Mauritius’s longest river, Grande Rivière Sud Est (GRSE) snakes 34km across the island before emptying into a funnel-shaped estuary. Named Groote River (Great River) by the Dutch, it was used to ship ebony to the colonies in the seventeenth century but today is plied by speedboats that zip up and down somewhat faster than they should.
The falls, while not particularly tall or ferocious, are in a pretty natural setting, surrounded by native trees. Hidden around a bend in the river, there’s a sense of anticipation on the approach, and smaller boats and kayaks travel close enough to them to feel the spray. At the time of writing a walkway was being constructed from the village of Camp des Pêcheurs along the southern bank of the estuary, which will make it possible to reach the waterfall in around 30 minutes on foot. The best way to see the falls, however, is on a kayak trip with Otentic just before sunset, when bats fly overhead and macaque monkeys can be spotted playing on the tree-lined banks.