I was happy to learn that Mauritius is much more than its beaches; after a week of swimming and tanning, I was craving for something else. Nature parks in Mauritius are surely something worth coming to the island. They combine breathtaking volcanic landscapes, abundant flora and exotic animals.
Some of them let you feel like a true explorer even if you came for a short visit. As someones who love discoveries, I and my husband visited two of these sites: the mountainous Black River Gorges National Park in the south-western part of Mauritius and Casela Safari Park in the heart of the island. Both places are easy to reach by car.
Black River Gorges was the first park that we visited; it embraces long hiking trails and has some camping sites. The best option is to come here with a tent or a sleeping bag and stay overnight. There are no venomous snakes and insects in Mauritius land, so it will be quite safe. You will only need a good insect spray or at least some camphor oil to scare away the mosquitoes. You could run into a large amount of them by the water.
In Black River Gorges you can observe a lot of birds, including the omnipresent mynahs, wonderful scarlet cardinals, Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeons, and dwarf pigeons only slightly larger than a sparrow. From time to time, a small wild pig would cross our path or a group of monkeys would hide from us in the trees. It's marvelous to see wild orchids grow under the sun, like any other flower. I regret not knowing the names of many other plants I saw in the forest.
Magnificent waterfalls are a popular tourist attraction. However, you must earn the view with a long walk. Having chosen another trail, we only saw them from afar.
Here's the closer view in met on the Web*. It's called Tamarin Falls.
Here's a viewing point. It tired, you could relax on a bench, gazing the ocean of green before you. It's the jungle you imagined while reading adventure books when young.
The trail brought us to a beautiful artificial lake with numerous flowers growing around. It's sad that I accidentally erased other pictures of it. The water is blue and clear, and all the place is peaceful. Walking around the lake, we met no one else. So, I don't regret too much not visiting the waterfalls. This was certainly one of the best days in our vacation.