BLACK RIVER GORGES NATIONAL PARK
Welcome to the Black River Gorges National Park, the location of some of the rarest forests in the world. It is home to more than 150 species of plants and nine species of birds which are found only in Mauritius. Black River Gorges National Park protects these living things for all time, while helping visitors enjoy the landscape. Covering 6 574 hectares, the park comprises 3.5% of the island and ties in its south-west corner. You are invited to the experience of a lifetime.
Don't expect lions and elephants; this national park protects the wildlife and scenery found naturally on Mauritius. For example, you can expect to see the peculiar, umbrella-shaped Bois de Natte trees, which are often draped with orchids, fems and lichens. Although few people see the native birds, you can rest assured that the Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Kestrel are slowly rebuilding their numbers deep in the forest.
Volcanoes, now extinct, have created this landscape. Then, over millions of years, water has carved the gorges and cliffs. Even today, the rainfall, which varies from 1000 mm in the valley to 4000 mm on the peaks, determines which plants will flourish at each location.
What to do and see
Visitors entering from Curepipe receive a general overview of the park by driving south and west to Chamarel. Stop along the way to enjoy the panoramic vistas of the park and surrounding countryside. Watch for the White, tailed Tropic Birds and the brown Mauritius Fruit Bats which lazily fly over the treetops in the Gorges.
Several interpretive trails bring you close to nature. The boardwalk near the Pétrin Information Centre carries you to the heart of the marshy heathland, while keeping your feet dry! While at Alexandra Falls, take the trail across the creek to learn more about the dwarf upland forest. People looking for bigger trees should explore Macchabée forest west of Pétrin or Bel Ombre forest south of Plaine Champagne.