Mauritius

Mauritius is undeniably the jewel of the Indian Ocean. Ensconced by coral reefs, the island boasts some of the world’s most stunning scenic vistas – of waterfalls, mountains in the interior, and pristine beaches. Mauritius is a paradise for deep sea fishing, even hosting the Marlin World Cup. The island is full of historic sights and cultural diversity. Mauritians are a mixture of Chinese, Africans, Asians and Europeans, all coming to the island at different times of its history. With a fascinating past including settlers from all over the world this small island nation is easily one of the most diverse in the world. This has only played to its strengths in terms of national pride and conservation efforts.

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What to Expect

Mauritius is so much more than just a beach destination. With its pure white sandy beaches and protected coral reefs comes incredible history, an intricate culture and a variety of gorgeous natural attractions.

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This is a destination that is sure to tick everyone’s boxes. There is a plethora of day trips available to complement your lazy beach days. Whether it’s hiking through mountains and forests, taking traditional Creole cooking or dance classes, visiting historic and geological sites there is plenty to fill your holiday with memories. To top it all off Mauritians are known for their warmth and incredible hospitality and are always eager to share their vibrant culture with visitors.

Don't Miss Out

The Essence of Mauritius — Located in the southwest of the country, Chamarel is known for its scenic locations and natural attractions. These include the Seven Colored Earths, the Chamarel Falls, the Ebony Forest and the Black River Gorges National Park.

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Each of these are an attraction in themselves but when combined provide you with a fantastic day exploring Earth’s natural wonders. This region is also known for its locally grown coffee and has a rum distillery with a museum where the process of manufacturing rum is displayed and narrated.  As if this wasn’t enough, the village offers mountain biking and horseback riding as well as a mini-adventure park where you can zip-line your way through the tropical forest.

Ocean Paradise – As one would expect from a “beach” destination, Mauritius boasts over 90 miles (150 km) of pristine white beaches and rewards visitors with regular sightings of whales, dolphins and an array of wonderful tropical fish who call the protected coral reefs home. It is a fabulous destination for snorkeling and SCUBA diving with several excellent dive schools located on the island. For those looking for more active time at the beach many of the resorts offer water-based activities such as sailing or water skiing whilst the romantics can enjoy a gorgeous sunset and dinner catamaran cruise.

Bird Watching Wonders – Mauritius was the only known habitat of the Dodo before it was driven to extinction in the 17th century. If you are a keen birdwatcher, you will be thrilled that as a result of some incredible conservation efforts a wide variety of species endemic to Mauritius have escaped the same fate as the Dodo. The most famous of which is the Mauritius Kestrel which came very close to extinction at one point (in 1974 when there were only four individual birds of this species left in the world, it was actually deemed the rarest bird in the world), but now flourishes in their natural habitat where they are thriving and breeding successfully.

Hidden gem— Looking for a true laidback Mauritian style? Head to the sleepy fishing village of Grand Gaube near the large resort town of Grand Baie. The two couldn’t be more different; Grand Gaube is typified by small bays and rocky headlands which make up this stunning coastline and is a quieter fare compared to Grand Baie’s popular nightlife scene. The real attraction here is the local food and street markets. One of these, the Goodland’s street market, boasts Indo-Mauritian goodies that include jewel-bright clothes, pyramids of tea leaves and heaps of local vegetables and spices. A true feast for your senses. The local vibe provides an authentic insight to traditional Mauritian living. For those looking to experience local cuisine, the few cafés in Grand Gaube rustle up delicious fish curries served with a refreshing coconut, island style!

Need to know

Direct flights into Mauritius are available from South Africa, much of Europe and the middle East. All airlines fly into Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in the island’s southeast. You will then be transferred by road to your hotel.

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  • We advise spending 4 -7 days on the island. Mauritius is easily combined with safaris in South or East Africa, a city break in the Middle East, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, or another Indian Ocean island destination such as Madagascar.
  • We recommend Mauritius to anyone wanting to combine your typical beach escape with some outdoor exploring and local culture. With such a wide variety of resorts available it can be tailored accordingly for honeymooners just as much as family getaways
  • Visas are not required for most visitors. Inoculations may be recommended; we suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
  • For those wanting to explore the island all transport is by road. Whilst it is possible to hire a car and self-drive, we prefer organizing privately guided tours as they’ll provide you with an insiders’ perspective to the island. Bike hire is also available and there are several well-marked cycling trails.
  • English is the official language of the island allowing for easy communication.
  • Food is high quality and of international standards within the resorts. If trying the local fare many will find resemblances to Indian or Chinese cuisine due to the diverse history of this nation and the many migrants that have made it their home over the years.

When to go

The island has classic tropical climate with warm weather year-round. The temperature on the coastal areas varies between 71°F (21°C) in winter and 93°F (33°C) in summer.

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The sea temperature varies between 71°F (21°C) and 80°F (26°C). In the central part of the island, temperatures are 5-10 degrees cooler than on the coast. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the East and the South.

May – December: This is the best time of the year to visit the island. Warm, dry and sunny, it offers fantastic conditions for snorkeling and diving as well as all the other outdoor adventures. Even during “winter” from May – October the temperature barely drops below 70°F (20°C). For those not interested in sailing we recommend avoiding the East Coast in July and August when the winds are at their strongest.

January – April: As with all other Indian Ocean destinations this is the wet cyclone season and the days are hot and humid.

Accommodation

Mauritius balances authentic island atmosphere with beachy fun where holiday resorts are intertwined with traditional towns and villages.

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There is a wide choice of accommodation to suit all travel styles and preferences from colonial guesthouses to cozy mountain retreats, to upscale fully inclusive resorts. No matter your style, we will match you with accommodations that deliver excellent hospitality, sumptuous meals, and local charm.

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

Betsy Robertson

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

Dawn Jacobs

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

George Kowalski

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

Jackie Smith

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

Jamie Scarlett

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Joe Moravec

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Kim Mather

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Lisa Anderson

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.