Mauritius – with its turquoise waters, lush forests, pristine sandy beaches and wildlife – is, like its fellow Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives and the Seychelles, well known as a honeymoon destination. In recent times, there has been a small but growing push towards sustainable tourism initiatives on the island appealing to eco-conscious travellers looking to experience the stunning island.
A perfect place to sample responsible tourism on the island is at the environmentally-friendly Otentic Eco Tent Experience, the island’s first and only tented eco lodge on the largely untouched east coast of Mauritius. Located in the small village of Deux Freres, Otentic Eco Tent offers a glamping experience which is uniquely different from the throes of hotels on the largely developed west coast of Mauritius.
Otentic Eco Tent, set on the banks of the Grande River South East and surrounded by mountains, is an ideal place for those wanting to be in a quiet and idyllic area, while also getting up personal with nature both inland and by water. About 40 minutes from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the glamping site is also a good place to stay for those who may want to experience the beautiful GRSE waterfall and the 25km-stretch of crystal lagoon from Blue Bay all the way to Trou d’Eau Douce – since Otentic Eco Tent is nestled between the two popular tourist attractions.
Comprising of 12 spacious Safari-style tents built on raised wooden decks, each of the tents boast views of the palm tree garden and nearby river. The canvas canopyed tents protect from the elements by both a fly-sheet and knitted shade net, ensuring they stay both cool and watertight regardless of the weather.
Design-wise, everything at Otentic Eco Tent is made from reclaimed materials – both the furniture and wooden decks are made from an array of salvaged items including planks of wood from old Creole homes, old doors, pallets and potato boxes. The appeal of Otentic Eco Tent is in its simplicity, having finessed rustic charm and the creative use of resources both externally and externally. When it comes to interiors, think bed frames made from wooden pallets, wooden shelving units for storage, lampshades whose bases are made from circular discs shaped from discarded pieces of wood. Crisp white bedding completes the minimalist look.
Each of the tents, which have an open-ceilinged private bathroom with a shower, can accomodate up to five people making it an ideal environment for families and travellers in small groups. Otentic Eco Tent’s operations are as sustainable as they get – energy is generated by solar panels and solar water, which heats the natural swimming pool; rainwater is harvested; and local Mauritian cuisine is served at the on site restaurant using local produce.
The glamping site has a naturally adventurous vibe to it attracting those with a love of the outdoors and adventure sports. A 12km trek enables guests, whether on foot or on a mountain bike (which can be borrowed by guests for free), to explore the area – visiting natural pools, hidden inland views, lesser known fishing villages along the way, and a chance to explore the local wildlife including monkeys and fruit bats.
Otentic Eco Tent also offers guests kayaking, where they can paddle their way through nearby mangroves and access hidden beaches and coves where boats cannot go. A daily shuttle boat takes guests to three of the most beautiful beach islets surrounding Mauritius – Ile aux cerfs, Ilot Mangenie and Ilot Flamand.
Otentic Eco Tent, staffed by Mauritians, has a distinctly community vibe to it attracting both international eco-conscious travellers of all ages as well as locals. Its authenticity makes it the perfect getaway for those in search of a laidback approach to island living the Mauritian way.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com