Mauritius: swimming with wild dolphins, Chamarel & Port Louis

Boat trip to swim with wild dolphins in Mauritius

Usually if hubby says he’s gotta go out of town for work is not good news.

Oh, except when he says he gotta go to Mauritius.

& you should come along too! 🙂

That’s how on a sunny Friday afternoon we landed in Mauritius! Our jeans switched for shorts and our rented car picked up, we headed straight to Port Louis, the capital of the island.

Little cats in Port Louis, Mauritius

& more precisely to the Central Market for a late lunch.

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

A bit disappointed by the fruits – it was winter in Mauritius so fruits weren’t at their best – we took our revenge on Indian food.

Indian food at the market in Port Louis, Mauritius

& fresh coconut water!

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

During the last two centuries, many people came from India to work in the sugar cane fields and still today Indian culture is very much present in the island.

The market and the surrounding streets are also the perfect place to buy some spices and gifts to bring back home.

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

The market in Port Louis, Mauritius

Apart from that, the modern shopping mall the locals are very proud of, & the small Chinese neighborhood, there’s no much to see in Port Louis, but I think it’s always interesting to visit the big city to better understand a country.

The Chinese neighborhood in Port Louis, Mauritius

Plus, we just love local markets.

It has also been the occasion to talk with local people & we we’ve been amazed at how gentle everyone was. We didn’t know where we were allowed to park the car & people around us have been so nice, helping us & offering us some parking tickets!

Back in the car, we took the road to our hotel, stopping along the way to admire colorful temples.

Colorful Indian temple in Mauritius

Colorful Indian temple in Mauritius

Colorful Indian temple in Mauritius

We later discovered such temples are numerous all over the island.

We arrived at our hotel, the  Maritim Resort in Turtle Bay, just in time to see the sun disappearing into the ocean,

Sunset view from the lobby of the Maritim Resort in Mauritius

& to have a walk on the beach at twilight.

Sunset on the beach at the Maritim Resort in Mauritius

Sunset on the beach at the Maritim Resort in Mauritius

Much to my dismay, we skipped a romantic dinner as we met other people from hubby’s workshop so it would have been rude not to dinner all together 😉

The morning after we woke up at before dawn to go swimming with wild dolphins!!

We already swam with wild dolphins back in Australia and I’ve been dying to replicate the experience since then as it’s so amazing!

We did the tour with Dream Dolphin in Black River, which was a very good agency.

We left the port early morning, under a light rain, which soon stopped to leave the place to a beautiful rainbow,

Rainbow over Le Morne mountain in Mauritius

& a rising sun.

Sunrise over the ocean in Mauritius

We sailed around looking for dolphins.

Sunrise over the ocean in Mauritius

It was long & we started to worry we couldn’t find them, before we finally spotted them!

Swimming with wild dolphins in Mauritius

Swimming with wild dolphins in Mauritius

Eventually, we’ve been very lucky as we saw many dolphins & not many tourists 😉

It was so magical!! Dolphins are such beautiful creatures.

& sometimes they look at you in the water, I mean you can really make eye contact with them. Oh I wanna go back right now!!

After our encounter with dolphins, we met some other beautiful ocean inhabitants, while snorkeling near Le Morne mountain.

Colorful fishes and corals while snorkeling at Le Morne in Mauritius

Colorful fishes and corals while snorkeling at Le Morne in Mauritius

Colorful fishes and corals while snorkeling at Le Morne in Mauritius

Colorful fishes and corals while snorkeling at Le Morne in Mauritius

Colorful fishes and corals while snorkeling at Le Morne in Mauritius

After which, we landed on Bénitiers island for lunch.

Boat trip to Benitiers island in Mauritius

Boat trip to Bénitiers island in Mauritius

We took the mandatory pictures in front of the Crystal rock,

The Crystal Rock in Mauritius

The Crystal Rock in Mauritius

chilled on the beach & walk on the shore,

View of Bénitiers island in Mauritius

Walking on the beach on Bénitiers island in Mauritius

Souvenirs seller in Bénitiers island in Mauritius

Walking on the beach on Bénitiers island in Mauritius

Walking on the beach on Bénitiers island in Mauritius

& had a pretty good lunch, chatting with some hostesses & stewards from Airfrance.

Sharing our lunch with some locals too – although in Mauritius dogs are so scary of humans, that it was even difficult to feed them, although they looked hungry… #heartbreaking

Little dog on Bénitiers island, Mauritius

Nevertheless, if I had to do that again I wouldn’t go to the island, I would rather go seeing the whales after swimming with dolphins or just end the tour there: Bénitiers island is cute, but you end up spending a lot of time there & hubby and I don’t really like to stay long tanning on the beach: we get bored easily. So if you’re like us, you should take that in consideration.

After lunch, we navigate back to Black River.

Boat trip to Bénitiers island in Mauritius

Boat trip to Bénitiers island in Mauritius

We continued our day with a visit to Chamarel national park.

We had a first stop in the forest in this incredible, panoramic restaurant overlooking the Morne mountain and the bay!

View from Le Chamarel Restaurant in Mauritius

We randomly stopped there as we thought it was the ticket office for the park, but you should definitely stop there on purpose if you’re around!

View from Le Chamarel Restaurant in Mauritius

View from Le Chamarel Restaurant in Mauritius

We continued to Chamarel, to see the 7 coloured earths, which are sand dunes of 7 different colors.

