Even if you don’t know all that much about this Indian Ocean, tropical island destination, the very mention of Mauritius likely invokes images of the ultimate epitome of a tropical island getaway. Well, in truth Mauritius is a sub-tropical island, but the weather is lovely all year round, with “winter” only getting as cold as a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius…Geez!
Getting to Mauritius
Getting to Mauritius is probably a lot easier than you might think and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are at least two flights in either direction from Johannesburg, South Africa, and everybody knows that it’s really easy to fly to Johannesburg since it’s an air travel hub for pretty much the entire continent of Africa. There are some flights from the likes of France as well and others which are a little more complicated, like one which goes via Zanzibar, which is another magical place to visit if you’re into places in the like of Mauritius.
Where to stay
In my humblest opinion, the best place to stay is in the east of the island, because such places as Mahebourg offer the full complement of the different types and classes of accommodation available. There are no hostels, so there’s not much of a backpacking scene, although I think I saw somewhere that one has since popped up. You probably won’t want to stay in a backpackers in any case.
Mahebourg is great because as much as it’s a holiday town, with things kicking off at around 9 am each day and everybody knocking off at around 5pm, you get a real island vibe at all times of the day. What you also get is cheap access to all the shops from which you can buy any essentials you need, from souvenirs to fresh food which you can perhaps take back to your guesthouse-type inn and prepare yourself.
If you want takeaways, there are plenty of spots, including those which prepare local dishes as well as international fast food chains, like KFC.
Stay one or two rows away from the beachfront and you’ll save lots of money on accommodation, but you can still enjoy the beautiful views as well.
Most people stay in resorts that are located on the west of the island, but I strongly recommend the east, because you can even walk to the south, passing by secluded beaches and those which are buzzing, like Blue Bay.
What to do
There’s the full complement of water sports and beachside activity available. It’s just a matter of choosing what you want to do and enjoying it for really cheap!
Use the local bus to get around for an authentic experience, otherwise you can hire a car or a motorbike scooter. There are many private taxis available as well, perhaps to be used when the busses run out after it gets dark.
Mauritius is generally a very safe island and if something gets stolen from you it won’t be in a violent manner or anything like that. So just keep an eye on your belongings.