Mauritius

Often regarded as solely a tropical beach paradise, Mauritius is far more than a one-dimensional destination. With a mix of Chinese, Dutch, French & African influences, the island nation is culturally diverse, & the jungle interior promises abundant wildlife, dramatic waterfalls & endless explorations.

                                                         

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activities & experiences

While its beaches could be considered the brightest sparkles of this jewel of the Indian Ocean, stepping away from its perfect white sand and azure waters will reward you with a lush and verdant wilderness, bustling creole-inspired streets, national parks and rainbow-coloured landscapes.

Though romance seeps from every view and location, Mauritius is a destination equally as suited to families as it is honeymooners. The ocean offers explorations both above and below the surface, and its wooded mountainsides are filled with birdlife, monkeys, deer and much more. Activities also abound, and Mauritius offers an endless array of entertainment for all of its visitors.

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Mauritius’ iridescent colours promise a wealth of adventure, whether waterborne activities or sightseeing journeys on land. Sports enthusiasts and more active visitors will revel in the endless possibilities, while relaxation, indulgence and more sedate explorations are never far away either.

  • Take an underwater safari, by snorkel, SCUBA or sub-scooter
  • Unwind on the many pristine, deserted beaches
  • View Mauritius from the air on a helicopter charter
  • Hike to the summit of Le Morne Brabant to see the underwater waterfall
  • Enjoy a champagne cruise & spot whales & dolphins
  • Wander the streets & sample the flavours of the capital, Port Louis
  • Explore the national parks of Ile aux Aigrettes & Black River Gorges
Mauritius
Île aux Aigrettes Mauritius

destinations

The Mauritian experience can be divided into three key areas: the mountains and jungles, the coast and ocean and the townships. Each holds appeal on numerous levels, with nature lovers, gastronomists, cultural enthusiasts and more adventurous types all abundantly accounted for. Your day can begin with an ocean dip before boarding a boat for a remote forested sanctuary island, taking a sunset cruise and finishing with a classic creole cooking class and dinner. In Mauritius, you set the pace, with adventure around every corner, or another beach hammock and piña colada with your name on it.

Île aux Aigrettes


This UNESCO World Heritage site has been protected since 1965 due to its old-growth ebony forest filled with endemic and endangered plants and wildlife. Home of the pink pigeon, numerous small reptiles, the Mauritius kestrel and the star attraction, the giant land tortoise, Île aux Aigrettes was also once home to giant skinks and the dodo. Now carefully protected, visitor numbers are carefully monitored, but a guided tour of the small island, half a mile from the mainland, is like stepping into another world.

Le Morne Brabant


Legend tells of a lost tribe, the Maroons, who escaped slavery, sheltering on the remote Le Morne Brabant. Hearing that British officers were on their way to their hideaway, the entire community cast themselves from the mountain’s summit rather than return to slavery. Sadly, the officers were carrying a message of the abolition of slavery and the Maroons’ subsequent freedom. A somewhat challenging hike will take you to this spectacular location, with sweeping views of the pristine coastline and an ocean channel that, at certain times, appears to be a vast, subaquatic waterfall of landslide.

Alexandria


The Mauritian capital is worthy of several days’ attention. Rich in cultural history, antiquated architecture and nuances of early Dutch and French settlers, Port Louis also possesses a bustling Chinatown that, while certainly modernised, still reflects the architecture, cuisine and herbal remedies of bygone immigrants. The Caudan Waterfront reveals not only a wonderful harbour, but many fascinating shops and museums, while at Port Louis’ heart lies the vibrant central market district, filled with local foods and crafts.

Black River Gorges National Park


With over 30 miles (50km) of walking trails and covering 17,000 acres, there is plenty to explore in Black River Gorges National Park. Home to many species of unique animals and plants found nowhere else in the world, the park also presents expansive, verdant vistas, the island’s highest point and several stunning waterfalls, plummeting over the rocky hillside. Many people visit the easily-accessible top of  Alexandra Falls, but very few take the opportunity to take the short hike to its base. A guided walk will reveal not only the numerous falls and their secrets, but also the many wonderful creatures of the park.

Chamarel


As tall as the Statue of Liberty, Chamarel waterfall is another spectacular aquatic attraction, but far from the only reason to visit the region to the island’s south. The coloured sands of the region are a diminutive reflection of Peru’s Rainbow Mountain, mineral deposits and volcanic activity creating seven distinctive hues of sand and soil. A small township in the region contains a rum distillery where you can sample the locally-created beverage, the somewhat bizarre Curious Corner of Chamarel that younger visitors will adore, and a collection of small restaurants that offer classically traditional creole-style dishes.

accommodations

Though numerous options are available throughout Mauritius, accommodation is invariably spectacular. Modern, resort-style properties incorporate intimate cabins, more communal lodges and apartments, with beachfront outlook, a complete suite of facilities, golf courses and more.

