It was the S.A.U.B. (Société Anonyme des Usines de Beauport) who planted this forest in the 1950s, in a perspective of industrial diversification in the Grande Terre.
Since the nineteenth century, its balsam has been called 'Caribbean green balm' or 'Mary's balm' and is traditionally used to assist in the healing of wounds. It has been shown that the oil from the seeds is very rich in unsaturated fatty acids, sterols and vitamin E. It is used in the West Indies to nourish and protect the skin, hair and scalp.
Cane is a grass, whose stem is used in the manufacture of sugar and rum; the foliage serves as cattle feed.
This species was introduced with the objective of producing wood. In effect, its wood is very popular in cabinetmaking for its hardness and its colours, which has led to overexploitation in its area of origin. It is included in the Annex II of the Endangered Species (Washington Convention).
In Guadeloupe, contrary to other regions and countries, the kapok has a bad reputation. Many legends are associated with it : 'soucougnans' and ghosts. This tree is also linked to the period of slavery: recalcitrant slaves were hanged from its branches.
Bay rum tree
Pink trumpet tree
Take the way-marked path which leads into the forest. Pass through a small marshy area. Continue to a cane field. Turn right. Continue on the path, and then turn left. The path goes along the edge of a field. Continue into the forest, following the way-marks. The path meanders through the forest. Then turn to the left (90° turn) and continue on the path. Come out on to a narrow road, passing dwellings. Then return to the forest. The path runs alongside a plantation, then continues in the forest.
It then comes out in another cane field; cross this and continue in the direction of the forest opposite. Reach the edge of the last cane field; go along it on the left, then go back into the forest. The trail then comes out beside the carbet, at the car park where you started.
NB: the Departmental Council suggests KaruExplo, a light-hearted mobile app which allows you to explore the forest of Deville through riddles relating to the environment.
App is downloadable on Google Play and AppleStore.
In the natural environment, prudence and vigilance must be exercised, since Guadeloupe is subject to natural hazards. Adopting responsible behaviour is essential for hiking to remain a pleasure!
Attention: parking not supervised.
2 rue Gambetta, 97117 Port-Louis
0590 22 33 87 / 0690 50 76 48
Access and parking
Starting point : Lat : 16,37752 N - Long : 61,47874 W.
On the RN6 :
• coming from the south (Pointe-à-Pitre / Morne-à-l'Eau): hike starts at the side of the main road (parking + picnic carbet), by the bridge over the Ravine Deville, BEFORE the village of Petit-Canal ;
• coming from the North (Port-Louis): hike starts at the side of the main road (parking + picnic carbet), by the bridge over the Ravine Deville, AFTER the village of Petit-Canal.
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