Walk at Maïdo – Sentier de bordCategories Activities, Hiking, La Reunion, Zarlor
Walk at Maïdo : “sentier de bord” to îlet Alcipe
Do you want to venture on the Maïdo edge path to admire Mafate while enjoying a nice walk in the forest? So if you have already done the Grand Benare or do not feel like facing the 3th highest peak in Reunion, the hike from the edge path to Alcipe islet is exactly what you need! In addition, it ends up with a good, friendly Creole meal in a typic restaurant!
What is a Zarlor ?
Zarlor is a creol word that means « treasure » !
But here, ” Zarlor ” are activities, recommendations (guided tours, sport or cutltural activities…) highlighted by the Tourist Office to discover or re discover the West part of the island.
Meeting point: Sans Souci forest’s parking lot
On the Maïdo road, just a little before the famous Luge park, turn left towards the forest of Sans Souci. At the end of the road, we arrive at the car park where we have an appointment with Ti Mat, our western scout. The group is already there, we leave our cars and get on a shuttle that takes us to our starting point almost at the top of Maïdo. At the end of the hike, we will arrive at the starting parking lot, perfect right!?
Short bus ride to the starting point
We therefore 15/20 mins by bus approximately before arriving at the “Sentier du Maïdo” bus stop. This is the last stop before the viewpoint at the very top.
It is around 7:30 a.m., it is cool and we start this day of walk in Maïdo with a small climb which warms up on the welded slabs covered with short vegetation including gorse flowers. These yellow flowers are typical at this altitude and on this type of plateau in Reunion.
Hike to Mafate or the “sentier de bord”
After forking to go a little deeper into the forest, you arrive at the edge of the cliff. Straight begins the path of the breach to descend to Roche Plate or Ilet aux Orangers. On the left, our route: the edge path to Alcipe islet.
Let’s go for this walk at Maïdo: 10km hike from the top to the parking lot where we parked. We’ll walk in the forest and on the edge of the mountain with great view on Mafate.
Besides, we are lucky because when we left, the sky was well overcast and quite quickly, we had the right to beautiful clearings. And at the same time very pretty panoramas on the wildest circus of the island of Reunion.
Fauna and flora of Reunion
And yes, because in addition to the superb walk and its impressive viewpoints, Ti Mat has plenty of things for us to discover. Exotic, native, endemic plants…
Epiphytic plants which grow on another plant without disturbing it. Like orchids, but also some ferns or longoses.
Heterophile plants that make different leaves at different stages of their life to continually adapt, such as the famous upland tamarind. As the hike progresses, the vegetation changes as you go back down in altitude.
We identify the different peaks: Grand Bénare, Gros Morne, Roche Ecrite… we learn the meaning of certain terms, such as Maïdo, “scorched earth in Malagasy “. This takes on its full meaning when Ti Mat explains the porosity of the soil to us. This explains why the fires here quickly start in fires under ground and quickly take on a disproportionate scale.
We also spot the birds: Tek tek, zoizeau la vierge, zoizeau vert, bulbul (local blackbird)…
Ti Mat imitates the latter’s cry rather well.
Walk at Maïdo : king of tamarinds
In addition to the breathtaking landscapes and all that you learn about the fauna and flora of Reunion, you stop at the end of the walk, admire the king of the tamarins. The largest tamarind from the heights of the Sans Souci forest. Impressive, this place has a little magical side. This is also where “the concert” takes place during the musical stroll.
Welcome to Doudou
Once this beautiful hike of almost 5 hours is complete. We take all our vehicles to meet 15 mins below, for a greedy and friendly moment at Doudou. A well-known restaurant on the Maïdo road and beyond. You can also learn more about this famous character by participating in the kitchen workshop at Doudou.
Once seated, we are offered an aperitif with a Creole aperitif. Samosas, donuts, homemade crisps, fried caps… that’s good, we were starting to get very hungry.
It’s time to have a little chat together and find out who does what. We then have the right to a good buffet and a tray of Creole sweets accompanied by its coffee and its small arranged rum of course. It’s almost 3 p.m., it’s time for everyone to go home. Some even leave for the airport to return to France!
We had a great morning, as playful as it was sporty. So do not hesitate to join Ti Mat for this breath of fresh air!
Practical Info Walk at Maïdo along the edge to Alcipe islet:
This hiking Zarlor of the “Sentier de bord vers îlet Alcipe” starts at the parking lot of the Sans Souci forest on the road to Maïdo at 6:45 am. It includes:
- the shuttle that takes us to the start of the trail,
- the guided hike,
- and lunch at Doudou’s.
For the hike, count about 5 hours, 10 km, +129m /- 648m and the maximum altitude: 1935m
The price is 46€ per adult.
To book your Zarlor, go to the Tourist Office West (in french).
Remember to bring: walking shoes, water, cap, fleece/parka, sunscreen, snacks if needed.
And to find all our activities in Réunion, it’s here !