The island of Mauritius isn’t the most obvious choice for a tropical getaway but has definitely made a name for itself among avid travelers. Located over 1,000 miles east of the African mainland, past Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a dream destination.
Get away from it all—in a place with beautiful beaches, warm ocean water, tropical flora and a multicultural community. Despite the crowds, Mauritius has everything you could want on a tropical trip.
From the capital of Port Louis in the north to the mountain peak of Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire in the southwest, there are so many places to go in Mauritius. While nature lovers can explore these places solo, these adventurous tours are a great way to see the island.
Nature Discovery Tour
One of the most exciting tours on Mauritius for those that love wildlife, this experience combines dolphins, tortoises, crocodiles and more. After being picked up at your hotel, you’ll have a full day of adventure, starting with a boat trip filled with dolphin education. Then, enjoy over two hours swimming with wild dolphins—an irreplaceable experience—and snorkeling at a nearby coral reef. The rest of the day is filled with trips to local lookouts like the Macondé rock and La Roche Que Pleur. You’ll also stop by La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes, where visitors can view thousands of crocodiles and interact with giant tortoises.
La Vallée de Ferney Tour
Another full-day tour, this trip offers a glimpse into the small town of Mahébourg in the Grand Port District. Colorful buildings and bustling markets featuring various goods and spices add life to the tour. While in Mahébourg, you’ll also get a healthy dose of history at the Old Naval Museum and sample cookies at the Rault Biscuit Factory. Afterward, you’ll head on to the La Vallée de Ferney, a nature reserve north of town. Trek into the rainforest to learn about local plant life while looking for flying foxes, giant tortoises, and endangered kestrel birds.
For a quick and up-close-and-personal experience, consider the island’s small-group horseback tours. Leaving from Sebastopol, the two-hour ride is a great way to connect with these gentle local animals. Riding South African Boerperd horses, you’ll traverse nearby valleys and forests to take in the local scenery. On the way, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife and unique birds.
4×4 Wildlife Adventure Tour
This tour is filled with animals and nature, but it also offers travelers a healthy dose of history. Explore local hunting grounds near Chamouny by 4×4 as a private guide leads you through both the past and present. Guests will learn about the sugarcane and rum distilleries on the island, in addition to general history. Since you’ll be in a hunting region, you’re also bound to come across a wide array of wildlife. Spot things like deer, bats, and geckos, or try fruit from mango and banana trees. There will also be a chance to swim in a nearby river before enjoying a lunch of traditional local foods.
Quad Bike Tour
Those seeking an active adventure should consider the quad bike safari tour. Take off on a quad bike—which has room for two—as you venture the local safari park, Casela Nature Park. This customizable two-hour tour, complete with tour guide, gives you the freedom to explore the park as you wish. While the scenery is gorgeous on the western part of Mauritius, the focus here is on the animals. The park has four different “worlds,” including Safari Kingdom, Nature Kingdom, Water Kingdom and Mountain Kingdom. While guests can spot everything from zebras and camels to big cats, there are activities like zip lines and toboggans as well.
Private Speedboat Tour
The final tour on this list focuses less on the nature of the main island and more on the surrounding ones. Various full-day speedboat tours will escort travelers to the nearby Ile aux Cerfs, an island perfect for water sports like parasailing and snorkeling. There are also glass bottom boats for a more gentle trip. Most tours also include a beach barbecue right on the sand. Some trips include jaunts to other nearby islands, like Ile de la Passe and Ile au Phare. These small islands are great for exploring local ruins and jaw-dropping views of seaside cliffs. Still, other tours whisk travelers to the Grand River South East waterfall, which empties into the open sea.