The whole of Mauritius island was once covered with a dense and lush forest. The clearing of the forests started with the early Dutch settlers and was continued by the French colonists to develop the cultivation of sugarcane which now represents a major part of the Mauritian landscape.

Part of the primary forests has been preserved though, principally in the inner South West region of the island. This is where the Black River Gorges National Park is located and where we can still find many endemic species of plants. The floral environment of Mauritius principally consists of ebony trees, many species of the palm tree, filao trees, guava trees, the travellers’ trees, and numerous other plants used to make essential oils. In the higher humid regions, there is a proliferation of tree ferns and giant bamboos.
Elsewhere, the Mauritian landscape is adorned with almond trees, banyan trees with their aerial roots, majestic tamarind trees or the eucalyptus trees with a whitish trunk. Alongside the roads, from December to January, the conspicuous flamboyant trees are lavishly covered with small red or orange flowers. The most common tree of the coastal regions is the “filao” tree, which resembles a slender pine tree. They line the beaches thus preventing sand erosion and provide sun protection to seaside picnickers!
Just like in tropical regions, the island has an abundance of colourful flowers such as the bougainvilleas, “alamanda” flowers, hibiscus, “anthuriums”, and “heliconias”. In Mauritius, one cannot complain of lack of tropical fruits with an abundance of mangoes, papayas, litchis, pineapples, bananas, guavas and coconuts…