Riding waves under rainbows….. What else can I say about this place. The amazingly beautiful island of Mauritius situated off the coast of East Africa is by far one of the best wave spots on earth for kitesurfing waves. If you are a beginner to riding a surfboard (as I was when I arrived) or a seasoned pro, Mauritius will not disappoint as the conditions around the south east coastal area of Le Morne are like nowhere else.
With 4 different breaks (Little Reef, Manawa, Chameaux and One Eye) all accessible from the same launch area, stunning tropical scenery and many other spots along the southern coast, Mauritius will have you smiling everyday.
Quick Location Overview
Location: Le Morne, Mauritius (map link)
Windy Months: June — October
Wind speed: 20–30knts
Best Wind direction: South East
Air Temperature: 22–28°C (72–82°F)
Water Temperature: 19–24°C (66–75°F)
Water Flatness: Big waves on the reefs and small chop in the lagoons
Beach Type: Coral Sand
Experience level: Intermediate — Expert
Gear rental/Storage: N/A
Closest Airport: Mauritius (MRU)
The wind in Mauritius typically comes from the South East and starts around midday and blows through until sunset. This SE wind typically blows between 20–30knts everyday in the Winter and Spring months (June — October) which makes the region around Le Morne a great place to kite.
In the Summer (December — February), the wind comes from the North but lighter, making the East coast region around Point Desny a fantastic place to foil in crystal clear blue waters.
As the best wind and waves come in the Winter/Spring, you will need a wetsuit as the water temp is in the low 20°C’s. The Le Morne region of Mauritius is famous for its reef breaks that are easily accessible from the one public launch area. The reef surrounds the majority of the coast of Mauritius with a few channels through it where the water drains back out to the ocean. On very large swell days (4–8m), the currents can become extremely strong (>10knts) which can be dangerous and you can easily lose your board so a leash is a must.
The tidal differences are not large (~50cm) but this makes a big difference to how the waves break and how easy it is to access the different breaks. On a low tide it is near impossible to come across the reef at One Eye and Chameaux so you will need to kite back up wind to get back to the beach.
On the inside of the reef you will find large lagoon areas that make for a fun “bump-and-jump” area to play in to hone your freestyle skills.
Where to Kite
Below is a map of the breaks in the Le Morne region. It can get very busy on the water during the peak of August (European holidays) so make sure to obey the rules while kiting.
Where to Stay
Mauritius is usually visited by Honeymooners so it can be expensive to stay on the island but there is multiple options if you want to save money. The area of Le Morne is home to the most expensive hotel on the Mauritian Island (St Regis) which is situated next to the public launch area. So if you want to wake up and kite from your door, get ready to pay upwards of $500/night. There is also 3 other hotels in the same area but they are also quite expensive (>$250/night). The other option, stay in the small village of La Gaulette (highly recommend) or Le Morne Village (both a ~10 minute drive to Le Morne kite spot) and rent a house via AirBnB or through a local company called SI-ON where you can get a great deal on a place. Taking this option will require you to hire a car but I would suggest that anyway if you are coming to Mauritius.
Where to Eat
Food in Mauritius can be expensive, even at the supermarkets. You are better off eating out but there is not a large selection of places to eat.
Food Trucks @ Le Morne Beach — Great place to grab a Panini or Fried Noodles
Ensos — A popular place to get food and meet up for drinks. Reasonable prices
Wapalapam — Great food but expect to pay European prices
Ocean Vagabond — Great pizzas and other food. Reasonable prices
Hidden Garden — Really good tuna dishes and live music. Reasonable prices
Ousaporn Thai Restaurant — Great Thai food. Reasonable prices
How to get there
Getting to Mauritius is best done by flying into Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) and organising a transfer to the Le Morne region (~1hr). Flights into Mauritius (MRU) come from most major carriers multiple times a day from all over the world.
You will need to rent a car. Luckily there is multiple rental companies including the large brands (Hertz, Avis, Budget etc…) and also cheaper alternatives. Once in the region, I would orgainse a rental car as you can get a car from as little as $15/day.
Note: Also remember to bring a key lock box with you.
Experience level needed
The Le Morne kite spots and its surrounding areas can be enjoyed by beginners through to experts with multiple kite schools operating in the area. The faster reef breaks however I would recommend only to experience people. There has been multiple deaths in this area so please take care. The currents are strong, the waves can be large and the coral is sharp.
Speak to the locals before setting up your gear to make sure you are aware of the obstacles in the area.
Note: At the time of writing, a boat rescue from outside the reef is $100 and inside is $50. Rescues are not always available especially when there is big waves as the boats can’t get out. Many people have drifted out to sea and not been found. Keep this in mind.
Mauritius in general has pretty good and reliable cellular services across the country but you will find pockets around the island where you will have no signal. If visiting, I recommend you pickup a SIM/Prepaid plan from Emitel for your device as they have pretty solid 4G/LTE coverage. You will also find that many restaurants and shopping villages/malls have free WiFi across Mauritius.
No Wind Activities
This list could go on for some time but below are some of the things I would recommend if you find yourself without any wind during your stay in.
- Surfing — the waves are amazing in the morning (Le Morne or Tamarin)
- SUPing — it’s amazing here
- Scuba diving — the north has a lot more scenic dive sites than the south
- Climbing/Hiking — Hike up Brabant, Tamarin Mountain etc…
- Waterfalls — Check out the Tamarin falls (7 falls), Rochester Falls and many others
- Rum Distillery — Something fun to do on a rainy day
Staying in Mauritius can be very expensive if you stay in the hotels of the Le Morne region. If you plan a long stay, I suggest you stay in the area of La Gaulette.
Also, you need to have an exit flight when entering Mauritius as a tourist so make sure you bring proof of an onward journey to show the immigration people on arrival. If you don’t, they will not let you enter.
And as I always say with flying, I have found that if you are a One World/Star Alliance priority member and use the priority/business class lane at the airport, they tend to not charge you if you say its a “golf bag” and keep it under 23kg (50lbs).
Originally published at iKite.Surf.