Districts of Mauritius
May 10 2019
May 10 2019
Travellers drawn to tropical havens are sure to have the spellbinding destination of Mauritius on their radar. Known for its glorious island appeal, complete with lush volcanic landscapes, dazzling beaches and crystal-clear waters home to an array of vivid marine life, it’s the ultimate holiday hot spot for close-knit families, discerning couples and adventurers looking for authentic, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
When it comes to booking a holiday in Mauritius, one of the most important considerations is where exactly to head - the area which you choose can set the tone for your entire trip, so you want to ensure that you pick the best possible place for you and your desired holiday in paradise.
Before we delve into the best places to stay in Mauritius, it helps to get a clearer ‘lay of the land’ - literally. With that in mind, here are the nine districts of Mauritius (which, overall, include one major city, four towns and 130 villages):
Black River or Rivière Noire
The gorgeous Black River District, situated in the western part of Mauritius, is home to the fabled Black River Gorges and is said to have gotten its name from the black and grey basaltic rocks found in the area. Its rich natural landscapes are absolutely breathtaking; with azure waters lapping sugar-white beaches, framed by lush, oscillating backdrops - it’s tropical perfection. Apart from some phenomenal beaches and its sublime natural surrounds, it’s also popular for big game fishing and an array of outdoor activities (anything from kayaking and snorkelling to hiking and cycling).
Considered to be the ‘longest’ district, Black River is known for getting less rainfall than some of the other districts, boasts a population of around 81 000 people and spans 259 square kilometres.
Situated in the east of the island, Flacq, with an area of 297.9 kilometres squared and a population of some 138 460 people is the largest district in Mauritius. It’s home to a wealth of breathtakingly beautiful exotic beaches, popular tourist towns and villages, and phenomenal luxury hotels. The village of Trou d’Eau Douce is also where ferries can be caught to the fabled Ile aux Cerfs. Adding to the district’s allure, it’s also a stellar place to partake in a number of activities and experiences.
Located to the south of Flacq is the eastern district of Grand Port (or translated to English from French, “large port”). This is where the Dutch were first said to have landed on the island and its where the island’s first port was then established. One of the most famous towns in the district is the coastal town of Mahébourg, originally built by the Dutch and usurped by the French.
This district is also famous for its Blue Bay Beach (great for windsurfing and yachting) and marine park, the latter which is a popular snorkelling site. The Grand Port district spans over 260.3 kilometres squared, with an approximate population of 113 000 people.
Located in the central plateau of the island (one of the two inland districts of Mauritius), Moka is an incredibly beautiful region, not far from the capital city of Port Louis. The district stretches over 230.5 square kilometres and has a population of around 83 251 people. The Moka district is quite different from the coastal regions and has a number of wonderful sites and shopping opportunities, gorgeous landscapes and sensational local restaurants.
Popular thanks in part to the world-class SSR Botanical Garden, this northwestern district, located between Port Louis and Grand Baie, is also known as one of the most populated areas on the island. Pamplemousse (the word for ‘grapefruits’ in French which was inspired by the citrus fruit trees that were planted here by the Dutch), spans 178.7 square kilometres but holds a population of around 140 000 people. The area boasts a variety of memorable experiences (a visit to the colonial Château Labourdonnais, a day spent discovering the botanical garden and a trip to a sugar factory, as a few examples) and has a clutch of excellent local restaurants.
This largely urban district, situated inland, was named after a man who settled in the area in 1721 called Wilhem Leicknig, who was said to have Prussian roots. This district has the largest population with almost 400 000 people. Some of the main towns here include Beau-Bassin Rose-Hill, Curepipe, Quatre Bornes and Vacoas-Phoenix.
Port Louis (Capital of Mauritius)
The smallest district of them all (albeit the one with the highest population density at 120 000 odd people), spanning the size of the capital city itself (42.7 kilometres squared), the Port Louis District is arguably the most important. Located in the northwest of the island, this district is known for its wealth of museums, it’s extraordinary French colonial architecture, local markets, shopping centres, local food hotspots, the Champ de Mars horse racing track, the Caudan Waterfront and numerous significant historical sites - this district and city is a must-see.
The city was founded by the French governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais who saw the need for a proper port in Mauritius. Apart from being a rich cultural and historical melting pot, it’s the country’s economic, government and business centre.
Rivière du Rempart
Located in the northeastern part of the island, Rivière du Rempart extends over 147.6 kilometres squared and has a population of over 108 000 people. A hugely popular district for tourists, this is where you can find some of the best hotels, beaches and tourist attractions. Well-liked areas include Grand Baie, Preyebere and Cap Malheurux (specifically for its iconic red-roofed church).
Know to be one of the most untouched, beautifully wild and scenic areas in the whole of Mauritius, the Savanne District, located in the south of the island has an area of 244.8 kilometres squared with around 70 000 people. Highlights of the area include Bel Ombre and Bois Cheri as well as one of the most beautiful stretches of coastal roads.
Each part of Mauritius is as unique as the next, which is why we recommend seeing as much of it as possible on a trip to this exotic paradise for a trip you will never forget.