If you’re looking for winter sunshine, Mauritius offers a whole lot of bang for your buck. Our readers put their questions to Arvind Bundhun, Director of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority.
December to February is the best time to hit the beach in Mauritius.
Q: We’re looking at a holiday in the Indian Ocean, what are the advantages of Mauritius over the Maldives?
A: It’s true that both destinations have lovely beaches, but that’s where the similarities end. Mauritius has the upper hand for families as it’s perfect not just as a beach getaway, but also for more adventurous holidays and of course, golfing breaks.
There’s loads for young families to enjoy; away from the beach, visit nature parks, La Vanille Crocodile Park, Odysseo Oceanarium, La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park and the Curious Corner of Chamarel optical illusion gallery and gardens. Older children can try zip lining, quad-biking, kite surfing, deep-sea fishing, hiking, horse riding, sky diving and more.
Mauritius is also a golfers paradise, with 18-hole professional courses at many resorts, perfect for golfers travelling with their families.
If you’re looking for luxury, choose from private villas with butler services, to helicopter and limousine transfers.
Mauritius is a rich melting pot of cultures with residents of many religious backgrounds, plus historical buildings and architecture dotted throughout the island and colourful, year-round festivals.
And no trip is complete without dipping into the local gastronomy - try local delicacies like dholl puri (Indian flatbreads), gateau piment (chilli fritters), Mauritian curry, boulettes (dumplings), bol renverse (upside down bowl) and much more.
Q: When’s the best time of year to visit Mauritius?
The stunning Pointe d'Esny on the east coast.
A: As we’re a tropical island, both our winters and summers have comfortable temperatures. The winters are pleasant, with the lowest temperature around 15degC. The summer season runs from October to April, with the heat peaking at up to 33degC between December and February. This is the best time of year for hitting the beach and for swimming and snorkelling.
But with agreeable temperatures year-round, almost any time is a good time to visit.
Q: How family-friendly is Mauritius or is it more for couples and honeymooners?
A: Mauritius welcomes both. Our hotels and resorts cater for couples and for families and there are activities throughout the island for all. For example, at Ebony Forest honeymooners can plant a love tree, while kids can get involved with the forest classroom which teaches ecology, science and history. And at Vallee des 23 Couleurs, couples can propose on a zipline next to a waterfall, while younger visitors can head to the kids’ park and animal park.
Q: I have older children who get bored lazing on the beach, what does Mauritius offer for teens?
A: Most of our resorts have children’s clubs and activities for teenagers. Resorts also provide activities like water skiing, snorkelling, glass-bottom boats, tennis, pedal boats, mountain biking and so on.
Plus, there are lots of adventure activities throughout the island for the teen age group, such as ziplining, horse riding, kitesurfing and surfing.
Q: Is it worth hiring a car to explore the island?
Shopping and strolling at Cauden Waterfront in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius.
A: It’s easy to rent a car and explore. Rental vehicles can be delivered to the airport to meet you on arrival.
The island is definitely worth taking the time to enjoy, there’s heaps of culture, great food and natural beauty. It’s not a big island and it’s easy to navigate.
Q: I read about the oil spill last year, has it been cleared up now?
A: Yes, the spill has been cleared away. It only affected three per cent of our beaches and all precautions were taken and measures put in place to clear the oil properly. All affected beaches are back to their pre-spill levels of cleanliness.
Q: Are there resorts that cater for very young children?
A: Most resorts will have a kids’ corner and offer babysitting services.
Zilwa Attitude Hotel has a kids’ club as well as fun activities like treasure hunts, glass bottom boat tours and more.
Heritage Awali & Golf Resort has the Timomo and Friends Club with activities like searching for crabs, Mauritian games and learning to play Mauritian instruments. Teens can enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and beach parties. And a dedicated teens’ club has games consoles and Wi-fi.
Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa has Les Petitis Dodo club with a toddlers’ pool and games room. Littles can enjoy Mauritian flag-making, flower craft, face painting and musical games.
And at The St Regis Mauritius Resort there’s a Kite Flyers Club with themed daily activities like nature walks, cooking and more.
Q: Are Mauritian beaches suitable for young children?
A: There are some lovely beaches in the north, west and east of the island. Lagoons are protected by coral reefs and safe swimming zones are marked. There is less natural protection in the south but if swimming is dangerous, there will be notices posted on the beach boards by the Beach Authority.
Q: Do holidaymakers stay on the main island or are there other islands to stay on or cruise to?
Ile aux Cerfs is a great day trip.
A: Holidaymakers stay on the main island, but there are small islets, such as Ile aux Cerfs, which are great for day trips.
Next to Mauritius is Rodrigues Island, which is Mauritian territory and can be visited for a few days. It has its own airport.
Q: How can you fly to Mauritius from Asia and what are the entrance requirements?
A: MK Airlines has resumed weekly direct flights with Kuala Lumpur. We’re hoping connectivity with other ASEAN countries will resume soon.
Our borders are fully open and there is no prerequisite for vaccination to enter Mauritius.
Our thanks to Arvind Bundhun and the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. More information about family holidays in Mauritius can be found online.