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In person: Mauritius


Adventure island B


eing thrown around in a “seakart” was a far cry from the pace of my first visit to Mauritius more than 10 years ago. Back


then, it was all about touring Pamplemousses Botanical Garden and taking sedate tours of old sugar plantations. It’s a sign of the times that my more recent


trip with the tourist office was focused on showcasing the island’s wellness wow-factors and thrill-seeking adventures as Mauritius seeks to diversify. Getting on the seakart involved a visit to Fun Adventure in the Black River area of the island and as I watched the briefing session I wondered what I was letting myself in for. Mauritius is the only place in the world you can do seakarting – described variously as “a safer version of a jet ski” and “like driving your own mini speedboat”. Made for two people (it costs about £100 an hour), there is an engine inside an inflatable rig setup – sounds scary? Well it was, but although they may seem intensely powerful, they are designed never to flip over. I convinced a fellow traveller to do the driving – chicken that I am – and off we went. A lead


Mauritius is keen to up the ante when it comes to action-packed experiences, to promote the pleasures of a twin-centre break and to highlight the spas on offer, so mixing seakarting with some pampering seemed perfect for our editor author: April Hutchinson


stopped in a shallow area of clear water near Ile Aux Benitiers – a popular daytrip island – and a jagged little coral islet known as “crystal rock”. We then went as far as Flic en Flac and into Tamarin Bay, sometimes hugging the coast, sometimes speeding way out – at one point that theory of the seakarts being “unflippable” felt like it was being put to the test as we hit big waves head-on and happy squeals turned to scared expletives. That was enough adrenalin for one day for me


boat headed out first into the lagoon, and the small group followed in formation, adhering to hand signals learnt in the briefing. Then the engines started to rev higher as we bounced over the waves. Unable to quell the screams, I was soon smiling like a lunatic. After speeding along the south-west coast for 20 minutes, we


and back on dry land, I headed to the comfort of Heritage Le Telfair and for a two-night stay in a villa on the huge estate of Domaine de Bel Ombre. It covers 2,500 hectares in the south and is home to two hotels (Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali), an 18-hole golf course, C Beach Club, two spas, 12 restaurants, kitesurfing school, kids and teens clubs and the Frederica Nature Reserve.


Out and about The next day’s itinerary included a quad-biking experience in the nature reserve, but I was secretly relieved when it was actually fully booked – the alternative was a trip on a 4x4 open-sided safari truck. With the decline of the sugar industry, landowners had to look to


56  TTGLUXURY.COM  SUMMER 2015  DESTINATIONS


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