers world class scuba diving and water activities. It’s the perfect mixture of relaxation and activity (if you’re so inclined).
Is it expensive?
As in most places, this is a relative question. To give some context, we paid roughly 70 Euros per night for a room in a mid-range hotel. A meal on the beach could cost as low as 5 Euros or as much as 20 depending on what you order. I felt that the seafood was quite affordable considering the freshness and flavour, all told we spent roughly 70 Euros per day on food and drinks. This could certainly be done cheaper (or much more expensive) depending on your budget and tastes. Most of the natural places such as beaches and hikes are free, with a few exceptions.
Is it safe?
Mauritius is relatively safe. While major crime is uncommon, unfortunately minor crime such as theft is prevalent. A person lying a short distance from us on the beach had their bag stolen which held their passport (don’t EVER bring your passport to the beach) and money and basically ruined their vacation, and we met another man at the airport who had experienced a similar situation. As with most places, exercise a degree of precaution and you’ll likely be fine.
All told, I thought that Mauritius offered excellent value for money, especially compared to locations proximate to it such as the Seychelles which was far more expensive and offered less value (but is still beautiful). It would be a nice getaway for couples or families, and while being perhaps a bit more expensive than conventional backpacking destinations, would also be a nice stop at the end of an African holiday.
Is there anything I missed? At this stage, feedback is extremely valuable to me. Please don’t hesitate to comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you’d like to see in future travel guides. It’s a beautiful world out there, get out and see it!