Besides its gorgeous beaches and crystal clear waters, the island of Mauritius is a little paradise of verdant pristine landscapes. Being of a volcanic origin, this tropical island is home to several breathtaking summits and valleys to explore on foot. Little is known about its amazing hiking trails that will leave you with surprises. You should definitely try it’s beautiful and challenging hiking trails which will eventually reward you with some of the most scenic land and seascapes, along with a really good feeling of accomplishment which will help re-energize your spirit.
Hiking outdoors has plenty of perks such as spectacular views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. The island is blessed with meandering rivers, endemic forests, pristine landscapes, and magnificent geological features.
Over the past years, Mauritius has attracted a lot of tourists because of its stunning beaches.
But just recently, tourists are also interested in exploring the rugged and verdant side of the island, as such ecotourism is on the rise.
There are many hiking trails that are organized across the island.
Some of them are on private land and you will need to pay a fee to have access to those, others are free.
Both are worth it, depending on your budget and what you are looking for. It is needless to say, that each hiking trail offers a unique panoramic sight of this amazing paradise.
Trekking in Mauritius in places like the Black River Gorges national park where the native forest and birds can be seen, or hiking to Mauritius’ summits like Le Pouce and Black River peak mountain will all offer you a memory of a lifetime and many “kodak”, picturesque moments.
Bearing in mind about the many benefits of hiking, we have compiled a list of some best hiking trails in Mauritius, where you will get to see Mauritius and its pristine nature.
Piton De La Petite Rivière Noire – Hiking Trail
Amidst the unspoilt rainforest of Mauritius, there is almost 17,000 acres of rolling hills, deep valleys, spectacular waterfalls and unparalleled beauty of flora and fauna in the south-western region- welcome to the Black River Gorges.
The Black River Gorges National Park is the largest protected forest of Mauritius.
Providing over 50 km of magnificent and yet challenging hiking trails.
This is the best way to get into the deep nature of Mauritius whether you prefer a hardcore climb to the highest peak or a gentler ramble through the forest.
There are four entry points to the National Park.
Notably the Black River entrance and Case Noyale entrance on the west coast, La Marie entrance in Plaine Wilhems and Chamouny entrance in the south.
Once you have taken your preferred entry point you will have different trail routes in the park itself, some of which start in Black River, at the Mare aux Joncs Waterfall which is around 4 km; Parakeet which is about 6 km, and Macchabee-Petrin 10 km.
This is your time to get the best out of this little green oasis which is tranquil and peaceful. You will find a wide expand of exotic vegetation and unique endangered species of flora & fauna, making this is one of the best places in the country to lap up the sights and smells of the tropics.
The sublime views, together with the tangle of trees, tumbling waterfalls into jade-green pools and the sound of flowing water is an ever-present reminder of nearby creeks and rivers. Here, you will see some beautiful dropwing dragonflies, indigenous ebony trees, and other species that you might not find elsewhere on the island.
Le Pouce Mountain – Hiking Trail
The Le Pouce Mountain Hike is not the most challenging, but is the most popular hike in Mauritius. This hiking trail is much liked by nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts and especially among beginners and view seekers.
Le Pouce Mountain is located on the North-West part of Mauritius, in the Moka district between the Signal Mountain and the Pieter Both Mountain. Le Pouce Mountain Peak is recognized as the third highest mountain in Mauritius at 812 meters after the Pieter Both and the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire.
This volcanic mountain was named the Pouce (French for the thumb) because of its funny thumb-shaped pick. The Pouce is overgrown with a lot of plants such as guava and acacia and with a few endemic plants like the “Pandanus pseudomontanus” which are at risk of extinction.
It is advisable to bring a professional guide with you though it is not obligatory. You will likely find your way leading to sugar cane fields where you will reach the mountain’s zigzag road under the big trees and dense nature where the hike really starts.
Upon reaching at the edge of the cliff, you will be rewarded with a great view over the highlands of Plaine Williems, Pailles and the harbor.
Shortly after, you will have to turn right on a small path that will lead you to the top of the mountain. You will have to be very cautious at this point of the hike. The trail is simple enough for a nice family walk or an easy sporty day between friends. The only difficult part of the hike is the ascension of the Thumb’s ‘nail’.
