Mauritius is a small paradise concentrated on a quarter of the size of Corsica. It’s a condensation of beautiful things to see, exciting meetings and incredible experiences. I had the opportunity to visit it during 2 weeks thanks to theMauritius Tourist Office and I was really conquered by the atmosphere that reigns there, it’s a place with beautiful beaches, but it’s much more than the postcard image that we know. I was able to do great hikes, I discovered hidden waterfalls, I spent time with people so welcoming … in short in 2 weeks I saw and did a lot of things, and I give you all my favorites in this article.

To know more

  • Capital : Port Louis
  • Population : 1,2 million
  • Surface area : 2 040 km² (Corsica is 8 722 km²)
  • Language : English / Mauritian Creole
  • Currency : Mauritian rupee

History

The history of Mauritius is a history that unfortunately begins in a rather dark way since it is linked to colonization and slavery. It is the Portuguese who first discovered the island, it was then uninhabited and it is the French who began to populate it before losing control to the British. The British occupation ended on March 12, 1968, the day of the independence of Mauritius.

During these years, many slaves worked on the island in the sugar cane plantations, making the wealth of a few French and English farmers. When slavery was abolished, the latter turned to an almost free labor force: the hired workers. These were Indian workers, brought to the island by the hundreds of thousands, one of the most important migratory flows of the time. They all passed through the Aapravasi Ghat on their way to Mauritius, a place that is now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its importance in the memory of that time. Nearly 400,000 people were displaced during this period and today a large part of the island’s population are descendants of these Indian immigrants.

It is necessary to know this history before visiting the island in order to understand today’s Mauritian society and culture. Only then will you know why the majority of Mauritians speak a Creole close to French or why Hinduism is the main religion of the island. I will tell you more about this in the following article.

Where to stay in Maurice ?

Mauritius is not a big island, but you should know that the traffic can be dense and the car journeys can be long due to traffic jams. I therefore advise you to choose at least one accommodation in the north during half of your stay and one in the south during the other half, in order to visit both parts at best.

Visa

You don’t need a visa if you are going to Mauritius for a stay of less than 3 months. You just need to show that you have a return flight as well as the address of the hotel, Airbnb or other where you will be sleeping during your first night there.

Getting to Mauritius

It’s about a 12 hour flight from Paris to Mauritius with flights several times a week.

I was able to travel with Corsair which offers direct flights from Paris. Corsair is renewing its fleet with the objective of having the most recent fleet on the market by 2024, which will lead to a reduction of carbon emissions of -30%.

My video in Mauritius

To get a better idea of the atmosphere on the beautiful island of Mauritius, I highly recommend you to watch my video on the subject. I talk about all the places mentioned in the article and I tried to convey the magic of this island as best as possible.

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Chamarel

To start the visit of the island, I can only advise you to pass by the region of Chamarel located in the southwest of Mauritius. There you will find the Land of 7 colors and the Chamarel waterfall, two exceptional places that I will present to you in more detail just below.

Entrance fee : 325.00 Mauritian Rupee

The Land of 7 colors

The Land of 7 colors is really a unique place in the world. It is a rocky formation divided into strata of ochre, purplish, blue colors… there is a beautiful palette visible to the naked eye and which can be observed from platforms to protect the place.

This phenomenon is due to the presence of volcanic ashes, composed of mineral oxides of different colors. Because yes, Mauritius was originally a huge volcano. It is the erosion that brought these lands to light and it seems that if we try to mix them, they always end up gathering by colors.

The waterfall of Chamarel

The Chamarel waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls I have ever seen. When you arrive in front of it, you will clearly have the impression to land in a Jurassic Park landscape.

The point of view of the casecade is very easy to access (there is a parking just below) so I advise you to come as soon as the park opens, in order to enjoy the place without being too disturbed by tourists. I went there early in the morning and I had the place to myself.

The Morne Brabant

The Morne Brabant is a VERY symbolic place in Mauritius. First because it is one of the most beautiful peaks of the island, but especially because it is an important place of memory for the history of the country. This is where slaves who were trying to escape their condition came to take refuge. At that time they were called maroons, and so many of them escaped that Mauritius was even nicknamed “the Republic of Maroons”. The Morne Brabant is the symbol of this struggle and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for this reason.

You can hike to the top of the Morne, but if you plan to go all the way, I advise you to be well prepared: it climbs steeply. The less courageous can stop at the first viewpoints which are also very nice. You should also know that the hike is open from 7am to 4pm, so don’t arrive after that or you won’t be able to go back.

