Le Val Nature Park Review
Now that we are entering the summer months, the days are getting longer and the weather warmer, the perfect combination for a day out with the family. So this week I went to Le Val Nature Park found in Cluny in the South of the island of Mauritius.
Finding it wasn't very easy as we took a back entrance through a private road; many of the locals advised us that it was the shorter route but it took us a good 20 minutes to drive through the mountains and lush landscape. We even saw a wild monkey cross our path! There used to be a sign on the main road but it looks like it has fallen off - we took the second road after the sign to Cluny.
After driving for what seemed like forever, we finally reached the entrance to Le Val. There is a small area for parking and a little bridge to cross over before entering the park. There is a small entrance fee of Rs25 for children and Rs50 for adults. The first thing you notice is small boats that you can pedal in the lake. Unfortunately, because of the lack of rain, the water was a little too shallow and if we really wanted to go for a small ride, we would have to stay in the middle of the lake. It only cost Rs20 per person but since we wouldn't be able to pedal much, we thought it wouldn't be as fun and skipped it. There is another lake close by where you can do "fun fishing" for an hour at the cost of Rs100.
When we arrived we were the only visitors to the park. We first came across a koi pond and a small pond that housed a catfish and a Chinese softshell turtle.
By taking the first path before the koi pond we saw a duck pond and also a small area with a slide, swing and seesaw for the little ones to play on. There are also greenhouses with herbs and a very large one with anthurium flowers. Opposite the greenhouses, you'll get to meet a couple of friendly goats. Further down, there's a monkey enclosure that houses two monkeys which don't seem very happy.
It is a very picturesque place to visit and there are water ponds where you can see watercress being grown along with other flowers and vegetation; it looks a little like Thailand where they grow rice in water beds and it really is a gorgeous view. If you continue, I think there are deer and tortoises but we were too tired to continue so we made our way back. At the entrance, there is a small enclosure with a couple of adorable rabbits. You will also find two resident dogs that roam around too but they do no harm. There is a restaurant but it doesn't look like they use it at all but I could be wrong, it might open at set times.
A few tips
- Wear sun cream and a hat, it is very sunny in some places
- Wear mosquito repellent
- Wear sensible shoes as the ground can be very uneven with pebbles and rocks
- We were going to bring a stroller for the little one but we wouldn't have been able to use it so I would say it is not wheelchair friendly either
Overall it was a very nice visit but the heat and the mosquitoes can ruin it a little so take precautions.
If you've been there before, please share your experiences as well.
Don't hear Le Val much these days, it seems Casela, La Vanille Crocodile Park and the other "Domaines" are doing more aggressive marketing then them but it's definitely a nice place for a day out with the family.
Great pictures btw :)
Situated in the South East of Mauritius, Le Val Nature Park is a beauty of its own. Nestled in a valley in the village of Cluny, the park is one of the main tourist attractions on the island. In the past, the property was the only government owned sugar estate on the island but as Mauritius has had to diversity its economy, the factory was shut down and today has become a blooming business of animal rearing and tranquil scenery to be enjoyed.
The park expands over 2,800 hectares with lush green patches of grass and streams flowing all over the area. Remnants of colonial houses covered in mosses from the British rule can be seen as well as chimneys that have now sprouted ferns from the old sugar factories. These buildings are now classified as national monuments given their importance in the Mauritian history. The park provides large expanses of forest amongst which are many indigenous trees making it not only a nice place to enjoy a walk but also an instructive one. There are also numerous shallow pools where beautiful freshwater fishes can be seen.
Le Val is a very interesting place reflecting some of the farming practices on the island. Rosenbergis prawns (giant prawns) are grown in pools as well as shrimps. Carps and eels are also bred in other pools. Vegetable patches can be seen with rows of overflying calabashes as well as watercress patches which are grown for local use. Greenhouses give a chance to the visitors to see how the beautiful anthurium flowers are cultivated and grown for export.
Amongst the animals in the park, deer can be found roaming about the quiet banks of the clear streams. Monkeys can be seen playing around in the trees while the chirping of the birds follows you almost everywhere. The park offers facilities as toilets and kiosks for relaxing. It is a nice place to have a lazy Sunday enjoying nature and farming practices if you are looking for a change from the usual day at the seaside.
Never been there...It seems to be quite interesting, maybe I should some day. BTW quite good pictures. :)