Hiking in Mauritius


#1

Technically not hiking in SA - but seeing as it is a very popular destination for South Africans, here’s some thoughts and feedback on hiking in Mauritius.

For some background - in December I did a trip to Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysian Borneo. This included Mount Kinabalu - the 20th most prominent mountain on earth and highest point on the island of Borneo. Along the way, I did 102km of hiking in Mauritius.

The three most worthwhile hikes I did there were:

  • Le Morne, a massive basalt peak surrounded by sea on three sides. The history of it is very sad, and is worth reading up on. There is some fairly exposed scrambling near the top, so fairly intimidating if you are scared of heights.
  • Le Pouce (French for The Thumb), a large pointy peak behind Port Louis. It is on a good trail the entire way and is the 3rd highest summit on the island.
  • Lion Mountain, only 490m above sea level, but right next to the sea. It overlooks Blue Bay, which is a naturally turquoise bay (no photoshop or over-saturation required). There is an exposed scramble right at the top, but the lower summit is easy for those who are less adventurous. This peak is also very close to the airport (you can see it from the boarding gates), which makes it very convenient to access.

Some comments:

  1. It is very hot and humid out there. Take plenty of water and remember that you won’t be able to cover as much ground as you do in SA.
  2. There are no entrance fees for the hikes I mentioned above and guides are never compulsory. Parking is a bit tricky on some, but there are good trails the entire way.
  3. GPS tracks for all of these can be downloaded from Wikiloc. This is especially helpful to find where to park.
  4. Just because the highest point on the island is only 828m, doesn’t mean these peaks are easy. But the views more than make up for the effort required.

Le Morne - they don’t let you go to the absolute top, this is from as high up as you are allowed to go:

Le Pouce from below:

The view towards Blue Bay from Lion Mountain - no editing has been done on this photo at all:

My writeups that include the above ascents are at the following links. Other peaks are included as well. The full trip is split over 12 parts (all at the same link).




#2

Le Pouce looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.


#3

Hi. Beautiful pics. Where did you base yourself in Mauritius please?


#4

1 night in Blue Bay, 3 nights in Souillac, 2 nights in Quatre Bornes and 1 night in Grand Bay.

The best beaches on the island were Blue Bay and Le Morne, but Le Morne area is very expensive to stay at, so I drove there from Souillac. Quatre Bornes is well placed for hiking and was my favourite place to stay (it is very far from the beach, though, but very central). Souillac is very run down and the roads aren’t great.

My accommodation was decided based on proximity to plans for the day and price. Accommodation in Mauritius is generally rather expensive, so R350 for one person for a night gets you a bedroom in someone’s house without an air-conditioner. By contrast I was paying RM40 (less than R150), including a toast and tea for breakfast, in Kota Kinabalu (Malaysian Borneo). That was sharing a room with a friend, but it is still about R200 for a room to yourself. And that does include an AC.

I rented a car while in Mauritius, which helped a lot.

Ps. my story of the Singapore and Malaysian legs of my trip are also on my blog - just look for Tropical Travels parts 5 to 12. I haven’t posted them here as I don’t think many South Africans head out that way. I will do a writeup on Kili vs Kinabalu at some point.