Mauritius has become the tourist attraction that it is today because of the careful conservation of the beauty that defines that place. The picturesque beaches and ocean views, the lush greenery tropical forest, the numerous national parks, nature reserves and botanical gardens spread out all over the island that together constitutes this vibrant spectacle of nature. People from all over the world visit these places to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and get a step closer towards the wildlife. Among the hundreds of such beautiful locations is the Curepipe Botanical Garden.
Situated in Routes des Jardins in Curepipe, the Curepipe Botanical Garden is reputed to be the second largest in all of Mauritius. It is also known as the SSR Botanical Garden of Curepipe, named after the former Prime Minister and great political persona of Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam in the 1980s. Another botanical garden of Mauritius is also named after the very statesman - the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses.
History of Curepipe Botanical Garden
The Curepipe Botanical Garden was established in the year 1870. The purpose of this botanical garden was to cultivate different species of plants those were otherwise not acclimatising to the less temperate parts of the island. Unlike other places, Curepipe had a colder climate than the coastal areas of Mauritius. Its counter-part the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden didn’t have the appropriate grounds for planting certain species, and thus, they were transferred to the Curepipe branch. Initially, a wide range of exotic plant species was introduced in the garden and also in Mauritius, namely Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camphors along with numerous exotic fruit trees. Currently, some of the rarest and endangered plant species that are endemic to Mauritius are also growing slowly.
About the Garden
The Curepipe Botanical Garden is spread out over an area of 27 acres, and it is intersected by a river and a lake which houses the Nandia palms. The garden has two entrances – the main entrance being at Les Casernes on the Botanical Garden Street and the secondary entrance is at Camp Caval. It will take you nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes to see the entire property with ease.
To host community events, there is a gazebo in the garden as well. It has a Victorian-inspired architectural design and is raised from the ground with the help of its wooden floor. It is constructed in such a way that it is acoustically well balanced, making it easier for the audience to enjoy the programme loud and clear.
There is a Nature Reserve inside the garden, and you need to take special permission from the offices of the Forestry Department for visiting it. The Curepipe Municipal Council and the Forestry Department have worked for hand in hand to preserve some of the rarest native tree and shrub species of the island. You can find some of them planted throughout the garden and around the lake as well.
The major attraction of the Curepipe Botanical Garden is the rarest and unique palm tree species of the world – the Hyophorbe amaricaulis. It is extraordinary as it is the only remaining specimen of this species. After many failed attempts to cross-fertilise it, it is being kept under utmost care. To ensure uncompromised protection, the palm tree is surrounded by a security fencing so that the visitors can't harm it. It has a height of about 12 metres, has a thin grey trunk and blooms creamy-white flowers occasionally.
The Curepipe Botanical Garden is the best place to visit for a refreshing getaway with your friends and family. Visiting early morning and walking on the soft grass while enjoying the green surroundings is a rejuvenating feeling on its own. So if you are looking to slow things down for a bit in your exciting vacation, a visit to the Curepipe Botanical Garden might do the trick!
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How to Reach Curepipe Botanical Garden
Coming from Port Louis, it’ll take you 30 minutes on the M1-M2 Motorway Port Louis-Phoenix road to reach Curepipe. After that, take the College Lane to reach the Curepipe Botanical Garden, which is 2 kilometres away from the Curepipe town centre at Route des Jardins.