Part 2: Spending Time In Southern Africa – Mauritius

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 HomeIMG_1711

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.

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Pre Departure Refreshment With Minibar And Snacks Closeby

And later, traditional Arabic dates and coffee.

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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.

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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.

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Traditional Arabic Mezze. Yum!

I ordered the curry roasted cod as my main course, and after a small starter salad it was promptly delivered.  It was delish!

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Delicious Curried Cod Main Dish

A nice tea service followed, with sweet biscuits and my own tea pot!  I love having my own teapot…

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Afternoon Tea And Biscuits

Soon the cabin was being prepared and we approached the beautiful island for landing.

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Approaching Mauritius

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.

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Beautiful White Sandy Beach

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.

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Nice Ocean View Room In Need Of Some Updating

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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.

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Local Mauritian Bus Gets You Where You Need To Go

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.

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Heading Out For A Snorkel In The Glass Bottom Boat

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.

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Beautiful Bay Filled With Volcanic Rock Formations On The Walk Along The Beach Into Town

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.

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Riding With The Locals To Grand Baie

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.

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Lounging By The Infinity Pool On A Perfect Day
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Beautiful Mauritian Sunset

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.

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The Seven Coloured Earth Dunes
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Tortoise Farm
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View Of Dormant Volcano From Within Black River Gorges National Park
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Entrance To Hindu Temple At Sacred Lake Currently Getting A Facelift
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On A Pilgrimage To The Sacred Lake

Beyond tourism, tea, sugar, fruit, textiles and salt are among the local industries creating a self-sustaining, healthy local economy.

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Local Salt Farm

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.

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Entrance To Air Mauritius Lounge

After a light lunch in the lounge, I was ready to board, sad to be leaving Mauritius, but excited to explore Cape Town.

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My South African Airways Ride To JNB On A 737

NEXT – Spending Time In Southern Africa:  Cape Town

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