Seven Colored Earths, Mauritius

Seven Colored Earths, Mauritius

Seven Colored Earths, Mauritius

And Chamarel waterfall, a 100 m high waterfall – exactly as high as the Statue of Liberty – nestled in the jungle.

Chamarel waterfall in Mauritius

Chamarel waterfall in Mauritius

We took the red road again, which reminded us of the Northern Territory roads in Australia,

Driving through Chamarel, Mauritius

to finish the day with a visit to the Grand Bassin, an Indian holy lake.

Indian statue at the Grand Bassin in Mauritius

 

Indian statue at the Grand Bassin in Mauritius

It’s quite incredible how Mauritius really feels like India.

Grand Bassin, a Indian holy lake in Mauritius

Indian statue at the Grand Bassin in Mauritius

Indian statues at the Grand Bassin in Mauritius

Sunset on the Grand Bassin in Mauritius

Even while going back to the hotel, we crossed several inland towns & if you wouldn’t know where you were, you definitely would believe you were in india.

Indian statue at the Grand Bassin in Mauritius

We stopped to see people feeding the monkeys on our way back,

& drove in the sunset, enjoying the views, back to the hotel.

Driving through Chamarel

Where we didn’t have no time to rest, as we were invited to a dinner party hosted by a friend of hubby.

Where we had a lovely time & yummy Indian food (definitely!! ;p). Plus, how long has it been since last time you played pinball?! 🙂

Playing pinball machine

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32 Comments

  1. What an amazing trip! Lucky for you getting to go along 🙂 I’ve never swam with dolphins – I’ve seen lots of different types while travelling, but have never had the opportunity to swim with them. I’d love that. The whale watching sounds really interesting too. And just like you, I love a local market!

    1. Seeing dolphins is magical! And swimming with them is even more magical! Go for it if you have the chance! Although you’re right not everywhere it’s possible to swim with them. I’m a bit sad I didn’t go whale watching, next time i’ll have too! And visit local markets it’s just a must when traveling, right? 😉

  2. Your pictures and prose of Mauritius remind me so much of my home country, Trinidad and Tobago. Like Mauritius, Indians left India to work on the sugar plantations in my Caribbean country. Both countries share a similar heritage and tropical environment. You should visit!

  3. Wow, loved the video where you went swimming with the dolphins. I remember I just got to see dolphins in Chilika Lake, India because swimming not allowed. Can’t imagine how lovely it would feel. I didn’t know about the mini India in Mauritius but it looks nice 😉 wonderful post.

  4. Beautiful post and photos!! I totally agree that swimming with dolphins is magical… Especially in the wild and not at a park in captivity 🙂 Such a special thing to be able to do. I love that you captured it on video too – I’ve never done that. Next time I’m going to make a video! Mauritius looks gorgeous, thanks for sharing!

    1. I don’t think I will ever swam with dolphins in a park, I don’t like the idea of keeping dolphins, or other animals, in captivity… Especially after seeing them wild & free! 🙂

  5. Mauritius seems to have a little bit of everything for all types of travelers 🙂 I’d personally love to swim with dolphins, they seem like such lovely creatures! I hope one day I’ll get to visit those bright blue waters.

  6. The crystal rock looks so COOL! I feel like Mauritius is going to be the next ‘big thing’ or trip because of how much it seems to offer. When going through your photos I literally felt like I was visiting India, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Greece all in one little country. That was really fun to see 😉

    1. It really was a surprise Mauritius for me! I thought there were only resorts & private beaches before going – well there are a lot – but if you venture outside there’s so much to see indeed! 🙂

  7. Mauritius looks very beautiful, this is the best kind of business trip! So amazing you got to swim with wild dolphins, they seem so gentle. That poor dog, I can’t imagine him/her being so scared. Also interesting about the Indian heritage, I thought you were in India from your photos!

    1. All the dogs in Mauritius were so scared, they’re so mistreated there… Otherwise the island is beautiful though! And really feels like India! I didn’t know before going.

  8. Mauritius ranks really high on my bucket list. I had no clue that it was home to so many beautiful and colourful temples. I would love to watch dolphins in action and go Scuba diving too. Cheers!!

  9. I will visit Mauritius one day, I love to visit new countries. I must admit I had to google where it was! The views from the Maritim Resort of Turtle Bay are stunning, the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail. What an experience, swimming with dolphins and those fish from Finding Nemo!

  10. what a cool experience to swim with the dolphins, your holiday looks amazing too. I never knew there were so many temples on the island too.

  11. Coolest business trip EVER!!! Aren’t you a lucky girl to get to go along. We often travel with my husband when he has business trips and are lucky to go to some fun places…..but never this cool. 😉

    1. ahah that was the coolest place for a business trip indeed! but i like to get along even when we just have to go some place in France. It’s always nice to discover new places! 🙂

  12. I’m yet to visit Maurituis, so thanks for the detailed virtual tour! Yes, the country does have so many Indians. With all the Indian condiments shops, spices, coconuts and temples, it looks so much like home for me! The pristine blue seas look way too gorgeous!!!

  13. Except for the dolphin bit, I would have mistaken it for India had you not mentioned the country. I’d heard of the Indian diaspora but it seems to be far stronger than I thought. The color of the sea was surreal though, far more enticing than I have ever seen.

  14. You’ve got some really cool underwater footage of the dolphins! They are such beautiful creatures. I saw them in Maui and I bet it is equally amazing in Mauritius!

  15. It’s good to see Indian influence in the Port Louis. The temple, people, and food. After seeing your Dolphin pictures, it reminded me my sunset cruise in Maldives. I love watching them for hours.lovely post.

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