Mauritius: Gardens of paradise


As hard as it may seem to believe, tourists visiting Mauritius will want to save some time to leave the beautiful beaches and try a few excursions inland and be one with nature. Gardens on this island nation are not to be missed when visiting.

National Botanical Garden of Mauritius

Mauritius National Botanical Garden is home to an incredible variety of tropical plants, many of them indigenous. The Botanic Garden, formally known as Sir Seewoosagur Botanic Garden, is one of the most visited attractions in Mauritius. It is located in the proximity of Port-Louis in the district of Pamplemousse. Many trees have been planted by world leaders and royalty, including Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Indira Gandhi, François Mitterrand and Robert Mugabe.

A popular tourist attraction, the botanical garden was initially opened as a private garden by the French governor of Mauritius nearly 300 years ago, and later became the national botanical garden of Mauritius. It stretches over endless acres of land and contains more than 650 varieties of plants among which are the famous Baobabs, the Palmier Bouteille, the ineluctable Giant Water Lilies, dozens of medicinal plants, and a large spice garden, to name a few. One of the main attractions of the botanical garden are the 85 different varieties of palm trees brought in from different corners of the world, along with indigenous species of plants.

Curepipe Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Curepipe were created in 1870 and is the second largest botanical garden in Mauritius. The garden is home to some rare trees and other indigenous plants. Visitors will find locals fishing in the river that runs through the gardens, and there is a lake surrounded by Nandia palms.

A walkway runs through the gardens where families and children play and run, and couples walk hand-in-hand. The gardens are where the famous Mauritian writer and painter, Malcolm de Chazal, saw an azalea flower “looking at him,” and so began his famous writings, which he later published in his book, “Sens plastique,” in 1947.

Balfour Garden

A garden and playground in the quiet suburbs of Beau Bassin, a sister town to Rose Hill, is where locals come to exercise, where children play, and where couples and families picnic. Visitors take a walk through the pretty tranquil gardens and appreciate the fresh air and quiet setting. Beautiful views of a waterfall, the Grand River North West flowing towards Port Louis, and the stunning Moka Mountain range in the background add to the charm of these gardens.

The gardens at Chateau de Labourdonnais

Located on the grounds of the Chateau de Labourdonnais, visitors cand stroll through the lush gardens and old orchards where large fairways invite guests to take a walk on the promenade. Here the horticultural wealth of the region is displayed. Besides endemic plants, the orchards host fifty varieties of hundred-year-old mango trees, spice trees such as nutmeg and clove, as well as several exotic fruit trees such as the pomme jacot, sapote, jamalac and Kythira plum.

Further on, large orchards provide fruits such as papayas, mangoes, guavas, and passion fruit, which are used in the manufacture of the Labourdonnais product range, without making use of any colorings or artificial flavors. These natural flavors can be experienced at the tasting bar and at the château’s boutique.

During the walk through the gardens, visitors will have the opportunity to make a stop in a park where giant Aldabra tortoises graze peacefully.

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