Your Guide To The Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius

Mauritius
Photo by Tom Ward on Flickr

Beautiful sandy beaches, fascinating nature, delicious food… These are just some of the things that will make your visit to Mauritius unforgettable.

 

This beautiful island in the Indian Ocean is simply perfect for nature-lovers. You can spend days exploring the island. However, keep in mind that the Black River Gorges National Park is a must-see Mauritius attraction.

 

Unique And Fabulous Black River Gorges National Park

Black River Gorges National Park
Photo by Bertahan Luxing on Flickr

 

In the south-western part of the island lies a stunning Black River Gorges National Park. Covering roughly 2% of the entire island, the Black River Park consists of drier lowland forest, humid upland forest, and marshy heathland.

 

Head to the Black River Park to explore the nature intact as soon as possible. If you need any help, two information centres are available for tourists and locals to provide guidelines. The Black River Gorges Visitors Centre is on the west side of the park whereas the Petrin Information Centre in on the east side.

 

Top 5 Things To Do In The Black River Gorges National Park

Delve into those various shades of green. Take deep breaths and listen to the sounds of the rainforest. Those beautiful birds singing their distinctive songs. Check out numerous monkeys jumping from one tree to another. It’s quite a refreshment especially after visiting crowded and noisy cities of Mauritius.

 

1.

Go Hiking In The Black River Park

A hoking map in the Black River Gorges National Park
Photo by carrotmadman6 on Flickr

 

Exploring the best national park in Mauritius is an adventure you can’t afford to miss. Stop by one of those visitors’ centres and get a Black River Trail Map. Additionally, you can ask for some advice about the numerous trails and their difficulty since they also vary in length.

 

No matter which of the various hiking trails you pick, the view of the landscape will be amazing. You can explore the park and find some small, uncrowded and intimate places to have a romantic picnic. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Plenty of signs are posted everywhere so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

 

On the other hand, if you opt for a guided tour through the Black River Gorges National Park, you might enjoy an enriching learning experience. This way you will learn much more about the flora and fauna of the park. Nevertheless, here are the three most popular hiking trails.

 

2.

Explore The Endemic Plants And Animals 

Pink Pigeon in the Black River Gorges National Park
Photo by arcalexx on Flickr

 

Visiting Mauritius is a unique experience on so many different levels. Those of you who are nature lovers will be amazed by the very importance of Mauritius’ biggest national park. Mauritius is a proud home to many endemic plants and animals. Don’t you feel excited about being able to see them only in the Black River Gorges National Park?

 

Take a look at the Mauritian flying fox. This megabat species have golden fur and that alone makes them special. If you are an avid bird watcher, you will be overwhelmed in the Black River Gorges National Park. Therefore, you should take a chance to see a pink pigeon that almost became extinct in the 1990s. What’s more, Mauritius parakeet, Mauritius bulbul, Mauritius fody and numerous other birds found their home in the Black River Park.

 

3.

Stand In Awe In Of The Black River Waterfalls

While you explore the Black River Gorges National Park chances are you will stumble upon a waterfall or two. Big or small, the waterfalls are simply stunning.

 

(i) Walk Your Way To The Alexandra Waterfall

Alexandra Falls in the Black Gorges National Park
Photo by carrotmadman6 on Flickr

 

One of the most popular viewpoints is on the central plateau so keep in mind that a large parking area is near too. Picnic tables and some trees that offer much-desired shade on a hot, summer day are there too. However, once you take the stairs up to the viewpoint, the scenery is breathtaking.

Explore some more and you will find the Alexandra waterfall. It’s easily accessible but it might be challenging to hike down to the waterfall. The ground is steep and slippery. Try harder and you won’t be disappointed because the view is outstanding. Some might complain that the waterfall is covered by trees and bushes, but that’s the nature intact. We should appreciate it as it is.

 

(ii) Don’t Miss The Stunning Tamarind Waterfalls

Waterfall in the Black River Gorges National Park
Photo by Ludovic Lubeigt on Flickr

 

What’s more, you can explore the trek that leads to the Tamarind waterfalls. These waterfalls are also known as the 7 Cascades. Close to a small village Henrietta, you can walk to the forest and feel completely isolated. Keep in mind that you will need a full day of hiking. Don’t forget some hiking shoes, a raincoat, and a camera. You will desire to capture this paradise. Finish the hike with a huge sense of achievement and crystal-clear waterfalls.

 

Note that you shouldn’t explore this part of the Black River Park without a guide as you can get easily lost in forests. Additionally, the guide can show you some hidden gems of the area to make your hike even more incredible.

 

4.

Take In Fantastic Views From The Macchabée Viewpoint

Macchabée Trail
Photo by carrotmadman6 on Flickr

 

Hike to the heart of the Black River Gorge National Park to reach the marvellous Macchabée Viewpoint. This is the place where some of the best trails meet. If you are into a more relaxing hike, then take the Macchabée trail. Even though it is 10km long, it’s easy and it won’t take more than three hours. The best thing about it is that it leads you to the picturesque Macchabée Viewpoint. Are you in for a picnic with a wonderful view? Then the Macchabée Viewpoint is the perfect place to be.

 

5.

Don’t Miss The Most Important Hindu Pilgrimage Site 

Shiva's Statue, Grand Bassin, Mauritius
Photo by Jeremy Wermeille on Unsplash

 

Located at the eastern end of the Black River Gorge National Park, Ganga Talao or Grand Bassin is a secluded crater lake. With several Hindu statues, it’s the most important pilgrimage site outside of India. Keep in mind that the place can be quite crowded if you come at the end of February and the beginning of March. That’s the time when the Maha Shivaratree Festival takes place.

 

  Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius.
Photo by Adamina on Flickr

 

Once you are in Mauritius, visiting the Black River Gorge National Park is a must. However, don’t forget your sun cream and a mosquito repellent to enjoy the park to the fullest. While you are there, head to Chamarel, a small town well-known for delicious food and sweets. It will warm your heart after an exhausting hiking adventure.

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