If you think Mauritius is all about the tropical climate, the unspoilt beaches and glamorous beachside resorts and hotels, then you clearly need to re-think the concept of what makes a Mauritius holiday truly exceptional, and that is – nature, at its most splendorous, glorious and untouched.
Mauritiusis one of the greenest and most scintillatingly beautiful getaway locations in the world. The many wildlife parks and reserves are part of the charm of Mauritius holidays; a kind of charm that you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re a nature lover. Mauritius’nature and wildlife sanctuaries allow travellers to greet wildlife and witness nature in the supreme glory of the natural kingdom.
Black River Gorges National Parksits in the central highlands and is an extensive forest refuge of native flora and fauna with 60 kilometres of misty hiking trails, and perhaps the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. Temperatures in the park are remarkably cooler than other parts of the island and there are very distinct microclimates throughout the park itself – ranging from the upland forests’ rainy damp conditions to the predominantly dry lowland forests.
The wildlife within the park is colourful and lively with pink pigeons, brightly coloured kestrels, the playfully naughty Macaque monkeys, Mauritian echo-parakeets, and the often recognisable white-tailed tropicbirds portrayed on the insignia for Air Mauritius. There are reportedly 150 varieties of endemic plants and 9 rare bird species in this region. Beautiful trees can be observed along the hiking trail like the unusual umbrella-shaped Bois de Natte, the Traveller’s Palm tree with its large flat paddle-like leaves, and an assortment of lichens, ferns, orchids and seasonably-edible Chinese Guava trees. The spectacular landscape, with intertwined mountains overlooking the coloured waters of the lagoon and AlexandraFalls, make for a particularly stunning view from the Black River Gorges viewpoint.
The Casela Yemen Nature Reserve, near Flic en Flac in West Mauritius, offers something for the tourist seeking things a bit more exotic. Hiking trails and walking trails are abundant but the Casela Yemen Nature Reserve offers the optional extra of having lions walk the trails with you. This nature reserve is where many different African and Asian animals, even lions and tigers together, call home.
Last, but certainly not least, if walking with lions isn’t your thing, The Botanical Gardens in Pamplemousses showcases beautifully tree-lined avenues throughout the gardens, rustic bridges over waters, and lush green lawns that guide you to the magnificent lake’s edge for a peaceful, relaxing, tranquil escape. If you’re passionate about nature, Mauritius holidays will reward you with more natural beauty than you thought possible.