STOP 2 : Bel Ombre’s Historical Sugar Industry
Bel Ombre’s two-hundred-year old history is closely linked to that of sugar cane in Mauritius.
The Domaine de Bel Ombre officially came into existence in 1765. At the time, it was an agricultural estate with a particular focus on the cultivation of sugar cane. Renowned naturalist Charles Telfair then acquired the estate in 1816. A visionary scientist and humanist, he would go on to have a major influence in the region, whose industries he helped develop thanks to his technical and botanical innovations. After his death in 1833, the estate was helmed by various different owners, while Mauritius’ governors regularly came to stay in the area.
In 1910, the Compagnie Sucrière de Bel Ombre (CSBO) was incorporated. Over the following decades, it acquired several neighbouring sugar estates and other tracts of land. By 1951, the CSBO owned a total of 15,200 acres of agricultural land (including 5,000 acres planted with sugar cane) and 3,200 acres of forest (partly dedicated to deer farming).
In 1971, the Rogers group bought the Bel Ombre estate. Then, in 1999, following a restructure within the sugar industry, its crushing factory closed for good. And from 2004 onwards, the estate became a leading tourist attraction. Today, it includes luxury hotels and villas, the Heritage Nature Reserve, a championship golf course (home to the world's only tri-tour-sanctioned golf tournament), a heliport... and of course, sugar cane fields.
After entering the estate via a majestic drive lined with towering coconut trees, you’ll discover the Place du Moulin, Bel Ombre’s cleverly restored former sugar factory, which now hosts a variety of high-profile events and whose stone walls continue to shelter a ‘’fangourin’’ (a sugar cane grinding mill) and vintage turbines. You can also explore the remains of the estate’s old haulage station, previously used to transport sugar cane to the factory.
Let's go back to STOP 1 : Baie du Jacotet and Îlot Sancho
Let's drive to STOP 3 : Lavish Château Living