Trou aux Cerfs Volcano
Trou aux Cerfs and other volcano craters in Mauritius
Thanks to its amazing topography, craters are a real feast for the eyes. Being of a volcanic origin, Mauritius has about 20 crater lakes and cones dotted around the island
Three of the main craters are in the center of the island, namely Trou aux Cerfs, Grand Bassin and Trou Kanaka. Further south lies the Bassin Blanc crater lake.
Trou aux Cerfs
One of the most visited crater to visit is the Trou aux Cerfs (once known as Murr’s Volcano). This lush green crater is 605 meters high, 350 meters wide and 80 meters deep and is nestled in the town of Curepipe.
Volcanic formations and eruptions in Mauritius
The crater is believed to have formed around two million years ago during the second phase of the volcanic activity that created Mauritius. Studies have shown that Mauritius might have been created some ten million years ago in the Pliocene period, when a big shield volcano erupted, followed by three main volcanic eruptions, namely the Ancient Series, the Early Series and the Recent Series.
After the intense volcanic activities in this part of the Indian Ocean, there was a ‘calm period’. During that time the island of Mauritius had its chains of mountains, and numerous gorges and valleys formed. Today we can see the mountain ranges of Port Louis and Moka, together with some isolated mountains in nearby areas. These are thought to be the walls of the caldera of the huge volcano that initially created the island.
Some experts have claimed that the last volcanic eruptions on the island occurred 600,000 to 700,000 years ago and involved about 20 volcanoes aligned along the North/North-East and South/South-West axis of the island. The L’Escalier crater, located very close to Nouvelle Decouvert, is believed to have erupted about 20,000 years ago.
Although there are many craters in Mauritius, Trou aux Cerfs is by far the most popular due to its location, easy access and practical amenities. Just a kilometers from the Curepipe, Trou aux Cerfs is an ideal spot for locals and tourists alike to unwind and relax amid nature.
What makes Trou aux Cerfs crater unique is its landscape adorned with verdant vegetation including indigenous plant species and towering pine forests. Right in the center of the crater lies a small lake that sustains wildlife inhabiting the area, including some bird species.
With its well-maintained jogging track and small kiosks, it’s also popular among many locals who enjoy running, meditating, or simply soaking in the fresh air, especially in the early morning.
The panoramic views of the city of Curepipe and nearby regions are another reason why many people visit the crater. Standing at 600 meters high above sea level one can easily marvel at the majestic views of several mountains such as Rempart Mountain, Trois Mamelles and the Port Louis - Moka Mountain range. If you’re lucky enough, you can even see neighbouring Reunion Island when the sky is clear.
Highlights: Stunning views of mountains, green forest, and sunset.
Access: Three points of access including La Hausse de la Louviere Road, Edgar Huges Road, and Crater Lane.
Note: You can take a bus, taxi or even rent a bike or a car to reach there. There is a parking facility as well.
Tips: Do bring a jacket as it can get a little chilly. Don’t forget to bring a camera to take some amazing pictures.