Mauritius leaves you surprised in every way possible. Now where on earth can you imagine taking a full grown lion out for a walk in the jungle (in a group though) or patting a cheetah as if it’s your pet? Casela Nature and Leisure Park Mauritius gives you an opportunity to experience ‘the wild’ in its true form. It is a man-made park but houses more than 1500 species of birds including huge cockatiels, fruit bats, albino owls, peacock as well as over 150 species of animals like Bengal tiger, Cheetah, Zebra, Monkey, etc. The Casela Nature and Leisure Park is open daily, in summertime from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and in wintertime from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The entrance fee is MUR 300 approx pp.
The park is filled with natural greenery and water bodies. It has many attractions for both children and adults. Children can especially enjoy visiting a petting farm where baby animals can be fed and experienced without any hindrance. We touched a bambi, a deer fawn, and a few other animals. Children can also enjoy fishing in an open pond where they catch fish and release it immediately. They can also visit the tortoise farm where they can touch huge tortoise. For adults, there are adventurous activities like zip lining, Burma bridge, segaway ride in the jungle, quad biking in the jungle, etc. Don’t worry about your safety as the tigers and lions are caged. You only get to see zebras, ostrich, wild boar, deer, tortoise and a few other harmless animals on the way. We decided to try quad biking in the jungle which was absolutely thrilling. It cost us MUR 4500 aprox for a double quad bike. If you are not comfortable riding a quad bike then you can also opt for a mini-car ride. The terrain is all muddy, rocky and with streams of water out of nowhere. This was one of the most memorable activities in our entire trip.
That is not all. We interacted with an adult cheetah and lion cubs. Each interaction costs MUR 800 pp for 15 minutes. I am the kind who gets uncomfortable with a Pomeranian. But my OH was hell bent on meeting the wild cats. A bus took us to the interaction point which is bit away from the park. A guide checked our tickets and directed us towards the wild cat hubs. We first went to the lion cub kiosk. Five little cubs were playing with each other. Their eyes filled with innocence and wonder. But their teeth and paws were powerful enough to rip the skin apart. After some anxious moments with them, whilst my husband completely enjoyed, we moved to the Cheetah cage. We were given sticks as the cheetahs are trained to respect those who hold sticks. We were accompanied by attendants/trainers who helped us interact with the wild cheetah. His grunting sound made me nervous. I was praying under my breath to get me out of the cage alive. Finally, after my OH’s satisfactory interaction with the cheetah, we were escorted out of the cage. Never felt so happy in my entire life. The park also arranges ‘walk with a lion’ where a group of people are taken to jungle environment to see lion behavior in a natural environment. We collected images of our interaction from the photo counter. It costs us MUR 800.
After an eventful day, we had our lunch at the park restaurant Le Mirador. It gives a beautiful view of the topography of the place. The food is good and not very expensive. Only disturbance is caused by peacocks that keep on screaming in your ears and would not budge till you give them something to eat. Yes, they roam around in the open like pigeons. On our way back we collected our pictures of the quad biking. We also visited the park shop which doesn’t have anything special to offer other than Casela logo t-shirts. We came back with some fond memories of the wild.