With its lush nature, mountains and endemic forests, Mauritius is also the perfect destination for nature lovers and to relax away from the hustle of professional life. Since several years, Mauritius has been offering a wide range of activities for travellers choosing sustainable tourism. Whether you are a family or a couple, there is a wide choice for visitors looking for green tourism: hiking in the forests, climbing the mountains and for sports enthusiasts, an established annual trail programme. You will discover an unexpected facet of Mauritius with its superb landscapes and exceptional fauna and flora.
For a real immersion in the Mauritian nature, nothing like walks in the forest. At the Black River Gorges National Park in the west, discover protected native animal species such as the Pink Pigeon, the Echo Parakeet and the Mauritian Bat, as well as endemic centenary trees that have gone through history. Several marked trails are accessible and some will take you to the heights of the island, to Macchabée and Pétrin. The Bras d'Eau forest, another national park in the East, is also worth a visit. The challenge will be to see the Paradise Flycatcher, a small protected endemic bird that will not be easy to find, even if you hear its shrill birdsong. Several other parks and forests are accessible across the island, including the Vallée de Ferney in the southeast, Ebony Forest in Chamarel and Plaine Sophie in the centre, among others.
To gain height and enjoy the nature of Mauritius from above, go for mountain climbing. The most popular mountains are Le Pouce and Pieter Both, starting from Saint Pierre, and Le Morne Mountain in the south. It is advisable to be accompanied by experienced guides for this adventure.
The practise of trail running has taken off in Mauritius giving to sports enthusiasts a very interesting range of medium to high-level competitions during the year, open to foreign participants. Partner hotels also offer runners special accommodation packages for their stay in Mauritius during the competition.
Launched in 2006, the oldest trail event, the Standard Bank Royal Raid, is one of the most anticipated contest featuring four races, the 35 km, 12 km, 5 km – newly added, and the famous 70 km. This competition takes place in the west and south-west of Mauritius giving the opportunity to discover stunning landscapes between mountains, hunting grounds and ocean, with the start taking place at Casela Park or in the Black River Gorges, and the finish in Bel Ombre. The next edition is scheduled for May 2021. https://www.royalraid.com/
The Dodo Trail takes place in the west and has evolved since its creation in 2011. The trail is open to all and is split into five categories: the 50km Xtreme Dodo Trail – Relay and Individual, the 25km Trooper, the 10km Active and the 5km Fun Run, a race dedicated to families. The Dodo Trail is usually held in July and offers participants the beautiful scenery of the western region. https://www.dodotrail.com/en/
The most popular trail is the Ferney Trail, which takes place in the east of Mauritius, in the stunning Vallée de Ferney. Since its first edition in 2008, it has become the annual rendezvous for Mauritian families in September, with the various races on the menu: 35 km, 17 km, 10 km and the 4km Sun Kids Race. It is another facet of the island which is unveiled, between the Grand Port Mountain range and the lush nature of the valley. The Ferney Trail is open to all ages, from 6 to 80 years old! www.ferneytrail.com
Presented as a 5-star trail, the Ultra-Trail Raidlight Beachcomber is a sporting event of choice for trailers with four different races: 10km Trail du Souffleur, 25km Trail du Nautile, 47km Trail de la Perruche and 100km Trail des 7 couleurs. The competition takes place in the west and southwest of the country, across hunting grounds, mountains and gorges to end on the southwest coast. URTB is usually held in July. www.beachcomber-events.com/utrb.
The KFC Mauritius Marathon which is run on the roads of the south, through villages and coastal roads, to finish at the beach of St Félix in Bel Ombre. A great opportunity for the marathon buffs to enjoy the authentic Mauritius while running. Three categories are featured: the 42.195 km marathon, the 21.1 km half marathon and the 10 km race. In 2020, the marathon is planned for December. https://www.mauritiusmarathon.com/
The Electro-Bike will undoubtedly appeal to those who prefer to go for green outings on two wheels. This original activity allows you to discover the nature and landscapes of Mauritius on a semi-electric bicycle, which will also suit the less sporty… so, no excuses! Several tours are available, with stopovers in the less touristic villages of the island. Meet the local people while traveling sustainable! www.electrobikemauritius.com