Mountains in Mauritius
24th July 2019
The stunning island destination of Mauritius, set in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, is world-renowned for its dazzling natural beauty. Amongst the most fabled facets are the long golden beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and lush tropical jungles. But with its undulating volcanic landscapes, there are also some incredible mountains in Mauritius, many of which are best explored by foot.
Avid hikers, trekkers and rock climbers who are interested in traversing the mountains in Mauritius are spoilt with awe-inspiring views, incredible tropical forest trails and the chance to see some amazing endemic flora and fauna. There’s even a mountain here that carries some serious historical importance - there’s definitely no lack of choice when it comes to incredible trails and mountains in Mauritius to discover.
There are technically five mountain ranges in Mauritius. They are the Grand Port Range, the Bambous Range, the Savanne Range, The Black River Range and the Moka Range. The names of the mountains in these ranges are sometimes based on their formations and appearance where others draw their names from legends and myths.
Eager to find out more about the mountains in Mauritius? Here are some of the most famous:
Black River Peak
The highest peak in Mauritius, known in French as Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, this incredible mountain forms part of the range with the same name. There are a number of trails that lead to the peak, but some are definitely more difficult than others. The hardest, longest and most technical are the ones from Black River Gorges National Park and Chamarel. The easiest and most popular way to scale the peak, which has a height of 828m, is via the Black River Peak Hiking Trail, which will take on average 1 and a half hours to reach the top and you don’t have to do it with a guide (although, guides are always recommended). At the top, you will find Bench 828, which is painted in the colours of the Mauritian National Flag.
Le Morne Brabant
One of the most significant mountains in Mauritius, Le Morne Brabant is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fabulous choice for a hike, especially for the more experienced hikers. Located a stone’s throw from the popular Le Morne Beach in the Le Morne Village, Le Morne Brabant was used during the colonial period as a safe haven for escaped slaves looking for a refuge. According to legend, when slavery was abolished, soldiers went to Le Morne Brabant to inform the slaves that they were free, but the slaves thought that the soldiers were there to recapture and in their desperation to avoid being enslaved once more, they sadly chose to jump from the mountain to their death.
The mountain stands 556m tall with hikers able to reach around the 490m mark. Best tackled with a guide as the route is quite technical and challenging, this hike can take around three hours to get to the top but the views are well worth the effort.
The iconic Lion Mountain is one of the most popular mountains in Mauritius and forms part of the Grand Port range. This mountain was given its name because it vaguely resembles a sitting lion from afar. The mountain has a height of some 480m and can be a little challenging for those not used to hiking. It takes around 2.5 hours each way, so it’s definitely a good idea to get a guide. Some fantastic views can be enjoyed from this mountain, from the peak as well as along the way, and the best route to take is from the Grand Port police station.
Situated in La Laura, Malenga, the Pieter Both mountain, which was named after the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, is the second highest mountain in Mauritius at 820m. This mountain also has an interesting legend attached to it; it is said that many years ago a milkman passed the mountain where he saw fairies. The fairies told him not to tell anyone of this sighting or they would transform him into a rock. Of course, he couldn’t keep such a secret and the giant rock, which sits at the top of the mountain, is said to be this very milkman.
This route is really reserved for more experienced hikers and trekkers and a guide is an absolute must. The hike is incredibly steep and rocks tend to fall, especially after some rain. The mountain has been categorised in three parts-the shoulder, neck and head. The head refers to the mythical rock on top. For a basic hike and some nice views, trekkers can just get to the shoulder part. The neck and head require greater expertise and even equipment to the summit. A hike/climb to the top can take around 4 hours for experienced hikers.
One of the most popular mountains in the Port Louis area is the Signal Mountain or Montagne des Signaux. With a tame height of 323m, this is a wonderful mountain to discover for people of all ages and all abilities. There are wonderful places to stop along the trail and enjoy the vistas. From this route, others are accessible, but many of them are for more advanced hikers.
The most well-known mountain in the Moka Range, Le Pouce is the third highest mountain in Mauritius. Said to have been formed some 10 million years ago, this mountain was given its name because it was said to look like a thumb. Rumour has it that Charles Darwin climbed the mountain, just one of many reasons it’s hugely popular today. If you want to see this mountain “up close and personal” then the best way to do that is to take a route from Petit Verger. Sadly, however, there is a huge erosion problem on the mountain and it is becoming harder and more dangerous to climb, but it is rumoured to boast the best views of all the mountain peaks.
Located in the Savanne Range, this mountain is 715m and is the sixth highest peak on the island. The great thing about this mountain is that it’s very easy to hike and it has some phenomenal views. But the mountain, being in a pretty rainy area, often has bad weather so just make sure beforehand that the conditions are right for hiking and that you are well-equipped.
Corps de Garde
This mountain is situated in Quatre Bornes, so it enjoys incredible views of the central plateau. The mountain boasts a height of 720m and is quite a simple, easy hike that people of varying hiking abilities should be able to climb. It’s said that the French military had a post here to guard the slaves. There are many endemic plants on the mountain so it’s a great choice for nature lovers.
The three peaks that make up the Trois Mamelles in Cascavele is also known as the “Devil Mountain” because the peak in the middle has a height of 666m (the number of the devil). A beautiful range from afar, this mountain is extremely difficult to climb and definitely requires some skill and the services of a professional guide.
Tourelle du Tamarin
Located in Tamarin, this stand-alone peak is 560m high and forms part of the incredible Dodo Trail race. The mountain is steep, but the summit offers unparalleled views of the west coast. Keep in mind that it is on a private property, so permission is needed to hike it.
If you are an avid hiker or nature lover eager to make the most of the incredible mountains in Mauritius, as well as the island’s other natural wonders, then be sure to book your next holiday here. Get in touch with us for more information or to book a stay at one of our luxury hotels.