I was there to attend a blogging conference and we had some already organised tours (like diving with a scuba scooter!) but I knew we would have some free time, and you guys know how much I love a good hike, so I was keen to squeeze at least one hike in while in Mauritius!
As soon as I saw photos of the view from the top of Le Morne Brabant, I knew I had to hike this mountain. From the peak of Le Morne Brabant there are stunning 360 views over the hills, forests and beaches of Mauritius, and also the famous underwater waterfall!
If you’re planning to hike Le Morne Brabant this is the guide for you. I’ve put together everything you need to know including how to get there, prices, difficulty and more.
- 1 Le Morne Brabant Hike specifications
- 2 My experience hiking Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius
- 3 Some history about Le Morne Brabant
- 4 Where to stay to hike Le Morne Brabant
Le Morne Brabant Hike specifications
Before we jump into my experience hiking Le Morne Brabant, I wanted to cover some of the basic information on this hike so you know what to expect.
How to get there
Le Morne Brabant is located in the South West part of the island of Mauritius. If you’re driving there yourself just search for “Le Monte Brabant trail entrance”, to reach the start of the trail. The road ends in a big unpaved area that acts as parking area so don’t be worried to drive off the road.
Hiking Le Morne Brabant will take you around 3-4 hours, including regular breaks for water, snacks and photos.
The initial section of the hike has a very gradual incline, a well-beaten path and well-marked trail. However around the half way mark the difficulty increases considerably.
The path becomes less marked and at times much steeper, to the point that you will have to help yourself with your hands to climb over rocks and boulders.
On the way down you will have to sit on your bum and slide down the rocks. Don’t let this put you off though; it’s a seriously incredible hike!
Best time to hike Le Morne
You should aim to hike Le Morne as early as possible in the day. The temperatures in Mauritius can get pretty hot so you don’t want to be hiking in the middle of the day.
However it’s not a hike I recommend doing in the dark or for sunset, since there are parts where you will have to boulder and it would be dangerous to do so in the dark.
Cost of hiking Le Morne
If you want to hike Le Morne Brabant with a tour it will cost you 1,50o MUR, including hotel pickup, water during the hike and hotel drop off.
If you choose to hike by yourself there is no entry fee to Le Morne, you will just have to pay for a rental car or transfer to the start of the trail. The cost of this will vary depending on where in Mauritius you are staying.
Can you hike Le Morne Brabant without a guide?
When I first researched the Le Morne Brabant hike I found information online saying you couldn’t do it without a guide.
While we were there we saw lots of smaller groups, pairs or individuals hiking alone though so I think this is no longer the case.
There is however a difference between whether you can do the hike without a guide, and whether you should.
Personally, when I first set off I found the hiking trail pretty easy and I was questioning why we had bothered doing it on a tour.
However as we hiked up and the trail got gradually less marked, and we had to scramble over rocks to reach the top, I was glad we had a guide.
Hiking Le Morne Brabant on a tour will give you more confidence and security, since the guide will make sure to tell you where you can or can’t step.
More than once if I hadn’t had the guide telling me to keep going or where to step, I would have assumed the trail was over and ended the hike early.
My experience hiking Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius
We booked the Le Morne Brabant hiking tour with our hotel for 1,500 MUR. We got picked up at 6:45AM and were at the base of Le Morne, ready to hike around 7AM. You can easily arrange it when you arrive in Mauritius, but if you prefer to have everything organised before going you can also book it online.
Our guide gave us a bit of an introduction on the hike and then we set off bright and early. As soon as we set off we came across one of the moments that would have made me hesitate if I’d been alone.
You will see a wire fence with a “Private Property – no trespassing” sign that in one section has been pushed down, you need to climb over this to get on the trail.
I found the first part of the hike pretty easy. The trail is wide, well marked, well beaten and sheltered by a lot of trees and shade. It has a bit of an incline but it’s not a challenging one.
Throughout this initial section of the hike our guide stopped regularly to teach us about some of the local plants and the history of Le Morne, to show us some viewpoints and give us all a chance to catch our breaths.
After about half an hour we reached the first main viewpoint, where we also found a “checkpoint” hut and sign that warned that the climbing was about to get dangerous, and only experienced climbers should go ahead.
In theory this is where you would get stopped if you were trying to do the hike without a guide, but we didn’t see anyone there when we were hiking.
After this sign is when the hike gets tough. The path becomes gradually narrower, with more rocks and shrubs in the way. Our guide told us to put away cameras and phones, so we could have our hands free to climb.
From here there will be more than one section of the climb where you will need to use your hands to pull yourself up and effectively climb over rocks.
I won’t lie; as we were going up I was a bit concerned about what coming back down would look like. Our guide helped me through it all, always showing me where to put my feet and reassuring me.
If I hadn’t had a guide, I would have probably stopped here, as there wasn’t really any indication that we were on the right track. I wouldn’t have thought that climbing over a steep rock face was the right way to go!
The way up once you start bouldering is slow, but as you gradually climb up the views keep getting better, and will get you excited about reaching the peak. Once you reach the peak, it will all be worth it.
From the top you have the most stunning views over Mauritius. You can see the hills and the green forests, and the myriad of different shades of blue of the sea.
This was by far my favourite part. From up here you can also see the famous underwater waterfall of Mauritius (it’s not really a waterfall, just sand being dragged by currents to a deeper part of the ocean but it looks like it)!
We spent about 20 minutes at the top relaxing, enjoying the view and taking photos before making our way back down. The way back down is slow, but you don’t want to rush it.
For most of it you will have to sit on your bum and slide down the steep rock face. It’s a slow and challenging hike, but definitely worth the amazing views. It’s also a pretty unique experience, I’d never done a hike like this!
Some history about Le Morne Brabant
While the views from the peak of Le Morne Brabant were incredible, the mountain has a bit of a dark history, which it wouldn’t be right to not mention in this article.
Back in the 18th and early 19th century, when slavery still existed, Le Morne was a refuge and shelter for runaway slaves, who settled on the high slopes of the mountain.
In 1835 when slavery was abolished it is said that a platoon of police forces was sent to Le Morne to inform the slaves that they were free men, but they misinterpreted this and thought they were about to be recaptured, and thus chose to jump off to the rock and die instead of becoming slaves again.
Le Morne Brabant is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to stay to hike Le Morne Brabant
While Mauritius is a fairly small island, getting from one side of the island to the other can take quite a long time (trust me, I spent quite a lot of time driving around between conference venues!) so it will be easier if you can get a hotel close to Le Morne. We stayed at the Dinarobin Beachcomber and absolutely loved it.
The Dinarobin Beachcomber is a luxury resort located on the beach just under Le Morne. You will have incredible views of the mountain from pretty much everywhere in the resort.
It has one big main pool and a number of smaller pools spread throughout the resort, so that even if the hotel is full it never feels crowded. It also has a number of restaurants and bars onsite, all that serve an incredible variety of really tasty food.
Being so close to Le Morne is ideal for hiking also because if you’re planning to set off early in the morning, it will allow you to sleep a little more in the morning! You can then enjoy some well deserved relaxing time on one of the many poolsides once you finish hiking!
Have you hiked Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
I wanted to write this guide about hiking Le Morne Brabant because all the information I found online didn’t really prepare me for this hike.
While the views were incredible and I’m glad I did it, I found it to be much more challenging than I had originally anticipated. I hope you will find this guide useful in planning your own Le Morne Brabant hike!
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