Underwater waterfall in Mauritius

Explore an underwater waterfall

If you fly over the clear turquoise waters off the southwest coast of our island, you’ll spot what looks like an underwater waterfall in Mauritius. It may look dramatic, but you can actually swim – and surf – over the ‘waterfall’ below. Here’s everything you need to know…

Is there an underwater waterfall in Mauritius?

You might have seen your fair share of waterfalls around the world. You might have even seen some of the waterfalls plunging down the lush forested hillsides on our very own tropical island. But the chances are, you haven’t seen an underwater waterfall.

How does the underwater waterfall work?

Mauritius and its surrounding islands, including La Reunion and Rodrigues, were formed by volcanic activity under the ocean. This happened around 8 million years ago (Earth itself is around 4.6 billion years’ old), so Mauritius is a pretty young island.

The islands – known as the Mascarene Islands (or Îles Mascareignes) – sit on a submarine plateau, also known as an ocean shelf. The shelf is no deeper than 150 metres below sea level, but its drop-off plunges to depths of over 4000 metres. So it’s not water rushing over the drop-off and falling to a depth of 4000 metres, it’s actually sand and silt being shimmied off the edge by the ocean’s currents. Instead of an underwater waterfall, it’s more of an underwater sandfall.

Where is the underwater waterfall?

You’ll find this natural wonder to the southwest of Mauritius, offshore of Le Morne Peninsula. The peninsula is home to another of the island’s top attractions: towering Le Morne Brabant Mountain, which rises to heights of over 500 metres and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s even more interesting natural activity here thanks to two extremely rare plant species: the Mandrinette (Hibiscus fragilis) and the national flower, Boucle D’Oreille (Trochetia boutoniana).

How can I see the underwater waterfall?

You can see a very rough shape of the waterfall by hiking up Le Morne Brabant. From the top of the 500-metre peak, you’ll get incredible views over the island and the stunning reef that surrounds it.
The only way to see the exact formation of the underwater waterfall, though, is to fly over it. Helicopter sightseeing tours can whisk you high above this natural phenomenon – take to the skies for a bird’s-eye view of Le Morne Peninsula and the sparkling lagoon, and for the chance to try and get your head around the incredible power of nature. You can also charter a private seaplane for the added bonus of a fun water take-off.


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