The amazing journey in the beautiful Indian Ocean island continues with visit to the capital city of Port Louis, the south island tour which is one of the more breathtaking tours as well as trip to the famous Casela Nature Park, which provides a glimpse to the great African wildlife.
South Island day Tour
Trou Aux Cerfs with natural lake
As part of South Island day tour, we went to some of the most famous attractions of Mauritius – which includes Trou Aux Cerfs – which is an extinct volcano an extinct crater 85m deep and over 200m wide. Also, from the location, that is the rim of this crater and one of the highest points in Mauritius, you can enjoy an extensive view of the whole island.
Photo: View of Trou Aux Cerf volcano (bottom is a natural lake but we saw it covered with plantations already)
Chamarel – Land of seven colors
Photo: Chamarel waterfall near Chamarel land of seven colors
As part of South tour, we went to Chamarel, where we saw the extinct volcano described above, the Chamarel waterfall (which is very beautiful) and the land of seven colors. The last one was a bit of disappointment to us but this is also because there was a huge excitement built up by our tour operator about what a great miracle we are going to see. Nevertheless, here it is!
There was a children playing and turtle place next to this land of seven colors. First us, and then most other fellow tourists came to this place rather and had a more enjoyable time with the huge turtles!
En-route, they took us to some shops but we thought the ship-models manufacturing setup and outlet there was more worthy than garments etc.
Hindu Shiva temple
The tour also includes a tour to the Shiva temple at Ganga Talao or the Grand Basin. Grand Bassin or Ganga Talao as it is also called is the most revered place for the Hindu Mauritians. It is said when Shiva held river Ganga in his knotted hair to prevent flooding on earth, a few drops fell on Mauritius, creating a fresh water lake. The water of Ganga Talao (lake) is as revered as the Ganges is in India.
We feel those who want to get a feel a feel of Hindu culture and love the experience of temples should visit the place. The place is very beautiful and has amazing view.
Day long Cataraman tour
We think the day long Cataraman tour was the next best thing after Ile Aux Cerf day! There are many operators offering Cataraman trips (USD200-300 per person at our time) in which you go on a full-day trip deep into the sea. You get music and lunch buffet on the house, watch dolphin en-route if you’re lucky, do snorkeling after going into deep sea (they provide equipment) or just enjoy the whole day trip on the open air Cataraman.
They typically go in groups of 40-50 but the boat is big enough to not make us feel crowded. We absolutely loved it and strongly recommend doing this for a day long fun!
Submarine Dive – see the deep water life
This is one tour we didn’t really think was worth the money but for the submarine experience (dive to 200m), some people can go for it.There are only some submarine operators such as Blue Safari Adventure (we took this also) but a lot of agents around who sell on their behalf, taking a commission. We suggest you contact the above directly and may just save some money.
We went to a location where a speed boat takes us to a bigger ship to which the submarine is attached. The submarine goes for a 200m dive to see a submerged anchor, some corals, sea life etc. The whole dive was around 30-45min.
Some snaps of views from the submarine
Photos of deep sea life from inside submarine taken by Sony DSC HX1 at 5-15x zoom
Casela Nature Park
While we could hire a private car for US$100 to go to Casela Nature Park and back, we took the public bus to go from our resort at Trou Aux Biches at north tip of Mauritius island to Port Louis (cost US$2 per person), had lunch there and did 2hrs of sight seeing and then moved took bus (cost US$2 per person) from Port Louis to Casela. The total journey was 1+1 hour by bus. We left resort at 9am were back by 7pm. Again, we recommend to plan the tour such that you’re back before dark especially if taking public bus. For the route map – click here.
Casela Nature Park is located in the western part of Mauritius between Flic en Flac and Tamarin. The park has around 1500 birds of over 150 species and a variety of animals such as the giant turtles, lions and monkeys. The park also has a variety of beautiful exotic plants and flowers.
The main show however, was the interaction with the cats including the lions. If you wanna see the cats (lions, leppard) and touch/feel them, obviously you sign an indemnity form but the cats are very well fed and trained, although danger is always there, to be practical. That said, the guards were really professional and treated the cats with care but firm attitude and they really listened to their “masters”. More details can be seen here.
Following are some pics of the memorable trip to the Nature Park.
The three (thankfully not so hungry) tigresses. I have to say that they were quite well behaved. Well, that was obvious isn’t it. I wouldn’t be here to comment that otherwise… duh!
This lady out here was quite in a mood…
Overall, a wonderful trip, the park and cat interaction experience was awesome while the journey itself was exciting and scenic. The way was quite simple – take the bus to the capital and take a connecting bus to the respective hotel. And yes, experiencing the public transport always gives the feeling – we know the city now!
Once again – we suggest to keep some off days in between these activity days to really relax and have a feel of the very warn, beautiful and truly exotic place.