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Black River Gorge National Park Mauritius, Bookstore, Map of Mauritius [Google]

     
    Black River Gorge National Park, Mauritius
    • "The sole National Park in Mauritius is a spectacularly wild expanse of thick forest covering 3.5% of the island’s surface and home to over 300 species of flowering plants and nine species of bird unique to Mauritius, including the famous pink pigeon which is staging a very gradual comeback from the brink of ­extinction.
    • It’s possible to drive or take a bus through the park and stop for great views along the way (although you’ll be far from alone), but the best way to see the park is of course on foot.
    • A network of hiking trails criss cross 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.
    • The main visitors centre (9 am-3 pm Mon-Fri, 9 am-4pm Sat & Sun) is at the park’s western entrance, about 5 km south-east of Grande Riviere Noire.
    • From here it’s possible to proceed only on foot into the park proper.
    • The alternative is the Pétrin Information Centre (507 0128; 8am-3 pm Mon-Fri, 8 am-11 am Sat) at the eastern entrance to the park.
    • Staff at both can advise on the different trails and hand out fairly sketchy maps.
    • They also sometimes act as guides.
    • You should make the arrangements at least a day or two in advance.
    • Rates start at Rs 1200 a day.
    • There are numerous trails that criss cross the park and nine of the best are detailed in the official map.
    • All the trail-heads are clearly marked and are accessed from one of the two roads running through the park.
    • The main road runs north–south along the park’s eastern boundary, past the Pétrin Information Centre, then swings westward at Les Mares to climb up onto the Plaine Champagne.
    • There’s a newly constructed viewing point at Alexandra Falls, from where you get a sweeping view over the south coast.
    • Sadly though, there’s no view of the falls themselves and you have to make do with the sound alone.
    • About 2 km further west is the Gorges viewpoint, affording spectacular views and the company of wild monkeys.
    • After another 10 km the road drops to the coast at Grande Case Noyale.  
    • The second road branches south at the Les Mares junction.
    • After 3 km it passes Bassin Blanc, a classic crater lake surrounded by forest.
    • Beyond the lake the road zigzags down the valley to Chamouny and Chemin Grenier.
    • Getting to the trail-heads is difficult without your own transport.
    • The best option is to get a taxi to drop you off and then pick up a bus at the lower end; the coast road is well covered by buses travelling between the main towns.
    • There is nowhere to buy food or drinks in the park, even at the visitor centres.
    • Make sure you bring plenty of water and energy-boosting snacks.
    • You’ll also need insect repellent, binoculars for bird-watching, wet-weather gear, and shoes with a good grip.
    • The best time to visit the park is during the flowering season between September and January.
    • Look for the rare tambalacoque or dodo tree, the black ebony trees and the wild guavas.
    • Bird-watchers should keep an eye out for the
    • Mauritius kestrel,
    • Pink pigeon,
    • echo parakeet and
    • Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, among other rarities;
    • Park wardens can indicate the most likely viewing spots.
    • For a full list of hikes see the official map." Source: Lonely Planet Guide

