Chamarel: a village filled with poetry, from its name to its exceptional palette of spicy, intense natural colours. Keshtree Chunwan, Park Manager of the Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geopark introduces us to a region whose beauty puts even the most exquisite painting in the shade.
From discovery to discovery…
Keshtree knows the Geopark by heart, walking nearly 9,000 steps daily as she monitors its condition. A resident of La Gaulette, the Park Manager of the Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geopark takes pleasure in walking to work every morning along the newly renovated Chamarel road. “I like being surrounded by nature. It gives me a sense of wellbeing,” she says. Coffee and cocoa plantations flourish side-by-side along the way (visit the Coffee Shop to taste Mauritius’ only Arabica – a pure delight).
Who would not be happy, working in such an idyllic setting? Its sand dunes shimmering in a rainbow of shades – a sight unique to Mauritius – the geopark commands admiration. “30,000* visitors came to contemplate the Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geopark over the last two months,” Keshtree tells us.
Another unique feature of Chamarel is the Curious Corner, a house where illusions and magic dwell in every corner. It would be impossible to leave without taking a thousand photos, each more puzzling than the last!
For trail enthusiasts, the Chamarel waterfall offers a flood of refreshing sensations. Nestled in the heart of lush vegetation, the island’s highest waterfall sits 100 metres above sea level. To get there, a three-hour hike takes you through the heart of the Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geopark, crossing the river, and climbing rocks, accompanied by an expert guide. “Our partner, Explorers Mauritius, will ensure your safety,” says Keshtree.
To whet your appetiteDo typical Mauritian dishes with a touch of originality strike your fancy? “One Love is the place to go,” the Park Manager enthusiastically recommends. A picture of Bob Marley presides over the restaurant located next to the Sainte Anne church. Once seated, enjoy a minn bwi – a Mauritian favourite made of noodles topped with your choice of egg, chicken or wild boar – or other local specialities such as salad ourit ek gato pima (octopus salad with split pea fritters). As you eat, a panoramic view of the west coast – one of the most beautiful on the island – unfolds before your eyes! Keshtree looks forward to welcoming you to Le Chamarel restaurant.
Prolong the enchantment
In the heart of a lush garden, surrounded by water features, sits Lakaz Chamarel – an eco-lodge Keshtree is particularly fond of: “From the mirador, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Morne mountain and the bay. It’s the perfect place to watch a beautiful sunset!” Alternatively, not far from Keshtree’s office, La Vieille Cheminée offers Creole-style cottages situated on a small tropical farm that produces sustainably grown fruits and vegetables. The gentle sounds of nature and the farm’s horses create a harmonious environment…
A name steeped in history
The little village takes its name from two brothers – Toussaint and Charles-Antoine de Chazal de Chamarel – who inherited the property in 1786 from their father-in-law, Jean Louis Lousteau, the very first owner of the land. In 1789, having returned from France, Charles-Antoine tried to cultivate sugar cane, coffee, and indigo, but the story has it that he could not adapt to life on the island and eventually went back to France. In 1852, his daughter Amélie settled in Chamarel with her husband, Amédée Perrot, who had bought the property.
The property was bought by The Mauritius Estate & Assets in 1891, following Perrot’s death. The sugar factory originally built by Perrot was renovated in 1894, before closing its doors just three years later.
Chamarel’s story has been linked to that of Agrïa (formerly the Compagnie Sucrière de Bel Ombre) since 1951, when the company bought four properties with a total area of 4,138 acres in the region. Coffee production was reintroduced in 1967 by Case Noyale Ltd, a sister company of Agrïa. Today, Rogers’ Real Estate & Agribusiness segment owns 177 hectares of land in Chamarel.