Lighthouses of Mauritius

Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean roughly 1000 km (600 mi) east of Madagascar. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1505, the island was first settled by the Dutch in 1638 and still bears its Dutch name. The Dutch colony was abandoned in 1710. French settlers replaced the Dutch in 1715 and held the island until British forces seized it in 1810. After a century and a half of British rule, the Republic of Mauritius became independent in 1968. Despite the lengthy British connection, a French-based Creole language is commonly spoken, and most place names are French.

Lighthouses in Mauritius are maintained by the Mauritius Port Authority.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Phares d'Afrique
A section of Le phare à travers le monde, the web site of Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller; there are links to several pages on Mauritian lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - Mauritius
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
World of Lighthouses - Mauritius
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Afrikanische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Île Plate Light
Île Plate (Flat Island) Light, September 2009
contributed photo, copyright Dr. Andreas Schuldt; used by permission
Lighthouses
*** Pointe aux Caves (Albion)
1910. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); two white flashes every 10 s; there is also a continuous red passing light at a focal plane of 30 m (98 ft). 30 m (98 ft) masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with two red horizontal bands. A photo is at right, Guyomard and Carceller have several photos by Eric Valenne and Jean-Michel Penin, Ramjheetun Elodie has another good photo, there are photos taken from the gallery, Gordon Greeff has a closeup, Wikimedia has a photo, Trabas has Bjørn Poulsen's view from the sea, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. A handsome, very British lighthouse in the tropical Indian Ocean; it replaced a lightship station established in 1867. Located on a headland about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Port Louis, the national capital. Accessible by road. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the attendant. ARLHS MAT-004; Admiralty D7096; NGA 32852.
* Pointe aux Sables
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white light 1 s, off 1 s, green light 1 s, off 1 s. 12 m (39 ft) black stone Martello tower with two vertical white stripes. No lantern; the light is mounted on the top front of the tower. Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Jean-Michel Penin, Robert Gebavi has a fine photo, and Google has a satellite view. Martello towers are round fortifications built during the early nineteenth century to repel attacks from the sea. This is one of five Martello towers the British built on Mauritius after they took the island from the French in 1810; two of the five were converted later into aids to navigation. Located on the B31 highway, on the west side of the entrance to the old harbor of Port Louis. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MAT-006; Admiralty D7097; NGA 32872.
Port Louis Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); red light, 7.5 s on, 2.5 s off. Approx. 33 m (108 ft) triangular steel skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Trabas has Thomas Philipp's photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on Quay A on the Port Louis waterfront. Site and tower closed. ARLHS MAT-007; Admiralty D7101; NGA 32861.
* Port Louis Sector (Range Rear)
Date unknown (2005?). Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); white, red or green light, continuous or flashing, depending on direction (there are seven sectors, with varying characteristics). Short skeletal tower mounted on the roof of the State Bank of Mauritius building in downtown Port Louis; the tower also carries a diamond-shaped daymark. A photo of the bank is available, a 2005 photo shows the bank building under construction, and Google has a satellite view. Designed by Vega Industries, the sector light replaced the former rear range light, which was on a skeletal tower on the hill behind the city. The view of the rear light had become obstructed by the bank building and other downtown buildings. Site open. Site manager: State Bank of Mauritius. ARLHS MAT-009; Admiralty D7101.1; NGA 32861.5.
Pointe aux Caves Light
Pointe aux Caves Light, Port Louis, March 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ashwin CM
#Roche Bois (Dockers Flat)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2006. 20 m (66 ft) drum-shaped water tank atop a slender cylindrical tower; there appeared to be a gallery on top of the tank. Tank painted with red and white vertical stripes, supporting tower with red and white horizontal bands. Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Jean-Michel Penin. This tower has probably been demolished; it cannot be found in Google's satellite view. Formerly located on Baie du Tombeau Road on the north side of Port Louis. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MAT-008; ex-Admiralty D7098; ex-NGA 32876.
** Pointe aux Canonniers (Le Canonnier)
1855. Inactive. 14 m (46 ft) black stone Martello tower with lantern. This lighthouse now stands on the grounds of a hotel, and at last report it was in use as a daycare center for the children of guests. Guyomard and Carceller have a good photo by Jean-Michel Penin, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. We need information on the history of this light. Located on a prominent cape about 8 km (5 mi) southwest of the northern tip of Mauritius. Site open, tower open to guests and perhaps others. Owner/site manager: Hôtel le Canonnier. ARLHS MAT-003.
* Île Plate (Flat Island)
1855. Active; focal plane 111 m (364 ft); four white flashes every 30 s. 16 m (52 ft) cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Building painted white; lantern roof and gallery rail painted red. The keeper's house was in ruins by the 1950s, but Andreas Schuldt's photo at the top of this page, a 2009 photo, and a 2009 view from the sea show that the station has been repaired and seems to be on good condition. Another view from the sea is available, and Google has a good satellite view. Île Plate (Flat Island) is more substantial than its name might indicate: it is a high, rather flat-topped rocky island about 15 km (9 mi) off the northern tip of Mauritius. Tours to the island are available, and some of them include a visit to the light station. The 20° Sud Hotel operates a restaurant on the island and may have had a hand in the restoration of the lighthouse. Located on the southeast side of the island; accessible by a foot trail. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS MAT-001; Admiralty D7102; NGA 32848.
Île aux Fouquets (Île du Phare, Grand Port, Mahébourg)
1865. Inactive for many years. 26 m (85 ft) masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story and 1-story keeper's complex. A photo by Bertalan Voros is at right, an August 2007 photo and another photo are available, Lightphotos.net has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have an aerial photo by Jean-Michel Penin, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a good satellite view. This lighthouse guided ships to the harbor of Mahébourg, on the southeast coast of Mauritius. Mahébourg was the original French settlement and remained an important port until the early 20th century, when the British moved all port operations to Port Louis on the opposite side of the island. Endangered: the light station has been abandoned for many years and has fallen into ruin. Located on a small island about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Point du Diable and 15 km (10 mi) east of Mahébourg. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the mainland. Site and tower closed. ARLHS MAT-002.
Île aux Fouquets Light
Île aux Fouquets Light, Mahébourg, November 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Bertalan Voros
 

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Seychelles | West: Réunion

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted November 15, 2005. Checked and revised September 1, 2014. Lighthouses: 8. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.