Places Of Interest
Jardin Botanique de Pamplemousses
The jewel of the crown! The gardens are known to naturalists throughout the world for their countless species of indigenous and exotic plants, including the giant Victorial Regia water lilies, and the talipot palm, said to flower once every sixty years and then die. The garden was created by Pierre Poivre in 1767 in the Estate of the French Governor Mahe de Labourdonnais. The latter's Chateau de Mon Plaisir, built in 1735, can still be seen there.
Coloured Earths of Chamarel
Among the oddest sites of the island are the seven-coloured dunes at Chamarel, believed to result from the weathering of volcanic rocks. These undulating and vividly contrasted layers of earth are a short drive away from the beautiful Chamarel waterfalls.
The Bird Garden of Casela
Set in a magnificient site between Bambous and Tamarin in the Riviere Noire district, the Casela Bird Park hosts some 140 varieties of birds from around the world. The main attraction remains the Mauritian Pink Pigeon, one of the rarest birds in the world, still fighting to avoid the fate of the dodo. One of the giant tortoises is 150 years old. The park is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and the entrance fee is Rs 125/150 on weekdays/weekends
Ile aux Cerfs
There are no stags (cerfs) remaining on this small island which now belongs to Le Touessrok Sun Hotel and attracts large numbers of holiday-makers on the east coast. The ferry runs several times each hour between 9 am and 4 pm and costs Rs 80 per person return, although this is expected to increase. Le Touessrok Sun Hotel residents travel for free. What you get when you step off the ferry is a sheltered, crowded beach and lagoon for water sports or sunbathing, restaurants and several souvenir stalls. You can walk only around the seaward half of the island, that is, clockwise from the landing site. On the island, there is a boat house where you can hire water skis, pedalos, sailboards, surfcats, Laser dinghies and canoes. Two-hour boat trips are offered to the Grande Rivière Sud-Est waterfall; and there's also a tour around Île aux Cerfs.
Domaine Les Pailles
Ten minutes south of Port-Louis lies the nature park of Domaine Les Pailles, stretching over 3,000 acres at the foot of the Moka mountain range. You can choose between touring the park in a Land-Rover, riding in a horse-drawn carriage or in a train. The gardens also feature a replica of an ancient sugarmill, an "alambic" - an apparatus formerly used in distilling rum, a spice garden and a natural spring.
Domaine du Chasseur (Anse Jonchee, Vieux Grand Port)
Situated in the south-east of the island, near Mahebourg, in the heart of abundant greenery, Le Domaine du Chasseur covers about 1,950 acres. It is also an exciting natural hunting ground with its herds of some 1,000 deer and hundreds of wild boar. Lovers of leafy walks can chose between 5 and 15 kms long, allowing them to admire rare kinds of trees and protected species, such as the famous windhover kestrel. A panoramic restaurant with a very good typically Mauritian menu completes the attractions of this unusual trip, which has become a must for hunters, walkers and... gourmets.
Le Val Nature Park
Situated in the south-east of the island at Cluny, Le Val offers a view of the natural aquatic life of shrimps, eels and freshwater fish. The park also hosts anthurium green-houses, watercress ponds, deer parks, as well as monkeys and various bird species.
- Chateau de Labourdonnais: Privately-owned colonial house dated circa 1850, down the road from Belle-Vue Mauricia to Forbach, Goodlands.
- Chateau Bel-Ombre: Private property, dated 1776, part of the Bel-Ombre Sugar Estate, in the south-west coast of the island.
- Chateau de Mon-Plaisir: Built in 1735 by Mahe de Labourdonnais and around which the Pamplemousses gardens were created.
- Chateau du Reduit: Built in 1778, actual residence of the President of the Republic of Mauritius, situated in the Reduit area. Can be visited once a year.
- Chateau de Villebague: Built in 1740, house of Mahe de Labourdonnais. Now private property, on the road through La Nicoliere and to Grande Rosalie.
- Eureka: Colonial house built in 1830 at Moka, on the road from Port-Louis to Curepipe through Montagne-Ory. Now a museum.
- Riche-en-Eau: Colonial house, part of the Riche-en-Eau Sugar Estate. This is where the TV series "Paul & Virgine" was shot. Now a private property. Situated on the road to Mahebourg through Deux-Bras.
These falls are awkward to reach, but it's worth the effort for a beautiful, deep, cool bathe at the bottom of the series of seven falls. You can see them from the Vacoas side, if you follow the sign from Henrietta. From Curepipe or Quatre Bornes, take a bus to Henrietta, then walk to Tamarind Falls. If you're coming from Tamarin, turn right about 3Km north of Tamarin, at the round about to Magenta and Yemen. A tarred, bumpy road through cane fields leads to the Magenta and Tamarind Falls turn-off. Continue through all the 'Private Estate', 'Permit Needed' and 'Prohibited Entry' signs, down towards the power station. Leave your car or bike and walk along the river up to the falls. The path is quite heavily overgrown and you must cross to the other side and boulder-hop the last 300m along the river bed to reach the top, but you will richly rewarded!
Trou aux Cerfs
Possibly the main attraction of Curepipe for tourists, apart from the shopping, is the Trou aux Cerfs crater. It's been extinct for a long time and the crater floor is now heavily wooded, but the crater affords lovely views around the island. A tarred road leads gently up to and around the rim. There are benches for rest and reflection, and a radar station for keeping an electronic eye on cyclone activity.
Vanilla Crocodile & Tortoise Park
Enter this glittering forest and discover a haven of luscious tropical flora: find a variety of endemic and exotic plants. In these lush green surroundings where banana and palm trees as well as giant bambous grow, more than a thousand Nile crocodiles are bred. On a guided tour, you will meet these animals in their breeding ponds, in perfect safety.
Splash n Fun
Splash N Fun Leisure Park offers a lots of activities to keep everyone entertained. The Splash N Fun Rides, Blackhole, Aquaplay, Adults' pool, Constrictor, Wave River, Crazy Ride, skull/ Ship Wreck, Wave pool.