Grand Bay was the first place in Mauritius that experienced a tourism boom, all thanks to its lively spirit and breathtaking leisure spots.
Grand Bay is where all the local Mauritians go if they wish to spend a good night out. Restaurants, disco halls, and bars line the street, illuminating the place after hours. The beaches are fine destinations as well. The La Cuvette beach gets honorable mention because it has undergone renovations to be a more attractive tourist spot.
The Grand Bay was once named De Bogt Zonder Eyndt, which means “the bay without end.” It was named so in the 17th century by the Dutch for its long, seemingly endless coast line. It is actually a classy town with lots of variety in what it has to offer to visitors. Activites that you can participate in include water sports such as windsurfing, water skiing, and sailing.
The Grand Bay is now the center of tourism in northern Mauritius, breaking free from its old image of being “just a resort.”
Port Louis is the capital city and chief port of Mauritius. It was constructed in 1753 by Mahe de Labourdonnais, a well-acclaimed French governor in Mauritius.
The city’s history is a bit depressing, with disease outbreaks in the 18th and 19th centuries forcing the professional classes to live elsewhere. This has made Port Louis an undesirable place to live in the minds of Mauritians.
Today, however, that image is slowly being shed by the city.
The harbor of Port Louis is nestled between the massive peaks of Le Pouce and Pieter Both. It is a marvelous sight to behold.
Along the main square of the city stand French-styled structures, which include the Municipal Theater, a couple of churches, one mosque, the Government House, and the Supreme Court, among others.
A visit to the country’s capital will expose you to the usual hustle and bustle of a metropolis, which forms a contrast to the classical architecture and calm disposition of the locals in the rest of the country.
The Pamplemousses Garden is a famous botanical garden that tourists can’t afford to miss. Built back in 1767, the garden is officially known as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens and is sometimes also referred to as the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The garden features a variety of plant species, some of which are endemic and others, foreign to the region. A stroll through the garden presents a dazzling showcase of the most colorful, fragrant, and beautiful flowers that you can ever imagine.
Among the prized species of flowers found in this garden is the pink lotus, a flower so rare and so delicately beautiful, a glimpse of it is something that you should look forward to.
The town of Pamplemousses itself is named after grapefruit-like citrus trees that the Dutch introduced to Mauritius from Java. In addition to the botanical garden, you will also find there a decommissioned sugar pant, the Beau Plan, which has been converted to a museum that showcases the importance of sugar and sugarcane to Mauritius.
Black River Gorge
The Black River Gorge was built to protect the natural wonders and vegetation in the region.
It is the only national park in the country of Mauritius, but with its immense size of 6,574 hectares, you probably won’t be looking for more.
In fact, it covers a full 3.5% of the island’s entire area, and it is home to more than 300 flower species and nine unique bird species, which includes the endangered pink pigeon.
It is possible to ride a bus or take a private vehicle through the park, all the while stopping for pictures – in front of the breathtaking Alexandra Falls, for instance.
However, the best way to explore the park would be by foot, along with tour guides. Hiking trails crisscross along the park, and the park map will help you navigate the park’s expansive space.
The best time to take a tour around the Black River Gorge is between September and January – the flowering season. During this time, the flowers and trees are in full bloom, and the animals are at their most active as they celebrate the advent of spring.
Ile Aux Cerfs
The beach and lagoon of Ile Aux Cerfs attract tourists for their natural beauty. The landscape of the beach looks like something straight out of a fantasy movie; it has an amazing view that can stand toe to toe with the best beaches in the world.
To reach to the beach, you will be coming from the town of Trou D’Eau Douce. You can rent private boats or go on a ferry to reach this paradise-like location. It would be best for you to leave the town early so that you can enjoy a full day in Ile Aux Cerfs.
However, the beach is not the only attraction that Ile Aux Cerfs can offer. There is also a collection of rock formations and colorful coral reefs (with schools of fish darting in and out of them) along the coastline.
Aside from diving, you can also participate in waterskiing and other water sports in the area.
Most tourists, though, opt to indulge themselves in a relaxing day by the beach in Ile Aux Cerfs, under the rejuvenating sun and placid waves, which are reasons enough to make this place part of your Mauritius trip.