You will have the chance to capture an unbelievable and magnificent 360 degree view of the north and its little islets (Coin de Mire, Ile Plate, etc), the capital’s docks, the Champs de Mars racecourse, the neighboring mountains, the sugar cane plantations, the West coast, and the highlands.
Tamarind (sept Cascades) – Hiking Trail
The unique Tamarind Falls, commonly known as ‘Sept Cascades’ is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Mauritius, where one can discover the lush green vegetation along with some indigenous plant species and tropical birds. There is no other way to get close to this incredible place than through a wonderful trek- among the most popular treks on the island.
The Tamarind Falls are set away on the cliffs of the Black River. This magnificent location hosts breathtaking views over the South Western coast; a sight not to be missed! A visit to the Tamarind Falls offers a unique experience in the middle of nature, where seven stepped waterfalls run down strings of rivers to a beautiful pond at the bottom. The canyons were formed by the Tamarind River which is sourced in the mountains of the Black River Range. It supplies water to two reservoirs of the island, notably Mare Longue Reservoir and Tamarind Reservoir. The Tamarind waterfalls also supply the main hydroelectric power station on the island.
The trek is quite easy, fun and accessible to all. It can be undertaken by someone with little or no previous hiking experience under the guidance of an experienced trekker.
Throughout your trek you will experience a wonderful connection with nature.
This can be an amazing opportunity to cut off, break away from your daily routine and rejuvenate yourself in the midst of nature.
Sometimes the walk will be in the forest and sometimes in an open area on the basalt rocks nearby the water. You will be stunned by the view of the enthralling waterfall of 40 meters, the marvelous sight of the lushly green canyon, and many other captivating features.
Passing behind the spectacular waterfall is simply a blissful experience, whereby you can see rays of sunlight reflected through the waterfall. The large, refreshing pond which is at the foot of the waterfall is very much accessible for a pleasant swim. You can also enjoy a natural massage standing under the cascade.
With each fall, you will have the chance to enjoy unique scenery due to its height and flow of water. It is important to have an experienced guide alongside you in order to guarantee your safety and guide you through the best available paths.
Le Morne Brabant – Hiking Trail
The iconic hiking trail of Mauritius-Le Morne Brabant has to be definitely among the top things to do while staying in Mauritius. This majestic slave trail is located at the extreme Southwestern tip of the island where you will have the chance to feast your eyes on the most striking views of Mauritius. The rocky peninsula has a summit which covers an area of over 12 hectares (30 acres), and is about 556 meters above sea level.
This majestic mountain has been declared as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO to commemorate the Maroonage (runaway slaves) legacy in Mauritius.
It is believed that the slaves were committing suicide by jumping off the cliff of the mountain due to the very inhumane treatment they suffered.
Le Morne Brabant is one of the most preserved and wildest mountains of the island. It is a habitat to a very large variety of endemic and narrow-endemic species, such as the rare Trochetia Boutoniana, which is the floral emblem of Mauritius. Get into the heart of nature while you experience both the extreme opposites of lush greenery together with the rough and dry patches of the World Heritage Site.
While hiking up the mountain, listen to the rustling trees, chirping of the tropical birds, and contemplate on the wild beauty with outstanding turquoise-blue ocean views.
As you ascend, you will witness the captivating features of the mountain, whereby there are many caves and overhangs on the steep slopes. Generally surrounded by the lagoon, Le Morne Brabant is worth trying till the summit if you want to contemplate the strikingly gorgeous bird’s eye view.
The summit though is a nature reserve with restricted access by le Morne Heritage Trust. The trail to the minor summit is very easy to follow and well worn. The hike is not very physically demanding, although there are a few sections that are steep where using your hands is advisable. It is very exposed to the sun so an early start is recommended. There are a few steep, rocky sections that would not be advisable if the forecast is calling for rain.
Lion Mountain – Hiking Trail
The sphinx-like mountain peak majestically overlooks the Vieux Grand Port, witnessing the Great Battle between the squadrons of frigates from the French Navy and the British Royal Navy that took place some 200 years ago.
Hiking up to the mountain peak (480m) is a wonderful way to explore the rugged landscape of the south-east of Mauritius. The location is abundant with native vegetation, exotic plants, and if you are lucky enough to might spot the small endemic falcon-the Mauritian Kestrel. The hiking trip provides you with a way to re-boost your spirit, and allows you to take some fresh air.
