This lighthouse on the Ile aux Fouquets, on the south-eastern corner of Mauritius very close to the township of Mahébourg. Mauritius is an important country on trade routes in the Indian Ocean.
Built in 1864, this lighthouse guided ships to the harbor of Mahébourg. 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. With the port moving, the light station was abandoned and fell into ruin.
The Ile aux Fouquets, also known as the Ile aux Phare, is right beside Ile de la Passe and Ile aux Vacoas, forming the second island of the chain. In comparison to the other islands, it is relatively hilly; on its topmost point sits the ruined lighthouse from which it derives its name.
Unfortunately this lighthouse has not been restored and the metal parts of its once gleaming orb are scattered all over it. The ruins provide shade from the sun or shelter from the wind though and Ile aux Phare is thus a favourite picnic spot of local people and fishermen. A colony of tropical birds is nesting right behind the lighthouse, in the steep part of the drop.
The photo was taken from the beach in front of the Le Preskil Resort in Mauritius and shows the islands and the ruins of the lighthouse. The lighthouse holds special significance for my wife as her Great-Great Grandfather worked the light for a number of years when in Mauritius.
The Islets are accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the mainland as can be seen in the photo above. When we were there in 2007, we were told that the seas were relatively calm. But seeing the size of some of the waves, it took little imagination to think how large the waves would get – I guess that’s the reason that they put a lighthouse there to help protect the shipping in the area.
When we flew from Mauritius, our plane headed from the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in an easterly direction. Looking from the jet, we were able to look directly down of the series of island and the ruins of the Lighthouse.
For more information about Mauritius