Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean. It is mostly known for it’s magnificent beaches and its multicultural population. There are so many wonderful places to visit there! Being Mauritian, I have written this little guide regrouping the best outings to do on the island if you’re a nature lover. Get ready for lots of great adventures when visiting the land of travellers’ dreams!
1. Le Morne Brabant
Well known in Mauritius, Le Morne Brabant is a basaltic mountain situated in the South-West of the Island. It has an interesting history as back in time it was the place where slaves refugees came for shelter. However, it has now become really popular as there is a hiking trail on the mountain. Throughout the walk you will see lots of majestic plants and also be completely emerged in nature. The highlight of the hike is, however, the magnificent view that you get once arrived on top. After a few hours of (tiring) walk you will definitely see that all your efforts were worth it! The breathtaking view of the Mauritian lagoon and the Indian Ocean will leave you speechless. However, be prepared to walk and maybe climb for hours in the hot sun! I recommend that you bring enough water to stay well hydrated on your adventure.
2. Seven Coloured Earth
Considered one of the island’s treasures, this volcanic phenomenon is a must-see in Mauritius Island. No one has been able to explain how nature has made this soil have 7 distinct colours and to explain why plants can’t grow there. The seven-coloured earth can look different depending of the weather as on sunny days the colours appear different than on cloudy ones. Nevertheless, it is always amazing to look at. Situated in the village of Chamarel, this attraction has given its popularity to this place. The road to access the village is full of turns as you have to access it through a road which is in mountains but there are amazing views of the South-West part of the island. This makes it a good journey idea for road trip lovers too!
3. Trou Aux Cerfs
Trou aux Cerfs is a dormant volcano. Many believe that one day it will “wake up” and become active again though it has already been about 700,000 years since it last erupted. It is easy to go there to explore its surroundings as it’s only about 1km away from the town of Curepipe. You can have a walk around the volcano in it’s jogging park where you will find lots of pine trees and endangered plants or just enjoy the view while sitting in one of the kiosks. Sometimes you can even have the chance to get some ice cream trucks there! However, the best part of this trip (apart from seeing a real volcano) is the panoramic view of Curepipe and of the Plaine Wilhems district in general. As you can see in the picture below, the view is outstanding and is surely (I confirm) even better in real. A real volcano (even though dormant) and beautiful views of surroundings? What else can you ask for!
4. Gris Gris
In the south of Mauritius there is a beach called “Gris Gris” which is what you can say is the opposite of the usual sandy and postcards worthy Mauritian beaches. There are no coral reefs so big waves crash directly on the rocks making big water splashes. You have a breathtaking view from the top of its well known sea cliffs but be sure to be well prepared having something to cover up as sea cliffs also mean really strong winds! There is a little park around where you can have a picnic and enjoy the view of the nature and of the ocean. Interesting idea : Prepare a picnic and spend some time enjoying Gris-Gris and its surroundings (there are also good restaurants nearby) but do not forget a pullover in case it feels too cold. Sometimes the wind can be disturbing but the view makes it all worth it!
5. Seven Waterfalls (Tamarind Falls)
Found in a valley between Curepipe town and Black River Gorges, the 7 waterfalls is the place to go if you want to emerge yourself in nature. They are accessible through a hiking trip but the first three are the easiest to see as the rest might be more difficult if you’re not a hiking lover person. It’s amazing to think about how nature has created these waterfalls and how magical it feels to see it in person. Guided tours are available for this expedition in nature so don’t forget to book one in advance if you do not want to go there all by yourself. Personally I recommend that you take precaution and bring a special anti-mosquitoes cream or insect repellent spray as being in full nature you will certainly meet some insects that will most probably annoy you and make your hike less enjoyable.
6. Black River Gorges National Park
This hiking trip will bring you into the heart of nature where about 310 species of plants and about 9 bird species unique to Mauritius live. Between several mountains is found a gorge and during your trip to access it you will witness wonderful views each one as beautiful as the others. If you want to be completely cut from this world, you have to go there. Home to endemic plants, you will discover lots of wonderful things from being in one of the few remaining forests of the island. This guided tour usually take half a day, you are usually given a water bottle and after the trip you will have a small picnic. The Black River Gorges really is the place in Mauritius where you will feel as if you were in the middle of nowhere but actually enjoy it. This is totally an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life! Plants, Flowers, Birds and sometimes even Monkeys…You really have to visit this place!
7. Pamplemousse Botanical Garden
Open everyday, the Botanical Garden is probably the most visited attraction of the island. Created about 300 years ago, the garden is so big that it would take you several days to cover all parts of the yard. It has more than 650 varieties of plants and flowers in its acres of land. The main attraction of the Pamplemousse Botanical Garden are the giant water lilies found in the pond, there are several of them and each one is bigger than the other. I hope that you are ready for a stroll in one of the best natural attractions of the island cause let’s be real, how can you say you love nature if you do not find this park interesting? It has several palm trees that are over 40 years old, really special flowers and lots of other things to discover…Don’t tell me that you are not interested even after reading all this!