The best hiking in Mauritius
We’ve written before about some of the best hiking trails in Black River Gorges National Park, including the trek to Alexandra Falls in search of the bright green echo parakeet, or the challenging climb to the top of Black River Peak, the highest point in Mauritius.
But what about the hiking spots in other parts of the island? We’ve chosen four of our own personal favourites, from the Moka range of the north west, to the famous icon of Le Morne Brabant in the south, and thoroughly recommend them for anyone seeking a greener side of Mauritius.
Up in the northwestern corner, the familiar sight of Le Pouce (or “the thumb”) mountain is visible for miles around. Part of the Moka range, the 812 metre peak sits between Pieter Both and Signal mountains and is the third-highest in the country. Yet despite how imposing it looks from sea level, the trek to the top is considered easy-to-moderate in nature, with no climbing or technical abilities required. The only difficult part is the final ascent to the very top of ‘the thumbnail’, but those who make it will be rewarded with 360 degree views of the entire north west coastline of Mauritius.
As well as being the best place to spot the ultra rare Mauritius kestrel, the Kestrel Valley is also home to many other endemic bird species – including other rare birds of prey – making it ideal terrain for those hikers who also happen to love a bit of twitching on the side. Within the reserve, which covers hundreds of hectares, a section with four marked trails has been reserved especially for hikers. Circuits take 1–2 hours to complete, and offer fabulous views.
If you’re looking for a full-day hiking excursion with lots of variety, there are few better options than Tamarind Falls. With a difficulty level of moderate-to-hard, the trip is suitable for adventurous visitors and is best accomplished on an organised tour with experienced guides. Taking in lush forests, west coast views, impressive canyons and 11 waterfalls – some of which you can jump off into the deep green pools below – the day leaves participants with a real sense of accomplishment. Mauritius Attractions offer full-day outings.
Le Morne Brabant
Not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site with enormous cultural significance for Mauritians, Le Morne Brabant mountain is also a place of great natural beauty and immense appeal for hikers. The famous landmark is home to a number of endemic plant species – in fact, it’s the only place in Mauritius where the national flower, Trochetia boutoniana, can be found – so set yourself the goal of tracking one down on a guided 3–4 hour trek to the summit. Contact Yanature for more details.