As a popular holiday destination amongst South Africans, you will be able to find cheap flights to Mauritius from all the major cities. Mauritius is an archipelago of three small islands strewn across the tropical Indian Ocean, at the crossroads between East Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Caught in the path of spice and trade ships journeying pass, Mauritius is a hotbed of entwined cultures and eclectic flavours. It also has some of the best beaches in the world that never fail to amaze those who are lucky enough to visit this island nation off the coast of East Africa. South Africans do not need a visa to travel to Mauritius, but you will need to ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
The beaches in Mauritius are by far the most famous attractions. Grand Baie and Trou Aux Biches are known for being the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. Pereybere, Île aux Cerfs, Belle Mare Plage, Gris Gris, Flic en Flac, and Le Morne are also absolutely gorgeous. The little seaside town of Flic en Flac has the kind of island charm that you imagine when thinking about a holiday to a tropical place. Of course with great beaches comes amazing opportunities for water activities such as snorkelling and sailing. But if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the island is known for producing excellent rum. St. Aubin, Chamarel, and Labourdonnais are the main rum distilleries and definitely worth a visit if you are partial to authentic island rum. For nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts, hiking through Black River Gorges National Park will show you the wild side of Mauritius, while the lush vegetation of Curepipe conceals Trou-aux-Cerfs, a dormant volcano. The crater offers 360 degree views of the surrounding town and ocean. Other famous attractions in Mauritius include the surreal Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel, the giant water lilies of Pamplemousses Garden, and Balaclava Ruins. And no trip to Mauritius would be complete without trying the street food at Flacq Market.
Le Caudan Waterfront is the vibrant, popularly photographed strip of shops and restaurants where you can sit down to an easy-going dinner or buy real Mauritian rum and local crafts. The markets in Mauritius will take you right into the heart of regular island life. Locals milling about and doing their shopping. Walk through Flacq Market in Centre de Flacq and Central Market in Port Louis and you will find mounds of vegetables in all shapes and sizes; bright tropical fruits, some you which you may have never seen before; famous Mauritius tea; fragrant spices; gorgeous textiles; real vanilla beans; and coconut milk served in its shell. The markets are the best place to go if you want to try the street food of Mauritius.
Getting around Mauritius is easy and fairly inexpensive. Renting a car or private driver is an easy way to get around the island. Renting a car is inexpensive and vehicles drive on the left, so you don’t have to worry about road rules. Cabs are available at the hotels, resorts, and bus stations, and most hotels and resorts also have bicycles or scooters for hire. The public bus service is regular and reliable with routes from Port Louis to the main towns and certain areas to the north and south of the island. If you want to go all out, helicopter services are offered by Air Mauritius, which are an incredible way to get around and see the island.
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a place to stay in Mauritius: a stylish bungalow near the beach, villa surrounded by palm trees, modern seafront apartment, luxurious 5-star resort and spa stretched along the beach with suites that open up onto sand, or a straightforward guest house with no fancy frills. First timers tend to gravitate towards the hotels in Mauritius because the staff are friendly and well trained in looking after guests. Luxury villas have all the trimmings of a hotel and are great for couples wanting privacy and a little adventure. They are also particularly popular because of the concierge service that makes planning trips easier, private chefs, and airport pick-ups.
Direct flights to Mauritius are available from Johannesburg and Cape Town and connecting flights to Mauritius depart from most cities in South Africa. Air Mauritius and South African Airways operate non-stop flights to Mauritius. Other airlines that fly to Mauritius are Kenya Airways and Air Austral. Flights to Mauritius are short and sweet, making it a popular option with South Africans who want to get away but not rough it out for hours on long flights. Flights from Johannesburg to Mauritius are about 4 hours, flights from Cape Town to Mauritius are about 5 hours, and flights from Durban to Mauritius are about 4 hours. Flights with more than one layover can be as long as 18 hours. All flights to Mauritius land at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) just outside of Port Louis.
Between the bright green tropical forests of Mauritius are waterfalls that are breath-taking to look at and thrilling to find. Spending a day hiking through the wild jungles in search of these gushing waterfalls is one of the best experiences you can have on the island. Chamarel is the highest waterfall in Mauritius with a staggering drop of 100 metres. If you are up for climbing the stairs to the top, the sight from above is truly spectacular. Surrounded by rare vegetation, Alexandra Falls is a thing of wonder that will leave you spellbound. Tamarind Falls, Eureka Falls, Exil Falls, and Rochester Falls are equally mesmerising and you can get up close to them. But perhaps the most famous waterfall of all is the ‘underwater waterfall’ off the coast of Le Morne Mountain. A helicopter ride will give you a view of this marvellous mystery that is actually an optical illusion, but still utterly magnificent to see.