Le Morne Peninsula
Set on the Southwestern tip of the island Le Morne Peninsula is a horse head shaped headland, lined with the island’s most picturesque beach, overshadowed by the basaltic peak of Le Morne Brabant which stands at 556m high. This dramatic monolith was included as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008 due to its significance in the history of slavery in Mauritius. It is believed that a group of slaves escaped capture and hid on the hostile terrain of Le Morne Brabant. The British abolished slavery in Mauritius on 1st February 1835, and around this time a group of soldiers started climbing the peak to inform the community that they were free. The group so feared the authorities and being recaptured that they leaped from the rock to their tragic deaths. A celebration of the abolition of slavery is held on the 1st February each year at a monument that lies at the foot of Le Morne Brabant.
Le Morne Peninsula is one of Mauritius’s most sought-after locations, and several of the island’s most exclusive resorts occupy the headland’s 4km stretch of immaculate white sand beach. The offshore reef acts as a natural wave barrier, creating a tranquil stretch of azure waters that lap the shore. Many visit the peninsula to hike up Le Morne Brabant, a strenuous 3-4 ascent that rewards with superb views of the outlying coral gardens and surrounding coastline – there is an option to stop at the halfway viewpoint for the less agile. The coastline is also considered to be one of the best places to learn kitesurfing, thanks to reliable onshore winds between May and October. Horse riding is another popular activity in the area, with a network of trials that take you through the forests and along the beach.