The island of Mauritius, despite being a rather well-developed country; still has spots of preserved nature where people can relax and enjoy themselves. Apart from the obvious beaches, there are parks and nature reserves where Mauritians and visiting tourists alike can enjoy nature and even discover some new sports and experiences. Let’s go on a tour of some of the nature reserves and parks of the island of Mauritius.

Casela Nature and Reserve Park

Where to go in Mauritius : visit Casela Nature Park
zebras grazing at Casela Nature Park. Photo credits: GrazinNLazin by Brigadier Chastity Crispbread, on Flickr[email protected]/

Located in the western part of the island of Mauritius, the Casela Nature and Reserve Park is perhaps one of the best-known of the country. It is a park of 14 hectares which houses about 1500 birds of different species as well as zebras, lions, giant tortoises, monkeys, tigers, among many others. They also offer quite a range of activities as well, like zip-lining, quad riding, walks with lions, photo safaris, petting zoos, segway rides, canyoning, and via ferrata. They also have a restaurant and a bar where visitors can enjoy Mauritian, European and Asian cuisine.

Frédérica Nature Reserve

The Frédérica Nature reserve is located in the south-west of the island of Mauritius within the Bel Ombre estate. The reserve’s surface area is of 1300 hectares and it is managed by the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation and the Bel Ombre Estate. It is a good place to experience the Mauritian biodiversity at its fullest.  Among the activities available there are quad biking, safaris, kids discovery tours, mountain biking  and treks to some of the waterfalls that can be found there, like Cascade Madame Belle, Cascade Quintré, Cascade de l’exemple, etc…

The Black River Gorges

What to do in Mauritius - visit the Black River Gorges
The Balck River Gorges in Mauritius. Photo credits: Black River Gorges (Ile Maurice) by Toby1909, on Flickr CC.By SA

Also located in the South-west, the Black River Gorges nature reserve is the biggest nature reserve of the island of Mauritius. It covers an area of 67.54 square kilometres and protects most of the island’s remaining rainforest. About 311 species of endemic and indigenous flowering plants and 9 species of birds can be found there. With 60 kilometres of hiking trails, it is a well-loved spot for local hikers.

The Chamarel Adventure Park

The Chamarel Adventure Park can be found near the entrance to the Chamarel Seven coloured earths. It is an adventure park that offers zip-lines and high-ropes courses in the middle of the tropical forest. Other activities that are offered include a botanical track, an adventure track and hiking.

La Vanille Crocodile Farm

Where to go in Mauritius:visit la Vanille crocodile farm.
Crocodiles at La Vanille Crocodile Park. Photo Credits: CrocoYawn by Brigadier Chastity Crispbread, on Flickr[email protected]/

Spread over 3.5 hectares of green vegetation in the south of the island, La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes is also the first place where crocodiles were reared in Mauritius, mainly for their skin. The park also has giant tortoises, radiated tortoises, iguanas, bullfrogs, bats, donkeys and the biggest insectariums of the island with 23000 different species. You will also find a restaurant nearby, serving meals prepared with crocodile meat as well as a shop where you will be able to purchase several items made from crocodile skin.

La Vallée des couleurs

Where to go in Mauritius: visit la Vallée des couleurs.
Waterfall at La Vallée des Couleurs. Photo credits: Waterfall and pond by Guillaume Laurent, on Flickr CC by SA

The island of Mauritius has long been known for the seven-coloured earths at Chamarel, but in 1998 a place with earths of 23 colours was discovered. That place is now called Vallée des Couleurs and is also a nature park located in Rivière des Anguilles. Among the different activities available there, you fill find: step-jet (a human-powered device that allows you to navigate on water in an upright position, similar to walking), quad-biking, trekking and zip line. This nature park has the longest zip line of all the Indian Ocean with a length of 500 meters. The nature park is also home to several animal species such as the Pink Pigeon, Paille-en-Queue, Echo Parakeet, tortoises, monkeys and deer, among others. Visitors will also be able to see five waterfalls: Cascade Vacoas, Cascade Fougères, Cascade Bois de Natte, Cascade de Bigarade and Cascade Chamouzé.

Domaine de l’Etoile

The Domaine de l’Etoile is a nature park which is located in the East of the Island. Its surface area is of 1200 hectares and visitors will ba ablt to participate in various activities such as quad riding, buggy rides, horse riding excursions, hiking, mountain biking, archery, etc.

Domaine de Lagrave

The Domaine de Lagrave is located near the region of Midlands in the center of the island of Mauritius. Among the activities available on this 170 hectare property, visitors will find: archery, hiking, trekking, canoe, archery, treasure hunts, raft building, fresh-water fishing, kayak, etc. Nearby visitors will find a restaurant where they will be able to enjoy a variety of meals.

Rivulet Terre-Rouge Estuary

The Rivulet Terre-Rouge Estuary is located near Port-Louis and is a sanctuary for migratory birds coming from Europe as far as Siberia. It covers an area of 26 hectares and is visited by more than 1200 birds each year. This nature reserve is also home to about 38 species of plants, including some endemic to Mauritius;