Mauritius - Nature's well preserved Island
In Mauritius, the first human that arrived on this island was probably an arab trader. But he arrived almost a 1000 year ago, yet he didn’t stay. It wasn’t until 1598 when first people settled here only four hundred years ago. As a result this island remained untouched for million years. It’s on the peak of a vast range of volcanoes that popped it’s cone up out of the warm waters of the Indian ocean 8 million years ago.
Here vegetation and wild life is lucky enough to develop free from human influence in unique and unexpected ways. About 3.5% of Mauritius is protected either as a national park or nature reserve.
Black river gorges national park is the biggest of parks in Mauritius and this is the good reason to drag yourself away from the beach. Black river gorges national park is a sprawling forest with over 300 species of flowering plant and 9 species of birds that are unique to this island.
The most popular attraction is Chamarel. It means colored earth basically the volcanic rocks pushed up by the ocean floor and cooled by the different temperature to create this kind of weird effect which is quite likeable. And the colors change depending on the light.
But if bizarre dirt isn’t your thing then the best is yet to come. The Chamarel falls are the highest and most dramatic on Mauritius plunging 100 meters in a single drop. They present a spectacular view which is second to none anywhere else in the world.
There is something very large in the forest of Mauritius. These are giant Aldabra tortoises. There are around 20 of these on Ile aux Aigrettes but these are not actually native to Mauritius, they’re from Seychelles which is 2000 kilometers from Mauritius. There were giant tortoises on this island but suddenly they became extinct in the early 1800s, so their arrivals and stay is always welcomed here like good neighbors.
Another animal that needs to be protected is the pink pigeon. Dodo was extinct in 1861 that was when it’s last observation was. The Dutch gave it this funny name. The Rafus means the long beak and cuculatus means big bum so they named it Rafus Cuculatus.
If you happen to be in port Louise then you can drop into the natural history museum there you’ll find a dodo gallery complete with a dodo skeleton and the reconstruction that was made using it.