With unparalleled beauty, tantalising landscapes and sapphire-blue lagoons – it’s no wonder hiking in Mauritius is a must activity for holidaymakers. Beautifully situated off the east coast of Africa, this dazzling island may span just 65 km in length and 45 km in width but offers visitors the best hikes, along with unforgettable views.
Expect volcanic peaks, stunning waterfalls and rare flora and fauna while walking. There are several fantastic trails set in some of Mauritius’ most rewarding landscapes – we show you some of the best hikes in Mauritius in this article.
So grab your hiking boots, insect repellent and sunscreen – it’s time to begin your Mauritius hiking adventure!
The best short hiking trails in Mauritius
Cascade 500 Pieds
If you are fond of breathtaking waterfalls and lush greenery, this 1.8 mile hike is a great discovery. Hikers can enjoy the short, steep hike to the lip of the waterfall which tumbles 500 feet down a deep ravine into Black River Gorge.
Although just a 1.5 to 2 hour long walk, expect a lush landscape populated by rare bird species. The top overlooks the enchanting valley of Chamouny on the south coast of Mauritius.
Hikers will encounter some challenging terrain but the opportunity to refresh and enjoy the fresh water at the top of waterfall, whilst admiring the vista and beautiful Paille en Queue birds, is well worth it.
Coq de Bois loop
Set in a nature reserve full of araukarias and eucalyptus, this walk is full of the gorgeous smells, sights, and sounds of Mauritian nature. The pretty Poste Lafayette public beach is nearby too.
This short walk has many picnic spots where you can enjoy a light lunch, while admiring the various trees here such as blackwood, teak and casuarinas. Coq de Bois loop is also home to a wide species of birds like sparrows, Mauritius fodys, canaries, white-tailed tropicbird, and white-eyes.
Corps de Garde
This 720-metre-high mountain, in Palma in the Black River district is a 2.8 mile long walk. With two access points; one from Trefle and the other from La Ferme Reservoir, this walk takes around three hours.
We recommend climbing the mountain early in the morning as the path is exposed to the sun during the day because of a lack of trees along the route. This hike tends to be more pleasant on a dry day as the rocks aren’t slippery, but proper hiking boots and walking sticks are worth having whatever the weather. Keep a look out for inquisitive monkeys on your way!
We love the enchanting views over the western coast from the top, and the views across towards the capital of Port Louis and the central plains of Mauritius.
On your way down, it’s advisable to take the same route and avoid the northern track as it’s very rocky and obscured with tall grass.
The best half-day and full-day hiking trails in Mauritius
Trois Mamelles Center Peak
This five mile hike boasts amazing panoramic views across Mauritius. The rugged path takes around four hours and is very challenging as the ascent has steep slopes and rocky sections.
The three peaks are famously known in Mauritius as the “Devil Mountain” and the peak in the middle has a height of 666m. Far from being a trip to hell, you can expect a vivid and vast array of flora and fauna here, including many endemic species.
This stunning hike requires some physical skill and the services of a professional guide is recommended.
Located in La Laura, Malenga, this majestic mountain is just begging to be explored. Named after the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, Pieter Both, the peak is an imposing sight that can be seen from virtually anywhere on the island. No wonder too – it’s the second highest mountain in Mauritius at 820m!
Pieter Both is a medium level walk up to the “neck”, and then a strenuous rock climb over the overhang onto the “head” – which is a huge rock that is perched on top. However the peak offers amazing views of the east, west and all of the north of the island, including the northern islands off the coast such as Gunner’s Quoin, Flat Island, Ilot Gabriel and Round Island.
The hike to the top can take around four hours for experienced hikers, but a guide is an absolute must. With steep areas and loose rocks, hikers are advised to wear protective headgear.
Black River Peak
The highest peak in Mauritius, also known in French as Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire is a breathtaking experience, and much more accessible than Pieter Both.
There are a number of trails leading to the peak, but we recommend hikers undertake the most popular way; called the Black River Peak Hiking Trail. This hike takes about two hours to reach the top and is an easy-medium hike, apart from the last 50-100 meters where a rope exists to help climb the steep ascent.
Most of the jungle trail is covered by the shade of trees, so views are limited until you reach the top. However the views from the summit are breathtaking, where you can see several waterfalls, views over the ocean and across the Black River Gorge.
Tips for hiking in Mauritius
Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when embarking on a hiking adventure in Mauritius:
- It’s best to come prepared with a map. You can buy maps at local tourist offices for a small fee.
- Hiking gear and clothing are often needed, and some challenging hikes require protective gear and walking sticks for rainy days.
- Bring food and plenty of water, especially if you are hiking during summer.
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent are a must as the sun can be very harsh during warmer days.
- Check the weather forecast prior to a hike as some trails are slippery. Trails can be challenging and very muddy during rainy days.
Hiking in Mauritius: The weather and best months to visit
This stunning island boasts a tropical maritime climate throughout the year. Mauritius has two seasons: a warm humid summer extending from November to April and a relatively cool dry winter from May to October.
The cooler months between May and October are ideal for hiking as the weather is mild and pleasant. During winter the average temperature is 24°C and the minimum around 17°C. Winter can see rain though, although it is our favourite season to explore Mauritius . You can also enjoy amazing stays at posh hotels as the prices are much cheaper during this off-peak season.
November to April are the warmer months ranging between 25°C and 33°C, and visitors seeking to spend most of the day on the beach or at the sea will love these months. Tourists can enjoy a wide variety of water sports and diving enthusiasts will enjoy the clear waters between December and March. If can get very hot for hiking, so we recommend only shorter hikes during this season.