Grand Baie, The Greener Pastures of Mauritius
Find your greener pastures from only £998pp
Mauritius has a lot going on, and that’s the best part about it. It’s a union of many things different and beautiful into something beautifully different. To get a feel for its varied charms, we need to take a step back from the whole and get down to business with the smaller details, taking each region at a time for careful consideration. Today we begin that journey, and we begin that journey in Grand Baie.
Give me a little sugar
In its youth, prior to blossoming into the vibrant holiday hub that we know today, Grand Baie was a small fishermans’ village in the North of Mauritius. Whist blessed with an undeniable natural beauty, renowned for its emerald waters and deep, sheltered bay, it wasn’t until the price of sugar took a dramatic upturn in the 70s that Grand Baie really found the wind in its sails. Buildings rose before the sands and businesses found new roots in the village, and with these aces in-sleeve a new, dynamic Grand Baie was born.
Show me the goods
And just like the sugar that began Grand Baie’s great flowering, the pickings are sweet when it comes to filling your time in Grand Baie. This region immortalises the power of nature, preserving a lost world where trees and birdsong are the lords of the Earth, and we can but turn our eyes upwards and admire their magnificence. It’s also pretty easy on the eye, which goes a long way when it comes to bagging your holiday of a lifetime.
Black River Gorges National Park
As a vigilant sentinel of the North Mauritian forests, the Black River Gorges National Park is the place to be when it comes to revelling unashamedly in the beauty of nature. Home to enough indigenous wildlife to rival a biblical ark, Black River Gorges is a place where you can walk through an Earth uninhibited. You can hike to Maccabee Forest or Black River and immerse yourself in the wild heart of Mauritius, and listen to the tropical birdsong and waterfalls resonating amid the treetops, or perhaps take an indulgent dip in a river untouched since the dawn of time.
These woodlands are also the last bastion for three of the island’s most endangered bird species, the Mauritius Kestrel, the Echo Parakeet, and the Pink Pigeon, iridescent bedfellows of the wild boar, macaque monkeys, and curious deer that also wander the vast swaths of old-growth ebony. But here even the plants themselves have character. September to January welcomes in the flowering season, where the park becomes living colour, blossoming in every hue and tint from within the dense green in showers of exotic scents. This is the archetypal wilderness of Mauritius, and you absolutely need to see it, walk amongst it, and live dumbstruck by its magnificence. But not all the wilderness on Mauritius is completely wild.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
They began life as the Jardin de Mon Plaisir of Governor Mahe de la Bourdonnais, born and raised in 1735. As the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens have gathered a few stories over the years. To list the denizens of the Botanical Gardens is to anatomise the otherworldly, the ley lines rising up through chewing gum trees, fish poison trees, and lilies that blush from white to red with the setting sun. It is a remarkable showcase of the wood-and-blossom fingerprints of Mauritius, the island’s unending trademark.
Beyond its astonishingly diverse plant life, these gardens follow the island’s meteoric trajectory into multiculturalism. In 1739, the French East India Company took possession of Jardin de Mon Plaisir and repurposed much of its footprint as a nursery for mulberry trees, with the colonial agenda of rooting here a booming silkworm industry. In 1767, Pierre Poivre was appointed Intendant of the island, and strove to end France’s dependence on Asian spices by growing them in the loam of the gardens. When the malaria epidemic struck Mauritius in 1866, this became a breeding ground for Eucalyptus trees, introduced in an attempt to control the disease by drying out the marshes that throned the mosquitoes. It some ways it feels like portions of history itself and buried here, and the gardens are the intrigues of time made manifest.
The gardens were officially renamed in 1988 after the first prime minister of independent Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, and finally even in name these gardens became an intrinsic part of the Mauritian narrative.
We’ll always have Veranda Grand Baie
With a view to helping you discover each and every square inch of Grand Baie, we know just the place for you to call home: Veranda Grande Baie.
Veranda Grand Baie is an authentic Mauritian experience, valuing seaside pleasures, breath-taking excursions, and fabulous shopping. Set in the midst of a tropical garden where royal palms line roads punctuated by birdsong, you’ll keep coming back to Veranda Grand Baie because of the charm, courtesy, and honesty of its welcome. Ideal for couples and families, the hotel treasures the sense of hospitality and warmth that is the signature of the Veranda Group, offering restaurants that serve local specialties, a bar overlooking the bay, a wide variety of sports, a kids club, and a distinguished Seven Colours Wellness Spa. The hotel’s beach opens spectacularly onto the most famous bay of the island, which becomes magical in the light of evening.
This is your opportunity to mingle with real Mauritian life, gorges, gardens, and everything in between. Seize Grand Bay, and make real those mythical greener pastures.
Find your greener pastures from only £998pp