by WSI Mel
With so much to see, do and experience on a family holiday in Mauritius, it comes as no surprise that this exotic Indian Ocean destination is a popular favourite for families from all over the world. Beaches, lush nature reserves, natural forests, kid-friendly activities, delicious cuisine and many exciting adventures lie in wait, along with sunshine much of the year around.
What are the best things to do during a visit to this beautiful tropical paradise? Let’s take a look…
What to Do on a Mauritius Family Holiday
- National Botanical Gardens of Mauritius
Originally created as a private garden for the island’s governor almost 300 years ago, this garden is one of the top landmarks to visit, and for good reason. Over 650 varieties of plants can be seen, including huge baobabs, medicinal plants, a spice garden and incredible giant water lilies.
- Sugar Museum and Factory
Holidays can be educational as well as fun, as the amazing L’Avontuur Sucre Sugar Museum and Factory proves. Positioned among green sugar cane fields, this ancient mill offers an interactive Sugar Adventure for kids that teaches the history of sugar production over the past two and a half centuries. This adventure tour features two of the island’s animals – the mynah bird and the mongoose. These mascots guide kids through the factory, taking them on a fun tour that is both informative and entertaining. At the end of the tour, sugar tasting can be done for those wanting to try up to 11 different sugars.
- Dolphin Cruises
Dolphin cruises are sure to be the highlight of any holiday in Mauritius – whatever your age. Cruise the West coast as you watch dolphin pods swim by, birds fly overhead and the warm, clear Indian Ocean waters glide by on this rewarding cruise. For kids of 10 years and older, some cruises also offer the chance to swim with dolphins – an incredible experience that will be remembered forever.
- Ile aux Cerfs
This island lies on the East coast, and is ideal for a day trip. Tours typically include transport from your hotel, with a boat trip to the island and a chance to explore the surrounds at your own pace. Sights to see on this scenic island include a waterfall among others.
- Casela Nature Park
In the South West, this lovely nature park offers a fun day out for the entire family. There are four themed worlds to explore – Safari, Nature, Mountain and Water. Also included is a discovery and learning area for children, with plenty of activities to keep them busy.
- Crocodile & Giant Tortoises Park And Nature Reserve
Home to the island’s famous giant tortoises, as well as crocodiles, other reptiles, lush plants and springs filled with fish and prawns, this idyllic rain forest park is sure to be a hit with the whole family. There are shaded walking paths, a mini zoo and a butterfly park with thousands of beautifully coloured insects to see.
- Captain Nemo’s Undersea Walk
In Grande Baie, you will have the chance to venture underneath the sea to a depth of three metres, wearing a special diving helmet reminiscent of ancient explorers and sea captains. View an array of amazing marine species, fish and corals as you explore a tropical lagoon that is warm and teeming with life.
- Domaine d’Anse Jonchée Nature Park
Nestled away in a rainforest, this park is home to many species of wildlife, including stags, Javan deer, monkeys, wild boar, hares and kestrels. Meander forest paths as you look out for animals, birds, insects and plants. There’s also a restaurant on site that serves local dishes.
- Labourdonnais Orchards
Taste delicious, freshly grown local tropical fruit directly from the source, as you explore one of the island’s most beautiful orchards. Here, kids can learn more about indigenous fruit and how it is grown, while also getting to try fruit they have picked themselves.
- Mauritius Aquarium
In the North West, the beautiful national aquarium is another spot worth visiting. It is home to some 200 species of marine creatures, ranging from brightly hued fish to live coral and sponges, sharks and popular residents such as crown squirrelfish and devil firefish. Kids of all ages (including fully grown kids) will love walking through the aquarium taking in the many amazing wonders.