Black River Gorges National Park Overview
Get the chance to experience the largest national park in Mauritius. It lets you experience the true beauty of the nature and an ultimate place for all the trekkers too.

Highlights: It can be a spectacular place for all the bird watchers. It has many waterfalls and hiking places too. You can also find 300 species of flowering plants and many endemic species of birds too. If you are lucky, you can also view Mauritius Kestrel, echo parakeet and the pink pigeon too.

Difficulty Level
: Easy.

Location: It is located in the west part of Mauritius and is approximately 38km away from Louis Port.

The Black River Gorges National Park is the largest national park in Mauritius and home to several endangered species of birds and over 700 species of rare plants. The park was established amidst a sprawling rainforest area on June 15, 1994 and has gained surging popularity among wildlife buffs and environmentalists of the world. The viewpoints inside the park premises offer a rewarding view of the dense rainforest area in the surroundings.

Sadly it remains as the last remains of the exotic Mauritian rainforest which is home to rich biota. The rich fauna of Black River Gorges National Park include Rusa deer, wild pigs Mauritian fody, pink pigeon and other wild creatures. The park offers activities such as birdwatching and hiking for those who are looking for a memorable experience in the tropical paradise of Mauritius. Watching birds with brilliant features and lively gestures in their natural habitat is a delight to any keen or amateur ornithologist. The park features some of the best hiking trails of Mauritius that will certainly entice the adrenaline junkie in you.

Some of the most popular trails are the Macchabée , Grosse Cateau Verte, Black River, Savanne Sud and Cascade Des Galets trails that you can choose for hiking according to your ability level. There are four and five star hotels and resorts that offer almost everything you may require for a fulfilling holiday experience. These hotels have all amenities to give you one of its kind accommodation and let you soak up the cultural vibe of this vibrant island nation.

How To Reach

The Black River Gorges National Park is near Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport and can be reached easily from the city centre of Mauritius.

By Bus: Private buses ply regularly to and fro the park from the city centre of Mauritius. It takes around 47 minutes to reach Black River Gorges National Park and will cost you around Rs. (220-320. For budget travellers bus ride is an economic mode of conveyance. By road: If you are looking for a comfy ride, you can hire a taxi that will drive you to the park entrance in 40 minutes for Rs. (310-450). Driving by car is also the fastest mode of conveyance.

Other Essential Information

- Visiting Timing:
Everyday between 9am -5pm.

- Visiting Duration: 2-3 hours

- Entry Fees: No entry fees. Potential fees for guides.

Historical Essence of Black River Gorges National Park

Black River Gorges National Park has a glorious history of independence from its colonial rule by the Dutch settlers. After long years of struggle for independence the country had its self-government in the 1950s. Finally on March 12, 1968 Mauritius became an independent nation with Sir Seewosagur Ramgoolam as its first prime minister who stood at the helm of the movement. The present natives of the region are descendants of the European settlers, African slaves, Creoles, Chinese traders and Indian labourers. During the years of Dutch rule slaves and labourers were brought in to Mauritius from Africa and India by the Dutch, British and French. Therefore, you can witness a unique hodgepodge of different cultures in this region which stands as a fine example of cultural integration today.

There is as such no official language in Mauritius. All administrative and official works are conducted in English while newspapers and other media use French as the language of interaction. In many parts of the island Creole is spoken by the locals (86.5%) with a strong French influence. The rest of the natives speak Bhojpuri (5.3%) and French (4.1%). Due to its veritable plethora of cultural influences since the days of Dutch colonisation, the Black River Gorges National Park fairly boasts of its religious diversity. Across the length and breadth of the country you can spot iconic cathedrals, mosques pagodas, and Hindu shrines that testify to the religious freedom conferred to the natives of the island nation.

Places to Stay near Black River Gorges National Park

1. Residence Les Alizes-
Located next to a golf course in La Gaulette, it is a great retreat for spending your vacation in style and comfort! The family-friendly property offers 3 types of furnished accommodation with all amenities for children and adults. It also provides limo/town car service, separate pools, laundry facilities and express check-in for premium borders.

2. Green Cottage Chamarel- Tucked amidst dense thickets of the park, this 4 star holiday home gives you the real feeling of staying close to nature. Sitting in the comfort of a room you can enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the surroundings. The cottages are furnished with free Wi-Fi, rooms open to patios, free toiletries, free self-parking, airport shuttle, kitchenware and other amenities.

3. Marisa Residences- Located at a whopping 1.5 km from the park, Marisa Residences is a highly recommended place for beachside accommodation. The multilingual staff of the lodge are always at your service and have attention towards your needs. The wide range of amenities include an outdoor pool, free spa massage, barbeque, rooms with garden, free housekeeping, free self-parking etc.

4. Mountain View- The 4 star luxurious property gives you the comfort of a home combined with the luxury of a palace. Each apartment is well equipped with kitchenware, 32” LCD television, free Wi-Fi, free toiletries, room service, safe, garden (with barbeque facilities) and others. The apartment is located about 1.4 Km from Black River Gorges National Park.

5. La Vielle Cheminee- Located at a distance of 1.5 Km from the park, the ecotourism property is a relaxing haven for family and solo travellers. The farmhouse features 6 types of accommodations open to balconies or patios. The 3 star property is equipped with recreational amenities that promise you of a luxurious accommodation in a tropical paradise.

