Mauritius is located to the East of Madagascar, and is an African island with Indian influences. Mauritius is a popular honeymoon destination, with enough relaxing beaches to unwind but plenty to see and do to prevent you from getting bored. If you love waterfalls, scenery and rum tasting, I highly recommend that you take a tour of South Mauritius.
Booking a South Mauritius Tour
We booked with the Mauritius Guide Robin Kundoo, who was extremely informative and knowledgable. You can look him up in Mauritius, but there are also plenty of opportunities to book online in advance. I recommend the Viator tour of South West Mauritius and the Get Your Guide Private tour of South Mauritius.If you are feeling more adventurous, you can go for one of the Quad bike tours…
Trou au Cerfs – Volcanic Crater
Our first stop was the scenic Trou au Cerfs – the volcanic crater which is now awash with lush vegetation. The viewpoint offers some of the best views of the island of Mauritius.
Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin)
Our next stop was Ganga Talao or Grand Bassin, the most famous of all the temples in Mauritius. It is the Hindu spiritual centre in the heart of Mauritius, some 1800m above sea level.
Ganga Talao literally means lake of the Ganges and demonstrates its spiritual link with the Indian sacred river. At the entrance to Ganga Talao, you will be greeted by 33m tall Shiva and Durga statues.
Many Hindu deities surround the lake along with many shrines and temples to different Gods and Goddesses.
The main shrine is the Lingum temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (above), the destroyer according to Hindu mythology.
Black River Gorges National Park
En route to the seven coloured sands in Charmarel, we stopped at the viewpoint of the Black River Gorges National Park. It was time to have a picnic and appreciate the stunning scenery of vibrant green and black valleys.
There are wild monkeys at the Black River Gorges viewpoint. Beware – they are hungry and will try to steal your food! You can take photos of the monkeys but it’s not advisable to get too close – they may bite!
South Mauritius Rum Tasting Tour at Charmarel Distillery
No trip to the island of Mauritius is complete without at least one Rum Tasting session. The Charamel distillery is one of the most famous…
At Charmarel, you get the chance to see the fermenting in action and it’s quite impressive…
I loved the caramel and vanilla rums, but I have to admit that some were quite harsh on the throat as we were expected to knock them back neat!
South Mauritius Tour – Seven Coloured Earths
The seven coloured earths are a popular stop on the South Mauritius tours. It’s a small area of sand dunes made up of seven distinct colours, due to the volcanic landscape (through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals).
You can see giant tortoises there, although we felt that the giant tortoises at Pamplemousses botanical gardens were more active and in a better enclosure. Here are the giant tortoises of Mauritius….
Looking for other things to do in Mauritius?
While you are staying in Mauritius, I highly recommend that you take a Blue Safari submarine trip. It’s around half an hours drive around the coast from Port Louis and a fantastic way to see life beneath the ocean. I would also recommend that visit Pamplemousses Botanical Garden and take a Highlights of South Mauritius tour.
Don’t Forget your Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is so important as it will help you with emergencies and unexpected costs on your trip. Make sure that you declare any pre-existing health conditions so that you are covered for those. Check your cover for accidents and medical care and also lost baggage or getting things stolen. Remember to report as soon as something goes wrong on your trip because some travel insurance companies require you to report something that you want to claim for within 24 hours. Read the fine print carefully when you sign up. I always recommend World Nomads. You can get a free quote here:
What to Pack for Mauritius
You will feel most comfortable in loose fitting clothing so take a few cotton tops, cotton or linen trousers and loose fitting maxi dresses.
Many hotels in Mauritius have a dress code and some have a ‘white party’ and ‘black tie’ event, so be sure to pack a nice white and black formal dress for those occasions, along with some scrappy sandals with a low to mid heel.