Ile Aux Aigrettes
The Ile Aux Aigrettes is an international standard of natural resources and endangered species protection. Located 800m off the Mauritian southeast coast, this nature reserve is a remarkable success of the Mauritius Wildlife Fund.
The island’s sparkling lagoon, historic ruins, and dense forests are home to a multitude of species – a collection that would make it one of the world’s forerunners in biodiversity.
An expert guide will lead you around the island, as you might encounter rare animals such as the Pink Pigeon, the Ornate Day Gecko, the Aldabran Giant Tortoise, Telfair’s Skink, and the Mauritius Kestrel.
Along the way, you could see 20 species of plants endemic to the country, and the Ebony Forest, where the fabled dodo bird used to live before it went extinct.
Old buildings and ruins around the island, with cannons and symbols of French and British occupation, show the history of Ile Aux Aigrettes.
Take a tour around Ile Aux Aigrettes to develop a deeper appreciation of nature, and to better understand our responsibility to protect it.
Domaine du Chasseur
Domaine du Chasseur, or “the hunter’s domain,” is a 1,000-hectare nature reserve that is at 300m above sea level. Located at Anse Jonchee in southeastern Mauritius, the park has a 30km trail where visitors can travel by foot, by bike, or by mini jeep.
An interesting and rather unusual thing about this nature reserve is that it is open to hunting! It has been so for the past 20 years.
The most common hunting targets in the park are the deer, though wild boars are also popular prey.
To maintain the sustainability of the park, there is a limit to the number of animals that can be hunted down. For instance, since approximately 400 deer need to be removed from the reserve to maintain proper ecological balance, this is the number limit set for deer hunting.
All hunting materials, including guns and bullets, are provided by the park, and guides accompany the hunters at all times. Killed animals remain properties of the nature reserve, but hunters get to choose their trophies.
There is an advantage to this system for the hunter: it becomes easier for them to transport their catch back home because the park offers freight and taxidermy services.
Other activities of Domaine du Chasseur include archery, target shooting, big game fishing, and line fishing.
The village of Chamarel is a small, peaceful village in southwestern Mauritius. The village, with its humble setting and hospitable residents, is the site of two wonders of nature – the Chamarel Falls and the Colored Earths of Chamarel.
The Chamarel Falls are a pair of terrifically high waterfalls plummeting hundreds of feet down a multicolored cliff.
Like the Colored Earths, these cliffs are made of volcanic rocks that cooled at different temperatures. They have different shades of blue, green, red, and yellow, painting an exquisite pattern on the exposed hillsides, which no human is allowed to walk on, to preserve the earth’s smoothness.
One more interesting thing you would find is that, because of the different colored particles’ difference in composition, if you mix the different colors all together, they would still settle back into their original color groupings in time.
Ganga Talao is one of just two natural lakes in Mauritius. Located within the crater of an extinct volcano, Ganga Talao is an important Hindu pilgrimage site in this country.
Also known as the Grand Basin, Ganga Talao is located on the higher plateau of Mauritius. Hindu followers believe that the lake is connected to the sacred Ganges River in India. This calls them to pilgrimage in this site.
On the banks of Ganga Talao, there is a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Once a year, Hindi pilgrims leave the comfort of their own homes at various locations in Mauritius and travel barefoot toward this temple.
Several construction projects, such as special prayer areas and safer walking paths, have been made around Ganga Talao to accommodate these pilgrimages.
The lake itself is thriving with eel and fish, but it is forbidden to catch and eat these as the Hindu consider them sacred.
Le Touessrok Golf Course
There are many golf courses in Mauritius, but there is perhaps nothing as spectacular there – or maybe anywhere – as the Le Touessrok Golf Course, which is located in its own tropical island.
White sand beaches and dense forestry surround this course, which encompasses 38 hectares of land and contains within it nine lakes.
All 18 holes have a magnificent view of the ocean, which you will find refreshing – or distracting – as you work on your golf game.
Three of the holes in the course require you to hit tee shots over sea inlets to reach the fairways. This sounds difficult, and it is.
Fortunately, the golf course has been designed not just to be challenging for serious golfers but to be enjoyable for casual golfers as well.
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