Smackdown – The Seychelles vs Mauritius for a honeymoon?

Forget the WWE final, here’s the definitive showdown between two Indian Ocean heavyweights – Seychelles vs Mauritius for a honeymoon or any sort of holiday  If you’re in the market for a holiday or vacation in a tropical island paradise, especially if you are combining it with an African safari, you will probably already considered these stunning islands.

Both punch above their weight in terms of delivering a world class island experience.  But if any fight, which should YOU bet on?  Unlike the WWE, one of these islands is not going to be declared the World Champion, both have their strengths and their relative vulnerabilities.   The real question is which is best for YOU…


Mauritius Ile aux CerfsSo what muscles can Mauritius flex in this upcoming fight?   Mauritius boasts a coral-fringed coastline of white sandy beaches, pretty bays and shimmering azure waters. Coral reefs form a protected barrier around the island so that Mauritius offers long safe, sandy beaches and superb water sports on the calm lagoon waters. Scuba diving takes place on the reefs and deep-sea fishing beyond.




Most resort hotels offer the full range of water sports such as water-skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, kayaking, kite-surfing and hobie cat or laser sailing with most non-motorised activities being complimentary.   Mauritius is also justly famed for its hospitality, its well-run resort hotels including many that cater brilliantly for families with a range of activities and morning to night kids clubs.

The Seychelles

Seychelles La RepaireThe Seychelles lies further north, closer to the equator, and is as close to a natural visual paradise as you can ever hope to see. It is geographically and botanically diverse – with a rich bird and marine-life and superb snorkelling and diving.   The many islands of the Seychelles offer lots of contrasts; some are like tiny emeralds dropped in the azure ocean, home only to birds and indolent holiday-makers. Others have rainforests and waterfalls to beckon you away from the white powder beaches. Searching for the perfect viewpoint becomes as addictive as the hunt for the perfect undiscovered beach.   The Seychelles appeal is more to the nature-lover than the glamour-seeker. It’s a place to see things rather than to be seen. And of course, the pampering and delicious seafood appeals to honeymooners and all romantics.  So hopefully you are already getting a sense of which would suit you more? But let’s suggest a couple of specific contests and predict the likely winners…

Enjoy resort hotels and especially a lively night life?  ->  Mauritius 


Mauritius is a holiday island and so in general you can expect sizeable hotels, lots of nightlife, activity and lots of excursions on offer. A 100 room hotel is considered small on Mauritius! The Seychelles has got some lively resorts but generally the Seychelles is catering for people who are wanting to get away from the hustle of life.





Enjoy activity & exploring an island under your own steam?  -> The Seychelles 


Here the Seychelles has the edge, with great hiking opportunities in some idyllic mountain reserves, or gentle bicycling around the islands, even walking around smaller ones. It’s easy to hire a rental car on the larger island of Mahe and there are few people around. You can also explore inland on Mauritius as well but, on balance, it’s less scenic.





Into scuba diving?  -> The Seychelles ?


Diving is possible in both Mauritius and the Seychelles but the outer islands of Seychelles has word-class diving opportunities with pristine coral due to relative lack of diving activity.






Enjoy a range of water sports? Mauritius ?

The Marine Reserve around many of the Seychelles islands precludes boat-based water sports, plus the whole focus of the smaller Seychelles resorts is on tranquility with diving, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling being the main activities.


Travelling with your Family? -> Mauritius ?

Both options have family friendly resorts but it’s fair to say that there’s more choice and the hotels are more geared towards families in Mauritius


Looking for a Honeymoon or Romantic holiday?  -> The Seychelles ?

Again Mauritius has some stunning romantic hotels but for sheer get-away from it all secluded retreats, look no further than the smaller islands of the Seychelles such as La Digue or Denis Island.


Looking for an away from it all experience?   -> The Seychelles ?


As we said a 100 room hotel is considered small on Mauritius. In contrast some of the island lodges in the Seychelles have less than 20 rooms and some even have the whole island to themselves. It’s easy to get away from everyone else. It’s easy to find a section of quiet beach or even a whole beach to enjoy by yourself.





Looking for a more affordable island holiday?  ->  Mauritius ?

The Seychelles is working hard on the preconception that it’s all about money-no-object luxury resorts. There are some good value hotels but the cost of the flight is also greater if you are combining it with a safari in South Africa for example so on balance, it’s easier to get a well-priced island holiday in Mauritius.

Caveat:  Seychelles vs Mauritius or an article of this sort, by necessity, deals with generalizations. Not all the following points apply to ALL hotels in Mauritius or the Seychelles. It’s not that there isn’t a resort on the Seychelles which caters for families or that some of the Mauritian resorts don’t offer stunning diving.But that general disclaimer aside, there are some very real differences between the islands.


So if you are intrigued, check out our web pages on the Seychelles, Mauritius or contact us for a chat about your holiday.


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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...


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