If you enjoy botanical gardens and want to see the giant tortoises of Mauritius, you simply cannot miss Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. It’s accessible from Port Louis, Grand Baie and Anse-La-Raie by bus or taxi (make sure that you negotiate and get a ligimitate taxi rather than a car share). The garden itself covers an area of about 37.5 hectares and the origin of the garden dates back to the French period of the 1700’s. It contains a magnificent collection of rare and exotic plant species from all around the world, as well as those from Mauritius itself. The garden welcomes around 250,000 visitors annually and it’s one of the main attractions of the island.
Entrance Fee to Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Entrance to the pamplemousses botanical garden is just 200 Mauritian Rupees and children under 5 go free. You don’t need to book in advance, just turn up and get your ticket at the main entrance. Click here for the main website of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden.
You can choose to have a guide who will explain to you all about the plant species. However, we found it relaxing and enjoyable walking around on our own, and the map that they gave us had plenty of information.
The route that we took from the main gate was to walk straight ahead towards the monument and Talipot tree. From there, we walked to the Giant Lily Pad pond and the white Lotus Pond. We then walked back down towards ‘Grand Bassin’ and around past the animals (Deer and Giant Tortoise). This is an easy walking route and you can spend about 1 hour-2 hours, depending on how much detail you want to look into the plants. If you go by taxi, a great way to manage this is to be dropped off at the main gate and then picked up again in the car park near the deer and tortoise pen.
There are over 80 species of palm in the garden including the Talipot palm which can grow to heights of around 25 m and with leaves that can have a diameter of 5m! It bears flowers once in it’s lifetime between 30-80 years.
Giant Lily Pads and Lotus Gardens
A walk through Pamplemousses Botanic Garden will allow you to witness some of the most prized aquatic plants in the world like the giant waterlily and the sacred Indian Lotus.
Continue from the main Lotus Pond towards the tortoise pen, and you will first come to the pond of the beautiful pink lotus…
Chateau de Mon Plaisir
The beautiful Chateau de Mon Plasir is a two story building constructed in 1823 and now protected as a historical monument. A museum has been set up inside the Chateau since 2005, which focuses on the life and times of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan, Mauritian Politician and Philanthropist, who the gardens has been named after.
Near the Chateau, you will find the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan memorial…
Animals and Wildlife at Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Whilst deer and Tortoises are kept in captivity in the gardens, there’s also a wealth of wildlife to be spotted.
Look carefully for the turtles and fish in the ponds and the many bird species in the trees. Parrots, ducks and the Madagascan Moorhen are common sightings. Look very carefully in the tree tops and you should be able to see bats hanging upside down!
Things to Remember about visiting Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens
The opening hours of the gardens are 8.30am-5.30pm, and so the latest that you really want to be arriving is 4pm. You can hire a wheelchair if necessary (for free) and there is also free parking. Remember to follow the park rules when visiting, in order to respect the plants, wildlife and local environment…
- Keep to the paths as much as possible
- Use the toilet facilities and litter bins on site
- Dress decently (no bikini tops or spaghetti straps!)
- Keep your ticket with you for inspection at any time
- Refrain from feeding the animals, picking flowers or lighting campfires
- No swimming or fishing allowed
- No alcoholic drinks or smoking
- No climbing trees
- Avoid throwing coins in the ponds or on water lilies