Flora and Fauna found in Black River Gorges National Park

Flora at Black River Gorges National Park

- The Black River Gorges National Park comprises a dense rainforest which is classified into humid upland forest, drier lowland and heathland.
- Governmental and private run organisations such as Nation Park and Conservation Service and Mauritian Wildlife Organisation collaborate with each other for preserving the rich biodiversity of the park.
- The region hosts more than 700 species of plants and about 311 species of native and endemic flowering plants.
- The park is also home to exotic wildlife which a sight to behold! The spellbinding faunae of the park includes wild pigs, Macaque monkeys, wild boars and a population of about 4,000 fruit bats. 

Fauna at Black River Gorges National Park

- The Black River Gorges National Park is a peaceful haven for a diverse range of birds including Mauritian Kestrel, Pink Pigeon, Echo Parakeet, Grey White-Eye, Olive White-Eye, Mauritian Bulbul and many more.
- About 9 endemic bird species inhabit the forestland of the park. Birdwatchers can enjoy a good time watching the birds in their natural habitat.

Hiking in Black River Gorges National Park

Untraded pathways along the dense ebony forest dotted with free flowing cataracts make the Black River Gorges National Park an obvious choice for hikers and trekkers. The rewarding hiking trails run through 60 Km of dense rainforests and hidden waterfalls that are best explored on foot. The trails cater to different levels of fitness and skill. So, before preparing your itinerary, make a thorough study of the place and other details of your journey:

If you want to embark on a complete trek follow the route along the Macchabée trail, Macchabée Loop and the Parakeet Trail.

1. Macchabée Forest Trail- The 8 kilometre long Macchabée  Forest Trail starts at the Petrín Forest Centre and takes you through a plateau of lovely tropical forest forming a perfect loop. The trail offers a moderate hike of about 3 hours.

2. Macchabée Loop-  The Macchabée Loop passes through dense forest before it descends to the tip of a stunning waterfall plunging downward into River Noire. The trail forms a well-defined loop passing through the Macchabée Ridge trail and the Mare Longue Loop on both sides. The trail descends through stands of Chinese Guava and a small stream before it reaches the waterfall.

3. Parakeet Trail- The Parakeet Trail which runs between the Riviere Noire entrance to Black River Gorges  and Plaine Champagne near the Black River Gorges Viewpoint is one of the most challenging trails of the Park. It is a well worn trail resting under the canopy of big trees offering views few and far between. During your hike you will come across the Black River and may get your feet wet while crossing the river in its full spate.

Trekking in Black River Gorges National Park

Experienced trekkers can take any of these following routes that will take them through unspoilt forestlands, ravaging cataracts and boulderous paths and certainly give their adrenaline a jolt:

1. Mare Longue Reservoir- The 12 kilometre moderate trek begins and ends at the Pétrin Visitor Centre along the dwarf native forest and a large reservoir lying at the northern end of the park. You can spot pink pigeons and echo parakeets in this place.

2. Black River Peak- The moderate trek of 3 hours takes you to the highest point of the island i.e. Black River Peak stands at an elevation of 828 metres. The trail begins along the Chamarel Road which lies 300 metres west to the car parking zone of Gorges Viewpoint. Standing atop the peak you can marble at the stunning landscape at the surroundings.

Travellers' Tip before Visiting Black River Gorges National Park

For a hassle free trip to the tropical paradise of Mauritius here are some insider tips for you:

1. Make sure you exchange your foreign currencies at Mauritius Airport. US dollars are accepted at only certain transactions.

2. Mauritius is a pretty expensive country and buying essentials there may burn a hole in your pocket. So, it is recommended that you buy your essentials (e.g. toiletries) before landing on to the country.

3. If you are on a budget trip, the bus is your best mode of conveyance.

4. Although Mauritius is a safe place for visit, petty theft and street robberies are common here. Do not leave your belongings unattended. Also, avoid roaming around late at night.

5. Mauritius experiences a terrific climate between the months of January till March. There are regular storms and occasional cyclones which may dampen your travel spirit.
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Black River Gorges National Park FAQs

How is the weather of Black River Gorges National Park?

The weather of Black River Gorges is pleasant round the year due to its subtropical climate conditions. The average minimum and maximum temperatures range between (17-32)° C. The coastal belts of Black River Gorges National Park receive maximum precipitation during Monsoon. The average precipitation occurring is about 253mm.which exudes a verdant look in the park surroundings.

Climate is cool making it feasible for rainlovers to go for a beach hike. Winter climate in the Black River Gorges National Park is sunny and windy when the average temperature lies around 20°C.

Mauritius does not experience a distinct Autumn and Spring. These are the transition months when the region experiences an average temperature of 27°C marking the change in seasons.

What is the best time to visit Black River Gorges National Park?

January is conventionally the best time to visit Black River Gorges National Park. The average temperature is around 25°C. This time of the year draws maximum traffic for vacation trips. The hottest months are December- March while the months between June- August are comparatively cooler.

Is Black River Gorges National Park worth visiting?

Yes, Black River Gorges National Park is worth visiting as the place is blessed with a subtropical climate round the year. Breath-taking scenic beauty and sunbathed terrains make this place a tourists' paradise.

Why is Black River Gorges National Park famous?

The Black River Gorges National Park is famous for being the only and largest sanctuary in the island nation of Mauritius. The park constitutes 5% of the nation covering a rainforest area of 6700 hectares. The park is home to exotic biota that include endangered species of plants and animals. The stunning panorama of the mountainous terrains and landscapes make this place a choicest destination for holidaymakers.

Is December a good time to visit Black River Gorges National Park?

Yes, December is a good time to visit Black River Gorges National Park as the peak season starts from October and continues through April. The temperature ranges between low 20s to high 20s making it perfect for cooling off in the sea water. Being the peak season, the beaches are swarmed by tourists who want to soak up the vibrant culture of Mauritius through beachside activities.

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