Mauritius Goes Green: Paradise for the Eco-Tourist

If you think you know Mauritius like the back of your hand, think again! Chances are, you’ll never get to discover every secret the island has to offer, but today you can count on seeing more than ever before.

Islanders have always known that there is much more to the country than glorious beaches that are blessed with sun all year – now Mauritius is sharing its natural treasures with visitors who want to see more. Incentive Partners, a forwardthinking team of local enthusiasts, offers activityand sport-based eco-tourism across the island, welcoming those who believe that a holiday should also be an adventure.

Every eco-tourist expects something different, which is why Incentive Partners offers a choice of exciting adventures. Almost all involve some form of exercise, with each activity graded to cater to everyone – whether you are super-fit or simply looking for excitement.

Most of the activities are centred on the ‘Chazal’ guest house, located near Souillac in the south of the island. Named after the famous Mauritian artist, the house lies in the grounds of a privately owned estate, surrounded by beautiful gardens and water features – magical by day or night. Enjoy a typical Creole lunch, served during the midday break in your activity; you can also arrange a private event at ‘Chazal’ if you want to entertain friends or family.

Excitement comes as standard. Adrenaline lovers can choose either an air- or water-borne adventure – neither is for the faint-hearted:

The Chamouny Ziplines carry you high above trees, fields and the Riviere des Galets, a busy river with a unique pebble bed. Ranging from 60 to 250 metres in length, the ziplines take you as high as 40 metres from the ground, and are suitable for adults and children. First-time riders never forget the buzz as they fly over the panoramic countryside, and those wanting a break between rides can enjoy a relaxing swim under a tumbling waterfall.

Closer to the ground is Rivertrek, an exciting ride through open countryside and rock canyons along the Riviere des Galets. Only suitable for confident swimmers who are physically fit, this is an adventure with a difference – wade or swim along the river, getting up-close and personal with fish, plants, trees and the occasional animal. You’ll see Mauritius from a unique viewpoint as you make your way downstream, moving through rock pools and under waterfalls as you go.

Visitors wanting a more leisurely approach have a choice of land-based activities. Walking through the grounds of ‘Chazal’ offers something for everyone, young or old. A network of well-signed paths criss-crosses the estate, and walkers will experience the tranquil beauty of the island with a chance to take in the panoramic ocean views to the south. Expect to encounter exquisitely coloured tropical birds, local deer, monkeys and the occasional rabbit as you enjoy your stroll.

A more strenuous workout is available for runners, joggers and athletes of all ages. Aside from informal outings along the many trails of the ‘Chazal’ estate, Mauritians delight in an annual programme of organised races, or ‘raids’ as they are locally known.

The Royal Raid, held annually in May, provides an opportunity for serious runners to shine. Two courses of 35 km and 80 km, set through some of the most stunning scenery on the island, test the most dedicated athlete. Alongside the Royal Raid, a number of local events, including the charmingly named Gecko Raid, are better suited to those with less ambition.

As you would expect from a nation with a spectacular coastline, the sea provides its own brand of entertainment. Incentive Partners organises the Regatta, a sailing event with a difference.

Spread over three days, the Regatta brings together locals and tourists in a relaxing but competitive series of races in the Bay of Mahebourg in the South East of the island. Local fishermen race their traditional wooden boats, or ‘pirouges’, and allow visitors to experience a true taste of island life. The Regatta is suitable for individuals, parties and business groups.

After a day packed with adventure, you need somewhere to relax, enjoy a quiet drink and relive the day’s events over a special meal. ‘Au Cerf d’Or’, an imposing stone-built restaurant located in the heart of Chamouny, offers exactly that opportunity. Situated beside a quiet natural lake, ‘Au Cerf d’Or’ offers a vista of open countryside backed by mountains in one direction, and stunning views of beaches and the open sea in the other.

Find out more. Incentive Partners (www.incentivepartnersltd.com) will be pleased to help you organise your dream holiday on the stunning island that is Mauritius.