Hiking in Black River Gorges

Take a guided hike on the network of walking trails that criss-cross the Black River Gorge National Park in central Mauritius. There are dozens of possible routes to take, so the length and intensity of the hike can be tailored to your fitness levels. One of the more popular options is the Machabee Forest Loop, a moderate hike of around 8km in total which starts from the Petrin Visitor Centre and will take around 3 hours. This route starts with a level section through tropical forest and continues to the Pink Pigeon feeding station, where you guide will provide a briefing on the local flora and fauna. Continue along the forest trail which then descend to the crest of a waterfall where you can get spectacular views over the peaks to the west coast. The route then loops around through a different section of forest back towards your starting point. Good balance, fitness and a sturdy pair of shoes are essential on this trek. Expect to come across plenty of macaques, colourful birdlife and wild boar if you are lucky.

A slightly more challenging option is the hike to the viewpoint at Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire, the highest point on Mauritius at 828m, a moderate hike lasting around 4 hours. The starting point is near the Chamarel Gorges Viewpoint, and the undulating trail takes you through dense undergrowth which can be muddy at certain times of the year. The first of two viewpoints along the way is at Piton St Denis, with great views out towards Le Morne Peninsula. There is then a steep rope-assisted ascent to the second viewpoint at the summit of Black River Peak, which opens out to a small viewing area with panoramic views of all corners of the island. Then return along the same route to your awaiting car and driver. The walking trail is thin and can get busy and muddy, but the panoramic views of Mauritius are a worthy reward.

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