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The Incredible Underwater Waterfall of Mauritius

June 11 2019

Mauritius is a place of many wonders - from volcanic craters and an oasis of multi-coloured earth to phenomenal jungles that are home to rare birds and bustling centres with architectural masterpieces, it’s a thrilling and enchanting destination with many interesting facets 


One thing is for sure, there is certainly no lack of exceptional natural sights that are almost guaranteed to take your breath away, but by far one of the most intriguing is Mauritius’ natural phenomenon, the breathtaking “underwater waterfall”. If you have always wondered about this mystical sight, then here's what you need to know about the underwater waterfall of Mauritius:

It’s actually not a waterfall at all

If you have seen the underwater waterfall of Mauritius in pictures it may surprise you to hear that it’s not actually a waterfall at all but an optical illusion! Located off of the coast of Mauritius, near the iconic Le Morne Brabant in the southwest of the island, this illusion has mesmerised and tricked people from near and far for many years. 

Instead, it’s a sensational natural phenomenon

In reality, the illusion of the underwater waterfall is created by sand and silt deposits, with the help of some very strong currents and is attributed to the island nation’s geological history. Mauritius is only about 8 million years old, a young island (considering the earth is said to over 4 billion years old) which was formed, along with islands such as Reunion, by volcanic activity in the ocean. The volcanic islands sit on top of an ocean shelf, the largest ocean shelf in the world, which is generally 150 m deep. However, at the drop off of the shelf, there’s a drop that reaches thousands of metres down into the bottom of the ocean.

Under water waterfall mauritius

According to ScienceBlogs, “What you're witnessing, that looks like an underwater waterfall, is actually sand from the shores of Mauritius being driven via ocean currents off of [a] high, coastal shelf, and down into the darker ocean depths off the southern tip of the island.” It’s this optical illusion that is so magnificently similar to what we would like to think is an underwater waterfall (you can even see it captured on Google Maps).

The best way to view it is from a helicopter

There’s no doubt that the impressive sight is best captured from above, which is why seeing it from a helicopter is a popular choice for many - it makes for some seriously special photos that make the waterfall look real. Typical helicopter tour packages also include aerial views of some of the island’s other majestic and fabled sights. 

There are quite a few sublime natural phenomena in Mauritius

Being this extraordinary volcanic island, Mauritius is home to a number of unique natural phenomena. Other special natural sites include the Seven Coloured Earths found in the Chamaral complex, Le Morne Brabant, the array of coral reefs surrounding the island, the amazing volcanic cone and crater at Trou aux Cerfs and of course, the crater lake at Grand Bassin (an auspicious site for many reasons). But the natural wonders don’t stop there, Mauritius was also the only known habitat of the dodo, is still home to some incredibly rare birdlife and has unbelievable endemic flora and fauna, much of which can’t easily be found anywhere else in the world. Mauritius is quite literally an exceptional nature lover’s oasis

Le Morne Brabant

If you would like to uncover the magical secrets and unbelievable sights of Mauritius for yourself, then be sure to book a stay at one of our sensational resorts. Not only do we strongly believe in sustainable, eco-friendly practices and promoting the growth of endemic plants at our hotels, but we endeavor to go above and beyond to ensure our guests have the holiday of a lifetime in the gorgeous destination of Mauritius. 

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