Unfortunately, over the past few decades the idea of a tourist attraction has been skewed somewhat. Water parks, theme parks and tacky false attractions tend to be what get the visitors flocking to a destination, all eager for their taste of man-made crassness. This is a real shame, as some people can find themselves blinded by advertising and hype and miss the real experiences this world has to offer.
On the ebullient island nation of Mauritius, the tourist attractions are devoid of all the oft-seen bland promotion that symbolizes tourism in the northern hemisphere. In Mauritius, the tourist attractions are simply there to show nature at it’s greatest. The natural landscape and points of interest came first, with the tourist attractions built and manufactured around them. There is a raw naturalness to tourist attractions in Mauritius, while still providing an experience no one is ever likely to forget.
One of the most popular attractions in Mauritius is Blue Marine Safari. This somewhat self-explanatory title is basically an underwater safari, conducted through the reefs surrounding Mauritius in a specialized submarine. You sail out on a surface vessel, known as Betty of the Mascareignes, and then dive to depths of over 30 meters. From here, you can see all kinds of marine wildlife as reef, as well as the occasional shipwreck. The underwater journey lasts around 40 minutes, and is a thrilling experience for all, allowing you to see beneath the waves without needing to learn to scuba dive. The tour departs daily, and pre-booking is advised.
Having seen and experienced it for yourself on the Blue Marine Safari, you can discover more about the navel and maritime history of Mauritius at the Naval Museum. Located on the southern coastline of the country in Mahebourg, the museum contains artifacts and information from the French colonial period and replicas of the ancillary used in the historic battles for control of Mauritius. Nearby is the Handicraft Museum, where one can learn about traditional Mauritian handicraft and purchase items for yourself from the Handicraft Village.
Other museums on the island include the Blue Penny Museum, which features a hugely rare stamp collection and ancient Mauritian artwork. The Blue Penny Museum is on the northwest coastline, close to Grand Baie and it’s famously spectacular beach. Nearby there is Black River Gorges National Park, where you can experience tropical plants and exotic birds, as well as picnic amongst them. A trip to the Grand Baie area and it’s associated tourist attractions is a must for any Mauritius holiday.
Along the same wildlife theme, near the port and Mauritian capital of Port Louis is the Pamplemousse Botanical Garden. These gardens are known to be the oldest in the southern hemisphere, having been built by Pierre Poivre in 1767.
If animals are more to your liking, Mauritius also provides. Amid the southern Mauritius rain forests is La Vanille Crocodiles Park – a clue to what is available here may be in the title! Here, you can see over a thousand wild Nile crocodiles, as well as other tropical wildlife including monkeys, stags, tortoises and fruit bats. The Park has plenty of tourist amenities, such as car parking and restaurants, and is well worth a visit.
The genius of all of these Mauritius tourist attractions is that they are built around and featuring what nature provided. Beautiful in the extreme, take a little time out of relaxing on the Mauritian beaches to experience the wide variety of wonders available on this tiny island.