Intro – Two Premium Flying Experiences On A Second Visit To Africa
Part 1: Getting To Mauritius On My New Favorite Airline
Part 2: Spending Time In Southern Africa – Mauritius
Part 3: Spending Time In Southern Africa – Cape Town
Part 4: Spending Time In Southern Africa – Zambia
Part 5: The Long Luxurious Ride Home
The first class suite on the 777 was just about identical and definitely as opulent and over the top as that on the a380. Same minibar, snack basket, large screen TV, and super comfortable seat. Before long, champagne was being served.
And later, traditional Arabic dates and coffee.
Minus the shower, there really was no difference at all between this cabin and the one on the a380. The suites are identical, with the same sliding privacy doors and other amenities.
The only exception was the service, which could not have been more amazing. I’m not sure I’ve had better, more friendly service on a flight ever thanks to my newly minted Egyptian FA who was phenomenal, and the rest of the first crew, one of which took the time to seek out the Mauritian FA in coach and hand write me a must see to do list. I made sure to order the Arabic Mezze as soon as possible so as not to get shut out this time! It was worth the wait.
I ordered the curry roasted cod as my main course, and after a small starter salad it was promptly delivered. It was delish!
A nice tea service followed, with sweet biscuits and my own tea pot! I love having my own teapot…
Soon the cabin was being prepared and we approached the beautiful island for landing.
I arrived at sunset, so had scheduled an airport pickup and ride to the Le Meridien Ile Maurice, my home for the next five nights using SPG points with the fifth night free. The resort is on the opposite side of the island, so it took a good 45 minutes to get there.
The property is well located and beautiful, though the spacious rooms could definitely use a bit of updating. But at 5600 SPG points per night (with bonus,) its a steal.
I thought about renting a car for the stay, but it’s relatively easy to navigate by local bus for those with ambition. With no plans but to relax, I didn’t expect to do much extensive exploring anyway, since with the late arrival and early morning departure I would really only have three full days.
The resort has all kinds of activities to keep everyone in the family busy for hours, including paddle boards, peddle boats, kayaks wind surfing, volley ball, and several trips out to sea per day in a glass bottom boat for snorkeling. You could stay a week and never leave the property.
The resort is fairly remote, but there are a few small stores within short walking distance to stock up on water and snacks. Or, if you’re game for walking or biking a bit farther, the small town of Trois Aux Biches is about 4km with ATM and several stores and restaurants. The walk along the beach is really unique and beautiful.
One day I took the bus to Grand Baie, around 14km from Le Meridien and one of the larger towns in northern Mauritius. Here you’ll find lots of night life, local activity and shopping, including a large ‘hypermarket’ and indoor shopping mall.
Even though it was technically winter, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Temperatures were consistently in the mid to high 70’s with little humidity and no rain beyond a couple of drops here and there.
My time on the island was short, so I hadn’t booked any tours. Since my flight out wasn’t until 3:25pm, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and book a last minute half day tour on the way to the airport. My private car and driver picked me up at 8:30am sharp and we set out to hit some of the major sites en route.
Beyond tourism, tea, sugar, fruit, textiles and salt are among the local industries creating a self-sustaining, healthy local economy.
After my four hour mini tour, it was time to head to the airport to catch my South African Airways flight to Cape Town. I had redeemed 35k UA miles for a Business Class ticket to Cape Town via Johannesburg, so had access to the Air Mauritius lounge which was pretty nice.
After a light lunch in the lounge, I was ready to board, sad to be leaving Mauritius, but excited to explore Cape Town.