Exploring the Cave Point lighthouse
Standing on a cliff edge overlooking open sea, the red and white tower of the Cave Point lighthouse stretches towards the sky. The lighthouse is a major navigation landmark for ships arriving at Port Louis.
One of the best viewpoints of the lighthouse is from Montagne Jacquot, which is accessible through the village of Pointe aux Sables. A favourite walk among Mauritian families, the trail runs up to the lighthouse along the coast, opening onto spectacular views of the surroundings. At Montagne Jacquot, the cliff stands above a creek at the entrance to a cave, where young boys climb on the rocks and engage in a daring competition, diving from about 10m high into the sea.
Continue the trail along the cliff, and you’ll soon arrive at the Cave Point lighthouse (also known as Albion or Belle Vue) – the last remaining lighthouse still in operation on the island. Managed and maintained by the Mauritius Ports Authority, it’s located about 10km from the capital and accessible through the villages of Albion or Petite Rivière.
The conical concrete tower with its cast iron dome is 30m high, and given its strategic position near the access channel to the harbour, the lighthouse plays a major role as a navigation facility. At night, it emits two white flashes every 10 seconds, visible within a range of 29 nautical miles. Dating from 1910, the lighthouse initially ran on oil, but in 1952 a battery system was installed and in 1973 the lighthouse connected to the national electricity network.
To experience the interior of the lighthouse, you’ll need to climb the 98-step wooden and cast iron staircase to the dome. The second floor houses the system providing a red light signal to vessels entering the port, then right at the top under the diamond glass dome, the light bulb nestles among amplifying lenses and provides approaching ships with a valuable guide.
For more unusual things to do on the island, visit our feature on the top 5 hidden gems in Mauritius.
Photo: Mauritius Tourist guide