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Hiking Le Morne Brabant Mauritius Without a Guide

by Steph

Hiking the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Le Morne Brabant ranks as one of the most iconic things to do in Mauritius! This comprehensive guide contains all the essential Le Morne Brabant hiking tips, exactly how to get to the summit, best time to visit and more! 

With jaw-dropping views over the southern coastline of Mauritius dotted with small islands and the unique underwater waterfall, Le Morne Brabant is no doubt one of the best hikes in Mauritius

Although challenging at times with some rock climbing towards the middle of the trail, you won’t be disappointed with the dramatic landscape and scenery. 

If you’re planning to hike Le Morne Brabant without a guide, you’ll find all the information you need, including detailed directions and safety tips!   

View of mountains and Ilot Fourneau from the summit of Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius
View from the summit after hiking to Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius

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Quick facts about hiking Le Morne Brabant Mauritius

  • Distance: 3.5 km one way (7 km round trip) 
  • Height: 556 meters  
  • Difficulty: The initial section is easy but becomes gradually strenuous towards the summit 
  • Total duration: 3 to 5 hours 
  • When to go: Either summer or winter but NOT on a rainy day 
  • Opening hours: 7 a.m to 4 p.m 
  • What to bring: At least 2 Liters of water, enough snacks and proper hiking shoes 
  • Location: Le Morne Village 
Girl enjoying the view of Le Morne Beach from Le Morne Brabant hiking trail
Secret viewpoint at Le Morne Brabant

Where is Le Morne Brabant?   

Le Morne Brabant is located on the Southwest coast of Mauritius. It’s about a 1-hour drive from Port Louis, 1h30 from Grand Bay or 1h45 from Belle Mare.  

To find the exact location of the trailhead, search for “Le Morne Trail entrance” on Google Maps or click here.

Related post: A comprehensive guide to hiking in Mauritius

How to get to Le Morne Brabant?   

For those on a budget, you can choose to get to Le Morne Brabant trail entrance by bus (for more details, you can check out this website). Bus tickets are very cheap, ranging from Rs 12 to Rs 34 (less than US$ 1) per trip, depending on the distance covered. There’s a bus station along the main road just a few meters from the entrance. 

But since it’s not always easy to catch a bus to this area, I highly recommend renting a car instead. Car rentals in Mauritius start from Rs 1,000 or US$ 25 per day and gas costs Rs 44 (US$ 1.10) per liter. You can also hire a taxi to take you there. 

Along the main road is a sign indicating that the trail entrance is 1.5 km away. You’ll then have to drive along a narrow unpaved road until you reach the parking area. 

People hiking Le Morne Brabant Mauritius
View of the neighboring mountains and Ile aux Benitiers

Can you hike Le Morne Brabant without a guide? 

Yes, but only if you’re an experienced hiker! While Le Morne sits at a mere height of 556 meters, it’s no easy task! Between scrambling over the rocks and the steep and exposed cliffs towards the summit, the hike can be very challenging, especially if you’re afraid of heights. 

In the past, you had to be accompanied by a certified guide but this is not required anymore. I was able to do the hike without a guide and saw a few others doing the same. 

But if you don’t feel comfortable hiking on your own and would prefer to have a guide with you to ensure for your safety, you can book a hiking tour instead. 

Book your hiking tour of Le Morne Brabant here 

How to Hike Le Morne Brabant without a guide? 

From the parking lot, make your way towards the big gate where you’ll have to sign in before entering. 

The initial section of the hike is quite easy since the trail is well beaten with only a slight incline. The path is also shaded by trees which is a relief from the scorching sun. 

Once you get past the big gate, walk along the trail until you reach an intersection with a red metal gate on your left.  

Red gate at the initial section of Le Morne Brabant hiking trail
Take the left here through the red gate

Go through the gate and eventually you’ll reach a fork in the path. Don’t go straight ahead but turn right instead

Along the way, you’ll find a little side road but you should continue straight ahead. You’ll know that you’re in the right direction when you see the concrete path in the picture below. 

Concrete path along the trail of Le Morne
Concrete path long Le Morne Brabant hiking trail

After about 30 minutes, you’ll arrive at another fork in the path with the first viewpoint on your right. Take the left towards the uphill path where you’ll see another viewpoint, this time on your left.  

From there, keep walking until you reach a plateau and a green trash can. If you look on your left, you’ll get a clear view of Le Morne Brabant.  

View of the face of the Le Morne mountain
View of the Le Morne Brabant

There’s also little path on the right that goes slightly downhill. This one leads to a viewpoint where you’ll get a view of Le Morne Beach and Ilot Fourneau. 

To get to the summit, take the path on the left. After about five minutes, you’ll reach a yellow sign warning that the hike is about to get harder and that you should be extremely cautious from now on. 

