If Kew Gardens is your go-to London hangout, then Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden may just be your favourite spot in Mauritius. Granted, it’s a bit of a mouthful – we haven’t got the hang of it yet either – but in 1988, this botanical garden was renamed after the first prime minister of independent Mauritius, demonstrating just how much this spot means to the island. Full to the brim of natural beauty and a landmark close to all Mauritians hearts, this is the place to be when it comes to soaking up the best of the island’s tranquillity.
There’s a certain expectation when it comes to all botanical gardens. Simultaneously manicured and wild, showcasing the most idyllic of the world’s flora and fauna and, not forgetting, that overwhelming sense of ancient tree wisdom. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam has it all and more – this is one of Africa’s best botanical gardens.
It made its beginnings in 1735 as the French naval officer, Mahé de Labourdonnais’ vegetable plot but was brought to life in the late 19th century when British horticulturist James Duncan transformed the gardens into an arboretum for palms and other tropical trees. History buffs will be pleased to hear that Images of the garden’s progression can be found in Labourdonnais’ chateau that still lies in the gardens today.
But don’t just take our word for how special this spot is, the number of famous names who have planted their own trees here, including Nelson Mandela, speaks for itself when it comes to the plot’s significance.
Possibly the most striking feature of this pretty botanical garden is its giant water lilies that, although native to the Amazon river in South America, have been housed here in a large feature pond.
Other than the typical botanical attractions like the spice garden and palm tree collection, these gardens are home to a few rather more unique points of interest. Take the replica of the first sugarcane factory for example, here you can see how sugarcane was originally farmed – a big industry for this island.
And, perhaps the biggest highlight for most visitors, giant tortoises roam the grounds which alongside the resident deer will be your wildlife tick for the day.
The abundance of natural beauty that Southern Africa has to offer is astounding and it doesn’t stop on the sunny island of Mauritius. If you’d like to soak up all that this eden island has to offer, add Mauritius to the end of your South African holiday. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore this fascinating island.
Just a 15 minute drive from the island’s north coast – perfect for a bit of respite from beach lounging.
8.30am-5.30pm everyday, including public holidays – no excuses not to fit it in now!
200 rupees per person.
Bringing water and snacks are a good idea as there are no shops or cafes in the botanical gardens and you don’t want your time here to be at the mercy of your stomach.
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