Quad biking the Mauritius highlands
Are you sitting comfortably? Chances are you’ve flown an awfully long way to dip your toes in the Indian Ocean, but even the most committed sunbather needs a burst of pure, physical, bone-shaking excitement now and again.
The highlands of Mauritius are home to several locations ripe for an adrenalin-pumping quad biking experience, and after a few hours on four wheels you’ll discover we do every shade of green just as well as every shade of blue. And chances of close up sightings of our local wildlife are very high too – we’re used to seeing all kinds of creatures on these trips, from native birds and smallish mammals like bats and mongooses, to the occasional monkey and rare Javan rusa deer.
Where to go
Popular quad biking locations include the Frederica Nature Reserve – which adjoins the Black River Gorges National Park in the southwest of the island, the 45 sq kilometre Yemen Reserve, next to the Casela Nature & Leisure Park east of Flic en Flac, and Domaine de l’Etoile over in the southeast of the island, a stunning private reserve full of doe-eyed deer.
Frederica Nature Reserve
Those heading to Frederica will find a lush, unspoilt paradise of deep green hills and indigenous plants and wildlife – a particularly rich ecosystem laced with serene walking trails alongside winding rivers and waterfalls.
Quad biking here is all about experiencing nature up close, with tours taking you up across the hilly terrain where there’s a good chance of wild boar and macaque sightings, or perhaps one of Mauritius’s endemic birds. It’s not uncommon to spot a Mauritian kestrel or echo parakeet as they fly across from the neighbouring national park.
Yemen Reserve and Casela Park
In the Yemen Reserve and Casela Park which offers a home to more than 1,500 animals including giant tortoises and lions, a quad biking experience is more akin to an African safari, with a high chance of zebra, ostrich, deer and African antelope sightings.
You’ll cruise around the habitat in off-road conditions: over rocky ground, up and down valleys, and even passing through rivers if necessary. Don’t worry – it feels pretty wild, but you’ll get a full briefing and an introductory try-out on a drill ground before you head off into the hinterland.
Domaine de l’Etoile
Domaine de l’Etoile counts a multitude of indigenous species among its borders, including Mauritius’s oldest ebony tree. More than 2,000 hectares of mountains, ponds, rivers and hills combine to provide the perfect nature-focused quad biking experience and you’ll pass by large plantations where local people still work by hand, using wicker baskets and a sickle to cut, harvest and transport the sugar cane.
Flights to Mauritius
Thinking about booking a flight to Mauritius? Visit the Air Mauritius website.