Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

Hike to the Summit of Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius

4 Miles Total - 1607.6 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by LJ Nielsen

A beautiful summit with a dark history, Le Morne Brabant offers a fantastic day hike for those looking to earn views over lush African forest, sparkling blue reefs and specks of island paradises resting on the calm waters of the indian ocean.

History

Although Le Morne’s geological life spans over thousands of years, its modern history is tainted with sorrow. During the ages of slavery on the island, a group of men and women escaped their oppressors and fled their confinement, looking for sanctuary amongst the caves of the highest peak they could find, Le Morne Brabant. 

Upon the abolishment of slavery in 1835, a group of policemen were tasked to journey to the summit and inform the men and women residing there that they were now free people. Unfortunately, the former slaves mistook the policemen’s intent, and thought that they were to be recaptured. Fearing slavery more than death, many of the men and women flung themselves from the dozens of cliff faces to their deaths on the slopes below.

The Hike

While the dark history of the mountain may loom bewitchingly, the physical setting provides one of the most stunning and colourful landscapes to be found on the island. As the mountain has been bestowed with the prestigious world heritage list tag, there is no access to the true summit, but rather the Cross Monument situated at 490m above sea level. 

The hike begins at the trail head sandwiched between the mountain and the lagoon on a dirt road, accessible from the B9 highway, just south of La Gaulette. While the majority of maps show a varied route network across the peninsula, most roads are blocked by local companies to allow for their exclusive access, therefore the trail head is the only entrance available to the public.

The initial part of the hike takes the form of a gentle 2.5km stroll through lush African forest, with several switchbacks offering an increasingly impressive view of the nearby lagoon as altitude increases. This trail eventually winds to the plateau, which is often doubles as the end for those not keen to scramble their way to the summit. Slightly north-east of this area lies the North View Point, a collection of boulders that provide a great opportunity for unobstructed views of the summit and the surrounding landscape.

From the plateau, hikers will notice a sign indicating that only experienced individuals should embark on the push to the summit. The last push gains an altitude of 200m over the 680m distance, with a majority of the climb forcing hikers to scramble their way to the top. In years past, ropes were placed on these paths to assist the brave souls headed to the summit, however they are no longer there, meaning one must draw on their own skills to reach the summit.

Once at the peak, hikers will be treated to stunning views of the sweeping Indian Ocean, exotic birds soaring over gigantic cliffs, emerald green forests, and the striking blue outline of neighbouring peaks in the Black River Gorges National Park. Although surrounded by endless beauty, one can still see how difficult life would have been for the escaped men and women who were forced to flee to the top of the summit.

From the top, it is a slow return trip offering the same fantastic views and the opportunity to tell summiting hikers how far they have to go. Perhaps the best part of the hike is that you are in Mauritius, and despite the heat, there is a multitude of amazing beaches to cool off in with endless fruit vendors selling their goods to replenish your energy stores.

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Tags

Fitness
Chillin
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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