Africa Travel Articles
Mauritius vs Seychelles - Which is Best?
Author: Dominic Chadbon
Date: November 2012
If you're planning a paradise island holiday then you've probably got palm-fringed beaches and warm turquoise water in mind. You'll want beachfront accommodation, off-the-boat seafood and opportunities to both relax and explore.
Good news: the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles have all the makings of a classic tropical island vacation, but each is quite different from the other. Mauritius is a single island, ringed by reefs and beaches; the Seychelles Archipelago comprises 115 islands - some large and developed, others tiny and deserted. Many are marine reserves and several are privately owned.
Naturally, both destinations specialise in beach holidays but which is best for you? Well, we've made choosing Mauritius or the Seychelles a little simpler: it depends on who you are...
The Solitary Type
With fewer visitors spread out over many islands, it's the Seychelles that offers more exclusivity and privacy. A hotel with more than 25 beds is described as 'large' in the Seychelles and the archipelago is justly famous for its deserted beaches and private islands - fewer than 200 000 people visit a year.
Mauritius attracts four times the number of annual visitors. There is exclusive accommodation of course but Mauritius is mostly about got-it-all resorts, exotic live entertainment, 18-hole golf courses and water sports. If you want to escape the crowds, head for the Seychelles.
The Energetic Type
If you want to jet-ski after breakfast, windsurf before lunch and have waterskiing booked for the afternoon, then Mauritius is the place to go - just about every hotel and resort is packed with activities. Non-motorised water sports and snorkelling equipment are normally free; you'll need to pay extra for waterskiing, scuba diving, parasailing and jet-skis. Additionally, many resorts have tennis courts, gyms and golf courses, and you can even hire a jeep and explore Mauritius on your own.
This isn't to say there's nothing to do in the Seychelles. Although all motorised sports are banned in Seychelles for conservation reasons, the diving and snorkelling is fantastic. The Inner Islands rest on an easy-to-access shallow plateau and the pristine Outer Islands offer experienced divers barely explored reefs. The Seychelles is also home to world class big-game and salt-water fly-fishing plus activities like windsurfing and sailing.
Whether you're on honeymoon or celebrating a special anniversary, passion in paradise is what these islands do best: expect ocean-edge dinners, sensual accommodation, pampering spas and personalised service in either the Seychelles or Mauritius.
However, there's no mistaking the greater privacy and exclusivity of the Seychelles as well as its superior natural beauty. Its beaches often make it into top beaches of the world surveys while guests on one of the archipelago's private islands enjoy an azure corner of the Indian Ocean all to themselves.
Read more about a Seychelles honeymoon