Swimming in Mauritius

Swimming in Mauritius is a popular activity for both tourists and locals alike. With its crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, it’s no wonder that people flock to this island nation in the Indian Ocean for a dip. Here are some of the best places to swim in Mauritius, as well as the time of year when the waters are at their warmest and the dangers to avoid.

Best places to swim

  1. Flic en Flac Beach: This stunning stretch of white sand and turquoise waters is one of the most popular places to swim in Mauritius. It’s known for its calm waters, making it ideal for families with children.

  2. Belle Mare Beach: This long, wide beach is another popular swimming spot, with calm waters that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing.

  3. Le Morne Beach: This secluded beach is tucked away in the southwestern part of the island and is a great place to escape the crowds. The waters here are known for their clear visibility, making it ideal for snorkeling.

  4. Trou aux Biches: Located in the northwest part of the island, Trou aux Biches boasts calm and shallow waters, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The beach is also known for its beautiful coral reef.

  5. Ile aux Cerfs: This small island off the east coast of Mauritius is known for its stunning beaches and clear waters. Visitors can enjoy a day trip to the island and spend the day swimming and lounging in the sun.

Best time of year to swim

The best time to swim in Mauritius is from November to April, when the waters are warm and the weather is sunny. During this time, the temperature of the ocean averages around 27-29°C, making it perfect for swimming and other water activities.

The sea around Mauritius is characterised by crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and a diverse marine life. The island is surrounded by both lagoons and open seas, each of which offers a different swimming experience.

The lagoons around Mauritius are sheltered by coral reefs, which protect the waters from strong ocean currents. As a result, the waters in the lagoons are generally calm and clear, making them ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. These lagoons are also home to an abundance of colourful marine life, including fish, coral, and sea turtles, making them popular with visitors who want to explore the underwater world.

In contrast, the open seas around Mauritius can be more challenging for swimmers. The strong currents, combined with the deeper waters, can make swimming in the open seas a bit more difficult. However, these areas are also home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and sharks, making them popular with more experienced swimmers and divers.

Dangers to avoid

Although the waters in Mauritius are generally calm and safe, there are a few dangers to be aware of.

The first is strong currents that may not always be obvious to the naked eye. It’s important to always swim within designated areas and to never swim alone. It's also a good idea to ask for locals about the safety of the particular area where you intend to swim.

The Stonefish ('Poisson Pierre' in French) is a venomous fish species that can be found in the sea around Mauritius. With its camouflage, resembling a bumpy rock, it blends in with its surroundings, making it difficult to spot. Stonefish are highly venomous, and their venom can cause severe pain, tissue damage, and even death if not treated promptly. When swimming or walking in coastal areas, be attentive and avoid stepping on or touching any suspicious objects resembling rocks or coral. You must seek immediate professional medical assistance if stung by the stonefish.

Another danger to watch out for is jellyfish. During certain times of the year, jellyfish can be found in the waters around Mauritius, and they can cause painful stings. If you are stung, seek medical attention as soon as you can.

Before going for a swim in Mauritius, it is important to check a few key things to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  1. Weather conditions: Check for any weather warnings, such as high winds or storms that could make the water conditions dangerous. It's best to avoid swimming in rough or choppy waters.

  2. Tides and currents: Check for any strong tides or currents in the area where you plan to swim. Avoid swimming in areas with strong currents or in areas that are designated as off-limits.

  3. Beach conditions: Check the beach conditions, such as the presence of rocks or underwater hazards. Make sure that you are aware of any flags or signs indicating safe and dangerous areas.