Casela Nature and Leisure Park in Mauritius is a 14 hectares park offering a home to 1,500 birds, zebras, giant tortoises, lions, giraffes, cheetahs and many other animals. For adventure lovers, there are quad, buggy and segway tours, the longest zip line circuit in the Indian Ocean including hanging bridges, hidden waterfalls of up to 20m in height, and Canyoning. Since I was traveling with Athena, I was interested in a more tame adventure. We were able to get up close and personal with several animals including zebras, ostrich, birds, fawn, rabbits, giant tortoises, a lion and a bear. Yep, you read correctly – a lion and a bear. We spent the entire day at Casela, yet we left feeling like we still needed more time. With tons of animal interaction, a timely transportation system, delicious dining with a view, and loads of trees for shade and natural beauty, Casela is an awesome place to spend the day with the whole family.
From the Discovery Center at Casela, a safari vehicle transported us to our first stop, the Petting Farm. Athena and I were able to hand feed and bottle feed rabbits and fawn.
Athena happily played in the pathways and natural trails in the park. Waiting for the safari vehicle in between stops was part of the adventure. It usually only took a few minutes to arrive but it gave us time to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Our next stop was the Big Cats. Excitedly, we watched four lion cubs playing in an enclosure. They were climbing and chasing each other like young brothers and sisters do.
It was at stop three that we went on a safari tour and Athena came face to face with a lion. Ok, it wasn’t a real lion but Athena was happy.
During the safari, we also came face to face with real zebras and ostrich.
Lunch at the restaurant followed the safari and several birds joined us for a snack. The food was delicious with local and international choices, the service was personal with attention to children’s dining needs, and the view was spectacular.
We were surprised to find a section for giant tortoises in The Park and even more surprised with how close we could get to them.
We finished off the day with a stop at the Playground and a visit with a bear. Ok, again I tricked you. There weren’t real bears but I think Athena, and I, were happier with this interaction.
It was a beautiful way to spend our first full day in Mauritius. Athena continues to impress me with her calm demeanour around animals and her love for being outdoors. A place like Casela is her Utopia.