SSR Botanical Garden (Pamplemousses Garden)

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A spectacular sight, the SSR Botanical Garden (Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden) is a jewel in the history of Mauritius. Stretching over endless acres of land, the whole garden has been lovingly nurtured by botanists. Sitting pretty close to Port Louis, seven miles North East of the capital, it spans over a total area of 33 hectares.

You will find more than 500 varieties of plants housed at the botanical garden, with the ineluctable Giant Water Lilies, the famous Baobabs, a large spice garden, adding to the décor of the amazing collection of plants.

You will also find a range of trees planted by world leaders at the garden, including Indira Gandhi, Princess Margaret, Francois Mitterrand, and Countess of Snowdon among others.

The 282-year-old (one of the oldest botanic garden in the southern hemisphere) Botanical Garden was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Pamplemousses. It was renamed as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden on 18th September 1988 which was the 88th Birth Anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the first Prime Minister of the island and later Governor General of Mauritius.
 
But now it is most popularly known as the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden due to its location in the village of Pamplemousses. It is one of the most famous attractions for those on holidays on the island with its ebonies, giant water lilies, spices, sugar cane mill model and 85 varieties of palms brought from Central America, Africa, Asia and other islands around the Indian Ocean.

The main objectives of the SSR Botanic Garden today are conservation, education, recreation, culture and history.

History of the Garden

Mauritius has been under the rule of different nations namely the Dutch, French and British prior to its independence in 1968. Mahé de Labourdonnais, Pierre Poivre and Nicolas Céré from the French rule and James Duncan during the British period have all contributed to how the SSR Botanical Garden is today.
 
Its creation started during the French period under the rule of the French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais. In 1736 he chose to set up his domain around the present Main Gate at Pamplemousses. Later on, in 1767 a French Intendent, namely Pierre Poivre started introducing different plant species (vegetables, flowers, spices) on the estate of the Governor. Pierre Poivre brought some of the most valuable plants at that time on the island: nutmegs (Myristica fragans) and cloves (Syzichium aromaticum) from the Malaccas.
 
Nicolas Céré who administered the Garden from 1775 to 1810 following the departure of Pierre Poivre designed the main avenues in the Garden. He is also the one who had ponds built in the Garden like the Giant Water Lily Pond which is now a popular Instagram picture by both locals and tourists.
 
Under the British rule, James Duncan introduced a large collection of palms including the majestic Royal Palm(Roystonia regia).

The SSR Botanical Garden was also used as a nursery for plantation and acclimatization of plants of economic and botanical importance, which were brought mostly from the east and Europe.
 
Attractions in the Garden

Flora

You will find a range of indigenous flora species (some 500 plant species) exhibited in the vast garden including trees, shrubs, perennials, climbers and bulbs of both native and exotic species. Some of them flower during summer and others during winter. You can find bottle palm, talipot palm, elephant leg palm, fan palm and the sealing wax palm in the garden. The amazing garden houses a Bleeding tree which owes its name to the red sap which is secreted by the tree.
 
Due to climate change, the Garden has seen changes in the pattern of flowering seasons of different plant species during previous years. For example species such as the Brownea grandiceps, the blooming is getting earlier each year.

If you are deeply interested in botany, you may hire a guide, available at the garden entrance, who will use his encyclopedic knowledge to give you a full garden tour. (You are requested to pay the Guide directly at the below rates after your guided tour)
 
Number of Visitors Tariff
Any visitor up to a maximum of 4 Visitors Rs 50.00 per visitor over the age of 12
Any visitor for a group of 5 to 10 Visitors​ Rs 40.00 per visitor over the age of 12​

Fauna
 
The SSR Botanical garden is not only home to different species of plants, it also has a corner which houses animals such as deers (Cervus timorensis), tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea) and different bird species; parrots, ducks and the Madagascar moorhen commonly known as "Poule d'Eau" among others. There are also aquatic animals like turtles, fish and eels which can be seen in the ponds. The bats Pteropus niger, which is Mauritius's only endemic mammal, can also be spotted hanging on tree tops during day time.
 
Old sugar mill

The pillar of the Mauritian industry has been sugar for years. In the early years there were no sugar factories with machines but rather sugar mills with vertical cylinders where the cut sugar cane plants were placed. These were drawn by oxens to produce cane juice. There is an Old Sugar Mill Model on exposition at the SSR Garden. It has been built by the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture in 1953.

Chateau de Mon Plaisir

The Chateau de Mon Plaisir has been built by the British in the 19th Century and is listed under the National Monuments.
 
Medicinal Corner

The Medicinal Corner comprises of some 100 plants species which have medicinal properties. This section has been created in 1995 with the collaboration of the Chinese Agricultural and Technical Team (CATT).
 
Spice Corner

As you have seen earlier in the history of the Garden, Pierre Poivre brought some of the most valuable spices on the island namely nutmegs (Myristica fragans) and cloves (Syzichium aromaticum).  These are still grown in the spice corner of the Garden together with several other spices such as Cinnamonum verum). To note that cloves were introduced to Zanzibar island from Mauritius.

Pont des Soupirs

The Pont des Soupirs is a unique bridge (pond) structure where water from river Citron flows under the bridge and at the same time water from Riley Canal flows over it.

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Funerary Monument
The first Prime Minister of the country has his funerary monument known as the “Samadhi” near the Chateau de Mon Plaisir.

Opening Hours

The Garden is open from 8.30 to 17.30 every day. Free parking is available and at the car park you will also find little carts selling refreshments and food.

Wheel Chair for disabled persons is available on request free of charge

Entrance Fee

Mauritian Citizen
  Fee
Under the age of 5 Free
Between the age of 5 and 59 Rs 25
Of the age of 60 and over Free
Disabled Free

Entrance to the Garden is free for all Mauritian citizens on Sundays and Public Holidays

Non Mauritian Citizen
 
  Fee
Under the age of 5 Free
Of the age of 5 and above (not holder of a residence permit) Rs 200
Holder of a residence permit Rs 25

SSR Botanic Garden
Royal Road 
Pamplemousses
Tel: 243 94 01
Fax: 243 94 02/ 74 54
Email: ssrbg@intnet.mu