Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is one of the best botanical gardens on earth and also one of the most popular tourist attractions of Mauritius. The botanical garden is placed on the Southern Hemisphere of Mauritius and is considered to be the second best after the Kew Gardens in London. The Garden has been named after the first Prime Minister of Independent Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.
Initially the garden was opened as a private garden by the French governor Mauritius about 300 years ago. The place served as a prime research center for the French and the British during the colonial period. At this date, the place is a home to several varieties of medicinal plants, palm trees, fish pond and a stunning collection of Queen Victoria water lilies. No doubt, the garden is popular among the domestic and international tourists.
The different varieties of palm trees of the garden form the major part of the plant species of the place. You will find amazing varieties of shapes and forms of palm trees at this garden. Among these, the most renowned ones are the tall royal palms, stubby bottle palms and the talipot palms, which flowers once in 40 years and then it dies. Other varieties of palm trees that you can find at this botanical garden are fever, fan, sugar, raffia and sealing wax. Besides the palm trees, the place also exhibits few other interesting species of trees like the fish poison tree, the marmalade box tree and the sausage tree. The fascinating part of the trees grown in this botanical garden is that they are named after some renowned world leaders and royal kingdoms, such as Countess of Snowdon, Francois Mitterand, Princess Margaret and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
At the center of the botanical garden, there is a pond filled with giant Victoria amazonica water lilies. The young leaves of these lilies emerge as wrinkled balls and spread into a classic tea-tray shape for about 2 m, in a matter of hours. The flowers that sprout from the center of these leaves, open white the first day and close red on the next day. The best time to witness the beauty of these lilies is during the month of January, when they flower to their biggest size.
Other attractions of the botanical garden are the diverse species of birds that can be found at this place. There are also some considerable number of deer and a dozen giant aldabra tortoises, found close to the northern exit of the place. Close to this place, is the funerary platform of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. Various international personalities have planted trees around the garden, like Indira Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and a number of British royals.
The Botanical Garden opens on all days of the week from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Entry Fee: The entry to this place is free but you have got to pay for hiring a guide. The rates of the guides at this place ranges from Rs 40 to Rs 50.
Parking Facilities: Parking facilities are provided free of charge at this place.