There are generally two routes which you can take to reach to the mountain. One is via the road opposite the church in the town through the cemetery, and the other is a road through the police station. Both routes will lead you through the sugarcane fields in the foot slopes. The climb is described as relatively easy although there are steep pathways which have to be dealt with precaution. The real challenge starts when you will have to follow some rocky tracks that are not well marked. You will have the chance to walk through the woods, where you will have to pass over a cliff which is not that difficult. You can use the tree roots to climb to the summit.
Upon reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with the outstanding views of the South coast, overlooking the vast ocean and its verdant green surroundings. The views are strikingly beautiful and you will also get to view of the historical islets of the region such as ‘Ile au Phare’ or ‘Ile de la Passe’
Signal Mountain – Hiking Trail
Signal Mountain is the easiest hiking trail if you are planning to hike with your family. You can have a leisurely walk up to the peak, which is around 323 metres above sea level. The highlight of this hiking trail is the fact that you will have the opportunity to see amazing views of the capital and its harbor, and a possibility of seeing the Coin de Mire islet if the visibility is clear enough.
The walk up Signal Mountain has been called a health track and is very popular among the local residents. On most mornings and afternoons it is very well frequented by both walkers and joggers of the area, similar to the Trou-aux-Cerfs track in Curepipe.
Along your way you will find dry bushes and some wild vegetation such as the Acacia trees.
You can find the rustic side of the trail, away from the bustling area of the city.
Walking further, you will likely see some landmarks such as the Champ de Mars and La Citadelle. You will also get to see the Le Pouce Mountain, along with Marie Reine de la Paix.
If you are heading to this place, then you need to to drive right up Labourdonnais Street in Port Louis into the Signal Mountain parking. Alternatively, you may drive by Marie Reine de la Paix until you reach that very same parking.
Trois Mamelles Mountain – Hiking Trail
The Trois Mamelles Mountain hike has a rugged trail with some incredible views of the west of Mauritius. It forms part of the isolated range comprising of Mt Rempart to the west and Les Trois Mamelles to the east.
You can get access to the hiking trail from the centre of the island, near the central urban area of Quatre Bornes where you can stop at the ‘Bassin Estate’. You will have to pass through the sugarcane fields and continue straight on the road. Here, you will have the chance to see the wild side of the place-a way to break away from the stressful life.
Keep on going down the road as it curves into the fields and goes towards the Trois Mamelles. It is worth keeping the overall route in mind as you navigate this section. Depending on the height of the sugar cane, the route changes throughout the year . As you walk, you will find a tree line which should be followed until the sugar cane field ends. At a certain point you will have to climb the steep slopes and go up a few short rocky sections where you may have to use your hands.
If the trail seems a bit challenging to you then you will require a guide. It is also worth noting that the trail is only shaded for roughly 1/3 of the hike. Do not attempt the hike if there is rain, as there is quite a bit of rock that would become fatally slippery.
The Corps De Garde – Hiking Trail
The Corps de Garde Mountain is a lush green hiking trail located between Plaine Wilhems and Black River,diagonally opposite to Les Trois Mamelles. The site is surrounded by verdant fields, forests and towns-beautiful scenery indeed. Additionally, you will find violet mountains adorning the horizon which adds more beauty to the scenery.
Its peak reaches up to 720 metres high. The gradient is gradual and you soon have some fine views looking towards the “La Ferme” reservoir below and the ocean beyond. In places the path zigzags close to the edge, providing little thrills for those with a fear of heights. But as you go towards the summit you plunge into thick vegetation. The view is magnificent with numerous places that you can easily recognize such as Le Morne and Le Piton on the one side and Trou aux Cerfs on the other.
This quaint hiking track has a story dating back to the slave period in Mauritius. It is believed that slaves ran away from the cruelty of their masters and sought refuge in the Rocky Mountains and the forests nearby. These maroons sometimes massacred and looted the farmers and farms with incredible savagery and burnt the fields and hamlets to ashes. They even killed the colonizers they happened to come across. The Government took action by erecting a military post in the area. A man hunt was organised from there and hence the name Corps de Garde was given to the mountain.