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Chamarel, Mauritius

Chamarel village, nestled in Mauritius within the Riviere Noire District, offers visitors a tranquil escape on the western hills of the island. With a population of approximately 783 residents and a low density of 26.5km x km, Chamarel exudes a serene ambiance amidst its scenic surroundings.

The village boasts several notable attractions, including the Seven Coloured Earths, renowned for its unique geological formations, the majestic Chamarel Falls, the lush Ebony Forest Chamarel, and the sprawling Black River Gorges National Park. Surrounding the area, visitors can observe locally grown coffee plantations, adding to the village’s rustic charm.

A focal point of the village is the Saint Anna Church, constructed in 1876, which hosts an annual pilgrimage on the Assumption of Mary, drawing devout worshippers from far and wide.

Chamarel’s idyllic setting, situated 6 km from the coast at an elevation of approximately 260 meters, offers breathtaking vistas of cascading waterfalls and wooded plateaus. The village is renowned for its hushed bucolic vibe and cool breezes, making it a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation.

The village derived its name, Chamarel, in the 1800s from the Frenchman Charles Antoine de Chazal Chamarel, who once resided in the area and owned the surrounding land. Despite its historical association, the village was colloquially referred to as the “Valley of Blacks” by local residents.

Chamarel’s primary plantations include sugarcane, pineapples, and coffee, with Arabica coffee plants and palm salad trees lining the path to the waterfall, offering visitors a glimpse of the area’s agricultural heritage.

For travelers seeking to explore Chamarel’s sights, a variety of guided tours are available, including visits to Piton Canot, Eglise Sainte, the Curious Corner of Chamarel, and the Seven Coloured Earth Geopark. Accessible via Mauritius International Airport, located 30 km away, Chamarel promises an unforgettable experience amidst its natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Seven Coloured Earths, Chamarel

The Seven Coloured Earth is a renowned tourist destination located in the plain of the Riviere Noire District in southwestern Mauritius. This unique natural phenomenon comprises a small area adorned with sand dunes displaying seven distinct colors: red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple, and yellow. The mesmerizing hues are a result of the sands settling in layers over time, creating a surreal and striped appearance.

The intricate patterns carved into the hillside by rainfall further enhance the visual spectacle, resembling earthen meringue. The sands themselves are formed from the decomposition of volcanic rock into clay, which is then transformed into ferralitic soil through total hydrolysis. The presence of iron and aluminum in the soil contributes to the striking red, anthracite, blue, and purplish colors, while variations in external temperatures during the cooling of molten volcanic rock result in the different shades observed.

Since the 1960s, the Seven Coloured Earth has captivated tourists with its breathtaking beauty. However, to preserve this natural wonder, the dunes are now protected by a wooden fence, and visitors are prohibited from climbing on the rocks. Instead, observation outposts placed along the fence allow tourists to admire the scenery and marvel at the captivating colors from a safe distance. Despite these restrictions, the Seven Coloured Earth continues to attract visitors from around the world, offering a glimpse into the awe-inspiring wonders of nature.seven-colored-earth

Ebony Forest Chamarel

The Ebony Forest, located in Chamarel in the southwest of Mauritius, is an integral part of the island’s natural heritage. Situated adjacent to the Seven Coloured Earth’s site, this forest encompasses a vast conservation area spanning 50 hectares, dedicated to safeguarding Mauritius’ endemic species and restoring indigenous forest ecosystems.

Through concerted efforts involving the planting of 130,000 endemic species and a decade of restoration work, the Ebony Forest was officially established in June 2017. Today, it stands as a sanctuary for rare semi-dry forest types and serves as a beacon for conservation efforts in Mauritius.

Visitors to the Ebony Forest reserve can immerse themselves in its lush surroundings and discover a range of attractions. Canopy walkways and viewpoints offer breathtaking vistas of the forest canopy and surrounding landscape, while guided tours or safaris provide insights into the area’s biodiversity and conservation efforts. Additionally, the forest features a museum, restaurant, and educational facilities, providing visitors with opportunities to learn about Mauritius’ unique flora and fauna and the importance of environmental conservation.

With its dedication to preserving Mauritius’ natural heritage and offering immersive experiences for visitors, the Ebony Forest stands as a testament to the island’s commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental stewardship.

Chamarel falls

The Cascade Chamarel, also known as the highest waterfall on Mauritius, is a breathtaking natural wonder that captivates visitors with its majestic beauty. Standing at an impressive height of 83 meters, this cascading waterfall is formed by the St. Denis River as it gracefully descends through the picturesque landscape.

Surrounded by lush vegetation from the Black River Gorges, the Cascade Chamarel offers a stunning backdrop of verdant greenery and scenic vistas. The river flows down through fields, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that draws travelers from far and wide.

To fully appreciate the splendor of the Cascade Chamarel, visitors can explore the lower and upper viewpoints located within the Black River National Park. From these vantage points, travelers can admire the waterfall’s majestic descent and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

For those seeking adventure, hiking trips to the Chamarel waterfall provide an exhilarating opportunity to explore the surrounding terrain and discover hidden gems along the way. Whether enjoying the panoramic views or embarking on an outdoor adventure, the Cascade Chamarel promises an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

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