Previously a private hunting domain, the Domaine de L’Etoile in Mauritius is now a famous tourist attraction that extends over 1200 hectares and has become a significant hub for adventure and leisure activities, as well as for ecotourism. The natural private reserve was recently opened to the public, but despite the large footfall that the area witnesses, it continues to be one of the most preserved regions of Mauritius.
There is something for everyone to do at the Domaine de L’Etoile. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy activities like zip-lining, horse riding, quad biking, mountain biking and archery; while nature lovers seeking solace can wander on the rustic trails that will lead them to the top of the Bombou Mountain range, that offers stunning views of the island and the surrounding ocean. And for the perfect end to a perfect day, visitors can enjoy traditional Mauritian cuisine at their onsite restaurant, which like the rest of the reserve, offers breathtaking panoramic views.
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Visitors can choose from a variety of sports and activities while at the Domaine de L’Etoile. These events ensure that everyone who visits the reserve has a good time there and creates some beautiful memories.
1. Exploring the Flora and Fauna While at the Domaine de L’Etoile, visitors get a chance to explore the English gardens, woods and rivers. These spots are home to hundreds of different species of plants and trees, including ancient and endemic species. You will also get the opportunity to witness a large river flowing through, as well as smaller streams and waterfalls, which are indeed a treat for the eyes. Be on the lookout for the Java deer when you visit the reserve.
2. Adventure Activities
Visitors can enjoy different sports and activities like zip-lining, horse riding, hiking, archery, etc.
Ziplining The 3.5-kilometre zipline is spread across 1200 hectares of natural forests, and zip lining in these pristine surroundings is an unmatched experience. The longest zip line here is 800 metres long, which is sure to give you an adrenaline rush as you look at some breathtaking views, valleys and rivers.
Buggy Ride The one-hour buggy ride offered at night time is the best option for those on the lookout to explore the natural beauty of Mauritius in a fun way. Delivered every day from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, a ride through the beautiful surroundings gives you the chance to discover the Rusa deer and other animals living in their natural surroundings. The buggy has a unique lamp, which lights up the path and helps you witness the wildlife, but at the same time, provides the exciting nocturnal atmosphere that is the highlight of the ride.
Safari Quad Biking This adventure activity will take you on the beaten track so that you can explore the hidden gems of Mauritius in a fantastic and natural setting. As a bonus, you also might get a chance to spot the doe-eyed deer and wild boar as you explore the lush green valleys, the rivers, the plantations and the forests. These two species were brought to the island over a century ago. Visitors can choose between a 2-seater quad or a 2-seater buggy to enjoy this ride.
Guided Hiking Idle for those who want to escape the hustle bustle and retreat to the lap of nature, the guided hiking at the reserve will help you explore the untouched flora and fauna of the island. Your tourist guide will show you different animals and plants that you would encounter, including endemic plants like orchids, traveller’s trees, ebony trees. Endemic bird species such as Kestrels and Green Cateaux, which are, unfortunately, on the verge of extinction are spotted here as well.
Archery The pristine surroundings are the perfect place to develop a new skill, as trained instructors guide you and teach you how to use modern equipment, bows and arrows. Archery is not just a fun sport, but it is also a great way to relax and de-stress.
3. Lunching at the Domaine de L’Etoile
The Domaine de L’Etoile Restaurant is a fantastic restaurant located in the area. It is situated next to the Grand River South-East, thus offering dinners with some magnificent views. The restaurant boasts of serving traditional Mauritian Cuisine, which is inspired by the diverse cultures in Mauritius, as well as fusion cuisine. Moreover, the overall ambience adds to the pleasure of enjoying a meal at the Domaine de L’Etoile. Here, the tables are set under the veranda with thatched roofs. Paying for the activities at the Domaine de L’Etoile would also open you up to various packages. These packages would give you the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch at the reserve and savour the menu of the day. However, note that the restaurant is closed on Mondays.
Remember that adventure activities and sports are separately charged at the Domaine de L’Etoile, and these activities are offered only at specific times of the day. Therefore, make sure that you check out the timings and other details of your preferred events before paying a visit to the reserve.
There may be some age restrictions for children on specific activities, so keep that in mind if you are taking kids along. Pregnant women and physically challenged people are also debarred from taking part in certain activities.
It is advisable to wear socks and closed toes shoes while visiting the reserve. Also, wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move around quickly.
Remember to carry sunscreen and a mosquito repellent along. Also, do not forget to bring your camera!