Chamarel’s Seven Coloured Earth Geopark is a unique opportunity to discover millions of years of history through the iconic 7 Coloured Earth and the Chamarel Waterfall - one of the most impressive waterfalls in Mauritius. Opened in the late 1960s, the park is key to the development of Chamarel, an area full of history and breathtaking scenery.
The existence of coloured earth in the Chamarel area was first reported by a member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Mauritius at its session on 26 November 1879. This historic village, situated in the south-western heights, was named after Toussaint and Charles de Chazal de Chamarel, the sons of François de Chazal de la Genesté, a former member of the island's High Council. They had obtained a concession of 625 acres in the area in 1786.
Curiously unusual, the phenomenon of the Land of 7 Colours became a major attraction when tourism began in Mauritius in the 1960s. The dunes can be up to 15 metres thick and contain traces of ancient geoclimatic activities.
Mauritius takes you into the fascinating history of continental drift and collision, volcanic eruptions and other extraordinary geological events that have contributed to the formation of tropical reefs and oceans, lagoons, mountain ranges and basalt cliffs. Under the influence of a warm and humid climate, basalt from lava flows dating back to the Intermediate Period, 1.7 to 3 million years ago, formed clay gullies.
This deep and irreversible decomposition left deposits of iron and aluminium oxides in place. The iron oxide gave the sand shades of red to brown, while the aluminium oxide produced shades of blue to blue-violet.
The marked separation of the different colours can be explained by the fact that the iron and aluminium particles in the sandy strips repel each other. The undulations of the dunes have been carved out by rain over thousands of years.
Our geopark invites visitors to reconnect with nature in an enjoyable, entertaining and enlightening way through geology, education and conservation. We also ensure that the site is used fairly and thoughtfully, with respect for the environment and the local communities.
It is in this sense that we promote typical products from the region such as the unique Café de Chamarel - the only coffee grown and processed in Mauritius - in our café and souvenir shop as well as organising regular awareness days on the nature that surrounds us. Our priority is the conservation of our environment, and we try every day, in our own way, to give back to it what it has given us.