Offering dramatic coastal scenery permanently battered by waves, Macondé expresses the wild character and contrasts of the southern part of Mauritius. From this rocky outcrop located between Le Morne and Baie de Cap, visitors can enjoy a stunning view of this reef-free stretch of coastline.
The winding road snakes along the foot of the basalt cliffs, ending with a sharp hairpin curve around the promontory. Jutting into the ocean, the rock is pummelled by the swirling sea, which then penetrates the bay further up the coast forming a marshy area surrounded by mangroves.
The site already featured on 18th century maps as Cape Brabant, and was then called successively Grand Cap and Macondé. Historians believe the area was named after it served as a shelter for runaway slaves coming from the Makonde tribe in Mozambique.
This part of the coast remained inaccessible until the first road was built in the 1920s. The bumpy surface, which lay very low above sea level, was continually flooded by big waves until the recent construction of a much higher and more solid bridge. Today, the water still licks the side of the road at the foot of the cliff and Macondé remains a prominent landmark for watching the occasional swell.
Many visitors enjoy climbing up the stairs embedded in the Macondé rock and admiring the impressive view over the unpredictable ocean and nearby coastal village. At the foot of the rock, fishermen take out the traditional bamboo rods and bait to try and catch the small fish which venture near the coast. When the sea is calm, local boats go further out, where the area is known to be rich in marine life.
Further inland along the partially destroyed former road is a favourite spot for family picnics, at the heart of the green coastal forest. But the ocean in this part of Mauritius exerts a powerful pull, and it won’t be long before the neighbouring sea in Macondé starts to lure you back to its shore.
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