On the south of Mauritius there exists a small place with sand dunes comprising of seven colors. It is quite a strange phenomenon that has survived ages in spite of tropical rains hitting Mauritius every year.
|Seven coloured earth|
Our trip to Mauritius started with the visit to this place. It was about 45 minutes of drive from Flac en Flac, the place where we stayed in Mauritius. An entry fee of 225 MUR was charged per adult (for child, it was 125 MUR). From entrance, it is about 3-4 kms of drive to the colored earth.
|View from the fence|
We took a short detour to view the Chamarel waterfall which looked spectacular.
We were blown away by the beauty of seven colored earth. Though it was a small place, the landscape was stunning against the sunny sky. The place was well protected and people were only allowed to view it from the fence. There is a walking path around the dunes to get different views. The seven distinct colors were Red, Brown, Violet, Blue, Green, Purple and Yellow.
|Dunes against the surrounding forests|
A board on the site mentioned “This natural phenomenon is due to decomposed basalt gullies. The hot and humid climate helps in the decomposition of the basalt into clay. As a result of total hydrolysis (chemical break- down of minerals by water), the soluble elements such as silicic acid and cations are washed, leaving a large composition of iron and aluminium which constitute a ferralitic soil. The iron sesquioxides (Fe2O3) have a red and anthracite colour, whereas the aluminium sesquioxides (Al2O3) have a blue or purplish colour.”
Few land turtles live next to the dunes. There were huge and about 100+ years old. We were excited as we were seeing such giant turtles for the first time.
The drive towards Chamarel is also an experience as it passes through hills with some nice views of the ocean.
This is certainly a place one must visit in Mauritius. Make sure that it is a sunny day as the colors will not be vibrant if the sky is covered by clouds.
Labels: Mauritius, travel, Waterfalls