Holiday in Mauritius

Instead of our usual trip to Egypt in October we decided to go to Mauritius for 2 weeks. This was broken down to a week in the South of the Island at Heritage Awali Golf and Spa Resort in Bel Ombre, 4 days at Aanari Hotel & Spa in Flic en Flac on the West coast and 3 days in the North at Coin de Mire Attitude Hotel

A map of Mauritius.
Mauritius

Flying from Manchester via Dubai to Mauritius with Emirates wasn’t as bad as it could have been and the transfer to the hotel was ok as well.

This was going to be a relaxing first week with Sandra snorkelling and me photographing the birds and any other wildlife I could find.

I was surprise I didn’t see any birds on the beach or any sea birds flying past. Walking around the gardens did produce a few birds though and I managed to see Zebra Dove, Spotted Dove, Common Myna, Mascarene Martin, Striated Heron, Madagascar Fody, Mauritius Grey White-eye and Malagasy Turtle Dove.

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Spotted Dove, Spilopelia chinensis

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/1600 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Mascarene Martin, Phedina borbonica

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/2000 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Zebra Dove, Geopelia striata

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/8000 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/2000 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Mauritius Grey White-eye, Zosterops mauritianus

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/400 s. f/4.5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

There were also loads of holes near a stream that flowed through the hotel gardens, which were home to some fairly large land crabs.

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Land Crab

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/1250 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

Whilst I was walking around the gardens Sandra was out snorkelling and photographing the coral and fish. This was great for the first couple of days until the underwater housing for the camera leaked and flooded the camera. Here are a few of her shots from before the incident.

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Indian Teardrop Butterflyfish, Chaetodon interruptus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5.6 iso160 4.5-90.0 mm

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Moorish Idol, Zanclus cornutus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5.6 iso160 4.5-90.0 mm

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View across the coral crops

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5.6 iso250 4.5-90.0 mm

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Melon Butterflyfish, Chaetodon trifasciatus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/4 iso250 4.5-90.0 mm

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Convict Surgeonfish, Acanthurus triostegus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/8 iso250 4.5-90.0 mm

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Bluespotted Cornetfish, Fistularia commersonii

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5.6 iso200 4.5-90.0 mm

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Black Saddled Puffer Canthigaster Valentini

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5 iso200 4.5-90.0 mm

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Anemone

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5 iso250 4.5-90.0 mm

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Yellowstripe Goatfish Mulloidichthys flavolineatus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5 iso500 4.5-90.0 mm

Sandra’s favourite, a Moray Eel

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Moray Eel

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5.6 iso400 4.5-90.0 mm

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Moray Eel

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/80 s. f/8

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Checkerboard Wrasse, Halichoeres hortulanus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/5.6 iso160 4.5-90.0 mm

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View across the coral

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/3.5 iso250 4.5-90.0 mm

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Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/4.5 iso400 4.5-90.0 mm

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Longnose Butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris and Moorish Idol, Zanclus cornutus

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/4.5 iso320 4.5-90.0 mm

It was also a great place to sit with a drink and watch the sunset

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Sunset at Bel Ombre

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 1/500 s. f/4 iso100 4.5-90.0 mm

The next four days were to be a complete contrast as instead of 5 star all inclusive, Sandra had booked a smaller hotel in the town of Flic en Flac. This was across a main road from the beach and only half board. On arrival in Flic en Flac the driver pulled into a supermarket car park and said we had arrived. Not sure what to expect we entered the hotel up a slope and into reception. We had come in via the rear of the hotel and despite the initial shock, the hotel was really good with excellent staff.

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Aanari Hotel

VTR-L09 1/370 s. f/2.2 iso50

Although the gardens were very small, they were very nice and it was a pleasure having breakfast and dinner seated in them. It was great to talk with the other guests that included a honeymoon couple who lived 15 miles inland on the island and a family from Reunion Island.

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Aanari Hotel Gardens

VTR-L09 1/240 s. f/2.2 iso50

Most evenings we went down to the beach to watch the sunset. It was a great atmosphere with loads of the locals also enjoying eating and drinking whilst watching the sun go down.

