Land of the magnificent turquoise lagoon
Mark Twain immortalized this picture postcard perfect paradise when he famously quoted a local citizen as telling him that, “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.” You’d be forgiven for assuming that the local was a diver.
Mauritius is as close to the middle of the Indian Ocean as anywhere. It’s about 2000 kilometres/1200 miles east of Africa and 900 kilometres/540 miles from Madagascar. This island nation is best known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs, which surround and protect the 330-kilometre/200-mile coastline, creating a magnificent turquoise underwater playground for divers.
The mountainous interior is covered in rainforests and waterfalls and was the only known home of dodo, unfortunately made extinct soon after the island’s human settlement. Today the interior is a big draw for naturalists with many endemic species enjoying the protection of national parks.
Water sports are the order of the day in the resort lifestyle of Mauritius and for a day outing, a trip to the market of Port Louis is always an experience. Parasailing, water skiing, windsurfing and a canoe are all readily available on the beach either from the resorts or private suppliers only too happy to help. There are also packages to the outlying islands from tour operators also to be found selling their services from their sandy offices.
The national airline has daily direct flights to London, British Airways has 3 weekly flights to Port Louis and Austrian Airlines flies nonstop from Vienna once a week. Cruise ships touring the Indian Ocean often dock in Mauritius.