Mauritius, the small East African island paradise located off the coast of Madagascar and south from Seychelles, is a well-known travel destination. While most of tourists know Mauritius for its vibrant blue Indian Ocean waters and stunning beaches, the island offers so much more. Nature lovers will appreciate towering mountain peaks, exciting hiking trails and an abundance of diverse wildlife. Here are 5 things to do in Mauritius for wildlife and nature enthusiasts, who don’t want to spend all their time drinking all-inclusive cocktails at the pool. 😉
At this point I kindly remind you to respect wildlife and natural habitats. The forest is the animals’ home, so it’s important to be respectful and leave no trace of your visit. Follow the guidelines and regulations in place to protect the environment. Now, see for yourself why Mauritius makes for a truly remarkable holiday destination.
1. Visit the National Park of Black River Gorges
The National Park of Black River Gorges is a must-visit spot for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. The park features a breath-taking landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see. In the trees you can find some rare birds, including several endangered species. Also, keep an eye on the friendly macaque monkeys swinging through the trees. Several hiking trails take you through lush forests, scenic viewpoints, and stunning waterfalls. Popular trails include the Black River Peak Trail, Macchabee Trail, and Alexandra Falls Trail.
2. Snorkel or Dive in Blue Bay Marine Park
Underwater enthusiasts can enjoy the vibrant underwater world of Mauritius by snorkeling or scuba diving in the Blue Bay Marine Park on the south-east part of the island. Marvel at the kaleidoscope of coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, sea turtles, and other marine life. If you prefer to stay dry but still want to see the marine life, you can take a glass-bottom boat tour. The park also has a nice sandy beach where you can relax, soak up the sun and have a picnic, enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
3. Visit the nearby islands
With an abundance of colourful fish, graceful dolphins, and even the occasional sea turtle, visiting the nearby islands of Ile aux Aigrettes, Ile aux Cerfs, or Ile Plate is amongst top popular things to do in Mauritius. Whether you’re snorkelling in the coral reefs or simply admiring the picturesque scenery, taking a boat out to the nearby islands is an adventure in itself. Mauritius is known for its resident dolphin populations, and you can witness these intelligent creatures swimming and leaping alongside the boat. Alternatively, you can embark on a boat trip and take a Dolphin Watching Tour. Remember to choose a responsible tour operator that prioritizes the well-being of the dolphins.
4. Learn about the endangered species in Mauritius
Although we often associate tropical paradises with an abundance of life, sadly some species are facing the brink of extinction due to human activity. This is why it is crucial we learn about the amazing yet endangered inhabitants of Mauritius, including the pink pigeon and Günther’s gecko. The pink pigeon, once almost extinct, has made a comeback thanks to conservation efforts, but it still faces significant threats from predation and habitat loss. Günther’s gecko, on the other hand, is not so fortunate, and has now been restricted to Round Island in Mauritius in order to protect it.
5. Vallee de Ferney
Located in the southeast of Mauritius, the Vallée de Ferney Nature Reserve offers a fantastic opportunity to discover the island’s endemic wildlife. Join a guided tour to explore the reserve’s trails, spot rare bird species and learn about ongoing conservation efforts. The reserve features well-maintained trails that allow visitors to explore its diverse ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and wetlands. As you explore the reserve, you’ll encounter breathtaking viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape, including the coastal areas and nearby mountains.
To conclude, it is very hard to name just 5 things to do in Mauritius. It is a stunning island with exceptional biodiversity. Mauritius is filled with many unique and endangered species of animals and plants. There are all kinds of ways to explore, from taking guided tours in the forests to simply exploring it on your own. All you need to do is let your hair down and make sure your camera is charged all the time. 😉