13 things to do in Mauritius Besides Water Sports

Looking for the best things to do in Mauritius ? Read on...

“Welcome to Paradise” said the Captain as the plane touched down in Mauritius. One did not have to look far to discover the motivation for such a bold claim. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is synonymous with postcard-like turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, palm trees and year-round sunshine.

Mauritius is one of the most popular international holiday destinations for South Africans, and it’s only a short flight away from South Africa. I've been there twice, and on both occasions, I have been bowled over by the natural beauty of Ile De Maurice (the French name for Mauritius), the colourful history, the friendly people, the relaxed island vibe and the plethora of activities to do.

One of the many myths and misconceptions about Mauritius is that it is all about water sports – something I’m not personally interested in.

Here are 13 family-friendly things to do in Mauritius besides water sports

In the South

1. Marvel at the seven-coloured earth at Chamarel

things to do in Mauritius

The seven-coloured earth at Chamarel

Mauritius is rich in natural phenomena. Chamarel is one of its wonders. The seven-coloured earth is an area of dunes made up of rainbow-coloured sand which has settled in separate layers. It is particularly striking against the green mountain backdrop. The park also boasts the highest waterfall in Mauriitus.

2. Discover how tea is made on the Tea Route

things to do in Mauritius

Bois Cheri Tea Plantations

The Tea Route tour will give you great insight into Mauritian history and the importance of tea on the island. On the tour, we visited  the “Domaine des Aubineaux”, a colonial house built in 1872, which is now a museum. Our second stop was the Bois Cheri tea factory, the largest tea producer in Mauritius which has been running since 1892. It exports tea around the world. We were given an in-depth tour of the tea factory and saw the fascinating process during which tea is made and packaged.

After the tour we did some tea tasting, which includes vanilla tea, a popular flavour in Mauritius - as well as cardamom tea, caramel tea and many other varieties. Our third stop was the Saint Aubin house. Built in 1819, it was the residence of several managers of the sugar estate. It is now an integral part of the country's heritage. We had a typical Mauritian meal here, with Creole fish curry and caramelised bananas.

3. See an extinct volcano crater

things to do in Mauritius

Trou aux Cerfs

Trou aux Cerfs is a dormant volcano near the town of Curepipe. It is around 100 metres deep with a diameter of 350 metres. Unlike typical volcanic craters, it is surrounded by lush green forest. Although it has been dormant for 700000 years, it is believed that the volcano may erupt again.

4. Savour the views from the Maconde View Point

things to do in Mauritius

View from Maconde

The Maconde View Point is one of the best view points (and Instagram spots) in Mauritius. It is a little rocky outcrop set on a hairpin bend on the coastal road between Le Morne and Baie du Cap village in the South of Mauritius. This area is known for its picturesque landscapes and seascapes. It is believed that it once served as a refuge for runaway slaves from the Makonde tribe of Mozambique, from whence it got its name.

There are some narrow stone steps to climb and once you’re at the top, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the rugged coastline, the nearby village, Macondé Rock, and the Savanne Mountains in the background. Sometimes, you may see local fishermen baiting fish or boats out at sea. The viewpoint starts attracting crowds from around 8 am in the morning so it is advisable to go there early in the morning. It can also get quite windy. We took a drive there from Bel Ombre.

5. Have dinner in a chateau

things to do in Mauritius

Heritage Le Chateau

Heritage Le Chateau is a charming former sugar plantation house in Bel Ombre which was built in the 19th century.  Flanked by stunning French gardens, it now serves as a gourmet restaurant with a single suite on the upper floor which can be booked for a special experience. The menu was conceived by a Michelin-starred chef and the haute cuisine encompasses farm-to-fork dining. We enjoyed a five-course dinner which included Rova Caviar from Madagascar, crab tartare and sea bass.

In the North

6. Admire the Giant Water Lilies

things to do in Mauritius

Mauritius National Botanical Gardens

The Mauritius National Botanical Gardens in Pamplemousses were created over 300 years ago and are the oldest gardens in the Southern hemisphere. Also known as Sir Seewoosagur Botanical Gardens, they are known for their giant water lilies, although they have over 650 varieties of other plants. There are over 85 types of palm trees, a spice garden, many monuments and some wildlife. Guides are available to ensure you don't miss anything.

7. Step back in time at L'Aventure du Sucre

L'Aventure du Sucre

The Adventure of Sugar  (also known as The Sugar Museum )

The Adventure of Sugar

The Adventure of Sugar  (also known as The Sugar Museum ) showcases the fascinating journey through the island’s rich sugar cane industry history. The museum is housed in an old sugar factory and contains original machinery and exhibits.

