Seven Coloured Earth Mauritius

svnclrdsndIt is a very remote but extremely attractive place. Mauritius is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) off the south east coast of Africa. Despite it being a long way from anywhere, Mauritius is also a very popular tourist destination, especially for those who are seeking a top end destination with exquisite beaches, interesting local culture and great cuisine.

However, Mauritius is much more than simply a retreat for the wealthy as it can boast some very pretty and interesting places to see. One of those places is the Seven Coloured Earth near the village of Charmarel in south-western Mauritius.

The interesting name of the attraction does give a good indication of what you can see there. It is an area of dunes which a multicoloured hue of seven distinct colours being red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow.

Whilst technically sands, the area is comprised of pulverised volcanic rock called basalt which has very special properties. The various coloured sands separate into distinct layers and do not meld together at all. If you take a handful of each of the seven different colours of dirt and mix them together, they’d eventually separate into a colourful spectrum, each dot of sand rejoining its colour caste. This quite bizarre geological feature was formed when the volcanic basalt cooled erratically at quite different temperatures, hence forming in multicoloured layers.

These coloured earths of Chamarel were initially promoted as Mauritius’ first tourist attraction following the country’s independence back in the 1960s. The site’s popularity has lived on and even today souvenir test-tubes containing the multi-coloured earth can be bought from beach vendors and tourist boutiques, or from the administration building at the entrance to the site. Despite its uniqueness, the site is on private land, and a small fee is charged to enter the observation area which overlooks the dunes.

Although you can make out the different colours when the sun is at its peak, the best time to really appreciate the vibrancy of colours is early in the morning when the diffuse light really highlights the variation of colours.

Chamarel is about a 36 kilometre drive from Port Louis, capital of Mauritius. Many visitors make the trip as also near the town is the spectacular Chamarel Falls and the Black River Gorges National Park.

1 comment to Seven Coloured Earth Mauritius

  • Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Reminds me of our very own Marafa depression in Kenya, near Malindi, also known as Hell’s Kitchen. You should visit it too one day, especially during sunset when the reflection of the sun rays give the rugged landscape an interesting multi-colored appearance.

    I would love to go to Mauritius one day, not just because of this place, but also because of its beautiful beaches and culture.

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