Black River Gorges National Park
Black River Gorges National Park in Mauritius is a idea place to go for a walk and explore the surroundings. It’s a wild expanse of rolling hills and thick forest. expanse of rolling hills and thick forest. The park has 2 sides, a humid upland, and a drier lowland.
The park covers an area of 67.54 km² and was declared a national park in 1994 after it was discovered the park contained over 300 species of flowering plant, 9 endemic species of bird and a 4000 strong population of giant fruit bats.
It remains an important habitat for three of the island’s most endangered bird species, the Mauritius kestrel, the echo parakeet and the pink pigeon. Wild boar, Macque Monkeys and deer also wander through the Black River Gorges National Park.
The national park is like a Grand Canyon filled with lofty peaks which has various adventure activities. Gorges are found in the west region. These gorges create a beautiful canyon like shape and from here you can get spectacular views.
The Black River Gorges National Park is said to have the best trekking in Mauritius, with over 50Km of traails. There is also a nice drive you can take through the park. The park is very organised and you probably do not really need a map for a quick walk, however, for hiking you definitely need one. For more challenging treks it is best to go with a guide or pick up a copy of Philip LaHouse’s “Mountains and Trails – Trails in the Black River Gorges” which details 15 of the best in the park.
Some Hiking Trails:
- The Macchabée Trail: It is one of the easiest trails and very popular in the park.
- The Grosse Cateau Verte Trail: It is an 8 km long trail from the Visitors Center, connecting Plaine Champagne to the Gorges. This trek is steep and difficult but the view on this trail is unbelievable.
- The Black River Piton: It is a 9 km round trip and a moderate trail. It starts at 500 m after the entry of the Gorges Point of View at the park.
- Savanne Sud: This is an easy hike which is a 6 km round trip at the end of the road Les Mares on which you can relish the panoramic views of the coast.
- Cascade Des Galets (Cascade 500 feet): It is a short 3 Km hike, but it is difficult and very strenuous.
The Black River Gorges viewpoint here is easy to access, provides excellent views, and is the jumping off point for most hikes along the Plaine Champagne Road.