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Despite the resort format, you are also able to feel wonderfully secluded. Self-sufficient villas provide private pools, butler service and pure escapism, but all just a short stroll from bars, restaurants, gymnasiums and the many other facilities to be expected of a larger property.

For a truly tropical experience, select a luxurious stilted timber cabin that rises from the pristine turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Though you won’t find luxury tented camps or colonial lodges in Mauritius, what you will find – in luxury, comfort and modernity – will more than satisfy.

Le Saint Géran Mauritius

MAURITIUS ESSENTIALS

001 Calendar 01

BEST TIME: Aug – Nov

003 Thermometer 01

CLIMATE: LOW: 65-80ºF (19-27ºC) Jun – Oct / HIGH: 74-86ºF (23-30ºC) Jan – Apr

002 Blood 01

SEASONS: DRY: Jun – Nov / WET: Dec – May

004 Group 01

BEST FOR: Watersports enthusiasts, romantics, families

Though there is far more to do in Mauritius than lounge on a hammock all day and cool off in the tropical ocean, this is certainly the foremost appeal of the island and region. One might consider all other attractions as ‘added extras’, highly worthy of visiting, but distinctly in addition to your tropical vacation.

Mauritius is wonderfully diverse, but may lack the appeal of other more safari-oriented destinations. Embracing Mauritian cultural history, the delicious creole cuisine and the smaller geography of the national parks will allow you to gain the very most of your Mauritius experience.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN MAURITIUS?

Mauritius has more than enough intrigue and activity to fulfil a lengthier vacation of two weeks or more, and to truly gain the most of the island, this timeframe is highly recommended. However, if you are wishing to enjoy some tropical relaxation after a more extended safari itinerary, four days will allow you to unwind, take in the exquisite beaches and spend a day discovering some of Mauritius’ more iconic attractions.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

As with many equatorial countries, Mauritius suffers a significant monsoon season of heavy rains, high winds and almost debilitating humidity. The height of monsoon occurs from December to March each year and should most certainly be avoided. The bridging months – November, April and May – are fickle, often less populated but prone to the occasional downpour. The northern hemisphere summer months, from June to September, are much drier, with amiable temperatures and less humidity; wonderful, warm days, 75ºF (23ºC) ocean and cooler, comfortable nights.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN MAURITIUS?

Private residences are rare in Mauritius, with most accommodations being hotels within the capital of Port Louis, and larger resorts throughout the mainland and neighbouring islands. Some colonial guesthouses and smaller inland retreats are available, however most resorts are of a premium, contemporary standard, though some cater more to families and a more communally interactive clientele.

Luxury resorts preferred by Rothschild Safaris include private villas, self-contained lodges and an intimate setting more akin to the venues we select across Africa.

OTHER DETAILS:

The majority of Western travellers don’t require a visa for Mauritius if visiting for vacation purposes. While inoculations for Mauritius are minimal, we recommend that you contact your travel designer or a travel medicine specialist for vaccination advice.

International flights arrive directly from Europe and South Africa, other nations requiring transfers through these countries to arrive. While one could happily spend two weeks enjoying and exploring Mauritius, we recommend considering it a tropical conclusion to your African or Indian safari.

While French is used extensively, along with the national language of Morisyen, or Mauritian Creole, English is spoken prevalently and few language barriers should arise. To explore the island, we recommend using a local driver and guide to uncover the island’s hidden secrets and less populated regions. Cycling is also highly recommended, with bike hire readily available and Mauritius’ picturesque landscapes far more appreciable at this slower pace.

Mauritian food standards are exceptional. Resorts and retreats offer the highest standards of international cuisine. Creole dishes are widely available, with Indian and Chinese influences found in local restaurants, especially in the capital of Port Louis. Dietary requirements can be easily accommodated upon request, but advising staff of your requirements ahead of time is recommended.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

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. 

- Amy Lundberg

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! 

- Betsy Robertson

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.

- Dawn Jacobs

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.

- George Kowalski

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.

- Jackie Smith

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. 

Jamie Scarlett

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.

Joe Moravec

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! 

Kim Mather

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.

Lisa Anderson

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.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)