Gardens of Mauritius
The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is only the size of the county of Surrey, yet it is blessed with a rich and diverse flora and fauna, and is home to some of the rarest plants and creatures in the world. Caressed by a benign climate and light but regular rainfall, virgin forests and coastal lands provide ideal habitats for myriad species, many of them unique to the island – of the 1000 or so plants indigenous to Mauritius, about 300 are totally unique. In the mountain reserve at Le Petrin, for example, we will find many endemic plants such as the starfish-like yellow Roussea and the scarlet-belled Trochetia, all set among dainty ferns and mosses. Elsewhere our exploration will reveal trees once thought extinct, like the pink flowered wild Hibiscus, and a species of palm that is the last of its kind in the world. At the splendidly-named Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan Botanic Garden at Pamplemousses, we will see giant waterlilies, Victoria amazonica, with their white and pink flowers and 1.5m diameter leaves, as well as sacred scented lotus, colourful Cannas and Heliconias and numerous palm avenues and tropical trees. At L’Ile aux Aigrettes Reserve we will witness outstanding conservation work with almost extinct flora and fauna, while in the hills of the Black River Gorges National Park we will enjoy dramatic views over tropical forest. There will also be plenty of time to enjoy the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters and soak up the local culture, with its European, Indian and African influences.
Tour led by: Our November 2022 tour will be led by Colin Crosbie, who was the Head Gardener to Her Majesty The Queen Mother in Windsor prior to taking up the position of Curator at RHS Garden Wisley. His extensive horticultural knowledge and experience coupled with his good humour have established him as one of Brightwater’s most popular guides.
Your Departure date
Deposit: $340 Single supplement: $695
Enhance your experience
Whether you want to add extra nights on either side of your tour, you want to upgrade your flight or hotel room, or you are hoping to enjoy a door-to-door airport transfer, we can help.
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Day 1 -
The arrival day in Mauritius is free to settle in and explore the surrounding area.
|Hotel||Anelia Resort and Spa Hotel, Mauritius|
Day 2 -
We begin this morning with a visit to La Vanille Tropical Garden, where we will have a guided tour of the flora and fauna in this unique zoo, which is beautifully landscaped with tropical plants.
In the afternoon we visit the Domaine de Saint Aubin, a colonial house from 1819, which offers number of different visitor experiences. The Moulin de Saint Aubin shows how sugar cane was processed; the Rum House, a pioneer in the production of agricultural rum in Mauritius, demonstrates the subtleties of distilling agricultural rum and offers a tasting session, and the Vanilla House explains the production process of the famous aromatic pod. There is also a Botanical Garden which houses one of just two Chorisia (silk floss trees) in Mauritius and a Spice Garden.
Day 3 -
This morning we will take a boat trip to the island nature reserve of l’IIe aux Aigrettes, where we will see plants and animals on the verge of extinction, which have been saved and now thrive here, such as rare orchids and pink pigeons.
This afternoon we visit the well-stocked Vaneron Garden Centre and Nursery at Trianon. An afternoon tea with pastries is included here.
Day 4 -
This morning we visit the estate of Gros Cailloux in Petite Rivière on the west coast of the island. There are five different sectors which we will discover in our tour: agriculture, fruit and vegetables, a nursery, landscaping and leisure and events. Later we transfer to the capital city of Port Louis, which was used as a harbour by Dutch settlers from 1606, when it was known as the Harbour of Tortoises, but took its present name under French colonial rule in honour of King Louis XV. Here we will visit the modest but very interesting Natural History Museum whose exhibits include a rare skeleton of the dodo, which became extinct in the 17th century.
Day 5 -
Free day to relax and enjoy the facilities of the hotel or explore the surrounding area at your leisure.
Day 6 -
This morning we enjoy a guided visit to Cuerpipe Botanical Garden and Le Petrin Nature Reserve. The little botanic garden is notable for its palm Hyphorbe amaricaulis, a doomed species as it is the last of its kind in the world and has proved impossible to propagate. The mountain and moorland reserve at Le Petrin is home to many endemic plants such as the starfish-like yellow Roussea and the scarlet-bellied Trochetia, all set among dainty ferns and mosses.
In the afternoon we visit Ebony Forest, a conservation project which is helping reverse the impacts of habitat destruction and invasive species to provide a refuge for the island’s threatened wildlife.
We conclude today with a visit to the Seven Coloured Earths, a rare geological oddity created by volcanic activity which brought together a number of different minerals and elements. Seven distinct hues can be seen (red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple, and yellow), creating a psychedelic effect on these rolling sand dunes, which are strangely resistant to erosion.
Day 7 -
Today we will depart on an excursion to the Black River Gorges National Park. This beautiful highland area south-west of Curepipe is like no other part of the island and looks more like North America than an island in the Indian Ocean. Look out for the rare tambalacoque or dodo tree, black ebony trees and the exotic birds that perch in them. We will also visit the Plaine Champagne and the Grand Bassin and in the afternoon we will stop at La Morne beach where those who wish can have a swim.
Day 8 -
This morning we travel to the capital Port Louis for some free time before we depart for a visit to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan Botanic Garden at Pamplemousses, famous for its canal full of giant waterlilies, Victoria amazonica, with their pink flowers and 1.5m diameter leaves. We will also see sacred scented lotus, colourful Cannas and Heliconias and numerous palm avenues and tropical trees.
Later we visit the Domaine de Labourdonnais, which has become one of the most attractive cultural visits in Mauritius. We will visit the Château and the Nursery which has a wide range of plants before enjoying a tasting of local rum or fruit juice.
Day 9 -
We begin today with a visit to the Exotica Garden Centre and Nursery, the largest on the island with a vast range of colourful plants including a huge flowered Hibiscus. We will follow this with a visit to the Garden of Clothilde at Anthelme. In the afternoon we visit Eureka House, a colonial mansion where as well as the garden we will see a dramatic woodland ravine. Lunch is included here.
|Hotel||Anelia Resort and Spa Hotel, Mauritius|
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner|
Day 10 -
For our final day we relax in the hotel before we transfer to the airport.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|15 November 2022||BMAU221114||15 November 2022 (Tuesday)||25 November 2022 (Friday)||Colin Crosbie||$3,425
|$340||$695||Book your trip|
|30 March 2023||BMAU230329||30 March 2023 (Thursday)||8 April 2023 (Saturday)||$2,995
|Book your trip|
|16 November 2023||BMAU231115||16 November 2023 (Thursday)||25 November 2023 (Saturday)||$3,125
|Book your trip|