    Mauritius Tourist Attractions, Lonely Planet Guide, Bookstore and Map of Mauritius [Google]
    • Black River Gorges National Park virgin forests: Enjoy amazing vistas, wild monkeys, waterfalls, volcanic lakes and excellent hiking…the best time to visit the park is during the flowering season between September and January. Look for the rare tambalacoque or dodo tree, the black ebony trees and the wild guavas.
    • Bird-watchers should keep an eye out for the Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon, echo parakeet and Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, among other rarities;
    • Blue Bay lagoon diving;
    • Cap Malheureux: much-photographed church, the red-roofed Notre Dame Auxiliatrice, stunning views;
    • Casela Nature and Leisure Park is within walking distance of Flic En Flac: this 14-hectare park is on the main road 1km south of the turn to Flic en Flac. It is beautifully landscaped and has sweeping views over the coastal plain. The park houses some 1500 birds, representing species from around the world (some in rather small cages) including rare pink pigeons. There are also tigers, zebras, monkeys and deer living in a semi-reserve, and giant tortoises, one of which is 180 years old. Children are well catered for with a petting zoo, playground and mini golf. Casela also offers 'safaris' by jeep, mountain bike or on foot around the nearby 45-sq-km Yemen Reserve, where deer, wild pigs, fruit bats and monkeys can be seen in their natural habitat; prices vary according to the different packages.
    • Quad biking and rock climbing are also on offer. The park has a pleasant lunch-time restaurant serving drinks, snacks and more substantial meals to visitors.
    • Centre de Flacq along the road to Quartier Militaire, Flacq Union of Estates Limited sugar mill largest most modern on the island. Tours of the plant take place during the cane harvest (July to early November); phone ahead to find out when they run;
    • Central plateau towns of Curepipe and Quatre Bornes shopping and markets or to Floréal’s textile museum;
    • Chamarel Coloured Earths and the highest waterfall in Mauritius;
    • Coco Isle;
    • Coral Reef;
    • Dolphins;
    • Eureka: preserved historical colonial mansion;
    • Giant Tortoises;
    • Grand Baie nightlife,
    • Restaurants,
    • Sea trips,
    • Shopping;
    • Grand Bassin Sacred Lake, crater lake, sacred to Hindus, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the country;
    • Grand Gaube a tiny fishing village with a good beach about 6km east of Cap Malheureux: In 1744 the St Géran foundered off Grand Gaube in a storm, inspiring the famous love story Paul et Virginie, by Bernardin de Ste Pierre. Beyond small rocky bays of Grande Gaube almost no beaches until a long way down the east coast, making any trip beyond here an illuminating glimpse into traditional Mauritian life without the tourists.
    • Ile Aux Cerfs
    • La Vanille Nile Crocodile Park;
    • La Morne Brabant, one of the country's most dramatic peaks;
    • Pamplemousses Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens feature a stunning variety of endemic and foreign plant species. The nearby decommissioned Beau Plan sugar factory has also been converted into a fascinating museum;
    • Port Louis, Capital, Chinatown
    • Sea Trips
    • Sega                               
    • Souillac to Baie du Cap coastal road, surrounded by untamed scenery and stunning views;
    • Ship Models
    • Tamarin salt production
    • Trou D'Eau Douce beaches and restaurants
    Acknowledgement: Lonely Planet Guide Mauritius (Ile Maurice)

    "Introduction
    • Mauritius is the most accessible island in the Indian Ocean, boasting as much tropical paradise as Maui or Martinique and, better still, offering it at a bargain. Though nestled up alongside Africa, it's actually more influenced by its British and French ties and massive Indian workforce.
    • Here, you can enjoy a dish of curried chickpeas or a nice Yorkshire pudding on the terrace of a French café, sipping imported wine or a thick malty ale while listening to Créole music and the conversation of locals in any number of lingoes.
    • Its range of visitor facilities runs the gamut from pamper-happy beach resorts and organised excursions to locals who'll put you up in their homes and rent you their cars for daytrips. If you're looking for a lazy beach vacation, you could certainly do worse, but don't forget the rambling interior and the multicultural capital Port Louis.
    • Full country name: Republic of Mauritius
    • Area: 1,860 sq km
    • Population: 1.2 million
    • Capital City: Port Louis (pop. 150,000)
    • People: Indo-Mauritian (68%)
    • Créole (27%)
    • Sino-Mauritian (3%),  
    • Franco-Mauritian (2%)
    • Language: English, French, Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri  
    • Religion: Hindu (51%), Christian (30%),  
    • Muslim (17%)
    • Government: parliamentary democracy
    • GDP: US$11.7 billion GDP per capita: US$10,300
    • Major Industries: Sugar, textiles, tea, tobacco, tourism
    • Major Trading Partners: EU, US, South Africa, India
    Facts for the Traveller
    • Visas: All visitors are required to have a passport and onward ticket in order to enter the country. Most visitors do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days. Contact a Mauritian embassy prior to your visit.
    • Health risks: Malaria (There is a slight risk here)
    • Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 4
    • Dialling Code: 230
    • Electricity:


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Black River Gorge National Park Mauritius, Bookstore, Map of Mauritius [Google]

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