Swimming! We all enjoy it, right? The rush of simply being in water is a different experience even if it’s in a tank or a pool. For those who really love water and water citizens, it won’t be out of character to imagine taking a swim into the world of Poseidon. Some do it as a part of adventure trip, some for hobby and others do it for the hell of it. Whatever be the reason, it is uber cool thing to try out atleast once in a life time. Now swimming with the sea creatures come in various forms, it may be snorkeling, scuba diving or deep sea diving. The choices are immense. One of the most loved choices is coral reef scuba diving. Mauritius boasts of a state of the art culture for arranging this particular experience. Apart from volcanoes, forests and gorgeous landscape, Mauritius is rightly proud of its reefs. How about a virtual voyage before you decide to go for the real one? Here we go.
Just to paint a picture, consider yourself a part of the world of Nemo or Ariel. (Cartoon!) Picture wide and Blue Ocean; decorate the seabed with millions and millions of colorful breathing live rocks. They may be flat or fanned out. Then add fishes and the entire cute little battalion of marine animals lurking around, a wise old turtle maybe. This picture is what becomes reality when you take a dive into the coral reefs of Mauritius.
Coral reef of Mauritius has been a point of keen interest for the world since 1960s. In 1997/1998 the world saw the overall coral population take a hit with majority of them vanishing from the Indian Ocean. But Mauritius remains as one of the safe zones for the corals for they survived here and today are a major tourist attraction.
Coming to the corals of Mauritius, it is not less than slice of heaven for anyone who can appreciate a good place to enjoy this wet wonder. Northern Mauritius boosts of some of the most exquisite presence of colorful reefs with a plethora of fishes and sea turtle in their midst. Flat coral, fanned corals, soft corals all converge to during a riot of colors under water. The fishes swim in and around the reef making it a different experience for everyone who tries it.
The glass bottom boats are a good way to prep up for the coral visits for seeing the wonder first hand will make you want to go down there and have fun. The corals are a beautiful natural wonder of the world and hence the admiration for them is only expected.
If you do not know the drill, no problem. There are mandatory training sessions to be taken before you can dive headlong into the pool of fishes. The varied level of coral reef provides a wide canvas to divide the eager learners into groups varying from beginners to experts. With the right people and the right equipment’s you learn the drill and finally can join the fishes for a delightful swim. This can be a 4 day activity or a week long preparation as per the plan you choose but with every well-organized step you come a little bit closer to the reefs.
If you have taken the lessons already and want a bigger share of the coral pie, head to the Blue Lagoon and coral reef monitoring dept. and register as a volunteer coral conservationist. This is an opportunity to study learn and most importantly BE with the coral reef all day long. You can register for a week or more and then out in the water you go. Work with the classiest people who know everything there is to know about coral reefs.
If the training sounds like a deal breaker then how about a walk with the corals? Undersea walk is a real thing! If you have booked a hotel or are visiting with a travel agent, mention your interest in this activity. The lagoon waters are usually shallow providing excellent condition for the non-swimmers are the paranoids to don on a helmet, take the accessories and take a walk down the waterbed. The amazing color of the corals, the marine life will have you swoon. The pace of the walk is leisurely thus you can take your time to see feel and explore the region. The point being the corals, you get a magnanimous view of the life in water.
The coastal region of this island is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs. Due to the coral reefs Mauritius gets the famous white sand beaches and the calm lagoon of after. The lagoon is essentially the water between the reef and the beach. These two factors together combine to give marine tourism a big boost. The overall flora and fauna of the region is immense and varied with sharks, dolphins leading the show followed by few of the rarest of rare species of fishes in the world. The virgin beaches do not hurt a single bit.
In past five years the population of the corals has reduced considerably. The government and the locals all pool their resources to bail out the reefs however the task is not an easy one. Everyone who has seen this wonder wishes to see it over and over again, this says volume about its beauty and enormity. We hope and pray that the reefs survive for ages to come.