Travel Guide: MauritiusDecember, 2012
The idyllic Indian Ocean island which is surprisingly affordable.
IF there is a more desirable destination for a golf holiday in the world than Mauritius, we’ve yet to discover it.
In order to describe it, one inevitably appears to have simply listed some lazy cliches – crystal-clear water; miles of white, sandy beaches; year-round sunshine; luxury hotels; and immaculate courses – but the fact is, they are an accurate representation of what awaits you on this paradise island.
This is all predictable stuff, but two things might surprise you: firstly, that the sport is not a new addition to the island, keen to cash in on the travelling golfer; secondly holidays here are a lot better value than you might think.
Mauritius good value? Well, it’s not as mad as it sounds. Yes, it is expensive, but when you consider what you get, it makes more sense; you know how much you will spend up front because it is all-inclusive, your green fees are complimentary, and you are guaranteed sun, comfort and relaxation. Many feel that is worth every penny.
Mauritius’ golf history dates back to 1844 when, under British rule, it became the third country in the world to be introduced to the game. The oldest clubs such as Gymkhana and Le Saint Geran still offer a charming experience but it is to the resort layouts laid out by legendary golfers which tourists flock now.
Helped by design contributions from Major champions such as Ernie Els and Bernhard Langer, the island’s golfing reputation has blossomed. Indeed in 2008 it was named 2008 Golf Destination of the Year in Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf States at the prestigious IAGTO awards.
Belle Mare Plage, Paradis and Le Touessrok are some of the most evocative names in golf tourism and conjure up images of sun-kissed fairways and awesome views. So, Belle Mare Plage, Paradis and Le Touessrok are some of the most evocative names in golf tourism and conjure up images of sun-kissed fairways and awesome views. Newer venues such as Anahita and Tamarina have added to the portfolio and even the most fussy golfer will be impressed by the options available on this tiny island.
With complimentary green fees for the courses at the resort you are staying at, it is understandable you will probably play all your golf there. But the resorts are grouped in little clusters on different corners of the island so it’s very easy to play elsewhere and broaden your experience; you can even stroll round the beach from Le Touessrok to Belle Mare Plage!
Away from the golf, the north of the island was one of the first to attract tourists and is therefore not surprisingly home to fine beaches, accommodation and restaurants, world-class watersport facilities, extensive shopping opportunities and entertainment.
Some of the best beaches are on the east coast, including Blue Bay and its marine reserve while Trou d’Eau Douce is the main set-off point for Île aux Cerfs, which hosts Le Touessrok.
Finally Flic en Flac’s beaches are ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
YOUR QUICK GUIDE…
– When to go: It’s warmest in December but you can experience the odd thunderstorm at that time of year. September is the driest month – the end of their winter.
– Time difference: GMT +4.
– Language: English is the official language with French and Creole also commonly used.
– Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MRU).
– Must-play courses: Le Touessrok, Belle Mare Plage.