Black River Gorges National Park (BRGNP)

Black River Gorges National Park (BRGNP), Mauritius
Most people head for the reserve Forestiere Macchabee Forest Reserve, or Black River Gorges National Park (BRGNP). This mountainous area provides the bulk of the wild walks on the island. The Mauritian mountains are accessible today via the Black River Gorges National park, which was opened in 1997 to preserve what remains of the island's indigenous tropical forests. Black River Gorges National Park which is managed by the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Fisheries.

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The Black River Gorges National Park is considered to be a hiking paradise for many people whilst on their holidays in Mauritius. It covers 67.54km and is a mixture of humid forest, marshy heathland and dry lowland. A network of hiking trails crisscross the wild and empty Black River Gorges National Park. While the markings have improved in recent years and there are good maps available, you should check the route and the current state of the trails at the information centres before setting off. Alternatively, you may want to hire a guide, which can be done via the visitors centre.

There are also a number of 60km of walking trails walking trails including one to the island's highest point, Black River Peak ( 828m). Road access into the Black River Gorges from the coast road has been upgraded and offers a Visitor Centre as well as a camping area will offer you information on the many treks available in this national park. Walking in this area is ideal for nature lovers, as you will have the opportunity to spot many endemic animals including the Mauritius flying fox and unique pink pigeon.

If you’re after a slightly more strenuous walk whilst on your Mauritius holiday then taking a hike to the nearby Le Pouce or Black River Peak Mountains will present you with simply breathtaking views. The first person credited with climbing Le Pouce was Charles Darwin. Meanwhile, Black River Peak is the highest mountain in Mauritius and from the top visitors can look out at the beautiful blue lagoon with the island of L’ile aux Benitier in the distance.

The park protects most of the island's remaining rainforest although much of this has been degraded by introduced plants such as Chinese guava and privet and animals such as rusa deer and wild pigs. Several areas have been fenced off and invasive species have been eradicated from them to preserve native wildlife. Many endemic plants and animals still occur in the park including the Mauritian flying fox and all of the island's endemic birds: Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon, Mauritius parakeet, Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, Mauritius bulbul, Mauritius olive white-eye, Mauritius grey white-eye and Mauritius fody.

Several well-demarcated trails bring you close to nature. The boardwalk near the Petrin Information Centre takes you to the heart of the marshy heathland, while keeping your feet dry. At Alexandra Falls, take the trail across the creek to learn more about the dwarf upland forest. People looking for taller trees can explore Macchabee forest west of Petrin or Bel Ombre forest south of Plaine Champagne.

The Black River Gorges National Park has the vestiges of the last native forests which prevailed before Mauritius was colonized. It is the home of 163 of the 311 endemic flora species and habitats for the remaining 28 endemic bird species found in Mauritius. 21 of the 44 known species of endemic land vertebrates in Mauritius and adjacent islands are now extinct. However, many of those remaining species that still exist are critically endangered and the fact that Mauritian flora is rated amongst the most endangered in the world, the BRGNP warrants favourably for inscription on the World Heritage List.

Contact:
Director
National Parks and Conservation Service
Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security
Tel: 464 4016, 464 4053, 464 2993
Fax: 466 0453
Email: n...@mail.gov.mu

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