In the south of the Black River district, the mountains come closer and closer to the coast forming a bay. Between Chamarel, Le Morne and Case Noyale lies an equally wonderful and lively village…La Gaulette! You'll find pine forests and mangroves mingling with the crashing waves, but few dwellings next to the ramshackle settlements along the road. It's a quiet place where the laid-back fisherman's lifestyle blends effortlessly with the carefree surfer's vibe. Welcome to La Gaulette.
The progress that this village in the south-west is experiencing is remarkable. The small fishing village is now a popular area for both Mauritians and tourists. A few decades ago, no one would have imagined such a development in this locality. A supermarket, a modern police station, restaurants, and shops specialising in water sports for the most part. La Gaulette continues to grow.
Ideally it is the place to be to discover a beautiful landscape that is hidden by the immense Morne Brabant which culminates at 556 meters of altitude. This mountain is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it traces the journey of the slaves to their ultimate liberation.
In between excursions, sports enthusiasts can enjoy a host of activities offered by the resorts - tennis, golf, spa, water-skiing, kitesurfing, snorkelling, kayaking, glass-bottom boat trips, among many others.
The most notable attraction in the area is the beautiful Ile aux Bénitiers, which floats just above sea level. The islet is significantly larger than most other islets in the lagoon. It has a beautiful beach for picnics, a small coconut farm and a colony of migratory birds.
Note that while the beach is open to the public, access to the interior of the island is largely prohibited.
Most of the fishermen moored at La Gaulette offer small excursions on the island. The number of boat operators visiting the island continues to grow each year and most of the products are the same: crowded catamarans and a picnic on the sand. It costs around €60 per person for a full day to explore this beautiful place. Note that many cruisers combine a trip to Ile aux Bénitiers with dolphin watching.
The west coast of Mauritius is an Eldorado for marine wildlife lovers. Like nowhere else on the island, it is the perfect spot to observe large marine mammals. Whales, dolphins and, if you are lucky, whale sharks may be present. Dolphin watching is a unique experience and a must if you are visiting the area. Having the opportunity to see this mammal from a distance is a great pleasure for adults and even more enchanting for children. You will probably want to swim with them too!
While waiting for this magical moment, snorkel, mask and fins allow you to flirt with hundreds of fluorescent-printed fish, which frolic in the transparent waters of the lagoon, between the shore and a reef rich in multicoloured corals.
The scenery changes behind the coral reef, where the deep waters suddenly turn ultramarine blue. The passes can be crossed by boat, whether to follow dolphins and whales or to dive among turtles, barracudas, tunas or giant rays.
A few kilometres away is the One Eye Spot, a favourite spot for thrill-seeking surfers. This spot, which hosted one of the events for the World Kitesurfing Championships, is one of the most popular places on the planet for this type of activity.