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Sunset Flic en Flac beach

VTR-L09 1/50 s. f/2.2 iso50

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Sunset Flic en Flac beach

VTR-L09 1/50 s. f/2.2 iso80

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Sunset Flic en Flac beach

VTR-L09 1/400 s. f/2.2 iso50

Whilst the hotel wasn’t a great place for birds, the beach was a bit more productive and here I saw Zebra Dove, Common Waxbill, Yellow fronted Canary, Common Myna and House Sparrows

During the time at Flic en Flac we rented a car for 2 days to hopefully explore a bit more of the island. First day we went to 7 cascades waterfalls and looked from the top of the falls. The climb down to them was a bit rough and as we only had flipflops on we decided it was foolish to try.

During this day we saw a few different birds including Mascarene Swiftlet and Common Waxbill

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Common Waxbill, Estrilda astrild

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/3200 s. f/4.5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

We also stopped at the viewpoint looking down the Black River Gorge and here we saw 2 very distant White-tailed Tropicbirds as well as some Long-tailed Macaque Monkeys

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Long-tailed Macaque Monkey, Macaca fascicularis

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/2500 s. f/4.5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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White-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/2000 s. f/4.5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

Lunch time we went to Varangue Sur Morne A very nice but expensive restaurant with a great view.

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The view from Varangue Sur Morne

VTR-L09 1/850 s. f/2.2 iso50

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Sandra with a cheeky Red-whiskered Bulbul

VTR-L09 1/160 s. f/2.2 iso50

On the way back to Flic en Flac we stopped at Tamarin public beach where I saw Yellow-fronted Canary and Madagascar Fody. We went into the La Pirogue Hotel for a drink and a nosey to see what the hotel was like. Looked very nice but maybe a little too modern for our tastes. While we we drinking we saw a Senegal Parrot in a tree. The bar staff said it had been there for the last 2 days and was enjoying the all inclusive. Obviously an escapee.

We returned to the beach near to the hotel for another sunset

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Sunset

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/1600 s. f/8 iso640 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Sunset

VTR-L09 1/250 s. f/2.2 iso50

The 2nd day we drove down to Blue Bay on the South East coast near to the airport so that Sandra could do some snorkelling in the marine reserve.

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The boat to Blue Bay Marine Reserve

VTR-L09 1/3000 s. f/2.2 iso50

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Going to Blue Bay Marine Reserve

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/4000 s. f/8 iso640 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

After her snorkelling we went into another hotel, Preskil Island Resort, for lunch and a nosey to see what it was like. It was very nice with a great view.

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Lunch at Preskil Island Resort

VTR-L09 1/200 s. f/2.2 iso50

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View from Preskil Island Resort

VTR-L09 1/2300 s. f/2.2 iso50

Returning back to Flic en Flac we still had time to see another sunset.

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Another Sunset

VTR-L09 1/170 s. f/2.2 iso50

Our next and last destination was Coin de Mire Attitude Hotel on the north coast. Another great relaxing hotel. Nice gardens and the beach was a short walk across the main road. Every day the porter changed the date and design on a display at the entrance to reception.

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Daily display done by the porter

SM-A520F 1/180 s. f/1.9 iso40

Another relaxing few days with Sandra snorkelling and me photographing birds. The view from the beach was great and there were even a few birds to see, including Striated Heron, Whimbrel, Common Myna, Madagascar Fody and a fleeting view of a White-tailed Tropicbird.

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Coin de Mire Attitude Hotel

SM-A520F 1/280 s. f/1.9 iso40

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Daily display done by the porter

SM-A520F 1/150 s. f/1.9 iso40

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View of Gunner's Quoin

SM-A520F 1/2800 s. f/1.9 iso40

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Bain Boeuf public beach

SM-A520F 1/2500 s. f/1.9 iso40

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Madagascar Fody, Foudia madagascariensis

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/800 s. f/5 iso400 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Striated Heron, Butorides striata

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/1250 s. f/5 iso800 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

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Striated Heron, Butorides striata

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 1/1600 s. f/8 iso320 EF500mm f/4L IS USM

All good things come to an end so it’s the long flights home until the next time. I like to thank Sandra for all the work she does organizing these trips and for putting up with me.

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Farewell

SM-A520F 1/1500 s. f/1.9 iso40

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