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Black River Gorges Park

This beautiful highland area south-west of Curepipe is unlike anywhere else on the island. About 6km from Curepipe, Mauritius' only mountain road reaches the dam wall of the park's large reservoir, Mare aux Vacoas. Surrounded by casuarina and coniferous trees, it looks more like North America than an island in the Indian Ocean. About 6km south-east of Mare aux Vacoas is the sacred lake of the Hindus, Grand Bassin, and a few kilometres further east, Plaine Champagne, the rainiest spot and largest natural area on Mauritius. Toward the eastern end of the plain, the Rivière Noire overlook affords spectacular views of waterfalls and the 830m Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, the highest point on Mauritius.

The best time to visit Black River Gorges National Park is during the flowering season between September and January. Look for the rare tambalacoque or dodo tree, black ebony trees and the exotic birds that perch in them. You may also run into a band of monkeys, deer or wild pigs. The park is some 30km south of Port Louis and is best reached by bus via Curepipe or by private transport.