After the two mountains - Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire and Pieter Both - the Le Pouce is Mauritius’ third highest mountain with a height of 812 metres. It gets its named as Le Pouce due to its thumb-shaped peak. It is clearly visible from Mauritius’ capital Port Louis, and from the top of the mountain, you can get an outstanding view of the city as well.
It is a part of the Moka Range, and is the second highest peak in it. The Moka Range is situated near the village of La Laura-Malega, a part of the Moka district. Since Mauritius is a part of the Mascarene Islands which is a volcanic belt and was formed due to volcanic eruptions 10 million years ago. The Moka Range is no longer volcanically active and is primarily a mass of basalt lava.
The basalt lava base of the Le Pouce is reason for its abundance of guava and acacia all over the mountain. Another endemic floral species found in the mountain is the Le Pouce Mountain Screwpine which is estimated to be critically endangered.
Le Pouce is historically significant as Charles Darwin is believed to be the first person to scale the mountain back in 1836. As years went by, it transformed into a popular tourist destination for its hiking possibilities.
The hike to the top of Le Pouce is considered to be easy in spite of its steep edges. The starting point of the hike is located at Petit Verger, a place near the Saint Pierre village in the Moka district. The trail is not signed or marked well and is difficult to find without a map. It leads through the sugarcane fields into a small forest. As you go further ahead, the trail begins to gain altitude and cuts through the rocky terrain. The eastern side of the mountain is dominated by huge trees and zigzag bare rocky pathways and up towards the right side of the summit, the environment becomes dense will tall grass.
Upon reaching the crossroad, make sure to choose the path on the right side by keeping the summit on the left. If you need a pause, the small plateau just below the summit is a great place to relax while enjoying the stunning views of the Moka Range along with the Pieter Both Mountain.
The final part of the hiking trail goes through a small meadow which is followed by a slightly challenging and steep cornered path that lead to the peak of Le Pouce. The cool refreshing breeze and breathtaking views of Port Louis, Beau-Bassin Rose Hill, Moka Range, Snake Island and Plaine Wilhems from the peak of Le Pouce is the best possible end to the hike you could have asked for.
Information and Price
· Operating days - Everyday
· Timing – 9.30 AM to 1 PM
· Duration – 3 hours 30 minutes
· Difficulty – Medium
· Minimum age – 10 years
· The participants are recommended to bring enough water and juice apply with them
· A spare set of clothes, hiking shoes, sunscreen and mosquito repellents are a must as well