One of the Indian Ocean’s most popular island destinations is Mauritius, located two thousand kilometres off the south-east coast of the African continent. It has long been a favourite of South African tourists in wedding parties, on honeymoon or enjoying family holidays because it offers fantastic facilities and affordable luxury accommodation along with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and mountainous backdrops. And it is relatively close to South Africa, all things considered.
Well, because it’s beautiful, of course. Palm trees, white-sand beaches, volcanic mountain backdrops, temples, botanical gardens and world-class resorts which have it all. You can fly there in under five hours from Johannesburg and there is only a two hour time difference between the two countries, which means you should be fairly fresh upon arrival. The history and culture of this little country is complex and coloured, perhaps somewhat represented by the delicious fusion of Indian, African, Chinese and French cuisine. Mauritius is geared for tourism which makes for a vacation of convenience; a chance to catch up on life and truly relax.
When to go?
Mauritius markets itself as a year-round tourist destination although many people from the Northern Hemisphere see it as one of winter sun. In fact, October to April, the island’s peak season, is hot, humid and sometimes rainy. Out of season May to September are warmer and dryer months. You will find that rates and package deals decrease significantly in price, even sometimes by fifty percent.
What to do?
If you can drag yourself away from the heavenly spas, water sports, first class golf courses and gourmet cuisine at your resort, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by array of activities on offer. Just beyond the beaches, you’ll find lush landscapes perfect for bird lovers to enjoy. There are nature trails for the hikers and several routes to follow on horse-back. Shopping in the capital, Port Louis, offers upmarket fare as well as open air market bargains. Visit the temples and the old French colonial buildings. Party it up in the tourist hub of Grand Baie or go quad biking around the island.
Whatever it is you are looking for in a holiday, you’ll find a little slice of it in Mauritius. With a ridiculously high number of resorts lining the coastal areas, you’re bound to find a deal to suit your budget, wants and needs. Whether it’s a family holiday or a romantic getaway, the magnificent island of Mauritius will leave you with unforgettable memories and postcard perfect photographic evidence. I have no doubt.