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Tourism in Mauritius: Home to the Jaw-dropping Underwater Waterfalls

Sifting through travel magazines and thousands of travel blogs searching for the perfect travel destination is usually tedious. With the world having a million beautiful places to visit, it is normal to be torn on where to tour first. And for a continent like Africa, let us just say you will be spoilt for options. Tourism in Mauritius is considered one of the most rewarding ventures for vacationers.

Have you ever wondered why most travelers visit Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Maldives? These countries have one thing in common, exotic sandy beaches that form a paradise on Earth! The eastern coastline of Africa is one of the most admirable in the world. It comprises some of the best travel destinations in Africa.

Photo by Giulia Lorenzon on Unsplash

Where is Mauritius located?

Mauritius is an oceanic island in the Indian Ocean that is found 2000 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa. It is one of the most recent oceanic islands globally, created 8 million years ago after a volcanic eruption. It is strategically placed on the Mascarene Plateau, between mainland Africa and Asia. Mauritius is located south of the equator and neighbors numerous islands and their islets. Mainland Mauritius is located 565 miles east of Madagascar, 340 miles east of Rodrigues, 250 miles Northeast of St. Brandon, 580 miles north of Agalega Islands, and 430 kilometers northwest of Tromelin Island.

Islands in the Mascarene archipelago

The Mascarene archipelago sits on a submarine plateau at 150 meters above sea level. The submarine plateau is commonly known as the Mascarene Plateau and is the largest in the world. It has an edge dropping into the abyss at depths of up to 4000 meters. Mauritius, Rodrigues, and La Reunion form the 3 Mascarene Islands on the Mascarene Plateau.

The Republic of Mauritius lies on the continental shelf of Africa and spans 790 square miles (2040 sq. km). It comprises the mainland Mauritius, Rodrigues Island, Agalega islands, St. Brandon (Cargados Carajos Shoals), Tromalin Island, Diego Garcia, and the Chagos archipelago.

How Geography Influences Tourism in Mauritius

Dynamic Landscape

The Island of Mauritius is famed for its multidimensional features that attract tourists from all over the world. It is a sight to behold in the Indian Ocean. The deep blue ocean color around the island results from light absorption by deep oceanic waters, while nearer the shores, the color is light blue and turquoise. You can easily spot beautiful sandy beaches, rivers, dense forests, reefs, and mountains.

The main rivers are the Black River and the Grand River. They provide hydroelectric power, water for agriculture, and incredible channels for kayaking and canoeing experiences. White sandy beaches surrounding the island cover about 100 miles. They form part of the attractive features of Mauritius. You can capture remarkable coastline views and unique sand drops in the deep ocean waters from an aerial view.

The waterfall illusion

The Underwater Waterfalls of Mauritius
The Underwater Waterfalls of Mauritius: Image by madlyodd.com

One of Mauritius’s most outstanding geographical features is the Underwater Waterfalls. The Mascarene Plateau has an edge that drops to depths of 4000 meters below sea level. Ocean currents wash away sand and silt from the beaches to the horseshoe-shaped crevasse at the plateau’s edge and finally into the abyss, causing a waterfall illusion. The colossal sand drain happens off the Le Morne coast on the island’s southwestern side. The waterfall illusion is visible from the island’s southwest corner sky.

Despite the existence of other waterfalls on the island, the underwater waterfalls are the most attractive and famous hence promoting tourism in Mauritius. The other waterfalls include Exil, Eureka, Tamarind, Rochester, Charamel, Alexandra and Grand River South East Waterfalls.

The reefs and peaks that enhance tourism in Mauritius

Imagine a volcanic island, right in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, having a splash of both tropical and highland touch. Mauritius is surrounded by an uneven ring of mountain ranges, with the lowest points along the coastline and the highest point along the central plateau at 828 meters above sea level. Mauritius has its highest point at the Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire Mountain, 828 meters above sea level. The mountain is an extension of the Black River Mountain Range. Other peaks in Mauritius include Le Morne Brabant (556 meters), Pieter Both (820meters), and Le Pouce (811 meters).

Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire
Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire: Pinterest

Mauritius has some of the most divine coral reefs in the world. In fact, the island is primarily surrounded by steep coral reefs that act as underwater walls. These coral reefs are responsible for diverse marine life that attracts marine biologists and researchers worldwide. Rodrigues is known for its breathtaking coral reefs and limestone deposits. Lagoons are surrounded by coral reefs, some of which rank third among the world’s tallest coral reefs. Most water-sporting activities take place in these lagoons as the waters are calm. The diverse marine ecosystem makes snorkeling and scuba diving the region’s most sought-after water activities.

Climate, Flora, and Fauna

Mauritius experiences a tropical climate with warm winters and hot summers, allowing unique wildlife to thrive. Winter is from May to November, and summer is from December to April.

You will notice lush tropical vegetation along the coastline and a thriving rainforest in the highlands. Agalega and St. Brandon Islands are famous for their unique and diverse flora and fauna. They contribute to the 700 plant species found on the oceanic island.

The Black River Gorges National Park is the most expansive and famous national park that hosts the bulk of the native rainforest in Mauritius. Other areas with dense forest cover include Moka-Port Louis Ranges, Bambous Mountain Range, Le Morne Brabant, and Corps de Garde.

Birdlife is a significant tourist attraction in Mauritius, courtesy of the Dodo. The Dodo is a flightless bird that had its habitat on the island before massive hunting, leading to its extinction. Other unique birds native to the island include the pink pigeon, Mauritian flying fox, and the kestrel.

Mauritian Kestrel
Mauritian Kestrel: Image by mauritiusisland.co

Wildlife Tourism in Mauritius

Mauritius Island is one of the most desirable areas to live in and visit. Its lush green landscapes can be attributed to the Sustainable Island Mauritius project that wholly supports tourism. The Sustainable Island Mauritius project falls under the Switch Africa Green Programme.

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has been forefront in conserving wildlife on Mauritius Island. The foundation has successfully saved endangered wildlife species such as Dodo, Mauritius kestrels, pink pigeon, and Echo Parakeet and was helped by Dr. Carl Jones to increase the population of kestrels from 4-to 300.

St. Brandon is a Marine Protected Area supervised by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Mauritius is a marvel to behold on many fronts

It is a tropical haven that offers you an indelible travel experience. The country credits its affluence and popularity to its geographical position and features. The tranquil environment on the island allows for the best honeymoon experiences, family vacations, and solo getaways. A glimpse into the sights and sands of Mauritius will make you book the next flight to the island.