| Jardin Botanique
|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 aux
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 Indian Ocean.
Domaine du Chasseur (Anse
Jonchee, Vieux Grand Port)
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
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
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
|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
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.