Out in the Indian Ocean 1,134 kilometers (705 miles) east of Madagascar, the island nation of Mauritius is one of the most beautiful places in Africa. , from its white sands and turquoise waters to its densely verdant interior, with tall peaks standing proud. Mauritian culture, meanwhile, is a fascinating  amalgam of East African, Indian, and European (primarily Dutch, French, and British), reflected for example in its delectable cuisine. And it's fairly easy to explore by hiring a car in Mauritius. of whatever type you need! Then when you do visit, here are four spots not to miss:

Black River Gorges National Park

Located in the hill southwest of the island, Mauritius' biggest national park and protected area (top) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering more than 67 square kilometers (26 sq. mi.), with 60km (37 mi.) of trails through humid upland forest, drier lowland forest, and marshy heathland. Home to 700-plus species (a number of them endemic to the island, and mammals including giant fruit bats, macaque monkeys, and wild boar), it takes about three to four hours to explore (though you could spend a lot more time here to do it in greater depth).

Z Thomas

Pereybere Beach

On Grande Baie, on the north coast, this small, idyllic beach with placid waters is appealing for swimming as well as varied water sports, Nearby you'll find fruit and ice cream vendors as well as a number of restaurants.



Also on the north coast, this small fishing village has been developed with resorts, restaurants, and other tourist facilities, all centered around a 2km (1¼-mi.) white sandy beach so picturesque it has become a favorite honeymoon destination. Swimming and snorkeling on the coral reef here are a dream, and there's also a tourist submarine which allows visitors to go even deeper.


Blue Bay

On the southeastern coast, this is also a great spot to enjoy the sun and calm waters, with a variety of water sports including fantastic snorkeling in the coral gardenof the Blue Bay Marine Park, home to some 70 species of fish (you can also take a glass-bottom boat tour). Nearby is the charming village of Mahebourg, with shopping, lodging, dining, and a natural history museum.


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