Discover the Wildlife while hiking
La Vallée de Ferney is a 200-hectare forest and wildlife sanctuary for rare or endangered indigenous tree species, including ebony trees, takamakas and the Ravenala (or Traveller’s Tree), on the eastern side of the island. Alarmingly, less than two per cent of the indigenous ecosystems on Mauritius are still intact.
Day visitors can visit the sanctuary all year round, and there’s a three-kilometre walk (allow about 90 minutes) that takes you into the partially rehabilitated forest and out onto the plains, for beautiful views of the south-east of the island. You’ll share the space with shy deer and might be escorted by the illusive Mauritian falcon (also known as the kestrel), found only on this island. Thanks to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and the National Park Conservation services, the island has around 400 kestrels, including 15 pairs within La Vallée de Ferney.
The reserve is the setting for the Ciel Ferney Trail Run (ferneytrail.com), easily the single largest sporting event on the island in terms of number of participants. With 2,500 metres of elevation, this 50-kilometre run, held in September, is challenging, but it offers a chance to traverse one of the last areas of indigenous flora and fauna on the island. There are also four-kilometre, 10-kilometre and 20-kilometre routes, offering views over the wild southeastern part of the island and its turquoise lagoon. Come for the race, then stay and holiday afterwards.
Do it After your hike, watch the kestrels being fed at noon before enjoying lunch at the restaurant. Park entry fee, including kestrel feeding, is R377 per person (Rs900); add R105 per person (Rs250) for a guide. +230-634-0440