For these obvious reasons, Mauritius is widely popular among tourists for the different hiking possibilities all over the island. The combination of challenging trails through rough terrains with an abundance of scenic beauty is just tough to resist for any adventure lover. The vibrant island nation has some breathtaking locations to explore and embrace nature up-close.
Hiking Trails in Mauritius
1. Black River Gorges National ParkDuration: 2-3 hours
Distance: 10km (6.2m)
This 6754-hectare national park located in the south-western part of Mauritius offers a lot of scope for hiking and trekking. The park is divided into a 120-kilometre trail into the western gorges and 50 kilometres on the east.
The Petrin information centre present in the park provides the tourists with a hiking map for primary trails. For more adventurous and hidden treks, it is recommended to hire a guide.
A book by Philip LaHouse named "Mountains and Trails - Trails in the Black River Gorges" can come real handy in exploring more about the fifteen best areas in the park that is mentioned in the book. The hikes generally start and end either in the southernmost or western part of the park. That's the place for the second information centre providing maps as well.
Winter season is the best time for hiking in the Black River Gorges National Park. It is recommended that the tourists bring their mosquito repellent cream and sunscreen lotion, hiking shoes, spare clothes and a decent amount of food and water supply before setting on to the trip.
2. Corps De GardeDuration: 2-3 hours
Another hiking spectacle with a hint of historical backdrop, the Corps de Garde has a height of 720 meters and is located between Black River and Plaine Williams. It is believed that the slaves ran away from their masters and hid in the dense forests and rocky terrain of the mountain.
The mountain has a fair gradient slope initially and the paths are criss-cross. The hike offers the tourists with views of the La Ferme reservoir and the ocean beyond. Mountains like the Le Morne are fairly visible from the summit.
Few of the edges during the trail are very steep and deserve special care while crossing them. The sights of the nearby villages cuddled by the lush vegetation give the classic country feel to the hike.
3. Tamarin FallsDuration: 1-2 hours
Distance: 5.6 km
Widely known as 'Sept Cascades' which means seven waterfalls, the Tamarin Falls is heaped with lush tropical vegetation. The best way to explore this natural wonder is through an adventurous trek which is very popular among the people.
It originates from the Tamarind River and formed the canyon over millions of years and gave birth to these seven stepped cascade. The water streams down to a refreshing pond at the bottom and the water goes ahead as a supply to two reservoirs of the island namely the Tamarind reservoir and the Longue reservoir.
The water of the Tamarind falls also used to generating hydroelectricity. Under the guidance of a professional trekker, almost anyone with little or no experience of trekking is eligible to undertake this venture.
It is one of the most loved getaway destinations to connect with nature and be immersed in the freshness of the falls. The trekkers have the freedom to choose either the trail going through the forest or on the basalt rock open area.
The 40-meter waterfall complemented by the captivating greenery constitutes stunning scenery. Each of the seven falls has a different view to offer with variations in height and flow of water. The reflection of the sunlight behind the waterfall is something that nature lovers cannot afford to miss.
4. Le Morne BrabantDuration: 3-4 hours
This UNESCO World Heritage site has earned its reputation among the top destinations for hiking lovers. Le Morne stands at 550 meters above sea level and the total area covered by it is over 12 hectares. We can find this majestic mountain in the southernmost tip of Mauritius.
Along with its adventurous popularity, the Le Morne Brabant has vital historical significance, and many tourists visit the commemoration of the slaves in the sight as it believed that hundreds of slaves jumped from the cliffs of the mountain and gave their lives in fear of being captured again.
Apart from this blue background, hiking up the hill through the dense arrays of trees and being exposed to the extraordinary beauty of the turquoise blue ocean is worth all the time and effort invested in it.
The entire summit is restricted by the Le Morne Trust to ensure the perseveration of this nature reserve. The most hiked trail is relatively easy and is a well-travelled pathway.
The hike isn't physically challenging although having a guide along is recommended in case of emergencies and while cross few sections that are very steep and narrow and it requires some extra help to cover the grounds.
The hike starts early because of its direct exposure to sunlight, and it can get tiring. In case of weather changes and rainy climate, it is advisable not to start the trek.
5. Signal MountainDuration: 3-4 hours
Due to its most natural hiking trail, the Signal Mountain is popular among residents as well as tourists. With a height of 323 metres above the sea level, the peak of the Signal Mountain offers the view of Mauritius? Capital Port Louis and its harbour.
The path to the mountaintop is full of wild vegetation, and dry bushes and species like Acacia trees can also be found. Further ahead, landmarks like La Citadelle and Champ de Mars can be seen.
The Signal Mountain is frequent jogging and walking area where the tourists come to relax both in the morning to take in all the freshness and in the afternoon to ease away all the stress of their days with the sight of the heavenly sunset.
6. Le Pouce MountainDuration: 2-3 hours
Distance: 4.3 kms
Situated in Mauritius? Moka district, the hiking trail of Le Pouce Mountain is very popular among the adventure lover in spite of its low difficulty level, making it very suitable for aspiring hikers and beginners.
It is the third highest mountain in Mauritius scaling a height of 812 metres. Guava and acacia trees populate the Le Pouce along with some endemic species all throughout the landscape that it covers.
The hiking trail runs in between the sugarcane fields and going further ahead from there; the curvy mountain roads begin which are shaded by huge trees and dense forest alongside.
Breathtaking views of the harbour, Plaine Williams and Pailles can be witnessed from over the highlands on reaching the edge of the cliffs. The pathway that leads to the top of the mountain is very dangerous, and it is highly recommended to have a guide.
Other than this tricky part, the trail is an easy walk for families and groups of friends. On reaching the top, the astonishing 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding islets, the sugar plantations, the docks and the west coast leaves you speechless.
7. Lion MountainDuration: 3-4 hours
This 480-meter mountain in the south-eastern landscapes of Mauritius got its name because of its sphinx-shape structure. Surroundings of the Lion Mountain are bombarded by vast lands of natural vegetation and rare species of flora and fauna.
The fresh air and the soothing ambience are ideal for hikers for a soul-cleansing rejuvenation. The route to this the Lion Mountain run through sugarcane fields up to the foot of the slope.
The climb is a mixed bag of relatively easy pathways and steep corners that require precaution. It gets a little challenging when it comes to following the unmarked rocks and is best dealt with professional help. The trail pierces through the dense forests and cliffs.
To climb to the peak, the roots of trees are helpful. At the summit, the soul-soothing view of the entire South coast along with the sparkling blue ocean and some famous historical islets of the region and their lush green surroundings make you forget all the climbing.
Hence, it would be apt to conclude that Mauritius is a hikers paradise. With extraordinary scenic beauties and exciting hiking experiences to offer, this Indian Ocean island nation is going to become your favourite getaway for hiking!