Mauritius is a pretty small island whose territory is washed by the Indian Ocean. There are many nature parks and reserves located there, with the goal to preserve endemic flora and fauna. One of them is Blue Bay Marine Park, which is located in the south-east part of the island.
This place gained its status in 1997, with the main goal to save corals in the bay from destruction. This fact in reality made this park a very popular tourist destination and must-visit snorkeling spot in Mauritius.
Blue Bay Marine Park General Information
The territory belonging to this marine park is about 300 hectares. The average depth in the bay is 5 m and the visibility is really great. Blue Bay Marine Park has a unique seascape, there are about 38 coral species of different shapes, sizes and colors. The most famous one is coral that has a brain-like shape, with 5-m diameters. It is considered to be the biggest one in the Indian Ocean.
Coral gardens, algae and seagrass meadows attract a variety of fish species, to be more precise there are about 70 tropical fish species living in this area. Green turtles that are considered to be endangered also can be found there.
Even though this park was created to protect and prevent corals from destruction, certain parts of coral gardens are in very bad conditions. This area is patrolled regularly in order to prevent any illegal activities that can harm the corals. Check park location on the map.
Best time to visit
Mauritius island is known to be a whole year resort. You can visit it during summer or winter and there always will be plenty of things to do, see and enjoy. But despite this fact, there are still some minor recommendations, when it’s better to visit Blue Bay marine park. The high season is in August and October and the peak season in November and December. If you’re planning to visit this park in January and February, check the forecast in advance, as there are many rainy days during this period.
How to get
Blue Bay marine park is accessible from almost any part of the island. Even if you stayed in Grand Baie in the north of Mauritius, it will take no longer than 1.30 hrs to drive. Many tourists come to Mahebourg, which is within 45 minutes walking distance from the reserve. There are also another protected area close to Mahebourg – Ile aux Aigrettes. If such walking distance is not acceptable for you, you can take a taxi or use public transport to go to the place. Boats with tourists depart to the park from Blue Bay public beach.
Things to do in Blue Bay Marine Park
Not all areas of marine park are open for snorkeling, you can do it only in certain areas. To stay on the safe side and avoid any problems with authorities that take care of Blue Bay marine park, it’s better to join a group-tour. This way you’ll be able to see the most beautiful parts of marine preserve which is located about 5 minutes by boat. Tour operators offer to enjoy snorkeling, after that you can visit a private island and enjoy Creole snacks. Check price and availability here.
The biggest advantage of this place is that you can enjoy scuba diving here throughout the year. Shallow waters and great visibility creates perfect conditions for those who dive for the first time. It is also a favorite place among those who study the underwater world and its inhabitants. If you don’t have experience in diving in Mauritius island but would like to try out, Blue Bay marine park is the perfect spot for this. Click here to join the group tour.
Glass bottom boat trip
If you want some sort of aquarium experience, then a glass-bottom boat tour is for you. During one hour you’ll have a chance to witness diverse marine life. You’ll see schools of bright tropical fish moving chaotically, calm and clumsy turtles and many other creatures. Tour can be booked here.