Looking for an action-packed itinerary while visiting the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius? Read on…
Tamarin Falls Hike
As one of Mauritius’ most popular attractions, expect busloads of snap-happy tourists at the start of the Tamarin Falls trail, all jostling to get the perfect picture.
But keen hikers need not be put off – most of them shoot and go, never making it much further than the first three (easily accessible) viewing points, onward to the actual trek.
While it is an easy three-hour walk to take in seven of the 11 falls, it is still best to book a guided tour as there are some slippery climbs and tricky canyons to navigate – and because learning a bit more about the surrounding tropical vegetation, volcanic rock, and fauna and flora of the area is great.
Take along swimming gear to enjoy a refreshing dip along the way.
Underwater scooter ride
If you are claustrophobic, you may want to give this one a miss (however, I soldiered on, not heeding my own advice). A ride on a sub-scooter is one of the more bizarre activities on offer in the Indian Ocean.
A clear dome (into which oxygen is pumped so that you can breathe normally) is placed over your head. You hop on, and away you go, trawling the seabed at up to 3 kilometres an hour. The sub-scooter is made for two people.
A guide will direct you along the way and, depending on the weather and the time of the year, you may see abundant sea life and coral, or you may just see a starfish.
Either way, this is literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and worth it if you are in the mood for something unconventional. Wetsuits are provided, and no previous diving experience is needed.
The placid waters at Mont Choisy beach make it a great place to learn stand-up paddleboarding. While core muscles will stand you in good stead for this activity, they are not a necessity, so, even I was able to partake.
It takes about 15 minutes to get the hang of it, but once you have your balance right, it is plain sailing – and hey, falling off into warm tropical water is not that bad.
The instructors give you a safety briefing, show you how to handle the board, and suggest the best routes to explore – and then you are off. The clear water makes it easy to spot darting fish and other marine life as you paddle around.
If you are craving something to get your heart racing, ziplining at Casela Park is the ticket.
The 400-metre circuit consists of five ziplines that will have you whizzing through the dense forests, and above a waterfall and a river.
It is a thrilling way to take in the scenery of the nature park, and an hour well spent. For the less adventurous, a “walk through the air” on the 350-metre Nepalese swing bridge is just as exhilarating – and it is the third largest bridge of its kind in the world.
For those who like to get their hands (and feet, and clothing, and hair) dirty, this river adventure is so much fun.
The four-hour trek includes hiking, climbing, rock jumping, and slipping and sliding alongside the freshwater Galets River, which irrigates hundreds of hectares of sugar cane in the south of Mauritius.
The journey ends at Chazal guesthouse, where a hearty Mauritian chicken-and-vegetable curry is served up for lunch. Afterwards, you can swim in the natural pools or relax in the tranquil gardens before setting off again.
Learn to trapeze
A real highlight of staying at Club Med La Plantation D’Albion is the fact that you can learn trapeze during your stay. Even with two left legs, it is surprisingly easy to pick up.
There is nothing quite as adrenaline-charged as swinging through the air and catching a fellow participant, while harnessed high above a bouncy safety net.
Sessions last around an hour and are available every day at no additional cost.
It would be sacrilege to visit Mauritius and not snorkel, right?
While there is no shortage of places to engage in this activity – from the ocean to the ample lagoons – Pointe aux Piments on the northwest coast is one of the best.
Famous for sea turtle sightings, the protected coral reef is also alive with tropical fish and coral.
*All the above excursions, apart from the trapeze, can be booked through mauritiusattractions.com
Don’t miss our Mauritius: Essentials post with all our tips for all things Mauritius.
Words by Lynette Botha