Stunning beaches, wild untamed interiors and a mixing pot of cultures – could these tiny specks in the Indian Ocean be the perfect destination?
Mauritius and the Seychelles would seem to have it all.
Mauritius boasts some of the most dazzling beaches in the world. Renowned for its clear blue waters and white sands, beaches such as Belle Mare and Trou aux Biches make Mauritius a haven for sun worshipers. But if you’re after more than just sun bathing, you’ll be surprised by how much the island has to offer.
Inland Mauritius is made up of lush forests and impressive mountains, and the Black River Gorge National Park is a great place to hike. Colonised by the Dutch, French and British and with a population made up of Indian, African, European and Chinese decent, the island is a mixing pot of cultures. This has given Mauritius a rich and varied history and a plethora of cultural and historical sites to visit.
If you can picture images of leaning palm trees, white beaches, lush wild interiors and crystal blue waters, then you can picture the Seychelles. The words ‘natural beauty’ do not do these 115 islands justice. Scattered across the Indian Ocean, the famous archipelago is located 1,600kms from the east coast of Africa.
But again, there's more to the islands than their stunning beaches. You can trek into the lush, mountainous interior of Mahé island, dive with the critters of the deep at Shark Bank or island hop your way across the archipelago discovering jungle trails, turquoise waters and deserted coves.
Umbrellas in Port Louis, Mauritius (Shutterstock.com)
It’s not just all sugar white beaches and swaying palm trees in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Away from the tourist beaches you’ll find untouched nature, vibrant customs and a varied history.
Royston Ellis, for example, found himself caught up in a colourful carnival in Baie du Cap in Mauritius, carried along by the drums and the swirl of the crowd.
In the Seychelles, Sarah Gilbert found islands rich and culture and even richer in wildlife. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune she says. She found herself feasting feast feet-in-the sand on Creole staples, and the wild nature and sublime beaches are free of charge. Peter Lynch visited the island of Curieuse in the Seychelles and found that the former leper colony is now a sanctuary for local wildlife. And Claire Smith helped out during turtle breeding season on the relatively uninhabited island of Aride.
Boat on the lagoon in Mont-Choisy beach, Mauritius (Shutterstock.com)
In both Mauritius and Seychelles, you’re never far from water. It moves, it reflects, it makes simply keeping your camera steady a bit of a challenge. And chances are it will be the star of most of your photos. Steve Davey is on hand with tips on making the most of your tricky and elusive subject.
Sugar cane truck, Mauritius (Shuttertock.com)
Ready to start planning your trip? Our Mauritius and Seychelles travel guides are the place to start. Make sure you drop by the Mauritius and Seychelles essential info pages as well, for more everyday (but equally vital) information. We’ve rounded up the latest travel news from Mauritius and Seychelles too.
If you have a particular question about Mauritius or Seychelles, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about Mauritius and Seychelles. The answer to your s might already be there.
Mauritius travel guide / Seychelles travel guide – Wanderlust Team
Mauritius essential info / Seychelles essential info – Wanderlust team
Latest Travel news from Mauritius / Seychelles
Forum posts about Mauritius / Seychelles
Community content about Mauritius / Seychelles
Anse Lazio beach, Praslin island, Seychelles (Shutterstock.com)
Here is a selection of fantastic tours offered by our partners. From relaxing beach holidays to snorkeling and wildlife tours, you’ll find something for every taste and budget.
Main image: Boat on beach Mahe island, Seychelles (Shutterstock.com)