Travel Report Mauritius
Our Travel Report Mauritius should support your travel planning the one of the most amazing locations in the world.
What could an 8 day photo trip to Mauritius look like?
1.day: Munich -> Paris -> Zurich -> Johannesburg
2.day: Johannesburg -> Mauritius (The St.Regis Mauritius Resort)
3.-8.day: The St.Regis Mauritius Resort
9.day: Mauritius -> Johannesburg (Protea by Marriott O.R. Tambo)
Afterwards we went to the Timbavati Game Reserve in South Africa, see travel report Timbavati (South Africa)
The trip was organized and booked through: AST-Reisen
Where is Mauritius?
What you should definitely think about when traveling to Mauritius:
Local currencies: US dollars are accepted everywhere. If possible, take small USD bills with you for tips, which are expected in USD. Otherwise, credit card payment works everywhere without problems.
Vaccinations: Coming from Germany, no vaccinations – not even yellow fever – are mandatory. However, the standard vaccinations are recommended, see suggestions from the Foreign Office.
Luggage: The photo equipment should definitely be taken on board. FYI, for all LH status card holders, Air Mauritius is not part of the Star Alliance and even if it is a codeshare with South African and a ticket booked through SA, the status customer privileges do not apply (!).
Clothing: What do we need to take with us? This time a not quite unimportant question, since Mauritius (beach vacation) will be completely different than South Africa (safari), where we go afterwards.
We have decided this time with announced 37 degrees during the day for something less warm things. For Mauritius a mix of swimwear, shorts and t-shirts. In the end, everything fit wonderfully into the Nike sports bags already known from the last tour. Weight: 15kg (per bag).
Detailed travel report Mauritius
Day 1: Like last time, our flight itinerary is Munich-Paris-Zurich-Johannesburg and this time we wanted to make sure that our luggage would see the same. From my window seat on the plane to Zurich, I could directly observe the luggage loading and finally, on the third trolley, our bags also came. At 22:25 the boarding Zurich to Johannesburg started.
Day 2: In Johannesburg we first had to get our luggage and go through immigration, only to check it in again and leave South Africa officially. Logical, isn’t it ? Only a bit exhausting. 4h later it went then with Air Mauritius further to Mauritius.
Air Mauritius does not recognize Star Alliance status with code share
Frequent flyers should know that Air Mauritius is not interested in the fact that you bought your ticket as a code share with South African and all Star Alliance benefits (e.g. access to the lounge) are simply ignored and there are no Miles&More miles.
Many will say “luxury problem.” But as a photographer with hand luggage, you quickly see it differently.
Air Mauritius actually weighs the hand luggage
It has annoyed us very much especially since we should pay extra for the photo backpack as hand luggage, which could only be avoided by briefly “repacking” in the handbag of my wife (attention, they actually weigh the 8 kilos, which is quickly a problem with a photo backpack).
The flight to Mauritius takes 4h. The entry takes unfortunately also here almost 45min and since the baggage carousel new suitcases only if space on the belt is, has also taken another 30min.
Be sure to book the hotel transfer in advance
Our driver has fortunately already waited and we are finally at 22:20 clock but somewhat tired (a total of more than 24 hours total travel time) arrived at the hotel.
The transfer necessarily book in advance. There are hardly any cabs on the island and public transport is now not so the hit.
The St.Regis Le Morne (now JW Marriott Le Morne)
Dinner was not available so late in the hotel, but we were given a cold plate in the room. Top service and certainly one of the reasons to choose the St.Regis Le Morne, apart from a room upgrade to a suite. The day could not end better.
Day 3: We have not drawn the curtains in the room on purpose and so we are awakened at 07:00 by the first daylight.
Direct sea view, which is only about 15m from our balcony. The sea is as smooth as glass and there is no one up yet.
Le Morne - dream beach and crystal blue sea
The deserted sandy beach and a few birds, nothing else. We enjoy a cup of coffee on the balcony. Then it’s off to breakfast, which takes place in a pavilion right by the sea.
Spend the rest of the day lazing on the beach / pool. While having coffee on the balcony, a few more feathered friends came by (well, the raisin muffin certainly helped too) and so a few more nice pictures are taken with the 300 tele.
Basically, however, one notices with the Nikon 70-300mm that it can no longer keep up optically with other, newer tele-zooms, which is why it is sold after the trip.
In the evening we go to the sundowner at the beach, where we experience a really spectacular sunset, which also makes us forget very quickly the 25,- Euro for a beer and a wine (glass, not bottle!).
Day 4: From the balcony, we enjoy the tranquility of the beach. Not a cloud in the sky and already very warm. We take a beach walk on the seemingly endless white sandy beach and quickly learn that bathing shoes would be advantageous.
Le Morne beach is certainly one of the most beautiful on the island, but since it was created from decayed coral and shells, like almost all sandy beaches, it is not as soft as you might think and there are still many pieces of shells and coral that are still “waiting” to decay and are sharp-edged. Sea urchins can also be found on the beach, in the sand and in the water.
Around 17:30 we find ourselves at already accustomed place (beach bar) to the Sundowner. While we enjoy the sunset, 3 drones buzz above our heads at the same time and in about 200m distance from the beach humpback whales are doing their thing. You can see them slapping the water with their flukes. A beautiful and quiet day comes to an end and the mosquitoes see that too and start to approach us (tip: don’t forget mosquito repellent!).
Is the island tour worth it?
