The floor of Roches-Noires village found in the northeast of Mauritius is a real delight. Of volcanic origin, the village has several caves, some of which have housed brown slaves in colonial times.
Visiting the caves in Roches-Noires is not just a visit to one of the geological wonders of Mauritius, but also heads you back in time. These volcanic caves would, according to studies, sheltered fugitive slaves.
The best known cave, “Cave Madame” is located in the middle of the town, right beside the main road. It is very accessible: just a few meters and a rock down stairs to reach the entrance. The “Cave Madame” contains a source of fresh water and long ago, women used to wash their clothes there. The water is very clear, a remarkable purity.
“Cave Madame” was in a deplorable state in the last few years, but the government has made efforts to renovate it. Refurbished in 2003, it is now a piece of well-marked nature point with a “kiosk” where you can picnic and breathe fresh air. However, the cave can collapse a few meters underground since it is partially damaged.
Nevertheless, it is possible to visit the bowels of Roches-Noires. Indeed, in January 2015, an underground trail of 500 meters was inaugurated in other cellars of the village. Some of them are interconnected, and the caves of the village have not been fully explored as of yet making them a mystery for visitors or tourists. The “Cave Moteur”, located in the nearby village of Poste Lafayette, is also connected to underground caves of Roches-Noires. That is why it is not advisable to venture into the trail without a guide. The entrance to the cellars is very well signposted, just follow the signs along the road.