Views from the top of Le Morne Brabant. The bay below has extremely blue crystal water is a lagoon before the deeper blue sea and you can see the outline of the beach.
Views from the top of Le Morne

Climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain: Everything You Need To Know

Table of Contents

Introduction

Climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain is possibly the most amazing thing you can do in Mauritius, especially if you want to see the infamous underwater waterfall from a unique viewpoint!

Many might find this a bold statement, given the wide array of other activities to do on the island, but we firmly stand by it. Le Morne Brabant mountain is a challenge indeed but has some of the most stunning views we have ever seen in our lives, let alone in Mauritius, and helps assert this island, in our opinion, as so much more than a beach destination.

This guide aims to talk you through the experience of climbing the mountain, what you can expect and what you need to know.

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A panoramic view of the highest viewpoint of Le Morne. From above you can see the full peninsula of Mauritius, with a beach below and varying shades of blue water. There is another bay to the other side of the peninsula
Views from the top

Will you find climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain difficult?

Our Hiking Experience

I always find it really helps in hiking guides to understand the level of fitness of the person writing, so I’ll explain a little more about us first. We’re confident hikers, but don’t hike often when we’re at home, though we do go climbing (indoor bouldering) once or twice a week.

Our fitness level at the time of hiking Le Morne Brabant Mountain was really good and we had just climbed the Tsingys in Madagascar 3 weeks earlier, which are significantly more advanced. That being said, I had food poisoning at the time of climbing (not good at all), and we did chat to a lot of other hikers along the way, so we’ll try and give you an indication of difficulty for various different experience levels.

Overall, I’d say we’re good, but not regular hikers. We’re also very determined and would always aim to reach the top of a climb, even if it was tricky.

Information Online

We found the information online to be a little confusing and self-contradictory, and think it’s worth addressing that. The experience of climbing Le Morne is itself quite straightforward. Some of the information we found came from the Mauritian Tourism Board and others from various blogs, which kind of all seemed to say different things. For example, some mentioned paying to climb the mountain, various different opening times, and different levels of difficulty.

We think they may have been written by people with different skill levels so, as mentioned, we’ll try and address the difficulty across various skillsets. Additionally, we’ve provided some FAQ answers, which we hope will iron out any confusion.

A very pointy mountain peak, shown from below. Below the peak is a lot of foliage and a very steep looking cliff.
The top we needed to reach

FAQs

Cost of climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain

Le Morne Mountain is free to enter.

One of the strange pieces of information we found online is that the land belongs to Mauritian farmers, and at some point you may be asked for money to pass through. This information is completely incorrect. We even asked locals about this and they said it is not true.

The mountain is not considered private land and is open to the public, however locals do live up the mountain too, so if you stray too far off the path (quite difficult to do!), you’re likely to anger some people and will probably be shouted at.

The path is really clearly marked and there were a LOT of people climbing up behind and above us (several hundred). You’d have to go quite far out of your way to stray onto somebody’s property. Just stick to the path and you’ll be fine.

Opening Times

All information we could find online told us Le Morne Brabant Mountain opened at 7am. We arrived at 6:50 and there was a group ahead of us who had been hiking since 5. The gate was open and no one was manning it, so we think basically you can go almost as early as you like.

The earlier you can go, the better it will be for you, since the weather will be cooler and the hike will be easier.

Facilities

There are very few facilities. There is a toilet and car park at the entrance to the mountain (which is a few metres further down the road than Google suggests). Other than that, there is nowhere to buy food or drink and no other facilities, except a basic map of the trail.

Getting There

We drove, and parked in the carpark (which is free) but you can easily take a taxi. I do not believe public buses go right to the entrance as it is off a dirt track, but you may be able to hike from the bus stop. You can also try hitchhiking to the entrance if you’re feeling brave!

Top Tips

  1. Our TOP TIP for climbing this mountain is: go as early as you possibly can as the hardest section is in full sun. Given our time again, we might have started around 5 or 6am, knowing now as we do that it was open. Worst case scenario, you can go and wait until the gates open.
  2. Take a LOT of water, we would suggest a camelbak with at least 2 litres.
  3. Prepare for the sun, as one of the sections in in full and unavoidable direct sunlight. You will need good reef-safe suncream and protective clothing, such as a sunhat. ‘Reef-safe’ is not a protected term (basically anyone can use it even if they are not reef safe), so we would advise checking the chemicals in your cream on Save The Reef. We use Amazinc, and really like them, as they are not sticky or streaky, but they are all natural and properly reef-safe.
  4. Good hiking shoes are essential for the climbing section – trainers would not be appropriate or have good enough grip
  5. Take a backpack, as you will need to use both of your hands to grip
  6. If you are not comfortable climbing alone and want someone to help you, we suggest using this GetYourGuide tour. They will tell you the best time to go and help you with the ascent.
Emma, a white woman, is sitting on her bum to climb down the mountain side. The views below her show a very blue lagoon contrasting with a much deeper blue sea behind. You can just about see how steep the cliff is.
Beginning the descent

Climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain

The hike should take you 4-5 hours roundtrip depending on your fitness level. It took us 4.5 hours and we came down extremely slowly as I was feeling very rough by this point and food poisoning had set in. If you are good climbers, you should be faster than this.

The first uphill section

The first hour is on a marked, relatively shady, paved path and are a steady, fairly steep ascent. We did not find this bit difficult at all, nor did most people who climbed with us early morning, however we passed a lot of people on the way down who were really struggling even with this part later in the day.

They did not seem like experienced hikers, plus it was already a lot hotter by this point (around 10am) and they were really struggling with the heat. Those with a good level of fitness would not struggle, those with moderate fitness might find it challenging but would cope. There are not many views on this part of the hike, but as you near the top of it, you do get glimpses of what is to come, like in the picture below.

A steep cliff leading down to a very blue lagoon. You can’t see the full view of it but you get a good idea of the view just around the corner.
The first view we got at the end of the first path

The second uphill section

The second hour is a very steep rocky climb in full sun with no shade, and you need to stick to the centre of the route (not the edges) as it can be slippery and dangerous at the edges. We found this a relatively easy climb, but those not used to rock climbing would definitely have struggled.

You need to use your hands and feet to climb up and grip on, so it is sensible not to be carrying anything and put all of your belongings in a backpack. There are views all along this section, but it is quite difficult to stop and take photos because of the sun and the effort to climb. The route goes down a few more times but is mostly uphill at this point to the top.

That being said, it is in fully sun, and the heat makes it a challenge, even early in the day.

Emma, a white woman, wearing pink trousers, a small backpack and a sun hat, is climbing Le Morne Brabant mountain, on a section which is a steep rocky uphill scramble. She is bouldering up the rocks using both hands and the incline looks very steep. To either side of her are rockier slopes with trees.
Parts of the ascent were practically vertical

The view from the top is spectacular, and on a clear day from the far edge, you can see the ‘underwater waterfall’, (which avoids you needing to take a helicopter to see it!). Overall, we highly recommend the hike for all levels, but if you are very unfit or not confident with heights, we recommend just taking the first part of the path and making an informed decision on whether or not to turn back once the paved road turns to rock climbing. You will see the difficulty level for yourselves and decide if you could climb it confidently.

You will still get some views on the first path, but they won’t be quite as panoramic as those at the top. Quite honestly we think if we had just taken the first path, we would have been a little disappointed, but if you really want to do it just to get a glimpse, we wouldn’t discourage you!

NOTE: we previously recommended taking a guide if you’re worried about your safety or fitness level. Having spoken with a Mauritian local ( travelconscious.co), she mentioned that in the past when Le Morne mountain became open to the public, the Mauritian government tried to push certified guides as the only way to do the hike, but most locals preferred to hike with friends rather than paying into this.

Having made the climb ourselves unguided, we’d agree that it’s certainly very doable on your own (obviously at your own risk) and there’s little chance of getting lost. Just make sure you steer clear of the edges on the rock climbing part!

Murray, a white man, is sitting looking out over Le Morne Bay wearing a cowboy hat. He has his back to the camera. The bay below has extremely blue crystal water is a lagoon before the deeper blue sea and you can see the outline of the beach.
Views from the top are definitely worth it

Packing List for climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain

  • Reef-safe suncream
  • Reef-safe bug spray – we use Incognito and it is better than any deet-based spray we’ve ever used
  • Sun-protective clothing: full-brimmed hat, long sleeves, sunglasses
  • Sturdy hiking boots (we would probably suggest that hiking poles would not help you as the climb is more of a scramble, but it depends what you are used to hiking with)
  • At least 2 litres of water
  • A backpack
  • Camera or phone for photos at the top
  • Snacks as needed or a picnic for afterwards

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    Written by Emma

    Emma

    3 comments
    1. Amazing hiking guide guys! Views from the top definitely look like it’s worth it!! Thank you for sharing!

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