There’s An Underwater Waterfall In Mauritius That Looks Like It Belongs In A SciFi Movie
When I was scrolling through Instagram and saw this underwater waterfall in Mauritius, my jaw dropped. How is this even real? What could possibly create such an effect. And is the guy hosting the video about this underwater drop off… twelve years old?
All of the questions were understandable, except the last one which was kind of inappropriate.
Mauritius is located on the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Madagascar. It’s on a shelf which rises up from the ocean floor. On the shore of the island, there’s a gradual slope leading out to a sudden (and breathtaking) 2.5-mile drop to the ocean floor.
However, the “underwaterfall”, as it’s been named, isn’t actually a waterfall, but an optical illusion.
What Causes the “Underwaterfall” Effect?
The reason it looks like a sci-fi movie optical illusion is because of the sand and silt deposits which slide down the slope. Because of this, it literally looks like there’s a waterfall underneath the water which is obviously completely impossible. How can water fall in water?
In other words, the sand and silt on the ocean floor run off the edge of the drop-off in a way that looks exactly like a waterfall. It can also look quite trippy; as though the entire island is being sucked down a drain into the abyss.
How Can You See The Phenomenon In Real Life?
The funny thing about this underwater waterfall in Mauritius is that you actually can’t see it from the shore. In fact, you need some height to get the full experience.
Because of this, helicopter tours of the island are on many a traveller’s bucket-list.
In order to get the full effect of this breathtaking phenomenon, you need to be above the water, looking down. There are a lot of companies which help to facilitate the view, and provide tours around the waterfall, and above. It’s good to have options, because it takes a heck of a long time to get there.
The good news is that as long as you’re willing to make the trip to Mauritius, you can go and see this incredible underwaterfall in real life.
How To Get To Mauritius (& Where To Stay)
It takes a full twelve hours to get to Mauritius from London, England. Add up the time it takes you to get to London from where you are, and you’ll have a rough estimate of how long it’ll take you to get there.
Some of the airlines that will take you to this gorgeous island are Emirates, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, and South African Air. From most places in the USA and Canada, it can take around 24 hours to get to Mauritius.
The bonus about this obscure destination is that the prices are really reasonable. You can get an AirBnB that’s walking distance to the beach for around $45/night CAD. What a steal!
In addition to renting a home, you can also stay in a boutique hotel or even a hostel. The hostel prices seem to be quite similar to the prices of the AirBNBs however, but it’s like any accommodations in that you’ll have a wide range to choose from based on your budget.
Other Things To Do In Mauritius
You can actually scuba dive the underwater waterfall in Mauritius! The idea itself makes me super nauseous because it combines an illusory fear of heights, as well as a fear of deep water. However, if that’s your thing, I imagine Mauritius underwater waterfall diving would be an absolute blast!
There are lots of other things to do in Mauritius as well. After all, it is a very long way to travel, so you want to make sure you get the most from your time.
You can go swimming at Pereybere Beach, which is a quiet setting with a nice calm sea to relax in.
There’s also a basaltic monolith that sits close to the Le Morne Cultural Landscape, which is where the waterfall illusion is. The site is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because it was used “as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries”. You can read more about the history of this cultural site here.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to check out the 17,000 acre Black River Gorges National Park. This natural beauty has rolling hills, deep valleys, gorgeous waterfalls, and flora and fauna to remember for a lifetime.
And of course, before you go, make sure to check for travel restrictions! They were closed for COVID, and have re-opened the borders. However, these days you want to make 100% sure before you travel all that way!