Vast area of white sand at Coco Island beach at St. Brandon.
Cargados Carajos, better known as Saint Brandon is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It can be reached by boat from Mauritius, which is a little over 400 kilometers south of the archipelago. Saint Brandon, made up of about fifty small islands, coral ridges and white sand, reveals a paradisiacal landscape where aquatic fauna and flora abound. Saint Brandon is definitely a dream destination for a cruise from Mauritius.
A little history about Saint Brandon
Mapped for the first time in 1546 by the Portuguese, the archipelago would have in its distant past welcomed Arab sailors and served as a refuge for pirates. All its history is then closely linked to that of Mauritius, which has been colonized several times: Dutch, French, British colony... The islands have known a small mining activity. They were of interest for phosphate. These activities fortunately ceased in the middle of the 20th century. Today preserved, only a few lucky people can access it by cruise, controlled in the respect of a responsible tourism.
Saint Brandon, a preserved archipelago
Going on a cruise to Saint Brandon is a real immersion in the wild beauty of the coral reefs near Mauritius. Spared from mass tourism and devoid of any urbanization, Saint Brandon is a true paradise where fauna and flora are discovered in abundance. A small population of native Creoles has nevertheless settled in the area, mainly on the islets of Raphael and Coco.
The islands of Brandon
The archipelago of Saint Brandon is formed by about fifty islands, all singular and protected by an incredible coral reef in the shape of an arc covering 280km². The highest and widest of the islands is Albatross Island with an area of only 1.01 km². Albatross is followed by Raphael Island, Avocaré Island, Coco Island and South Island. Albatross Island is the northernmost island, South Island is the first island in the south of the archipelago, as its name indicates. Coco Island, located between South Island and Raphael, is the economic base of the region. Its beaches are among the most beautiful with their incredible white sand. You will be surprised to discover rails, witnesses of a glorious past. Some small infrastructures are scattered here and there giving a little life to this dream landscape.
An exceptional fauna and flora
The preservation of nature gives rise to an abundance of wildlife. The immaculate and almost deserted beaches of the islands are the favorite place for sea turtles to lay their eggs. On Albatross, it is a broom of birds that parade before our eyes. Preserved from all predators, the birds compete for the place and make the island a real avicultural sanctuary. On the islands we can find coconut trees and some bushes, but it is under water that the fauna and flora reveal all their richness. The coral reefs are home to an impressive quantity of underwater species: turtles, lobsters, crayfish and a whole lot of tropical fishes come to populate these sea beds and give us a real eyeful.
What to do in Saint Brandon ?
Once closed to all foreign visitors, it is now possible to go to Cargados Carajos, but only a few operators are allowed to continue to preserve the ecosystem of the place as best as possible. Thus, different activities are possible in the archipelago, but all must be done in respect of the environment, in an eco-tourist approach: Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Snorkeling, diving, Bird watching, Fishing, Excursions and ecological cruises.
The stays in Brandon are spent on board of boat, every day you will discover new sea beds, new beaches all as beautiful as the others. The nights are spent on board for a real change of scenery.