Mauritius is a land of hidden treasures, much more than just the beaches and lagoons and exquisite resorts. As you dig deeper into the heart of this paradise island, you will come across landscapes that will blow your mind away. There is one such spectacle of nature right at the centre of Mauritius – the Domaine des 7 Vallee at Mare aux Vacoas.
Famous as a unique ecotourism conceptualisation, Domaine des 7 Vallee covers more than 4000 hectares of serene wilderness waiting for you to explore them! You get a chance to enjoy the excellent hunting facilities among the ocean of other activities. You can choose to either hunt the wild boars and deer or simply discover the depths of the forests, valleys, ponds, streams and waterfalls coexisting in perfect harmony with each other and serving the purpose of habitat for the diverse wildlife. And if that is not what gets you thrilled, you can always add some adrenaline to your venture with quad biking!
Story of Domaine des 7 Vallee
Domaine des 7 Vallee is the vision of one man – Alain O’Reilly, who had a sincere belief in the development of Ecotourism in Mauritius along with the traditional Sea, Sun and Sand aspect of this paradise island. He is considered the father of Ecotourism in Mauritius. It all started when he opened a Domain in the South East back in the year 1987.
Alain was dedicatedly inclined towards the protection of the environment, and thus, in 2006, he decided to attain seven valleys in the centre of Mauritius and to expand the Domaine des 7 Vallee by four times its former size!
Thanks to Alain and his expert team of experienced hunters for which get to feel the thrilling excitement of a hunting adventure in this unique wilderness.
Inside the Domaine des 7 Vallee
Mare aux Vacoas is privileged with an ideal temperature all throughout the year. The evergreen pasture of Domaine des 7 Vallee is by the most beautiful tropical forests in the entire island.
The 4000 hectares of these primitive forests are populated by more than 2500 wild boars and deer. The hunting reserve in the Domaine des 7 Vallee is situated at Nouvelle France on Mauritius’ central plateau. The Mauritian deer was introduced on the island by the Dutch in 1639. On the other hand, historians are not quite sure how the wild boars began populating the island, but it is speculated that during the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced wild pigs in Mauritius.
The most commonly used hunting method is stalk hunting. Other than that, hunting is also organised in smaller mobile groups that are posted on the Matadors, which are posts of observation. You will be supplied with rifles and ammunition in the Domaine itself. There are three rifles to choose from – Mannlicher, Tikka and Sako & Savage. Schmidt & Bender telescopic sights are fitted to all rifles.
The participating hunters are taken in charge by the experienced guides who provide the necessary security items to ensure the safe undertaking of the hunting. Wearing dark clothes and good walking shoes are highly recommended before going to the hunt. Avoid wearing colourful clothes, especially the white ones.
The animals that are killed during the hunt remain as the Domaine’s property. The only exceptions are the trophies that become the property of the participating hunters. The Domaine also proposes other services such as freight, taxidermy and phytosanitary permits.
As a part of hunters’ tradition, a cook will prepare dishes of deer meat after the hunt, and the celebrations carry on.
Here's a list of activities that you can indulge yourself in for a once in a lifetime experience:
1. Archery Hunting
You get a fantastic opportunity of learning the exceptional skill of archery and practice this unique art under the supervision of expert instructors. The Domaine offers excellent spots for exercising for the competitive and recreational archers. Other than that, archery is also accounted as a hunting technique in the forests.
2. Quad Biking
Rent an ATV quad bike to notch-up the adrenaline rush in your exploration. Domaine des 7 Vallee is undoubtedly the best location in Mauritius for practising your quad bike riding skills, either as a sport or for leisurely activities. The automated quad bikes available in the Domaine provide you with a safe adventure and worry-free ride to enhance your enjoyment. The quad biking adventure helps you to dig deep into this 4000 acre of wilderness, taking you away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and bringing you the closest to Mother Nature.
3. Horse Riding
If you are an adventure enthusiast and if you love bird watching, horse riding is the perfect activity for you. Roam freely on horseback, get in touch with nature and unveil the hidden treasures of Domaine des 7 Vallee in absolute tranquillity and peace. With the help of the knowledgeable guides, you get a taste of an unforgettable horse riding experience in this picturesque environment.
4. Hiking and Nature Tours
Domaine des 7 Vallee is an oasis of peace and tranquillity where you can relax and revitalise your soul. The hiking and nature tour inside the Domaine lets you discover the stunning forests, landscapes and wildlife carried out by the guides in the comfortable 4X4 pickups. You can click photographs while watching the hundreds of wild boars and deer in their natural habitat amidst the bushes.
Swimming in the gorgeous waterfall of Domaine des 7 Vallee is something you must try. The natural water points are best for refreshing yourself. The waterfall is 20 metres high. There are two ways to explore the waterfall:
· You can either go straight down via a descending path leading directly to the pool below the waterfall and treat yourself with a refreshing bath
· Turn right at the fence and follow the path to the top and inflow of the water
Doesn't matter what route you choose, it is an absolute surety that you will find beautiful motifs for you to flaunt your photography skills.
There is a restaurant at the reception of the Domaine. You can either sit inside the main building of the restaurant or in one of those smaller cabanas with big high seats and enjoy your lunch and dinner. The dishes mainly feature wild boars, deer, fish, and poultry, including duck. The vegetarian and vegans dishes are limited; don't forget to try out the Indian Curry with Farata.
Domaine des 7 Vallee opening timings: Monday to Sunday: 9.30 AM to 5.00 PM
The restaurant opens from 9.30 AM until 3.00 PM. It is open for dinner only on prior reservation. The minimum guest requirement is 15.
Quad biking is operational from 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM.
Hunting activities can be accessed all throughout the year. Reservations are needed to be made at least 48 hours before the event, and it depends on availability. The hunting venture begins at 9.30 AM and goes on for the duration of two to four hours, depending on the game. The treks and safaris last for approximately one hour and are conducted between 10.00 AM and 3.00 PM.
Horse rides are proposed between 10.00 AM and 3.00 PM and last for an hour. Booking must be made 72 hours in advance if you are coming in a group of more than five people.
There is no entrance fee for the Domaine des 7 Vallee. However, you need to book a meal at the restaurant, either lunch or dinner. The food can be a little expensive than anywhere else on the island, but it’s worth the fun.
All the activities in the Domaine are paid.
So what are you waiting for? Domaine des 7 Vallee is what an adventurous day out with your friends and family is all about! Clear a date on your calendar and set forth to this magical wildlife experience!