Undis­cov­ered Mau­ri­tius

IGA MOTYLSKA ex­plores the In­dian Ocean is­land in­te­rior, nat­u­ral won­ders, cul­ture and his­tory

African Independent - - FOOD -

while speed boats bounce be­tween waves.

Wa­ter sports are a high­light on any is­land and Mau­ri­tius is no ex­cep­tion. For a dif­fer­ent kind of thrill, we try seakart­ing from Ta­ma­rina Bay the fol­low­ing day.

The rub­ber dingie with an en­gine and steer­ing wheel reaches speeds of up to 75km/hour. If you go in the early morn­ing you’ll mostly likely spot the res­i­dent school of dol­phins. You’ll see them glide through the wa­ter be­tween the surfers.

This is also a good place to qual­ify for your scuba div­ing li­cence. Sun Divers at La Pirogue Re­sort and Spa, the old­est div­ing school on the is­land, has over 20 dive sites around the coral reef where you’ll float among Moor­ish Idols, an­gelfish, clown­fish, li­on­fish, sweet­lips, por­cu­pine fish, and puffer fish. Tur­tles and white tipped sharks are also reg­u­larly spot­ted.

Snorkelling is just as ex­cit­ing as gi­ant starfish are scat­tered across the ocean floor.

Back on dry land, we’re en­thralled by the colours of Chamarel La Terre Des Couleurs, called the seven-coloured earth. Here we also meet the gi­ant tor­toises for which the is­land is famed. Nearby we climb up to a look­out point for a view of the 95-me­tre high Chamarel wa­ter­fall that pours into the val­ley be­low.

Then it’s off to Chamarel Rum Dis­tillery, which is en­cir­cled by sug­ar­cane fields. Our at­ten­tion to the his­tory and tra­di­tion of rum dis­till­ing in Mau­ri­tius is re­warded with a taste of each of their 12 rums and li­quers. My favourites were the firey spices rum and the vanilla li­quer.

Mau­ri­tius sur­passes its rep­u­ta­tion as merely a hon­ey­moon and beach re­sort des­ti­na­tion with its land­scape, cul­tural di­ver­sity, gi­ant tor­toises and rum!

ABOVE AND BE­LOW: Hin­dus cel­e­brate Ganesh Chaturthi.

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