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“Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius” Mark Twain.
What to do in Mauritius
It would be very easy to visit Mauritius and stay in your gorgeous beach front resort, enjoying the blue seas and white sand – you would have a lovely family holiday; but there are many more things to do in Mauritius with kids than sit back and enjoy resort life. Although that’s a pretty good option too!
Mauritius is a small island and is very easy to drive around and explore. We loved getting to know the local wildlife, the food and the people. Our children were still very young when we visited but if you have slightly older children there is a plethora of watersports too. I loved the intoxicating combination of African and Indian cultures with a little bit of colonial French still lingering…
You can’t get much better than Mauritius for a family holiday.
Mauritius At A Glance
Weather in Mauritius
Mauritius has a warm tropical climate year round.
December – April is Summer: it is hotter and more humid with temperature ranging from 25ºc – 33ºc
May – November is Winter: it’s slightly cooler with average temperatures ranging from 18ºc – 24ºc
When to visit Mauritius
High season (with peak prices) is considered November – April but January and February is cyclone season and there is a risk of cyclones up until April.
Prices for the UK October half term tend to be higher than February half term so if you’re looking to bag a bargain, book the north of the island in Feb!
Visa Requirements for Mauritius
If you are travelling as a UK citizen, you don’t need to apply for a visa before traveling to Mauritius. On arrival your passport will be stamped, allowing you to stay for 60 days. You must have evidence of onward travel.
Please always check guidance before you travel as requirements can change.
Currency in Mauritius
The official currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee.
ATMs are readily available across most of the mainland.
Travel and Time Zones
A direct flight with British Airways from the UK to Mauritius is approximately 12 hours. Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of GMT. We didn’t find jet lag to be a major issue, flying overnight and following my own jet lag advice here made the time difference feel negligible. Check out the latest BA flight prices here.
Child-Friendly Rating for Mauritius
Is Mauritius child-friendly? Definitely yes!! Our kids had THE BEST holiday on Mauritius. I’ll never forget the evening Scarlett tearfully announced that this was the best holiday she had ever had.
Top Things To Do In Mauritius with Kids
Spending your days lazing by the pool is a perfectly valid option for your holiday on the island, but if you like a more active holiday and you’re wondering what to do in Mauritius here are our top choices! This list isn’t an exhaustive guide – rather our top picks of the MANY things to do with children in Mauritius.
If you have just one day out of the resort THIS is the best day out in Mauritius with kids. You can either hire a car for the day to visit or book a tour guide to take you and finish the day off with a visit to some of Mauritius’ most beautiful, wild beaches which are nearby.
Opened in 1985, La Vanille is a 5 hectare nature reserve where you can meet giant tortoises and crocodiles along with monkeys, lemurs, deer, bats and lots of other endangered animals.
The site itself is stunningly beautiful. Even without any other attractions, the park is a gorgeous place for a walk. The lush green palm trees and bamboo shelter you from the hot sun and you truly feel like you’re exploring the Mauritian jungle.
Aldabra Giant Tortoises
La Vanille is home to a huge herd of giant tortoises. I’d say they were living ‘semi-free range’ … if that’s even a term? They have plenty of space to roam and you can go in to visit and feed them. When we visited, smaller children were allowed to sit on the larger tortoises, but age and weight restrictions applied. Please check the current rules when you visit.
At La Vanille you can learn about the history of the railway systems and see one of the last diesel trains used in the sugarcane industry.
One of the highlights for my oldest was getting to hold a baby crocodile. We saw the adult crocs from a much safer distance in their more natural habitat as well.
The Hungry Crocodile Restaurant
Serving easy, kid-friendly meals like burgers, nuggets, sandwiches and paninis this is a great place to stop for lunch or just for a snack and a coconut.
The beaches in Mauritius are absolutely beautiful. I’m a big fan of beach time, particularly for children – of all ages. The freedom to dig, build, run and jump in the water is just priceless. It’s great to spend time in this natural and relaxed environment. Especially if you’re struggling a little bit after a long flight or with a bit of jet lag.
I also think it’s really important not to over-schedule holidays with excursions and day trips. Having said that there are some beautiful beaches around the island to explore and you can definitely make a day of beach hopping or combine some beach sightseeing with a trip to La Vanille Nature Park.
Here you can see all the animals you’d expect in an African safari park – including the Big Cats! Some enclosures you walk around and others you tour in a jeep. It’s a great introduction to ‘going on safari’ with your kids to see how they enjoy it.
You can also book special encounters to feed the cats or meet the keepers. When we visited there were some lovely places for the kids to run around and play but there’s now even more with the brand new Pangia Kids Park with rides, mini golf and the opportunity to become pizza chefs in the restaurant.
