Mauritius is a tropical playground surrounded by sandy beaches and a calm sea, so whether you opt for a romantic trip for two or a much-needed family break, you’re guaranteed a memorable holiday packed with beach-based activities for all ages. December days typically feature 13 hours of daylight with temperatures averaging 29°C, which sees most visitors heading for the ocean. Armed with mask and snorkel you can while away hours swimming in the clear water and exploring the island’s many reefs and the colourful fish that inhabit them.
Sea activities that require equipment, such as water-skiing, parasailing, sunset cruises, deep-sea fishing, diving, kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing can be enjoyed at larger towns around the island, such as Grande Baie.
Such activities are also offered at LUX resorts, such as LUX* Belle Mare, LUX* Le Morne and LUX* Grand Gaube.
LUX* Belle Mare on the east coast boasts the largest swimming pool on the island. The resort also offers outdoor movies, horse riding on the beach, fishing expeditions, golf packages and excursions to the resort’s exclusive island, Le Deux Cocos. LUX* Le Morne sits in a perfect position, with the Le Morne mountain on one side and sandy beaches stretching into the distance on the other. Surfing and kitesurfing is popular at a spot known as One Eye, while a trip inland takes you to Black River Gorges National Park. Or you might prefer swimming with the dolphins.
LUX* Grand Gaube is in the north, sheltered from island winds, where three bays and small islets await snorkellers. There is much to do here, with bars, boutiques and markets at Goodlands and Grand Baie. The resort has five pools, a magnificent spa, a paradise for divers with reef and wreck dives, and a challenging links golf course complete with volcanic rock features and water hazards.
Apart from sea-based pursuits, the very fit and young-at-heart might be tempted to climb the 556m-high Le Morne Brabant, the mountain that graces the island’s south-western tip. Early-morning hikes up the mountain may only be done with Mauritian mountain guide Yan Maroussem, who has exclusive access to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’re a birdwatcher, the place in Mauritius to spot rare bird species is the 16 244-hectare Black River Gorges National Park that’s home to the indigenous pink pigeon, kestrel and parakeet species, among many others.
If you haven’t yet planned your December holiday, there’s still time to book a getaway to Mauritius, just a four-hour flight from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.