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Mauritius - anyone been?


NewNiceMrMe
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After much deliberation we have now booked our holidays and are off to Mauritius (Anahita, east coast) in a month.

Anyone been in recent years and have any must see/do tips and such-like?

Diving is already on the agenda and planned.

There are 3 adults and a child (7) going. Well, one of the adults is 18 and is of course officially classed as an adult but is better described as an attitude-filled teenager with a spoiled rotten lifestyle that never seems to be enough.

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  • 1 month later...

Well if anyone is planning on going to Mauritius - go to the Anahita World Santuary (website here).

I can't recommend it enough. Easily the best holiday we have ever had, including service levels I never thought existed. Quite simply, breath taking in every respect.

The scenery, the people, the service, the facilities, the private residences (as they call them, like small villas), the diving, the snorkelling, the food, you name it. Absolute heaven and a place we didn't want to return from. Those following me on Facebook will have seen my updates and they don't even begin to do the place justice.

We'll be going back as quickly as we can afford to.

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BA needed a new voice system in Mauritius and I was told to go :grin:

Back then the flight was (I think Friday in, Friday night out), When I analysed the business requirements in was a very base system with 6 lines and ten phones which was half a days work.

So for a few months I put up with Dhaka and Lagos sweet with the knowledge that I'd get there and be paid for 9 days (inc travel) for near zero work load.

Having booked the flight 1st class, with ticket in hand, with knowledge that I'd be in a 5* resort and claiming £70 a day subs (even in all inc hotacc) life was looking good.

Then I had an argument with the Kenyan BA East Africa manager and the trip was cancelled :flush:

So near and yet so far.

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Ok, here are a small selection. I'll not post them all cos' anyone who has seen them on Facebook will think they're living in a parallel universe.

Ile aux Cerfs, on our lagoon, from a copter ride we took (even better on the ground)

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Blue Bay, one of the best places I have ever snorkelled...

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Ile aux Cerfs beach on the East side, our youngest playing with not a soul in sight for a mile or more...

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The lagoon inlet at Ile aux Cerfs, seeing was believing..

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A sandbank island, miles out from the mainland, in the Indian Ocean...

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Snorkelling just inside the Outer Reef facing the Indian Ocean...

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Purple tipped Acropora coral and inhabitants at the same location...

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Green Chromis and a purple staghorn coral...

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Rain/mist clearing from the mountains at 700m near Chamarel...

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View from the private beach at Anahita...

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Well I can't recommend it enough. The beauty of it is something I shall never forget.

Two miles out at sea, jump out of the speedboat and you're stood in 3 feet of water in places. Ahead of you are 20 foot high breakers crashing on the outer reef and an abyss on the other side.

The whole island is surrounded by a natural outer and inner reef, making the waters inside amongst the most crystal clear on Earth. However, it also means there isn't a single shark in the shore waters that stretch put to the horizon - because there are very few places for them to break through. So, as long as you don't step on a Stonefish, they're amongst the safest waters in the world too.

The people were just incredible. Certainly the nicest nationality we've ever met. That includes our Mauritian-South African helicopter pilot, born in India, living between Mauritius and Reunion, with grandparents from Hull, a sister in Blackpool, a wife from the Seychelles and whose children were in Madagascar for the week. You couldn't script it. :roflmao:

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Nice one +++

Were the underwater pics taken with a standard camera in a case, or something more specialist ?

Did some diving on the other side of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka and that was top draw.

Have the Mauritians managed the reefs well or did you see any signs of decay due to spoiled water ?

Shelf diving is weird, one side 5m of depth the other side sloping off in to an abyss 100's of meters down (well, well beyond sight distance). Still find it scary when fish over a metre start 'hanging' around. I remember nearly pooing myself when a small group of tuna decided to find out why Chri5 was on there manor :grin:

Scuba is ok, but I'm as happy in shallow water reefs with snorkel, mask and a huge pair of flippers.

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The pictures underwater were taken on a dedicated underwater camera. A Canon PowerShot D10. I bought it specifically for this holiday for a number of reasons. Firstly, the disposal cameras cost more in the long run with the numbers of pictures I'd be taking and the quality is poor. Secondly, a professional case for my Nikon D40X was a fortune (£900 or so) when compared to £245 for the D10, 4gb SD card and a case that hooks onto shorts when diving. There is also the fact it is a shockproof camera and very rugged indeed - and lightweight and compact. Lugging my Nikon in a housing would have wrecked the general swimming experience.

The reefs are well managed - now.

In the lagoon there are signs of a lot of reef bones from years gone by when live rock and coral have been cultivated and exported for commercial sale. Thankfully that has stopped as the lagoon simply couldn't sustain it by the looks of it.

I saw no signs of commercial destruction anywhere else and they're a very switched on nation in the environmental sense now. In fact they were rated #1 to #3 in the world for the last 10 years for their environmental protection. You could see the results were evident.

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Nice photos +++

Ref the underwater stuff, your camera is pretty capable. Check out the white-balancing options as they'll make the colour so much clearer on the photos.

For example - first with automatic white balance:

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...and then with white balance correction:

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Not a great comparison but it's all I've got to hand. It makes a massive difference to the photos and colour.

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Lovely pictures Mac. +++

To be honest I haven't even looked at the image correction options and I haven't had the chance to adjust the images in Photoshop either, so there are probably a good few things I could do for the underwater shots in particular.

I'll check out the white balance option in particular now that you've mentioned it though.

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Well you've a choice really - correcting at the point of taking or correcting afterward. If you want to do post-correction then really you need to shoot in raw, and I don't think the powershot D10 supports RAW?

Manual whitebalance is pretty easy, especially when you're snorkelling. All you do is select the manual white balance option, point the camera at the sand (assuming it's white-ish sand) and then let it adjust. You then take the photos underwater.

As you won't be changing depth to any great deal just going the white balancing once will make a huge amount of difference +++

If you're SCUBA though you have to adjust the white balance when you change depth substantially, I.e. 5m+, as the colour penetration in the water changes.

Loads of my dive photos here if you want a look see.

Looking at the capabilities of your camera:

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For snorkelling I'd go for:

ISO 400, Custom white-balance (adjusted on water entry), flash off.

You could also try ISO 200.

You'll get some cracking photos with that set up +++

If you use flash you'll get scater on all the particles in the water hence it's worth avoiding.

In general the trick is to reduce the amount of water between you and what you're shooting - avoid zoom, try physical location. I use a Canon IXUS 100IS for mine, but with a wide-angle lense so I can get even closer.

Produces some great underwater photos from a very average photographer!

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Cheers Mac.+++

I have Sharm on my little list of dive places to go. The guy I buy all my marine kit off goes there annually and there is little doubt the Red Sea is probably the best dive location in the world for corals and fish. I've had a glance at your Gallery but will look in more detail tomorrow - there are some stunning Anthias in those shots. I keep looking for a very small and relatively rare type of Anthias for my tank but they sell in no time at all.

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