Perhaps you know Mauritius for its white sand beaches, crystal-clear lagoon and year-round sunshine… if so, it’s time you ventured inland to discover the island’s lush flora, verdant mountains and beautiful waterfalls. Read on for our top five local hikes.
1. The Sept Cascades
This is a great hike that requires a good level of physical fitness as well as the services of a guide, if you’d like to learn more about the site. There are two different routes: allow half a day to explore the first four waterfalls and a full day if you’d like to discover all seven, including time for swimming and picnic breaks. With its abundant vegetation and impressive chutes, this hike is a real breath of fresh air! The more adventurous among you can even abseil down the waterfalls. Excitement guaranteed!
2. The Black River Gorges
As you enter the National Park, you’ll notice the vegetation changing and becoming denser. After all, this is the island’s largest nature reserve. You can choose between a number of different routes: the Mare aux Joncs route, for instance, leads to a waterfall below which you can swim and sunbathe on the rocks. No matter which path you choose to hike, you’ll probably come across large cateaux vertes (an endemic bird species) as well as monkeys and flying foxes.
3. Lion Mountain
It’s impossible not to notice this mountain, which towers over Vieux Grand Port and its surroundings. Climbing up and down the “lion”, which rises to an altitude of 480m, takes about four hours. It’s a physically demanding hike, and its route hugging the mountain’s steep slopes might be a bit uncomfortable for those with vertigo! That said, the view from the top is worth every bit of the effort: the lagoon stretches right to the horizon, where it blends into the blue of the sky… magical!
4. Le Morne Brabant
This renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site is now a must-see for travellers, whether they enjoy hiking or not. The first part of the walk, which leads up to a plateau, is fairly accessible. However, its second stage requires a bit of vigour and a willingness to do some mountain climbing (as well as to come down the mountain on your buttocks)! As you reach the top, about 550m above sea level, you’ll discover the mountain’s famous white cross and a panoramic view of the southwest of the island.
5. The Pouce
Mauritius have long enjoyed hiking the Pouce, an iconic peak in the centre of the island. It takes an hour and a half to two hours to reach its summit, which is 812m above sea level. Take the time to enjoy the incredible 360° view of Mauritius from the top. Overall, the hike is manageable for people of every level of fitness; the only section that might prove tricky for novice hikers is its final stage, as you approach the summit. Oh, and one last thing… make sure you bring some snacks for while you’re up there!
Whether you enjoy moderate walks or uphill climbs, shady paths or sweeping views, Mauritius offers a huge variety of hiking trails… all yours to explore!
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