An island nation in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius lays about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The Republic of Mauritius includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon.
I had always considered Mauritius a part of Africa and fact is, it is. There was little else I knew about the country, so I was delighted to visit its foreign shores and discover more. In just a week, I learnt what the country had lost and found what it had to offer.
Long ago, a giant bird roamed the land in Mauritius. Standing up to one metre tall and weighing in at approximately 20kg, this bulky flightless bird was easy pickings for a meal. The last claimed sighting of a Dodo was reported in the hunting records of Isaac Johannes Lamotius in 1688. I was hopeful, though some might say delusional, that my visit would bring this bird back to life with a sighting as I went in search of the dodo.
On arrival into the capital of Port Louis, I kept my eyes peeled, and what I found was dodo’s were everywhere. From the city of Port Louis to the beaches of Belle Mare and the villages of Le Morne, the presence of the dodo was evident. There in the books I read in the hotel, the beer I drank by the beach and in the trinkets sold in souvenir shops. The dodo was certainly a part of this country and proudly displayed nationwide.
As for a living, breathing dodo, sadly they were nowhere to be found. To my dismay, the dodo is well and truly extinct and lost to the world.
What I did find in Mauritius, is a country that satisfied the senses. Colourful streets were a visual delight and sounds of the Sega set my soul dancing. The smell of the salty air mixed with the sweet taste of sugarcane infused flavoursome rum warmed me from the inside while my toes wriggled in the sand which washed away by the lapping waves, cooling me on the outside. This is what engulfed me in Mauritius. A sensory overload.
I have always enjoyed being by the ocean but have never been patient enough to just flop and drop on a beach. I need to be able to still explore, be entertained and discover. Mauritius offered just that. While there was always a time to sit still and just relax, this came for me at the end of the day while I watched the sun set over the ocean and reflected on my day of discovery.
I tasted my way through Port Louis, the island’s capital, on a food tour while learning the history of the country. I ventured under the water and swam with wild dolphins in Le Morne, snorkelled crystal rock and spent hours floating in some of the bluest waters.
The SALT of Palmar had me in awe of their ability to pave the way for a sustainable and environmentally friendly existence in the hotel and hospitality sector and I discovered some local skills like cooking classes with the chef.
There was rum tasting, dining with a local family, hiking to waterfalls, searching for hidden treasures, picnicking on pristine beaches, road-tripping around the island, drinking some more rum and then finding balance in energies at one of the world’s few energetical vortex locations.
For a country that really was not on my radar and one I knew little about, I found Mauritius had more to offer than I expected, and I am happy I went.
If you want to read more about my adventures in Mauritius, please see the below published articles. While I was hosted by LUX* Hotels & Resorts and SALT of Palmar, they have not approved nor edited any of these articles and all words are my own.
Asian Journeys magazine – Magnetic Mauritian Moments
Captured Travel – Discover Mauritius
Captured Travel – Mauritius Most Instagrammable Spots
Captured Travel – Hotel Review – SALT of Palmar
Captured Travel – Flight Review – Air Mauritius
Where Wild Things Roam – Get Adventurous in Mauritius
Where Wild Things Roam – Hiking and Trekking in Mauritius
Where Wild Things Roam – Swim with wild dolphins in Mauritius