The district of Pamplemousses in Mauritius, known for its large botanic garden, may well be the bloom of the island-country. One of the more populated districts in Mauritius, Pamplemousses is named after the French word for grapefruits. Its capital is the sleepy town of Triolet.
Pamplemousses is located at the northern edge of Mauritius and is particularly renowned for being the home to a diverse collection of indigenous and rare plants. Its crown jewel, the Pamplemousses Garden, offers an extensive display of plants that attracts scores of tourist everyday. Covering at least 37 hectares, the Garden is acknowledged as the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere. It is located in a site where the French Governor Mahé de Labourdonnais established a vegetable garden. Through the years the said Garden evolved into a large shelter of ornamental trees, fishpond, and even palms.
The Pamplemousses Garden is also referred to as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden, named in honor of the first prime minister and governor general of the country. One of the biggest attractions of the Garden is the Giant Amazon Waterlily nestling at the heart of a fishpond.
Today, there are almost 8000 species of plants, and 80 of them are palms. There is also the talipot palm, a flower which, according to legends, blooms every six decades and thereafter dies. Tourists will appreciate the palms, shrubs, flowers, and ponds set in a large, scenic garden. The Garden also offers a respite from the urban lifestyle what with its relaxed setting. Imagine listening to the soft hum of the birds while strolling along manicured lawns and tall, green trees as the backdrop.
As proof of the Garden's popularity, the number of visitors in the Garden swells to a few hundreds as early in the morning. The crowds only dwindle until late in the afternoon. Families and friends are often seen wandering around the Garden and just enjoying the peaceful mood and lush surroundings. Probably the best thing about the Garden is that there's no entrance fee involved. Because of its vast area, tourists are advised to seek the help of tour guides to maximize their time and energy in going around the Garden.
Apart from the Garden, another popular destination in Pamplemousses is the L'Aventure du Sucre. This lovely place was once a sugar factory, which has then been turned into a museum. The norm is that visitors would walk another 20 minutes from the Garden to this place and to learn more about the history and way of living in the Pamplemousses district.
Normally, tourists visiting Pamplemousses are in group tours to maximize their stay in the area. Group tours usually can last up to half a day so it is advisable to seek out the help of tourist services to make their stay in Pamplemousses an enjoyable and worthwhile one.
Pamplemousses may not be as progressive and as large as other districts in Mauritius, but it definitely makes up with its landscape gardens and tranquil, close-to-nature orientation. There's little doubt that here in Pamplemousses, beauty blooms everyday.