Welcome to Travel Fridays! With Friday being my favorite day of the week and travel being one of my biggest passions, I’ll be featuring a new destination every Friday with reviews and tips. Of course, these are based on my experiences with specific hotels, attractions, museums, and the like. To continue, it’s the second part of the most epic trip of my life: Mauritius.
My wife and I decided that we should go big for our honeymoon. I wanted adventure; she preferred a beach with a cocktail. South Africa + Mauritius? A win-win for both.
Now for the details: Mauritius…
We opted to use Go2Africa for both segments of our honeymoon (South Africa and Mauritius). This allowed us to have one point of contact for every detail of our trip. This being our honeymoon, we didn’t want to worry about every detail. We took a 4-hour plane ride from Johannesburg to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport on Mauritius. As soon as we de-planed and lays our eyes on the island, it seemed like something out of LOST. We made our way to border patrol where we were asked is we had spent any time in Kruger National Park in South Africa to which we replied “No”. Sabi Sands Game Reserve boarders Kruger and we got the distinct impression had we replied “Yes,” we could have been in for a tricky situation.
Off we went to find our transportation to the airport. We arrived at Long Beach mid-afternoon and we greeted by the clearest and most serene water we had ever seen. There’s a reef about a mile out which keeps the waves from reaching the shore. After check-in we dropped our bags, changed, and ran down to the beach. Apparently June is not part of peak season, so the resort was only mildly crowded.
Every meal and most drinks were included as we had chosen a resort with an all-inclusive package as to not have to worry about money while we were there. I’m a big fan of fish and some of the fish I had here was the freshest and tastiest I’ve had anywhere. Part of the all-inclusive package was a snorkeling excursion. I’d never been snorkeling before so I didn’t know what to expect. I was completely blown away by the diversity of the wildlife even just 50 yards from the shore. Being surrounded by hundreds of fish was exhilarating.
On the way back to shore from our second snorkeling trip, my wife jumped off the boat into the sand and landed on a piece of sharp coral, cutting her foot. We went back to the room and called the front desk and within 15 minutes the resort’s resident nurse was in our room cleaning out and bandaging her foot. She even made us promise to come back to her office the next day to make sure it was clean and healing. This is a testament to the resort putting their guests’ needs first.
One thing to note if you’re tempted to travel to Mauritius: it’s in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which can be frightening if you really think about it. Your nearest significant land mass is Madagascar, followed by the African continent, which is a few hours away by plane.
My wife and I split our time between the beach and the bar and one of the bar tenders told us they rarely have any Americans visit. We weren’t sure if it was distance or the comparable options closer to home, but we didn’t encounter any other Americans during our stay. Mauritius was the farthest and most remote place we have traveled. Remarkable in both its serene beauty as well as its people’s friendliness, it truly is a remarkable place.
A few tips to keep in mind while traveling to Mauritius:
- Keep records of all immunizations. It wasn’t clear what the border agent in Mauritius was driving at when he inquired about Kruger National Park. Nonetheless, make sure you have current copies of all immunizations wherever you travel.
- Dress in layers. There is a constant wind on parts of the island and while not cold, the temperature did dip a bit towards dusk.
- Purchase trip insurance. I mentioned earlier that this is a remote island and I highly recommend purchasing trip insurance should any emergency arise both before and while on your trip.
- Get out of your comfort zone. While I’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time in the oceans, I’d never been snorkeling or been around the sheer number of fish and other wildlife we encountered in Mauritius. It’s both exciting and adrenaline inducing at the same time. Eels as long as my arm aren’t something I’m accustomed to swimming next to! Also, try things you’ve never heard of. I ordered fish after fish that I’d never hear of and they turned out to be better than any fish I’d had in the States.
Have you been to Mauritius before? If not, is it someplace you’ve dreamed of traveling to? Let me know in the comments!