A nature lover's guide to Mauritius

Behind the unspoiled beaches and luxurious resorts, Mauritius is home to an array of endemic and indigenous species which can be found across the island’s national parks and tropical forests.

Hikers will be in their element trailing to mountain summits to catch the sunrise, absorbing the panoramic views of the island above the clouds as they go. While the fascinating dodo may be long gone, the island has plenty more wildlife magic up its sleeve.

Black River Gorges National Park

If spotting one of the rarest birds in the world is on your bucket list, look no further than the Black River Gorges National Park located in the centre of the island.

Alongside wild macaque monkeys, majestic tropical birds and wild boar snuffling through the undergrowth, you’ll find the endemic pink pigeon.

Experience the wild beauty of the island’s largest national park, as you walk through peaceful forests, enjoying panoramic views of the vast gorges and waterfalls below. For the most rewarding vistas, you can easily climb to the top of the Black River Peak – the highest summit in Mauritius at 828 metres high.

Seven coloured earth at Chamarel

The natural phenomenon of the seven coloured earth found at Chamarel is one of the most prominent attractions on the island. As you arrive at the multi-coloured dunes, you’ll observe first hand how the sand has evolved from basaltic lava to clay minerals and enjoy views of the surrounding Black River Gorges.

From the upper viewing deck, you can also take in striking views of Chamarel Falls – the most recognised waterfall on the the island. If you fancy getting your feet wet, head down the trail and swim in the shallow water at the bottom of the gushing falls.

Pamplemousses Botanical Garden

A swift 20-minute drive north from the capital and you’ll be at one of the oldest botanical gardens in the southern hemisphere. Established in 1770, this fascinating space was initially opened as a private garden by the French governor of Mauritius, but in recent years has become the national botanical garden.

Stretching over 60,000 acres it would take visitors over a week to cover the entire grounds, but with a knowledgeable guide you can be sure to see the garden’s highlights.

From distinctive baobab trees to the incredible giant water lillies covering the lakes, Pamplemousses is also home to dozens of medicinal plants, a large spice garden and 85 different species of palm trees from all over the world.

The Morne Brabant

A trek to the summit of The Morne Brabant basaltic monolith combines breathtaking views, endemic flora and fauna and an emotive history lesson to boot.

Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008, the rugged mountain was used as a shelter by runaway slaves during the 18th and 19th centuries and is now a symbol of the slaves’ fight for freedom.

The hike to the summit of the mountains takes between three to four hours and you’ll spot a large variety of endemic plant species along the way, including the rare Boucle d’Oreille – the island’s floral emblem.

The Tamarind Falls

These famous falls, also known as the seven cascades, are one of the most beautiful and serene places in Mauritius. Half an hour’s drive inland from the popular western coastal resort of Flic en Flac, enjoy breathtaking views over Le Morne Mountain as you navigate through multiple cascades.

The trail flits between rich forest and rocky paths near the water’s edge. Pass behind the pounding water adorned with sunbeams or jump in the large pools and enjoy a cool swim. The more adventurous may even fancy a canyoning excursion through the falls, abseiling and propelling themselves from the rocks.

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