The south encompasses some of Mauritius’s most dramatic natural and cultural landscapes, from the green southwest, where the tendrils of Black River Gorges National Park reach down to Bel Ombre, the south’s most developed resort, to the ancient capital of Mahébourg in the southeast. In-between is the island’s wild and interesting south coast, where offshore islands once frequented by pirates can be glimpsed through the sugar cane, and roadside stalls sell pineapples and coconuts next to unmanicured beaches and surf-sculpted basalt cliffs. The break in the reef here and lack of swimming beaches has largely saved the south from the hands of encroaching developers; it’s the most rustic part of the island, with a sprinkling of hotels and restaurants, and Creole fishing villages where the daily catch is still hauled in from wooden pirogues, séga music blasts from wooden houses decorated with lambrequins and kids jump from jetties into the sea. Natural attractions meanwhile include snorkelling trips in Blue Bay Marine Park, tortoise encounters on Île aux Aigrettes and ecotourism opportunities in Frederica Nature Reserve.

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Andy Turner
8/29/2020
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