When you visit Mauritius, you will notice here and there high rocky areas. The Pieter Both Massif, with its rocky peak overlooking the mountain, does not go unnoticed. Depending on the angle of view, the imposing rock seems unstable and one comes to worry about the houses situated at the bottom of the slope if one day the idea came to him to hurtle down the descending slopes of the giant. It proudly culminates at 823 metres above sea level and is the second highest mountain in Mauritius. The mountain is shorter than the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire by eight metres.
Pieter Both is located in the Moka mountain range and its ascent can take a little over an hour but allows you to discover a magnificent panorama over a large part of Mauritius, from the North to the centre and part of the East. The summit is flat and about two metres across. The mountain is also home to the palm species Hyophorbe amaricaulis, famous for being the rarest palm tree in the world today, was once a common sight on this mountain.
Enjoy a supervised climb to the top of this beautiful mountain and admire its slender peak, lush surroundings and panoramic views of the island. Stop to admire the native plants and animals and enjoy a picnic with stunning views.
Pieter Both Mountain's guided walking tour is essential for all visitors to Port Louis, the charming capital of Mauritius. For a safe and enjoyable climb, book an exceptional excursion exploring the mountain. This hike is extremely rewarding, but not for the shy.
Get up early and take a taxi that will take 30 minutes from Port Louis to the small village of La Laura, at the foot of Pieter Both. After a safety briefing by your instructors, you will be equipped with helmets, harnesses and ropes. Follow the guides along a winding mountain trail and notice the richness and diversity of the island's flora and fauna. Pass the trees and colourful birds. Try to spot the rare Mauritian kestrel in its natural habitat. As the crops diminish, the trail narrows. We have in front of us the Two Udders before branching off to the left to penetrate under the cover of some coloured woods, numerous guava trees and privet trees which seem to be invading more and more Mauritius. The ascent is first of all pleasant for a short distance before going through a small rocky ravine. In dry weather, these 15 metres are easily passable, which must be different in the rain; it is reminded that, higher up, the path is dangerous and that it is strongly advised not to go up to Pieter Both when the weather is unfavourable.
The path alternates earthy, basalt and rocky parts, sometimes very high. The description of this ascent differs little from the other ascents on the island: a narrow, straight path with a very steep slope where guava trees are indispensable to help the ascent. Further up, after the only real bend in the path, we continue on a new bottom of the talweg over huge, sometimes unstable rocks. The effort is violent but surmountable until one reaches a new basaltic obstacle of almost 10 meters high. The place can be discouraging and presents a real danger if one has difficulty to be sure. It is time to think about going back down for the more cautious. The others will choose a natural passage on the right or a little pebble-steps in the centre. Make sure you always have three points of support. Higher up, after a new stretch of pebbles, there are other tricky passages and the slope becomes steeper and steeper. At each step, be careful of the dangerous slide, especially as the end is made on tiny places for the tip of your feet.
After several hours of picturesque hiking, you will arrive on a magnificent cliff and admire the hills of the Crève-Cœur valley. Stop for a rest, take impressive holiday photos and enjoy a picnic in a peaceful natural setting. After a refreshing break, the guides will help you up the rocky shoulder of the cliff above. From this height, admire Port Louis and the sparkling Indian Ocean.
The last exhilarating part of the mountain climb requires supervised climbing with safety ropes. Scramble the glorious ridges as you perch on the majestic summit of Pieter Both. From this point of view, see the fascinating rock formation perched on the mountain top; it looks like a human head. About 9 metres in diameter, this vast rock was formed from volcanic lava 10 million years ago.
After the difficult ascent, a relaxed descent of the mountain takes 3 hours. Pieter Both offers an unforgettable experience of Mauritian nature to his visitors. Plan to see and climb the mountain during your holiday in Mauritius.
Spend an adventurous day climbing the second highest mountain in Mauritius. Admire the breathtaking views of the island throughout the hike.
Starting point: La Laura
Total duration of the hike: 6 hours