I was wide awake before the alarm went off. I was THAT excited, knowing what was in store for me that day. I’d been booked on a helicopter tour of Mauritius and I couldn’t wait to get started! I arrived on this stunning tropical island in the Indian Ocean just the day before and I was spellbound in no time. Mauritius was just too beautiful for words! The light, the colours of the ocean, the imposing mountains, the way the palms sway in the breeze and the smiling faces all around; this island was simply bewitching, and I couldn’t wait to see it from above.
I made my way to the brand new airport and met the Air Mauritius staff for the start of my tour. I hopped into a van and my guide drove me to the helipad at the southern corner of the airport. The helicopter was waiting!
“Welcome to paradise!”
The rotor blades roared above me as I made my way to the helicopter. I nodded at the pilot with a big smile whilst my guide helped me buckle-up and gave me a set of headphones. As soon as I had the headphones on, I heard the pilot’s friendly voice: “Good morning! Welcome to paradise!”
“I’m SOOOOO EXCITED!!!”. The pilot smiled at me – he must hear this many times a day on these helicopter tours! “Are you ready?”, he asked. I nodded excitedly and next thing I knew, we lifted off the ground like a feather. The island’s magnificent coastline unfolded before me in an instant. I gasped!
The first thing we saw was Blue Bay – no need to guess why it’s called that! From here, we flew past the coast in an easterly direction. The pilot pointed out various bays and lagoons, as well as resorts and villages. His commentary about the topography of the island and bits of its colourful history was lost on me. I was too awestruck to listen. We flew over turquoise lagoons and green islets, sparkling white beaches and coral reefs, fishermen in their boats, people snorkelling … it was mesmerising!
When we reached the town of Bel Air, we left the coast and headed into the mountains. In an instant, we were surrounded by forested slopes and craggy peaks!
The pilot tilted the helicopter upwards as we crossed the mountain ridge and we felt the thermals lift us higher. We flew along the steep slopes of the mountains, criss-crossing the ridge and dipping into verdant valleys. It was an exhilarating experience!
We soon left the mountains and continued in a southerly direction towards the towns of Vieux Grand Port (Mauritius’ old capital) and Mahebourg, before heading back to the airport.
The helicopter tour lasted 20 minutes but it was the most spectacular 20-minute tour I’ve ever experienced! The jaw-dropping panoramas and the amazing colours were simply unforgettable. Seeing Mauritius from the air, be it from a helicopter, microlight aircraft or seaplane, is a must-do for every visitor to Mauritius! No question about it. Alternatively, Air Mauritius Helicopters offer arriving visitors a quick heli-taxi service to the main hotels and resorts. Now, that’s a way to arrive in style and catch the island’s spectacular views at the same time!
Note: This content is the result of the #MyMauritius blog trip that was created and managed by iambassador and AHRIM in association with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Air Mauritius. Velvet Escape maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.