It is easy to run out of adjectives when trying to describe the natural beauty of the small tropical Indian Ocean island paradise of Mauritius. Being of a volcanic origin, Mauritius is founded upon volcanoes which are either extinct or dormant for many years. They have given birth to magnificent craters, rugged canyons, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, valleys and caves where the geological wealth is still protected. With these unspoiled geological features, families are pampered by an enormous list of exciting, fun and family-friendly activities.
1. A semi-submarine tour
If you and your children are excited to explore the world under the surface of the ocean, then we recommend you to go on a submarine tour. This vessel features a glass-bottomed surface, which resembles a surfaced submarine. Passengers descend to seats below the waterline, where big glass windows on its bottom and sides enable an extraordinary underwater view, arousing the illusion of sailing in a submarine. This is a great way for kids to discover the beautiful aquatic underwater life of Mauritius without getting wet. Kids get to explore the rich coral reefs and spot moraines, crabs, stingrays, clownfish, parrotfish, lionfish, seasponges and dolphins. Under parental supervision, some of the local boat operators will even allow young kids to don life jackets and have a go at snorkeling amongst the fish.
2. Take a family sunrise and sunset catamaran cruise
Spinner and bottle nose dolphins swim in packs around the island, and early morning and sunset is the best time to spot them playing. Set sail on a sunrise and sunset catamaran cruise and admire the stunning coastline of Mauritius from a boat as you take in the beauty across the ocean. Enjoy a swim followed by a glass of bubbly while the kids count the dolphins
3. Soak up the sun, crystal white sand and clear blue waters
From Flic-en-Flac in the west to Bellemare’s sugar-white coves to Morne Brabant’s surfing legends in the South, there isn’t a single stretch of coast on Mauritius without a beach to brag about. While most of the hotels offer a host of water sports that are included in their Mauritius holiday packages, such as waterskiing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, catamaran sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling and snorkeling, scuba diving is also available, but at an extra cost.
4. Swim with the dolphin’s tour
An once-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming with dolphins offers a rewarding, educational, therapeutic and amazing experience for everyone, including young kids. The dolphin tour includes a tasty continental breakfast and 2.5 hours at sea swimming with dolphins in their natural surroundings. Please note that young children up to four years of age are free.
5. Experience the magical Tamarind Waterfalls
Tamarind Waterfalls is one of the best things to see in Mauritius. The waterfalls comprise of a series of seven cascades of waterfalls and natural crystal clear pools that are famous for a variety of activities, such as hiking, canyoneering, cliff jumping, bird-watching and swimming.
6. The La Vanille Crocodile Park
Living up to its name, La Vanille Crocodile Park is home to some of the most misunderstood creatures around in the world. While crocodiles, giant tortoises and butterflies are the showstoppers of this park, it is also home to a huge jungle adventure playground for kids that will keep them entertained for hours while you enjoy a spot of lunch and shopping.
7. Casela Nature Park Segway Tour
The Mauritians certainly know how to get a child’s draw to drop, and the Casela Nature Park Segway tour does not disappoint. The 4500-hectare reserve is a guaranteed fun-packed opportunity for children of five and above. The Kids Animal Adventure Package at Casela includes activities such as interacting with lions, lorikeet feeding, pony rides, giraffe feeding, camel rides, tortoise feeding, and tilapia fishing. Teens will relish at exploring the longest zip-line (400m) in the Indian Ocean, which is also explored by Segway and quad bikes. There is also a 4D cinema for young kids that explain the history and natural science of the island with gigantic 3D maps.
8. Visit the Parc Francois Leguat Wildlife Park on Rodrigues Island
A must for parents of young children, the Parc Francois Leguat Wildlife Park on Rodrigues Island is counted amongst one of the most popular places to visit in Mauritius for young kids. Offering a unique animal experience, hundreds of turtles of varying ages and different species roam about the park.
9. The Polaris Fun Drive Adventure
No matter how gorgeous the white sand beaches in Mauritius are, after a day or two, you’re going to want to take a break and go on an exciting adventure with your children. The Polaris Fun Drive is a safe experience recommended for kids of seven years and over. Taking place under the strictest supervision on the exclusive circuits for kids, this activity is safe and exciting.
10. Curious Corner of Chamarel
The Curious Corner of Chamarel is a house of illusion and mystery sure to awaken anyone’s curiosity. Visit the interactive Exhibit Centre, get lost in a maze and experience a world of mind-bending fun, browse the many interesting goodies in the Puzzles & Things Shop, and enjoy the many unique gourmet delights (pyramid pizzas, donut burgers to name a couple) at the C3 Café & Bar, set in a beautiful tropical garden opposite the iconic Seven Coloured Earths.
11. Get in a car and explore the island with the kids
Only 45km in width and 65km in length, the island is renowned for its hospitality, clear seas, water sports and seafood. And while nobody will begrudge you laying on a pool-recliner on the beach with a tall coconut rum all day, there’s so much more to see. An exciting fun thing to do as a family in Mauritius is to rent a car and explore the island together. Some of the must-visit tourist places of the city are Citadel Fort (Fort Adelaide), La Place D’Armes, Port Louis Theatre, Catholic Church (Marie Reine de la Paix), Jummah Mosque, Apravasi Ghat (World Heritage Site), Le Pouce Mountain, Natural History Museum, Blue Penny Museum, Photography Museum, Le Caudan Waterfront, Central Market and the Baie Du Tombeau Beach.
When to Visit Mauritius with Kids
Mauritius is one of the most kid-friendly travel destinations on the planet – the gorgeous weather means many outdoor activities and adventures await families. Fortunately, Mauritius is a year-round holiday hot spot, which means the June school holidays is going to be perfect. For the best all-inclusive June school holiday specials, book with Mauritius.co.za.