Walk with the lions in Mauritius


I recently took some of our sales staff to Mauritius for an annual educational visit and our group were captivated by an amazing experience that apparently can only be encountered in three places in the world.

Our team of intrepid travel advisors were treated to the thrill of walking with lions at Casela Nature Park. These beautiful, fearsome creatures closely interacted with our team allowing us to stroke and photograph them giving us memories and mementos to treasure forever. We were also able to meet Bengal and white tigers, plus a very playful cheetah.

Whilst being a little apprehensive about the conditions these magnificent imposing creatures are kept in, the group were pleasantly surprised to find them in very good health and visually enjoying life. These cats we met were around 13 months old but to the untrained eye looked almost fully grown and the experienced rangers who escorted our team had a genuine affection for them which was seemingly reciprocated by the cats.

The group were then reliably informed that the park is currently finishing a large reserve for the cats to be released into once they are fully matured and that this area will become a game reserve where they will spend the rest of their lives. Guests to the park will be able to then enjoy Jeep safaris and more animals are expected to be introduced as well.

There is a photographer who will escort you during your visit and will take photos as well as recording a DVD so you don’t need to miss out on anything. But worry not as visitors are welcome to take their own photos as well.

My thoughts on the trip are difficult to put into words. It’s not easy to summarise the feeling of being so close to these creatures, I certainly felt privileged and they seemingly took to humans having a walk with them as a regular everyday occurrence making the whole experience slightly surreal. In a good way though – I’d certainly recommend anyone visiting Mauritius to make a beeline to walk with the lions as we did.

Our park ranger was very informative and detailed everything about the ethos surrounding the set up of Casela Nature Park. The park featured a petting farm and other activities like quad and mountain biking as well as rock climbing, photo safaris with deer and zip lining – so there’s lots to justify a full day trip.

The cost is surprisingly reasonable for what is essentially a once in a life time opportunity with prices starting at £50 per person for a 45 minute walk. At the time we visited there was a chap who was so enamoured by the experience that he went every day of his holidays to see and walk with the lions.

Like with everywhere in Mauritius no matter where you are staying, the park is accessible due to the size of the island, but Casela is situated especially close to Anahita the Resort, Long Beach and Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa.

Carole Booth is Commercial Director at Destinology.

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Comments (3)

  1. Saba says:

    I have been to Mauritius many times. Infact I even lived there for 1 year. Casela park is one of the places that I have visited 3-4 times now. However, I have never taken the walk with the lions, just found it too expensive… but after reading your experience, I might go for one on my next trip.

  2. Isaac Nick says:

    My parents reside in the island so every year during holidays, I and my family travel to Mauritius. And Casela is somewhere my kids will make sure to spend a day at, in every visit. However, the only drawback is when it’s pouring (which is well most of the year in Mauritius), the park ceases its operation. Consequently, all the activities eventually gets closed down. It was just one time, we were reimbursed for the costly ticket amount while the other four times, we were not on the pre-text that we have spent sufficient time inside.

  3. Adisa Thakur says:

    I would highly recommend anyone who is looking forward to spend a day at Casela to check the weather forecasts for the day. And its best to plan a trip here on a clear, sunny day to make the most of the park’s facilities. Because when it is raining, most of the amusement activities (though not all) particularly zip-lining, coaster and other adrenaline rides cease activity.

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