National Parks in Mauritius

Mauritius is a small island with epic landscapes.

Black River Gorges National Park is a refuge for rare wildlife and plants. Here, tropical birds flit around giant ebony trees and trails lace around untouched rainforests, brooding peaks and deep river gorges. More glimpses of endemic birds – including the Mauritius Paradise-flycatcher – reward hikers and mountain bikers in Bras d’Eau National Park, a wild place of beaches, lakes and native trees that lie on the rocky remnants of a lava flow. Then there is Islets National Park, little uninhabited islands scattered all around our coastline.


Black River Gorges National Park

Mauritius’ biggest National Park, Black River Gorges’ lush forest and undulating hills cover 2% of the island’s total surface. It is an area of incredible significance, playing host to many native and endangered species, as well as Mauritius’ remaining rainforest.

With more than 50km of trails, from challenging ascents to easy forest rambles, the park is every hiker’s dream. Home to the highest point in all of Mauritius in the form of the Black River Peak, at 828m above sea level, the summit offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Mauritius. We’d also highly recommend making time for the well-signposted Alexandra Falls viewpoint, where you’ll be able to take in epic views of both the waterfall and the park.

The park offers a remarkable range of flora and fauna – much of which you won’t see anywhere else in the world. With more than 300 species of flowering plants and 9 species of birds that you will only find in Mauritius, book a birdwatching hike with a biologist for local insight. Black River Gorges National Park’s wildlife also includes the Mauritian flying fox, wild boar, macaque monkeys and deer, you’ll want to make sure you take your camera!

Bras d’Eau National Park

Fancy exploring forest, ruins and learning about one of our National Parks? Established in 2011, Bras d’Eau National Park is normally a little quieter than the famous Black River Gorges – however, that doesn’t mean it’s any less special.

Located on the northeast of the island, much of Bras d’Eau’s land was used for plantations of non-native trees. However, original biodiversity remains, including two species of the giant Mauritian ebony trees and the Bois de Fer, as well as critically rare ferns and orchids. Thanks to the area’s National Park status, these precious species are well protected and given room to thrive.

Pop into the Visitor Centre to learn about the trails, historic ruins and wildlife. The gentle Coq Du Bois Loop makes Bras d’Eau a great spot for walkers of all abilities and features an orchard with around 2,000 mango and 200 litchi trees. There’s also fantastic bird watching opportunities – if you’re lucky you might catch sight of sparrows, Mauritius Fodys, canaries, white-eyes or the rare Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher. Mare Sarcelle lake, within Bras d’Eau National Park, is also a natural sanctuary for migratory birds. Finish your trip at the nearby Poste La Fayette beach or one of the park’s picnic tables for lunch.

Islets National Park

There are 49 islets (otherwise known as small islands) surrounding Mauritius. Of these 49, 8 make up Islets National Park.

Islet Area (ha)

Ile d’Ambre                 – 128
Pigeon Rock                – 0.63
Ilot Vacoas                  – 1.36
Rocher aux Oiseaux    – 0.1
Ile aux Oiseaux           – 0.7
Ilot Fous                      – 0.3
Ilot Fouquets               – 2.49
Ile aux Flamants         – 0.8


Spanning more than 140 hectares, Île d’Ambre is the biggest of these 8 islets and is accessible by boat and kayak. Dotted with mangrove trees, Tecoma (a brilliantly vibrant yellow trumpet flower), palm and pine trees, it’s a characterful spot that is regularly visited by locals and tourists. Much like Black River Gorges and Bras D’Eau, you’ll hopefully be treated to glimpses of rare wildlife, including endemic butterflies and the Mauritius grey white-eye.

Some of the smaller islets include Ile aux Flamants, a tiny sandbank off the east coast of Mauritius with dazzling white sand, and Pigeon Rock off the north coast of Mauritius. Pigeon Rock can be found close to Flat Island and is an important habitat for seabirds. Take a boat trip to the northern islands and you might spot this volcanic plug rising vertically out of the sea.

Regular expeditions are carried out to these islets of conservation importance. This allows experts to carry out habitat restoration, and monitor plants and animals to control alien invasive species.

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