During my 5 days trip in Mauritius, the most striking memory I made was the hike to Le Morne Brabant mountain. I had little information on how to hike on my own. So, I decided not to take the unnecessary risk to embark on my own especially when the terrains can be considered quite risky with sharp edges and rocky surfaces.
Hence, I used the service of Yanature.com for MUR1500.00. The arrangement for the hike was made via email booking. I made payment on the hike day itself. The instruction on the meeting point was as simple as to meet at 5.50am at the parking area facing the Paradis Beachcomber Gold Resort and Spa.
The meeting point was 10 minutes’ drive from the Coconut Comfy Studio Room. The parking area was still empty and quiet until Zack came knocking on the car’s window and introduced himself. Later, Kim and her mother joined us. According to Zack, the trekking guided by Yanature starts from a private gated estate, to which only Yanature has access to. However, for some unknown reasons, the gatekeeper was not there to provide access to us on that particular day. We had to go through the main entrance, which was situated about 10 minutes drive from the Le Morne junction.
The trail is 3.5km long and takes approximately between 3.5 hours – 4 hours depending on your speed and stamina. Although the notice board states the opening hours is between 7am to 4pm, we slipped in through the gap of the gate to start hiking as early as 6.10am.
During the first 45 minutes, we walked together through the hiking trail with a gentle ascent. I caught my breath in between sweeping the leaves on the ground of the forest and listening to the chirping birds. I spent the time by chatting with Kim, who was on her post-exam holiday with her mother, a true outdoor person. She spoke to me on getting a solid tan before going back to snowy Bavaria. There were times when she slowed down her pace for me to catch up. What a nice thing to do, Kim! I was such a slow hiker.
Then, we reached a level ground where the view exposed. A bench fixed at the edge of the rocky surface provided for a photo op! We did not spend a long time there for we still had a long way to go.
By then, Zack pointed to a huge tree and a green gate from where the path would get more difficult. That was not the end, for our ultimate destination was still way up from the green gate. We were headed for the viewing point with a cross slightly before the summit.
For the hike to Le Morne Brabant, you could not summit the peak because it is a protected area due to the outstanding universal values of the area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mauritius was central to the maroon period when the maroons (the term for escaped slaves) resisted to slavery. The resistance was so strong that it eventually ended the slavery system and replaced it with indentured labour system. The maroons found shelter at the rugged terrains of Le Morne Brabant. Those days, the trail was unmarked and no one had ever explored the Brabant mountain. However, there was also a tragic incident as the maroons who did not want to get caught killed themselves by jumping off the cliff not knowing that the government had abolished the slavery system.
Green gate means half way to the viewing point.
The view was worth the sweat. The ocean was not just blue! You can see different shade of blue from above. I stood wondering if I could see the underwater waterfall. According to Zack, it could only be seen from a helicopter. But, it would cost a bomb! We were at the viewing point at the right time as the sun shined above the ocean.
Getting done is yet another journey. On the way down, we had to give way to many oncoming visitors. There were loads of them attempting the mountain at the same time even on a Monday. You can just imagine the crowd during the weekend. According to Zack, it is best to hike early in the morning to avoid the seasonal crowd. During the off-season, you could get the mountain to yourself.
Since the hike involves quite extensive rock climbing, you may want to consider calling off the hike during torrential rain due to the slippery rocks. Le Morne Brabant is one of the best ocean view I’ve had in my travels. I would definitely recommend the hike to you!