Eating at Casela Nature Park: There are two restaurants suiting most tastes. AND if you’re able to arrive before 8am you can book to have breakfast with the giraffes – how incredible does this look? https://caselaparks.com/eat-and-drink/
Watersports in Mauritius
With tube riding for the adrenaline junkies, to parasailing, to slightly more sedate sports like kayaking for those with little ones riding along.
There are water sports in Mauritius for every age and level of thrill-seeker.
Our children were still young when we visited. A kayak ride around our little section of beach was thrilling enough for them.
Rich is a kitesurfer so he’s always on the hunt for a good wind. I know it’s not a kids activity but watching Daddy kitesurf always brings them a thrill and hey – us parents need to have fun too right?!
The South of the island is best for kitesurfing, with a breeze pretty much all year round. Officially kitesurfing season in Mauritius is April – November, this is when you’ll get the best winds. The rest of the year you will definitely need to visit the south beaches to catch the breeze. There are a couple of kitesurfing spots in the North of the island (Troux Au Biches and Bain Boeuf) but they’re favoured by locals and very experienced riders. Not ideal for beginners.
Snorkelling in Mauritius
Or even scuba diving if your children are age 10 or older. Ok so I guess you could say this is an extension waterspouts in Mauritius but I think it warrants it’s own section. Much of the island of Mauritius is surrounded by reef and lagoon giving you the perfect shallow waters to explore the fish and coral.
Snorkelling is a brilliant activity for kids in general. For little ones, learning to hold their breath with a mask on, and then adding in the skill of using a snorkel can be practised in the pool. Get them hunting for toys or sinkers while they get confident in their gear. Travels with Kids has loads of really helpful information here on how to choose the right snorkeling gear for kids. When they’re ready they can test out their new skills in the open water. Even those who aren’t swimming independently yet can pop on a life jacket or swimming aids and be guided around by an adult while they look under the water. If an adult needs to be walking alongside them (ie in shallow waters) they won’t get see quite as much as older children who are more independent swimmers.
Stronger swimmers can take a boat trip to some of the best snorkelling spots on the island, they’ll be rewarded with colourful coral, amazing fish and if you’re lucky SEA TURTLES! Check out the current price and availability for your boat trip here.
Pre-book Your Activities In Mauritius
Where to stay in Mauritius
We travelled to Mauritius in February half term, not knowing that it’s not actually the best time to visit Mauritius as rain was very common at this time of year. We flew with British Airways who were excellent! We got incredibly lucky, I had booked a hotel in the North of the island which famously misses most of the February rains. We only experienced one rainy day when we visited a safari on the West of the island.
Had I booked another part of the island we would have had a very wet time! In February the driest part of the island is the North. We stayed in the 4* Veranda Pointe aux Biches Hotel, near Grand-Baie.
Veranda Pointe aux Biches
The hotel describes itself as ‘eco-chic’ which feels very fitting. Veranda Pointe aux Biches is barefoot-luxury at it’s finest. On arrival the children kicked off their shoes and sat playing in the sand in reception while the grown ups checked in and did the boring stuff.
Veranda Pointe aux Biches is an all-inclusive boutique hotel, with an intimate feel.
The accommodation is hidden away in the gardens with a rustic villa style. Not a high-rise hotel in sight here. We had a lovely family room that gave the parents their own space with the kids in bunk beds in a small room off the main bedroom. This room worked brilliantly for two adults and 2 children but they can accommodate up to two adults and three children.
The food was excellent! Lots of local cuisine to explore with great kid-friendly staples available too. There’s a kids club (ideal for younger children) and a separate adults-only area as well.
I highly recommend Veranda Pointe aux Biches for families and would go back in a heartbeat. Check availability and prices for this hotel here.
A Hidden Gem
Once you’ve left La Vanille Nature Park head South to Gris Gris Beach.
It’s not a very accessible beach (certainly not easy to get to with a buggy) but it’s an incredibly beautiful view point. It’s also where you’ll find Chez Rosy. It’s a proper Mauritian restaurant/cafe and it is DELICIOUS! It’s the kind of place that forces the kids to be a little bit bolder with their food choices and it makes a nice change to eat like a local in Mauritius rather than eat in your resort. It’s only a few miles from the nature park and there’s easy parking on the cliff top.
Click the map below to find the route in more detail.
What the guide books don’t mention
The sun is very strong in Mauritius. I was so pleased someone mentioned this to me before we went. Although it doesn’t always feel burning hot, and you see the odd cloud and haze, your risk of burning in Mauritius is much higher than in many other places we’ve visited. Keep your little ones covered up and take a very high factor sunscreen. I wish we had discovered the joys of rash vests before we went.
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