The Southern Tip
The Wild South of La Digue
A hike around the southern tip of La Digue certainly requires bravery, but is an unforgettable experience for all who manage it. Daring hikers have long been attracted by the challenge, which is often thought of as being dangerous or even impossible. Therefore, we cannot stress strongly enough that you should rely on the help of a local tour guide, who will not only take you safely though the terrain, but can tell you interesting facts along the way. Bring along plentiful water, sunblock, insect repellent, and good footwear.
The tour's motto is "The Journey is the Reward", something that can be taken literally! The route is subdivided into sections along the coast, through cliffs, in the water, and through dense rainforest. With the jetty at La Passe serving as the start and end point, this ten-kilometre walk should take you around three or four hours. First of all, head to the south-west, passing La Digue Island Lodge. After 30 minutes or so, you will reach the l'Union Estate, which you must cross. Now, orient yourself towards the coast, and follow the path ending at Anse Source à Jean, directly adjacent to Anse Source d'Argent. From here, your journey is broken down into several small coves, with uniquely-shaped granite rocks ensuring beautiful moments. Returning from the rocks back to the beach, a path leads to Anse Pierrot, first turning to Anse Aux Cèdres and then to Anse Bonnet Carré. At low tide, it is possible to take a boat past the Pointe Jacques rocks. Otherwise, take a hike behind the rocks in a southerly direction until you reach a stream (La Source Marron). Now you have to use your eyes to explore this small path, leading steeply up the mountain and passing through dense forest terrain. To the right there's a narrow path, which continues upwards after around 10 minutes onto a lush cliff. Crossing several streams along the way, at the bottom of the path you must walk over some rocks. Now at Grand Cap, you approach the coast again, moving further south along Grand Anse to Pointe Canon. Return to Grand Anse via the downward-leading footpath. From here, you can take a wide path which eventually leads back to La Passe.
The hike to Anse Marron, located on the southern tip of La Digue, should never be attempted alone. Bring along a good dose of adventure and climbing tools; even if you know the route for sure, it can be hard to get help in the event of any accident, as phone signal cannot be relied upon everywhere. Moreover, it's useful if you can help each other out in difficult passages. You should also know when the tide will change, and do not plan to come back at high tide, as you have to cover some of the journey in the water. Ideally, you will take a tour guide with you; without them, outsiders often have little chance of finding their way, as the rich rainfall and rapid growth of the plants means that you cannot always find the path.
Start at Anse Source d'Argent and follow the beach until its end. Here, a stone path leads behind the beach, up the hill. You can see an old prison to the right. About 50 metres further on, you can turn and go right at a large rock. Waterfalls lead down into the sea; here you must descend until you are at the water (alternatively you can avoid these rocks by walking along Anse Source d'Argent until its last accessible point, although the water is 60 cm deep at low tide, so you will have to paddle). When stepping through the sea, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Anse Pierrot and Anse aux Cèdres. Make sure you bring along water/coral slip shoes with you for walking along the seabed.
The hike around the rock winds across small dirt tracks from bay to bay, before passing between a number of boulders on its way. Make sure to pay attention at this point, as this is the most difficult and exhausting portion of the hike. Some places require you to climb in and out of deep holes that are one or two metres deep. Around an hour later, you will cross the final few shrubs to reach the deserted Anse Marron with its clear, crystal waters and absolute beauty. Within the metre-high rock formations that protect the bay it almost feels like a vast, private swimming pool. This is the perfect spot therefore to cool off, bathe a while, and maybe try a little snorkelling.
Please Note: We strongly recommend enlisting the services of a local tour guide for this excursion, as the path can be dangerous in places.