When flying above the tranquil turquoise waters along the southwest coast of our island, you will easily notice what appears to be a submerged cascade in Mauritius. Although it may seem awe-inspiring, you can actually take a swim – and even surf – over the mesmerizing illusion of the ‘waterfall’ beneath. Allow us to provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of this unique experience.
Is there an underwater waterfall in Mauritius?
You might have seen your fair share of waterfalls around the world. You might have even seen some of the waterfalls plunging down the lush forested hillsides on our very own tropical island. But the chances are, you haven’t seen an underwater waterfall.
How does the underwater waterfall work?
Approximately 8 million years ago, Mauritius and the surrounding islands of La Reunion and Rodrigues were created through volcanic activity beneath the ocean. In comparison to the Earth’s age of around 4.6 billion years, Mauritius is considered a relatively young island. These islands, collectively known as the Mascarene Islands or Îles Mascareignes, are situated on a submarine plateau, also referred to as an ocean shelf. While the shelf’s depth does not exceed 150 meters below sea level, it abruptly drops to depths exceeding 4000 meters. Therefore, rather than water cascading and descending to a depth of 4000 meters, it is actually sand and silt that are gently carried off the edge by the ocean’s currents. Instead of an underwater waterfall, it can be characterized as an underwater sandfall.
Where is the underwater waterfall?
You’ll find this natural wonder to the southwest of Mauritius, offshore of Le Morne Peninsula. The peninsula is home to another of the island’s top attractions: towering Le Morne Brabant Mountain, which rises to heights of over 500 metres and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s even more interesting natural activity here thanks to two extremely rare plant species: the Mandrinette (Hibiscus fragilis) and the national flower, Boucle D’Oreille (Trochetia boutoniana).
How can I see the underwater waterfall?
By hiking up Le Morne Brabant, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the waterfall’s rough shape. From the peak of this 500-meter mountain, you will be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the island and its stunning surrounding reef. However, to truly appreciate the precise formation of the underwater waterfall, you must take to the skies. Helicopter sightseeing tours offer a unique opportunity to soar above this natural wonder, providing a bird’s-eye view of Le Morne Peninsula and its glistening lagoon. It is a chance to marvel at the awe-inspiring power of nature. For an extra dose of excitement, you can even opt for a private seaplane charter, enjoying the thrill of a water take-off.
See also: Top 5 waterfalls in Mauritius