PODCAST 14: MAURITIUS – the magical island in the Indian Ocean

Mauritius is situated in the warm and crystal clear Indian Ocean to the east of the island of Madagascar which itself lies off the south east of Africa near Mozambique. Its location has made it an aspirational place to visit by well heeled travelers from Europe, parts of Asia and Africa. And a place still to be fully embraced by American Tourists who are attracted towards the Caribbean which is more easily accessible from the United States. It is, though, their loss for Mauritius is truly a special place.

This magical island is small, just 30 miles by 40 miles and yet it is without a doubt one of the most stunning places in the world to visit. The government of the country managing to carefully manage the mystic and lure of the island through its management of its resources and with its very clear strategy about the type of tourist it wants to attract. It’s also an island of romance. It is one of my most favorite places in the world I have ever vacationed in. And is high on my list of places that you should visit.

WHAT THE “GUIDES” SAY ABOUT THE PLACE:

Lonelyplanet.com view: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/theme/islands/islands_mauritius.htm

Travelintelligence.com view: http://www.travelintelligence.com/wsd/articles/art_1000544.html

Guardian Online: http://travel.guardian.co.uk/countries/information/0,8766,-133,00.html

Tripadvisor.com: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g293816-Mauritius-Vacations.html

Nomad. Com: http://www.gonomad.com/destinations/0301/mauritius.html

Enclyopedia Mauritius: http://www.encyclopedia.mu/

ONLINE SITES ON THE PLACE

Mauritius.com. Largely about the hotels and how to get there, but has some good content about the island and history
http://www.mauritius.com and http://www.mauritius.com/info/history.asp

TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS ON MAURITIUS

1. Be careful about when visit! Avoid January until April as it rains and rains. Plus chance of cyclones! (Check out the weather on the excellent BBC Holiday destination reports at http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/country_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT004830 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT004830)

2. Only go if you are the type that likes to do very little and like to unwind

3. Book a hotel that offers an all inclusive package. As there are not a lot of places to go out to eat as the resorts are all very self contained. Large range of hotels – with One & Only some of the most glamorous

4. Book a private transfer if you can versus the bus transfers as it can take forever to get to your hotel – and back to the airport as they go round so many dropping (or fetching people)

5. Book a hotel with lots of features, activities like water sports. There is a water park that is on offer on the east of the island but it is not busy. They opened it for us.

6. Go either diving or even better go snorkeling – even if you have never wanted to.

7. Hire a car for one day – that is enough as the island is so small (only 30 miles by 40 miles) and explore heading up north toe GRAND BAIE on the way stop at

8. Pamplemouuse Botanical Garden (This sixty-acre garden features a pond of Victoria amazonica lilies and an extensive collection of palms including the Royal Palm, Brazilian Queen Palm, Raffia Palms and the Chinese Lady Palm). Check out the history of the island based on who planted trees when. (http://www.encyclopedia.mu/Nature/Geography/Places/Pamplemousse.htm)

9. 40 minute Blue Safari Submarine tour out of Grand Baie (http://www.maurinet.com/bsafari.html).

10. Port Louis – capital and the Cauden Waterfront Complex (includes a casino)

11. The best way to get there is via Air Mauritius who have many alliances and attractive promotions and offers. Air Mauritius : http://www.airmauritius.com/ and Where they fly from http://www.airmauritius.com/routemap/maphome.html

TripAdvisor recommendation on sights to see:

Top Mauritius Attractions:

1. Pamplemouuse Botanical Garden, Port Louis

2. Domaine Les Pailles, Port Louis

3. Central Market, Port Louis

4. Blue Penny Museum, Port Louis

5. Natural History Museum, Port Louis

6. Cauden Waterfront Complex, Port Louis

7. China Town, Port Louis

8. Ile aux Cerfs

9. Black River Gorges National Park

10. Domain du Chasseur Game Park and Reserve

WHERE TO STAY

The 2 hotels I have stayed in before and highly recommend:

Beau Rivage
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g298342-d316743-Reviews-Beau_Rivage_Hotel-Belle_Mare.html

http://www.naiade.com/Site-1024/Collection/Beau-Rivage/home.html

Maritim
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g298346-d305559-Reviews-Maritim_Mauritius-Terre_Rouge.html

http://www.mauritius.com/maritim/

TripAdvisor top 10 recommended hotels:

Top-Rated hotels:

1. One & Only Le Touessrok, Trou d’eau Douce

2. The Residence, Belle Mare

3. Le Prince Maurice, Poste De Flacq

4. Maritim Mauritius, Terre Rouge

5. Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa, Le Morne

6. The Oberoi Mauritius, Pointe Aux Piments

7. Hilton Mauritius Resort and Spa, Flic En Flac

8. Beau Rivage Hotel, Belle Mare

9. Pirogue Hotel, Wolmar

10. Belle Mare Plage Hotel, Poste De Flacq

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 2 million video views per month.

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