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La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park (Mauritius)

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Nature park located in Mauritius, which contains natural geological coloured earth from a volcano

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      17.05.2011 20:03
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      A beautiful place to visit if you happen to be in Mauritius.

      La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park. The Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park is a recent discovery in Mauritius and has been open for about 10 years. It was discovered in 1998 when the farmers tiling the land discovered the different coloured earth underneath a plot of land that was being tilled for farming. It is similar to another area in Mauritius called Chamarel which is more famous and popular but only due to it being discovered first. In my opinion this park is much nicer than Chamarel . The valley can be found in the south eastern corner of the Island surrounded by natural forests and mountains. Within the park there are three waterfalls which are individual and different. It is a superb site to visit as there are some fantastic local flora and fauna including ebony, different types of ferns, and orchids. Arriving at the park there is a small visitor's centre which is quite basic but there are toilet facilities here and a small gift shop selling souvenirs and ice creams etc. It is possible to have a picnic in this area. The car park is rough and not made up but quite adequate. When you buy your tickets to enter the park you are also given a small map of the park and the walk route. The paths are not very smooth and there are some steep inclines so it might not be possible to complete the whole of the circuit if you have mobility problems. The first area you walk past is laid out with exotic plants and flowers surrounded with natural trees that are quite mature. Besides this pathway are small enclosures where there are giant tortoise, deers , geese, ducks and other small farm animals. It is possible to pet these animals. Passing this small animal enclosed area you come to a splendid area with a panoramic view right down to the coastal areas looking out across the spreading parkland down below you which is lush with plants so brilliantly green. The lookout point provides an opportunity to look out over the whole of the valley. After this the pathway leads down quite steeply and all the time you can hear the crashing down of water towards the bottom you come across the waterfalls which are splendid and being in a shaded area is quite nice because you are shielded from the hot sun. It is possible to swim in the water fall area although I wouldn't recommend it. There seems to be some mosquito activity going on around the water area. The rivers contain shrimps, eels, carp and other small fish. Continuing to follow the pathway will bring you to another vista point where again you get a beautiful view of the seaside out into the turquoise blue Indian Ocean. It is here that you will see the many coloured earth. It is a massive area which has been exposed to the elements after being cleared so that it can be seen. It is about the size of a football pitch. The sands are like fine little baubles and the colours range from light brown through the spectrum to mauve yellow reds blues and greens. It is a beautiful site and shows you the power of nature. The different colours occurred during the eruptions of a massive volcano called basin Blanc and the lava and ash that was expelled by the volcano when cooled lay on the ground and developed into the 23 different colours that can be seen today. It is not dissimilar to the sands of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight and souvenirs are sold containing the different coloured earths. The unique thing about these coloured sands is if they are shaken and mixed together then they will separate back into their respective colours. The sands take on different colours according to the time of day and as the sun crosses the island the hues give off different colours which are fascinating in itself. From here it is quite a trek back to the entrance which is generally uphill for most of the way although it is steep it is not recommended to rush anyway due to the heat but will probably take about 30 to 45 minutes at a slow stroll. Throughout the visit to the park you might catch a glimpse of the native monkeys in the lush undergrowth and in the trees. It is best not to touch them or frighten them in any way as they can become quite vicious. The biggest bonus for me is the fact that there are no snakes in Mauritius so there is no worries about being taken by surprise at all wherever you might be in the country so that is always an added bonus in my opinion. So for snake phobes it is an ideal island to visit. If there were then this place would be out of bounds for me. I can honestly say that it is a lovely park to visit combining it with a picnic and you should aim to spend half a day here. Entrance to the park is incredibly cheap at only a couple of pounds. I would thoroughly recommend a visit here if you are visiting Mauritius. Address:- La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park. Mare Anguilles Farms Ltd. Mare Anguilles Chamouny. Mauritius. Tel : 2518666 Tel / Fax : 2928841

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