bel ombre nature reserve, bay2bay tour, mauritius

Ah, the wild south and its marvelous landscapes! They make us dream of what Mauritius must have looked like when its first inhabitants arrived… Off we go for a 90 minutes’ adventure from bay to bay, in 11 exotic steps!

Aboard a 14-seater van, in the company of a guide who knows everything about the 250 years of history of the region, we first discover the Bay of Jacotet and the Sancho islet, theatre of epic naval battles and hideout of pirates and privateers ... We pass in front of the Bel Ombre Nature Reserve which shelters exceptional flora and fauna, before reaching the village of Bel Ombre to discover the sugar past of the region. At Place du Moulin, we come upon the fangourin (an ancient mill used for crushing sugarcane) and turbines of the old factory. We have a glimpse of the sheer scale of sugar production a century ago! A few steps away is the Château de Bel Ombre, an architectural treasure from the 19th century where we can imagine the life of its then occupants.

We continue our exploration to discover Bel Ombre, a peaceful coastal village made for lazy strolls. At the beginning of the 20th century, sugar from 15 factories in the region was shipped to the Bel Ombre batelage to be sent to Port Louis. Next, a memorial reminds us of the extraordinary adventure of the survivors of the Trevessa, a German shipwrecked in the 1920s, whose passengers spent three weeks at sea drifting in lifeboats. After a few moments trying to imagine their incredible odyssey, we hit the road again and cross the bucolic villages of Saint Martin and Baie du Cap before reaching the memorial of Matthew Flinders, a British explorer who was held captive as a prisoner of war for 7 years in Mauritius.

We then reach the Macondé viewpoint: from our vantage point, overlooking the lagoon from east to west, we can guess the tricky openings in the reefs which allow canoes to venture out in the open sea. Our last stop is La Prairie, a delicious strip of sand bordered by a lagoon with a thousand shades of blue, with a breathtaking view of Le Morne Brabant, the proud emblematic mountain of the southwest.

For 280 rupees per adult (140 for children), we had the pleasure of discovering azure lagoons, dreaming of the life of yesteryears, imagining the scent of sugar that floated in the air during the harvest and awaken our adventurous soul… Yes, not all who wander are lost!

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