I also advise you to visit the village of Le Morne as well as its beautiful beach (clearly one of the most beautiful of the island), and during a flight over the lagoon by seaplane or helicopter, you will be able to see a unique phenomenon in the world and really impressive: underwater waterfalls. It is an optical illusion due to sand falls going to more than 4000 meters of depth which gives the impression from the air that the waters of the sea are poured in a huge waterfall, look at what it gives:

The Mountain of the Thumb

If you still haven’t understood that Mauritius is not only about paradisiacal beaches, I suggest you to try one of the most famous hiking trails of the country: the road to the top of the Pouce. This mountain behind Port Louis is very easy to access and the route to reach its summit is really well indicated. The last part is a bit more physical but I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Leon Waterfall

This is the spot you won’t find in any guidebook. It’s the little bonus that only concerns the adventurers who want to work hard to deserve a landscape. Because yes, you will have a hard time if you want to go to the Léon waterfall, but believe me, it is worth it

It is a waterfall lost in the middle of the forest and whose starting point is an abandoned resort, accessible by a steep road (I warned you that it was not going to be easy). So you have to go to the Exil Lodges (here is the google maps location : https://goo.gl/maps/B9wTEDtbSbvtvT7v9) and then cross the abandoned buildings that look like something out of a Star Wars movie. Finally you can take a path just in front of the reception building to go down to the waterfall. It will then be indicated.

I made you a TikTok on the subject if you are interested:

@brunomaltor Let’s go in search of a lost waterfall! #maurice #maurice_tiktok #insolite #adventure #courtoi Cornfield Chase – Piano – Dorian Marko

Of course, I ask you to respect the place and not to damage the buildings or try to break in. It is really a magical place and it would be a shame to damage it.

The Hindu temples

As I told you earlier in the article, Mauritians are mostly descendants of Indians and therefore the main religion of the island is Hinduism. Mauritius is the only country in Africa where this is the case. So you will see many temples on the spot, all more colorful than the others. Here are my favorites to visit:

Grand Bassin

Grand Bassin is one of the most sacred places on the island, and it is also one of the most beautiful with its temple and its large statues. The legend says that Shiva was flying over the earth and at the sight of Mauritius, he shed a tear because he was so amazed by the beauty of the island and this formed Grand Bassin.

It is a beautiful small colorful temple in the south of the island, which I strongly advise you to visit. It is visible on my TikTok here :

@brunomaltor This is the only country in Africa where Hinduism is the main religion #tiktok_mauritius🇲🇺 #anecdote #tiktok_history Good Days SZA

The beaches

If I went to Mauritius, it’s to show that the island has a lot to offer apart from its paradisiacal beaches, but that doesn’t prevent from appreciating them too. It is clearly a great asset of the island and I did not hesitate to visit as many as possible during my stay there. Here is a list of my favorites:

The beach of Flic en Flac

This is the beach where everyone meets in the evening to admire the sunset, it is superb and therefore very popular. If you want to get an idea of what the Mauritian atmosphere is like, this is clearly the place to go.

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Le Morne

A bit like Flic en Flac, this beach is very popular with Mauritians and you will often see dinners being organized on the spot but also birthdays, with the whole family with their feet in the sand. It is a good-natured atmosphere that adds a little more to the charm of this beach.

The cliffs of Gris Gris

I recommend this beach especially for its scenic side, with its large cliff it stands out from the other beaches of the island which are almost all made of white sand and turquoise blue water (be careful, I’m not saying it’s better, I’m just saying it’s a change).

Diving

Well, as you can imagine, Mauritius is also a place with spectacular sea beds. But what few people know is that it is practically surrounded by corals and biologists count more than 200 different species. It is therefore the perfect playground for snorkeling.

You can snorkel all over the island and if you want to see bigger animals, like dolphins or sperm whales, you can go further offshore. I personally went through Vitamin Sea for this activity, if you are interested you can find all the information on their website: www.vitaminsealtd.com.

Ebony Forest

The biodiversity of the island has suffered a lot from the colonization and the overexploitation of the land, like the dodo, the emblematic animal of the island which has totally disappeared because of hunting. But for several years the government and associations have been fighting for the preservation of the local fauna and flora by protecting the endemic species. This fight has been concretized with the creation of Ebony Forest, a place where many endemic plants and birds are listed and in which more than 140 000 plants have been replanted. The goal is to recreate an indigenous forest.

It is a place to visit to get informed (visits are done with a guide), to know a little more about what makes the richness of the landscapes of Mauritius. In addition to that, you have a beautiful view of the west coast of the island.

Mahébourg

There are a few picturesque villages on the island, but my favorite by far is Mahébourg. It is located on the east side of the island and I recommend you to get lost in its small streets to discover the colorful houses, the streets full of vegetation and the small shops.

If you like cute villages, I also recommend you the one of Le Morne and the one of Cap Malheureux, the latter is just perfect at sunset with its church on the seafront.

Living in Mauritius

I also made a video Living in Mauritius with Mégane, a French woman who moved there. She tells me about her daily life, as well as some advice for those who are thinking of moving to the island.

This article was realized in partnership with Mauricius now. All recommendations are however made by me in all objectivity