| Jardin Botanique de
|The jewel of the
crown! The gardens are known to naturalists throughout the world
for their countless species of indigenous and exotic plants,
including the giant Victorial Regia water lilies, and the talipot
palm, said to flower once every sixty years and then die. The
garden was created by Pierre Poivre in 1767 in the Estate of
the French Governor Mahe de Labourdonnais. The latter's Chateau
de Mon Plaisir, built in 1735, can still be seen there.
Coloured Earths of Chamarel
||Among the oddest
sites of the island are the seven-coloured dunes at Chamarel,
believed to result from the weathering of volcanic rocks. These
undulating and vividly contrasted layers of earth are a short
drive away from the beautiful Chamarel waterfalls.
The Bird Garden of Casela
|Set in a magnificient
site between Bambous and Tamarin in the Riviere Noire district,
the Casela Bird Park hosts some 140 varieties of birds from
around the world. The main attraction remains the Mauritian
Pink Pigeon, one of the rarest birds in the world, still fighting
to avoid the fate of the dodo. One of the giant tortoises is
150 years old. The park is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm
and the entrance fee is Rs 125/150 on weekdays/weekends.
Ile aux Cerfs
||There are no stags (cerfs) remaining
on this small island which now belongs to Le Touessrok Sun Hotel
and attracts large numbers of holiday-makers on the east coast.
The ferry runs several times each hour between 9 am and 4 pm
and costs Rs 80 per person return, although this is expected
to increase. Le Touessrok Sun Hotel residents travel for free.
What you get when you step off the ferry is a sheltered, crowded
beach and lagoon for water sports or sunbathing, restaurants
and several souvenir stalls. You can walk only around the seaward
half of the island, that is, clockwise from the landing site.
On the island, there is a boat house where you can hire water
skis, pedalos, sailboards, surfcats, Laser dinghies and canoes.
Two-hour boat trips are offered to the Grande Rivière
Sud-Est waterfall; and there's also a tour around Île
|Ten minutes south
of Port-Louis lies the nature park of Domaine Les Pailles, stretching
over 3,000 acres at the foot of the Moka mountain range. You
can choose between touring the park in a Land-Rover, riding
in a horse-drawn carriage or in a train. The gardens also feature
a replica of an ancient sugarmill, an "alambic" -
an apparatus formerly used in distilling rum, a spice garden
and a natural spring.
||Situated between Pointe-aux-Piments
and Trou-aux-Biches, hosts some 200 species of indigenous fish,
invertebrates, corals and sponges, providing the visitor with
a unique opportunity of admiring the fauna and flora of the
Domaine du Chasseur (Anse Jonchee,
Vieux Grand Port)
|Situated in the
south-east of the island, near Mahebourg, in the heart of abundant
greenery, Le Domaine du Chasseur covers about 1,950 acres. It
is also an exciting natural hunting ground with its herds of
some 1,000 deer and hundreds of wild boar. Lovers of leafy walks
can chose between 5 and 15 kms long, allowing them to admire
rare kinds of trees and protected species, such as the famous
windhover kestrel. A panoramic restaurant with a very good typically
Mauritian menu completes the attractions of this unusual trip,
which has become a must for hunters, walkers and... gourmets.
Le Val Nature Park
||Situated in the
south-east of the island at Cluny, Le Val offers a view of the
natural aquatic life of shrimps, eels and freshwater fish. The
park also hosts anthurium green-houses, watercress ponds, deer
parks, as well as monkeys and various bird species.
The Well-known Creole Houses
Chateau de Labourdonnais: Privately-owned
colonial house dated circa 1850, down the road from Belle-Vue Mauricia
to Forbach, Goodlands.
Chateau Bel-Ombre: Private property, dated 1776, part of the Bel-Ombre
Sugar Estate, in the south-west coast of the island.
Chateau de Mon-Plaisir: Built in 1735 by Mahe de Labourdonnais and
around which the Pamplemousses gardens were created.
Chateau du Reduit: Built in 1778, actual residence of the President
of the Republic of Mauritius, situated in the Reduit area. Can be
visited once a year.
Chateau de Villebague: Built in 1740, house of Mahe de Labourdonnais.
Now private property, on the road through La Nicoliere and to Grande
Eureka: Colonial house built in 1830 at Moka, on the road from Port-Louis
to Curepipe through Montagne-Ory. Now a museum.
Riche-en-Eau: Colonial house, part of the Riche-en-Eau Sugar Estate.
This is where the TV series "Paul & Virgine" was shot.
Now a private property. Situated on the road to Mahebourg through
|These falls are awkward to reach,
but it's worth the effort for a beautiful, deep, cool bathe
at the bottom of the series of seven falls. You can see them
from the Vacoas side, if you follow the sign from Henrietta.
From Curepipe or Quatre Bornes, take a bus to Henrietta, then
walk to Tamarind Falls. If you're coming from Tamarin, turn
right about 3Km north of Tamarin, at the round about to Magenta
and Yemen. A tarred, bumpy road through cane fields leads to
the Magenta and Tamarind Falls turn-off. Continue through all
the 'Private Estate', 'Permit Needed' and 'Prohibited Entry'
signs, down towards the power station. Leave your car or bike
and walk along the river up to the falls. The path is quite
heavily overgrown and you must cross to the other side and boulder-hop
the last 300m along the river bed to reach the top, but you
will richly rewarded!
Trou aux Cerfs
||Possibly the main attraction
of Curepipe for tourists, apart from the shopping, is the Trou
aux Cerfs crater. It's been extinct for a long time and the
crater floor is now heavily wooded, but the crater affords lovely
views around the island. A tarred road leads gently up to and
around the rim. There are benches for rest and reflection, and
a radar station for keeping an electronic eye on cyclone activity.