A DREAM IN A SUITCASE

MAURITIUS

30 hours in Mauritius

You would think that 30 hours can’t be enough time to visit a destination, especially if it’s an island, like Mauritius, with an area of around 2000 km²?! Well, it’s possible! Obviously, we didn’t visit the whole island, but we saw the main attractions and it was more than enough to fall in love with the place. Our vacation lasted only 30 hours, because it was one of my layovers, while working with Emirates Airlines. I had been before to Mauritius a couple of times and I decided to surprise my husband for his birthday, so I saved most of the allowance and planned my trip with him. I didn’t get the flight exactly on the date, but it was close enough and he was over the moon when he found out. 🙂 After a 6.30-hour flight from Dubai, we landed early morning in paradise.


After a short nap, we took a day tour from the hotel to explore the island. We got the nicest driver, who was more like a tour guide, explaining to us every attraction and stopping by the side of the road to show us cocoa leaves, banana trees, pineapple plants and other exotic fruits. Our first stop was at Trou aux Cerfs, an extinct volcano of 605 m high, 80 m deep which is located in Curepipe, Mauritius. The crater has not been active for the last hundreds of thousands of years. Nevertheless, according to experts, the volcano could become active at any time within the next 1.000 years. At the top, you can walk all around the crater. What a beautiful scenery from up there!


We continued our tour with a stop at Ganga Talao-Grand Bassin, a crater lake situated in a secluded mountain area, about 550 m above sea level. We were greeted by a colorful array of Hindu God Statues overlooking a beautiful calm lake. It was such a beautiful and peaceful sight. Our driver was kind enough to explain who each of the Gods are and what they represent. It is a religious Hindu site and a worship place with several Hindu temples located in the area, which give you a real sense of serenity. Monkeys run freely around the lake, being fed and photographed by tourists. I was as happy as a kid playing with the monkeys and feeding them bananas! 🙂


Our third stop was at the Black River Gorges National Park. Located in the south-western part of Mauritius, this 67.54 km² natural reserve has a variety of hiking trails, with different levels of difficulty, where you can explore the diverse vegetation and wildlife. The view from the belvedere point was incredible and we probably did regret a bit not having more time to do one of the hiking trails through this beautiful nature. Let’s say that can be one of the many reasons to return to Mauritius. 🙂


From here, we continued with Chamarel Waterfall and The Seven Coloured Earths, which are both in the Chamarel area, easily accessible and really close to each other. The scenic viewpoint of the approximately 90 m tall waterfall allows you to take some incredible shots of the natural resource surrounded by lush greenery.


The Seven Coloured Earths is a volcanic geological formation and is one of the most visited attractions from the island. As the name states, it represents sand dunes of seven different colors (red, blue, green, brown, violet, yellow and purple). It is considered a natural wonder that appeared as a result of decomposing volcanic rock into clay, having iron and aluminum as main elements that give the reddish and bluish colors. You can’t really distinguish the colors, or at least not from our perspective, reason behind being the tropical weather conditions, which have washed out the water-soluble elements. Here, you can also find giant tortoises, which was a lovely surprise for us, as it was the first time we had ever seen 150-year-old tortoises.


Our short visit to the island of Mauritius was filled with novelty and excitement. We discovered beautiful parts of the island and we even had time to relax by the pool before returning to reality. This was proof to us that you don’t necessarily need days or weeks to remain forever impressed by a place. We saw our 30 hours in southeast Africa as an escape that gave us reason to be more grateful, more inspired and even more curious to explore as much as we can of our incredible planet.

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