The south has undoubtedly many cynosures that account for its touristic pull and appeal, Chamarel is the icing on the cake. To some it’s sheer marvel, to others it’s the eighth wonder. They don’t stop praising it. They wouldn’t mind coming again and again just for the sake of it.
CHAMAREL IS A SMALL VILLAGE of around 750 inhabitants, mostly of African origin .They still possess traces of their ancestral characteristics that thev manifest in their conversation, their dialect, their lifestyle that modernism has not deprived them of.
Chamarel has a rich history,very attaching and down to earth. It is situated at an altitude of 300 metres. It’s often shrouded in clouds as seen from Case Noyale. This explains its temperate climate favouring the growth of a special flora that attracted the first settlers, It is situated close to the declining slope of the Gorges. It is relatively on a plain. It derives its name from its concessionary Monsieur Antoine de Chazal de Chamarel. Knight and Commander of the Infantry of the Regiment of Provence and his brother Tristan. Both were conferred a state of an area of 300 arpents. A sugar mill operated until 1872 when it joined the property of Bel Ombre.
How to reach Chamarel?
Chamarel can be reached from Vacoas by passing through La Marie, Mare aux Vacoas, Plaine Champagne, and Viewpoint From Case Noyale on the west coast, one can drive through a twisted road, zig zagging at times and serpentine as well. Its not a smooth drive. It calls for caution, otherwise the journey may end at the bottom of piedpices at the mercy of wild pigs and monkeys.The less tortuous and risky and easily accessible is the road from Bale du Cap. It is less stressing though it runs uphill before reaching Chamarel.
It’s famous Seven Coloured Earth
Chamarel is endowed with all the elements that dress it into an attractive tourist magnet but there is one feature that stands aloof and makes of it a must visit place. It is the seven coloured earths and its magnificent waterfalls .They have become a favourite site with tourists. It is situated in a very peaceful atmosphere. It is a unique natural site offering a stunning view of colourful dunes of earth.The different shades of blue, green, blue, red, yellow of the earth are the result of me erosion of volcanic ash. The neighbouring waterfall rises from the native vegetation, a magnificent scenery of rare beauty. The way to the site inrolls in turn coffee plantations, the Chamarel falls, approximately 100 metres high, taking its source from Ri veriere ST Denis and Viande Salée. No tour operator can afford to exclude this spot from the itinerary. It’s incredible and unique with its splendid and breathtaking landscape. It has become a focal point for adventure, tourism and multifarious activities. Tourists and visitors alike relish the coloured earth that is now arranged in undulated dunes. It is indeed a pageant of colours presenting a spectacular view in a wild and green background. It’s regrettable that commerce and other motives have robbed the place of the virgin beauty it had some time back Old George aged about 70 expresses this view with a slight heart twinge and speaks of the past nostalgically.
He however adds that the way has been opened for the village development offering employment to the villagers in the hospitality sector, and other related jobs. A young man says proudly that he is studying German, Spanish and English to work as a guide. Now entrance is Rs 125 per person. The collection helps proper maintenance of the spot.
The drive from the gate to the site is not easy. It’s sloppy, narrow and reminiscent of lanes in mountainous areas. Steep slopes and unfriendly bends contribute to the thrill and excitement the trip offers. There’s opportunity to go round, admire the dunes, photograph them and the vicinity. Small bottles filled with the afferent coloured earths are on sale in a shop within the compound. Light lunch is available too. Typical Mauritian cuisine can be enjoyed at some Tables d’hôte recently set upon sloping sides
The area reserves enjoyment for all tastes. Wonderful trekking adventure in the mountains just by following the road, scope for some archery and even hiking and biking exist. Leisurely walks on sodden ground in the shade of big trees give a new form of sensation. The return journey, too, may be fruitful Valriche is a truly rich valley in Domaine de Bel Ombre as its name implies It may be visited. It contains many hidden treasures, ruins of a traditional chimney, vast meadows with grazing stags, an amazing waterfall running through a rich forest with plenty of rare birds, exotic plants exuding. an exotic fragrance. There is also an old stone maision transformed into a pleasant restaurant catering tor the delight of the most fastidious tastes.
Fauna and Flora
There is also an inexhaustible store of unexpected wealth in terms of plants, trees, fruits, birds fauna and flora, rivers are not to forget The Alexandra Falls,The trail across the creek may be followed and get informed about the dwarf upland forest that unveils taller trees and gives the possibility of exploring a large chunk of the area rich in sylvan niceties. The rustling of the wind in the foliage, the hissing of many streams, the splashing of the water below and the cacophony of the birds send one in an ecstasy. A nature lover would surely indulge in the manifold pleasures available and lose himself in the many intricacies and maze that won’t fail to entice him.