Excursions & day trips
Mauritius South Island Tour with Charamel Geopark & Grand Bassin
Wild beauty abounds in Mauritius. But the island's colourful south is absolutely bursting with it. This tour takes you to a roll call of must-sees. Trou aux Cerfs volcano, a sacred lake, the seven-coloured earth of Chamarel and much more await. Sandya, one of our local guides, says, ‘The south is how I imagine my island was 400 years ago. I try to imagine how our animals lived, such as the giant tortoises and extinct dodo, and the now-protected luxuriant forests.'The fun kicks off at Trou aux Cerfs, a dormant volcano with a 90-metre-deep pine-studded crater. Next, we'll visit Voiliers de l'Océan, where artisans handcraft teak models of 18th century galleons. Laurna, another of our local guides, says, ‘It takes about 300 hours to complete a small boat of 70cm, while for larger boats about 1 to 3 months, depending on the size.' At the Takamaka winery, sample lychee wines and find out how discarded skins are used. This visit supports the employment of locals in a traditional business.Then, at Grand Bassin, a lake sacred to Hindus, you'll visit a temple and maybe offer prayers. A drive through Black River Gorges National Park takes you to Le Chamarel Restaurant for a lunch made from locally sourced ingredients. Highlights in the park include the 100-metre drop Charamel waterfalls and the seven-coloured earth of Chamarel. These barren volcanic dunes are surrounded by greenery. And you'll also meet Steeve, a larger-than-life coconut-carving local.