In Port Louis

8. Enjoy the panoramic views from the Citadel

things to do in Mauritius

The Citadel

The Citadel, or Fort Adelaide, as it also known - was built in the 1830's by the British to accommodate a garrison.  Perched on a hill, it offers panoramic views of Port Louis and the harbour. The fort is made from basalt blocks and features Moorish architecture. Multiple cannons dot the property.

9. Learn about Mauritius' past at Aapravasi Ghat

things to do in Mauritius

Aapravasi Ghat

Mauritius was the first country in the modern world where large-scale indentured labour was used. More than 462000 people arrived between 1830 and 1910 to work on the British Colony’s sugar estates. Today, approximately 70 per cent of Mauritians are descendants of these indentured labourers. Aapravasi Ghat is one of the oldest surviving entry and transit points linked to indenture in the world. It has been declared a World Heritage Site.

There are a number of other museums in Port Louis too such as the Blue Penny Museum and the Natural History Museum.

10. Practice your bargaining skills at the Central Market

things to do in Mauritius

Central Market

The Central Market comprises a cluster of vibrant markets including fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, clothing and souvenirs. You can pick up some great bargains here. Don't miss the indoor street food section - I loved the dhal roti and tamarind juice there. If you prefer more formal eateries and shopping, then go to the nearby Caudan Waterfront Shopping Mall.

11. Shop and eat at the Caudan Waterfront

The Caudan Waterfront is the oldest shopping centre in Mauritius. It can be found along the edge of the harbour in Port Louis, the island’s capital city. Named after a Frenchman, Jean Dominique Michel de Caudan, who settled on the island, it was once a collection of unused warehouses. Now it houses restaurants, boutique shops, a cinema, a craft market, hotels and much more. The Blue Penny Museum, which is home to two of the rarest stamps in the world, the 1847 Blue Penny and the Red Penny, can also be found here. There are monuments and fountains, as well as play areas and a colourful train for children.

Old cannons, remnants of Mauritius’ past, look out to sea. Often you can see massive cruise ships docked here too. The Caudan Waterfront is a pleasant place to take a stroll, have lunch with friends or an ice -cream. It is also one of the most popular Instagram locations in Port Louis due to the umbrella-covered promenade which changes colours every now and then. The umbrellas provide shade as well as a pretty photo backdrop. When we visited, the colours were those of the French flag.


things to do in Mauritius

Caudan Waterfront

Throughout the island

12. Get your adrenalin pumping with adventure sports

Mauritius is a tropical playground. It's natural features form the perfect setting for many types of adventure sports. Ziplining, hiking, canyoning , mountain biking are just some of the adrenalin-pumping activities you can do all over the island.

13. See marine life on a speed boat trip

Speed boat in Mauritius

Speed boat ride

There are various types of speed boat trips throughout the island. Some will take you to nearby islands, while others are more focused on watching whales, dolphins, and turtles.

Mauritius is an idyllic family vacation destination with so much to do. If you still need more reasons to go - for South Africans, the flight is under 4 hours away and there is no visa required.

Where to stay in Mauritius

Luxury resorts

Sugar Beach Mauritius

Sugar Beach Mauritius

Le Meridien Ile Maurice

Heritage Le Telfair 


Kazalala Hosted B&B  or click here for more options.

Follow me on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook for more on Mauritius.

Join the Facebook group for South Africans who love to travel.

Have any questions or concerns about Mauritius? Comment below.

Have you been there? What are your favourite things to do in Mauritius ?

things to do in mauritius

Disclosure: This trip was sponsored by the Mauritius Tourism Board but all opinions are my own. #mymauritius

12 comments on “13 things to do in Mauritius Besides Water Sports”

  1. Mauritius has definitely been on our travel wish list. But we have not managed to fit it into a larger travel itinerary. And it is too far and expensive to go just to visit Mauritius. We would definitely be drawn by the water sports. But great to read about all the other things there are to see and do. Definitely looks like a spot we could spend some time.

  2. Your 13 suggestions really inspire me because you answer multiple desires to learn about the country’s history, architecture and plant life. I would do everything.

  3. Mauritius looks like such a beautiful country but you definitely has me at being able to do the trips out to see whales, dolphins and turtles and those giant water lilies look amazing too.

  4. I've always been curious about Mauritius, and I've specifically wondered about activities beyond water sports. This has definitely given me a much clearer picture of what I can expect on this beautiful island!

  5. Mauritius is so beautiful, I'm surprised it's not a better known travel destination for families! I would love to see the extinct crater, and the colored soils.

  6. We've yet to visit Mauritius but it's definitely high on our bucket list. This is a great guide for things to do besides water sports when in Mauritius. Those Giant Water Lilies are absolutely incredible and I'd love to stroll along Caudan Waterfront. Thanks for sharing.

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