Subscootering, Mauritius

Many of our party thought we would never do any Scuba diving, let alone something called Subscootering. From afar it seems like an odd choice for an underwater experience with so many other things on offer on the island. With Blue Safari, we were welcomed and briefed on our morning schedule.

From a jetty we were taken by boat out to a Subscootering Platform beyond the lagoon. Wet suits were given out and there were changing rooms, toilets and showers on board. All dressed and ready to go, you put on some of their plastic shoes to protect our feet. There are two people per scooter, one driving the scooter and another having more of an observational experience. The word scooter suggests a high speed experience, whereas it is a fairly slow moving vehicle and there is plenty of time to observe your surroundings.

You climb aboard the vehicle, are shown how to drive and practice the hand signals for different communications for when underwater, as the diver guiding you can obviously not hear. However, you can communicate with ease with your partner in the scooter, from your anxieties to your observations which our party found a valuable part of the experience. If you would like to record your experiences underwater you must ensure you have an underwater camera as on the vehicle you are not able to photograph with a regular camera.

At first it was a shock, but as none of our party had ever done any diving before, this could possibly account for it. Not long after popping our ears and getting deeper into the water, we encountered shoals of different fish; below us we could see coral as we floated past.

Our guide left to return to the surface for a second and returned with bread, all the fish around us ran towards him. He gestured for us to give him our hand and he passed us a lump of bread so we could feed the fish ourselves. Muchlike any animal feeding experience, it was strange, it tickled and yet we all enjoyed it.

On coming to the surface, we felt very heavy as the wetsuits were filled with water and we’d been used to the lightness in the water but we all had smiles on our faces. Once you’d peeled off the wet suits, you were welcomed with a drink of your choice once you were dry. Definitely a great experience for anyone who is interested in scuba diving but either doesn’t have the confidence or has problems with swimming. You will definitely always remember this experience!

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Casela Nature & Leisure Park

The Casela Nature & Leisure Park was stunning in the blazing heat and, as most Mauritians know, it has expanded to much more than an aviary. The birds take up the majority of what can now be called a Zoo but the newest features such as the fishing and petting zoo are the most enchanting due to their interaction with the park visitors; especially children.

The birds are in multitude of several species of varying endangerment from many tropical climates around the world. The descriptions are in both English and French which was very helpful and there is plenty of useful information, infographics and maps. The birds are accompanied by the solemn tortoises that roam around an open area where you can walk right up to them and take pictures.

The petting zoo is one of the most wonderful places where you can feed the animals with the available feed or baby milk bottles. The animals here are not just the typical farmyard animals but feature (at the time of our visit) a very tame zebra, several deer, a few ostrich and a few animals more commonly seen worldwide such as farmbirds and goats. Having a young deer eat or drink from directly out of your hands is captivating for anyone, child or adult.

The Tilapia fishing was another great experience to share with a group. You’re equipped with equipment similar to the average fisherman of this island paradise and have a small, safe body of water to catch fish in. Most of it is luck and patience but two of us managed to catch fish and, despite having to return it to the water, we felt very accomplished.

The hilltop restaurant that looks over most of the park and Mauritian country-side features a vast, mouth-watering selection of food, including some of the best of Mauritian and Indian-Ocean cuisine.  There are plenty more activities such as the safari (via Bus, Jeep, Quad-bike or Segway) for the more adventurous but we found there was plenty of fascinating animals and experiences to be had otherwise.

http://www.caselayemen.mu/

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