Day 5: Island tour with guide. The sea is churned up, at the reef break up to 5m high waves and it looks like tropical rain. First we drive to an extinct volcanic crater at an altitude of about 600m. Once there, you quickly realize that you are on a “tour”.
Next we go to a tax free store for clothes and then on to a miniature boat factory. Both also so touri things, but in the manufactory you could watch how the boats are made. Further it goes to the Indian temples. These are also quite different than expected. Rather kitschy colorful and modern. Everything looks somehow like plastic.
Our guide Devendra – himself Indian – assures us that everything is “real” and once a year over half a million pilgrims come there. Unfortunately, it rains lightly (we are literally in the rainforest) and so you can not really enjoy it.
Next up is actually our highlight of the day. Ziplining on the 1.5km long track. But it’s raining cats and dogs and fog is rising, so we skip that and go for a “real” Mauritian style meal.
On the way we see a monkey, which is strategically placed on the temple road and gets his food practically from the pilgrims.
The restaurant, which our guide recommends, is also rather a tourist store, if we look at the very German prices. But it is delicious and the rain has also stopped.
We continue to the Seven Colored Hills. On the way there we visit the highest waterfalls of the island. Actually nothing spectacular until I ask myself “what is flying there”. It looked like birds, but somehow too big. The riddle’s solution: flying foxes.
And that was another moment when I was annoyed that the big tele was in the hotel room and I only had the optically somewhat weak Nikon 70-300mm with me. So if someone wants to go to the Seven Colored Hills and photograph flying foxes, then definitely pack something bigger.
The Seven Colored Hills are volcanic soil that glows in all colors in the afternoon sunshine.
The giant tortoises are rather disappointing
One more note, the giant tortoises advertised at the Seven Colored Hills, which I was looking forward to photographing, are rather a bust, as they are in a mini free-range enclosure – like in the zoo – and you can’t really get close.
All creoles descend from slaves
In the end it was a nice day and at least thanks to our guide we learned a lot about the island and its history. Among other things, that the island has only been inhabited for a good 400 years and the “natives” (Creoles) are all descended from slaves who were originally brought to the island by the Dutch and French.
Day 6: A super beautiful sunny morning and we take the us already dear won coffee on our “2nd bed” on the balcony. The Minas and Bul Buls are already waiting for their breakfast and we enjoy the clear morning air. It is already a small paradise here. Absolute peace and a dream view.
We spend the rest of the day until sunset lazing around, doing some sports and enjoying the gorgeous view of the sea. At sunset we go to the beach bar again.
If you decide for Le Morne – definitely book full board, because there are no restaurants or the like near the hotels and also cabs to the next, but not exactly nearby village, are rather scarce.
Those who have booked a higher status at Marriott or a suite can also enjoy breakfast a la carte in the morning at the Boathouse, directly on the beach with a view of the sea and a tranquility that is dreamlike.
Day 7: After breakfast we walk out of interest to the neighboring hotel, the Lux Le Morne.
Also a very well maintained and beautiful facility. The pools are the hammer and the facility is top. The sand on the beach is also a bit finer.
However, we like the rooms – at least what you see from the outside, not so good, because everything is very dark and these are not directly on the sea, as at the St.Regis.
We would recommend to do without whale watching
Day 8: On the sea we see the whale watching boats. Twelve of them are after the humpback whales. For me, this borders more on cruelty to animals, because unlike in other countries, there seems to be no “protective distance” to the animals and the small, highly motorized boats chase after the whales.
All this could be observed very nicely with binoculars and we are glad not to have booked such a tour.
Laziness must also be sometimes
You may not believe it, but “hanging out” in paradise can be very fulfilling and somehow time just flies by. Shuttling between pool, lounger and beach, lunch with sea view, lounger, pool and bang it’s 5:00pm and time to get ready for the sundowner.
On the last evening there is a wonderful fish buffet with freshly caught fish, oysters, sashimi and much more. Fantastically delicious and of course we eat again more than we should.
Expelled from paradise - departure from Mauritius
Day 9: The sky is blue when we get up, but it is much more humid than the days before and slowly the sky is covered with clouds. We still have a few hours before we are driven out of paradise.
Our St.Regis “Grand Suite” – at this point again thanks to the hotel – was pure luxury and an absolute dream on 175sqm with direct sea view. Here you just don’t want to leave. The hotel deserves every single one of its stars and there was absolutely nothing to complain about. This hotel has clearly made it to the top of all the hotels we have visited so far.
Always discussion about the hand luggage
The transfer to the airport shows once again the beauty of Mauritius. The check-in is again accompanied by the already known discussion point “hand luggage weight” (max 8kg) and so the camera equipment must again be divided between 2 people.
Overnight stay at Johannesburg airport
The return flight of 4.5h passes quickly and immigration and luggage pickup in Johannesburg work in record time this time. We spend the night at the Protea OR Tambo Hotel, only 1.5km from the airport. Absolutely OK for one night, but you realize that you have been driven out of paradise when you look out the window the next morning.
Better for the 1 night would have been the Protea Airport Lodge, there you could have walked from the airport.
The St.Regis Le Morne (now a JW Marriott) is one of the best hotels we have stayed in. The hotel has every luxury you can imagine and leaves nothing to be desired. We hope it stays that way under the new name. We would like to come back in any case.
Order calendar from our photo trip?
What photo equipment for Mauritius ?
The photo equipment we took to Mauritius and South Africa is listed below. In addition, you have the possibility to order the used photo equipment directly via our Photo-Shop and to request further technical details. There you can also find a lot of extras.