THE SOUTH OF MAURITIUS
When you go south, what strikers you is the scenery with its colors and the special feel of the environment. This region, stretching itself from Mahebourg to Le Morne, from one point to the other, is exceptional. From small coastal villages to the township, the coast is wild and the open sea is never sea off.
Mahebourg is the inevitable landing place for visitors coming to Mauritius and yet very few come back to visit its township and the neighborhood. It is a historical town with a structural layout typical of the period it was built (1806) and the market held on Monday is a cultural meeting place which should not be missed. Around it there are inns where good food is served and where you can relish the delicious seafood and fish. A stroll in the alleyways of the town is a treat enabling you to appreciate the concept of the town and country planning that period. Along the sea front, in the distance, admire the islets like iles de le Passe, L’ile aux Fouquet’s and l’ile au phare which you can sail to in a boat.
At the foreland of the coast stretches the unobstructed view of the most famous lagoons of the island where naval battles were fought, amongst them, the legendary battle of Vieux Grand Port.
The historical naval museum at the entrance of the town recounts the naval history of Mauritius during all the colonial periods that the island lived through. Without leaving the neighborhood, whilst taking the coastal road with rows of lovely bungalows, villas, apartment and guest house where bougainvilleas crawl up in a multitude of colors, discover one of the most beautiful lagoons of the island on Point d’Ensy shelters the main marine park of the island. In the middle of l’ile aux deux cocos, the public beach of blue bay and the Shandrani hotel, the marine park stretches itself on a well defined and protected zone of 353 hectares.
Equipped with fins, a mask and snorkel, you can discover about forty species of corals amongst which the famous mushroom and the cauliflower ones, numerous in the marine park. It is home to over seventy species of fish. An aquatic ballet of several fish accompanies you explore the deep marine life. Expedition tour organize glass bottom boat for this expedition
In the same region of Pointe d’Esny, you come across l’ile aux aigrette facing the Preskil Hotel, a natural reserve for numerous endangered animal species and plant life. A two –hour walk across this island brings you to the discovery of rare species like candlewood, bois de boeuf or endemic birds like the pinks pigeons, the Mauritian cardinal and spectacle birds reintroduced therein. This visit helps you gain a better knowledge of the fauna and flora of the island and gives you an idea of the endeavors undertaken for the conversation of all endangered species.
A bit deeper inland, you come across some of the most spectacular location of the wild coast. First to Souffleur, then to La Roche qui Pleure and Gris-gris. Along the cliffs, you can feel the taste of the sprays projected violently by waves which are swallowing up by a rift and make the “rock cry”. This sharp contract with the peaceful lagoons around the island makes you forget that you are in Mauritius.
After these powerful emotions, go up to the north of Soulliac at the Vanille the Mascarenes reserve where the visit takes at least two hours. Initially, this park was based on crocodile breeding but has since diversified into a true reserve for tortoises’ and an abode for endangered species. The reserve also has insectariums where over 20,000 species of insect and butterflies sudsiest and numerous other animal species and plant life can be discovered. Not far from this magical place there is the colonial Maison of Saint Aubin, the last stage for La Route du Thé here a reservation can be made for a typical Mauritius lunch.
A walk trough the lush vegetation of Rochester Falls allows you to appreciate it better. It opens up to a majestic waterfall. After these wonderful discoveries, go along the coastal road leads to le Morne and from there to Riambel going past Pomponnette, Riviere de Galets, and Bel Ombre. The panorama is breathtaking. The west is endowed with other magnificent assets.