Ilet à Malheur by the Scout Trail

Walking/pedestrian at Salazie
  • The Scout Trail is one of the most wonderful routes in the Cirque of Mafate. Dotted with superb views such as Les Deux Fesses and the Grand Rein, this trail is one of the major works carried out by the ONF in the 1970s. Originally, it was the way to reach Aurère, the islet where the first White in Mafate settled, during the 18th century. Ilet à Malheur (Islet of Grief) took its name from the times of slavery. At that time, the fleeing slaves, known as "marrons", sank deeper and deeper into the interior of the island, pursued by slave hunters. In 1829, the detachment of white hunters commanded by Mr Guichard discovered a camp of runaway slaves in the Cirque of Mafate. There were about forty fugitives living in this place completely self-sufficiently. Well armed, these hunters massacred all the slaves, then cut the ears off their corpses. At that time, bringing corpses back from Mafate was too difficult, so they had to bring back the pairs of ears of the fleeing slaves after killing them as proof of their mission accomplished. The hunters were thus paid the reward promised for the "capture" of the runaway slaves. After this massacre, the place was named Ilet à Malheur.
  • Difference in height
    1096.02 m
  • Route interest
    -Panoramic views of the north of the Cirque of Mafate -The beauty of Ilet à Malheur, with its chapel and bell
  • Equipment
  • Did you know ?
    The practice of bringing back ears as trophies to prove the success of the slave hunt is one of the origins put forward to explain the nickname of Zoreil (oreille = ear) which refers to the whites today.
  • Documentation
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