Feature: Le Morne

Although almost totally uninhabited by locals, Le Morne has deep resonance in Mauritian culture. According to legend, a group of escaped slaves fled to the peninsula in the early 19th century, hiding out on top of the mountain to remain free. The story goes that the slaves, ignorant of the fact that slavery had been abolished just before their escape, panicked when they saw a troop of soldiers making their way up the cliffs. Believing they were to be recaptured, the slaves flung themselves from the clifftops to their deaths in huge numbers. And thus the crag earned its name – Le Morne means Mournful One. Although there are no historical records to substantiate the story, it's an important tale for Mauritians and was critical in Le Morne being granted Unesco World Heritage status in 2008.