5 Things You Must Do Before You Leave Mauritius
Experiencing Mauritius is all about getting out and doing the things that make this island paradise unique. Whether it is eating the destination’s trademark dish or dancing to its traditional beats, there are some things you should not leave Mauritius without doing first.
A break in the sun with Wanderforth is about more than just lying on the beach, so read on for the top five things to do in Mauritius.
1. Bathe in the sacred lake of Ganga Talao
At 1,800 feet above sea level and situated within a crater, Ganga Talao, or Grand Bassin as it is sometimes known, is a magical spot to visit. It is the most sacred site in Mauritius for the Hindu faith and each year a barefoot pilgrimage is taken by believers to dip their feet in its waters.
No fishing is allowed despite the abundance of fish and eels, due to its sacred status, which comes from a link it is believed to have with the Ganges River in India. Within its vicinity is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Hanuman and Lakshmi.
Visitors bathing in the water should respect its spiritual importance and enjoy the tranquillity of this beautiful place. You will be left with a sense of calm and wonder.
2. Try the millionaire’s salad
With a name like millionaire’s salad it is difficult to resist this dish, which has become something of a national favourite in Mauritius. The main ingredient is heart of palm – literally the inner section from inside a palm tree.
This is served up along with oysters, shrimps, crayfish, crab and prawns, making it a seafood treat good enough for the rich and famous. Being an island nation, fresh fish and shellfish is in abundance so this dish is served everywhere.
3. Explore the Pamplemousses Royal Botanical Gardens
This beautiful set of gardens to the northeast of Port Louis may have been renamed the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens after the former prime minister, but everyone still refers to them as the Pamplemousses.
Here you can immerse yourself in a world of colour, perfume and space, as the gardens spread out over 60 acres. One of the highlights of any visit to this part of the island has to be gazing out across a pond covered in giant Amazon water lilies.
4. Snorkel in the Indian Ocean
Grabbing a snorkel, mask and fins and stepping into the Indian Ocean to explore what lies below the surface on a trip to Mauritius is priceless. It is possible to see all sorts of fish and corals just by swimming from most of the island’s beaches.
The water temperature tends to be very pleasant all year round, almost like stepping into a bath. Blue Bay is a particularly good area for snorkeling and is situated inside a section of coast that has been dedicated as a marine park since 1997.
5. Dance to traditional sega music
Sega is a traditional form of music and dance that remains popular in Mauritius to this day. The musicians will play a drum made with the hide of a goat called a ravann, a triangle and the maravann, which combine to create a unique sound.
Mauritians dance to sega as a form of self expression, so be sure to join in and express yourself alongside the locals.