Yellow sign warning that the hike is about to get more difficult
Yellow sign warning that the hike is about to get harder

If you’re hiking Le Morne Brabant without a guide, I only recommend going further IF you’re an experienced hiker and aren’t afraid of heights.  

Further ahead, you’ll find a green fence. At this point, the path becomes narrower and steeper. You’ll have to scramble over the rocks and use enough arm strength to pull yourself up. 

While this part is can be very challenging, you just need take your time, keep your gaze straight ahead and avoid looking down. Also make sure to watch out for falling rocks and to stay hydrated as the trail is completely exposed to the sun. 

Man climbing to the top of the mountain
The most difficult section of Le Morne Brabant hiking trail

The hike then becomes slightly easier and although you’ll still need climb over the rocks, at least you know that you’ve conquered the most challenging section! 

It should then take a further 45 minutes to 1 hour, including regular breaks in between, to reach the summit. Once you get to the top, you’ll be greeted with a stunning view of the forest, mountains, and the best beaches in Mauritius!

View of the underwater waterfall at the summit of Le Morne Brabant
View of the underwater waterfall from the summit of Le Morne Brabant

This is the prime spot to witness the famous underwater waterfall which is basically just an optical illusion created by sand being dragged down the ocean. 

There’s also a cross at the summit to commemorate the slaves who jumped off the mountain to avoid being captured by their former masters (read more on that below). 

Girl enjoying the view from the top of Le Morne Brabant
The cross at the summit

Once you’ve enjoyed the view, make your way back by sliding down the rocks. Getting back down might seem challenging but I personally found it easier and faster compared to going up.  So, if you take your time and watch out where you step, you should be totally fine. 

Read more: How to hike Le Pouce mountain without a guide?

Is there an entrance fee? 

No, hiking Le Morne Brabant is completely free! The only things that you’ll have to pay for are your taxi or car rental and a guide if you don’t want to hike on your own.  

Book your hiking tour of Le Morne Brabant here 

Best time to hike 

The best time to hike to Le Morne is early in the morning as it can get very hot in this region, even in winter!  

7 or 8 a.m would be the perfect time to start your hike. Since the second half of the trail is not shaded by trees, you should avoid hiking in the middle of the day.  

The official opening hours of Le Morne Brabant are between 7 a.m and 4 p.m. 

I also don’t recommend hiking at sunrise or sunset since it would be hard to see where you step, making the hike extremely dangerous. So, use common sense to ensure for your safety at all times. 

Man climbing down the mountain in Mauritius
Climbing down Le Morne Brabant

Read more: Hiking to waterfalls and viewpoints at Gris Gris Beach

Duration of the hike

The round-trip hike lasts anywhere between 3 and 5 hours depending on how fit you are. From my personal experience, it took me 1h45 minutes to go up and 1h30 down, including regular stops in between to rest and take photos. 

A Brief History of Le Morne Brabant   

Back in the 19th century, runaway slaves formed small settlements inside the caves of Le Morne Brabant. 

According to legend, when slavery was abolished in 1835, the Police was sent to Le Morne to inform the runaway slaves that they were now free but they jumped off the mountain thinking that they would be recaptured.  

And thus, due to the mountain’s representation of the slaves’ fight for freedom, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008

If you’re keen to learn more about the former slaves, there’s a little open-air museum at the foot of the mountain that you can visit for free. 

Open air museum with statues of former slaves in Mauritius
The small open air museum at the foot of Le Morne Brabant Mountain

Read more: Hiking guide to Pont Naturel

Where to stay near Le Morne Brabant?  

Ma Vie La Apartments

Sitting on the foot of the mountain, Ma Vie La is the perfect place to stay if you want to start your hike in the morning without having to deal with an early wake-up call. 

Since it’s located on the other side of the trail entrance, you do have to drive for about 10 minutes to get to the trail entrance. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best budget accommodations in the area. 

With an incredible view of the ocean on one side and Le Morne Brabant on the other, the apartments of Ma Vie La have a homey vibe with clean and spacious rooms complete with a fully-equipped kitchen, private bathroom and balcony. 

Book your stay at Ma Vie La here 

Vanilla House

Vanilla House is budget-friendly guesthouse located about a 20 minutes’ drive from Le Morne Brabant.  

Set right in the middle of a lush garden, it offers air-conditioned suites featuring a large comfy bed, living room, kitchenette and a private bathroom.  

Since Vanilla House forms part of the Vanilla Village, you get access to other facilities, including a café/restaurant, grocery store and a handcrafted boutique, all within the same location! 

Book your stay at Vanilla House here 

Read my full review of Vanilla House here

I really hope you found this Le Morne Brabant hiking guide helpful! I did my best to provide the exact directions but if you have more questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. 

Looking for more hikes in Mauritius? Check out these guides:   

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Complete guide to hiking Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius

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