Mauritius – Rivière Noire, imbued in history.
In the south-west, adjoining the village of Tamarin, Rivière Noire, a place of reminiscence of slavery and marooning, reveals its mysteries and welcomes us with a beautiful blazing sun. The main road twists between sea, mangroves, and mountainous landscape, and by wandering around here and there, we can find some small fragments of our past. Here, at Pointe Koenig (still bearing the name of the former owners), are the ruins of an old mansion, a stone tower, a cannon, an artillery piece from the time of Anglo-French rivalries, all relics of our colonial era. There, in the shade of old banyan trees, an old post office, dating from the English occupation still in operation. Even more interesting, an old lime kiln, covered with vegetation invites us to recall “létan lontan” (ancient times).
Without doubt, the driest place on the island, Rivière Noire can boast about being the cradle of the island’s largest natural area. Indeed, this region is composed of the Black River Gorges National Park, an essential stopover for passionate nature lovers and sportsmen. This idyllic and authentically natural site is a reserve protected by UNESCO. There are many trails that can be done on foot and in some places, by bike, which uncover awesome flora and fauna. It’s a natural territory for several animals, but one can also spot a few hundred species of endemic or native plants. Along the paths, there flow streams and rivers that lead to beautiful waterfalls, offering an exquisite panorama to the many runners who crisscross this region each year during the various organized trails. At the edge of this nature reserve lies the Grande Rivière Noire hunting area, one of the largest on the island.
Hikers should not hold back and happily climb the Piton de la Rivière Noire, as at an altitude of more than 800 meters, the beauty of the panoramic views over the Baie de Rivière Noire, Tamarin, Le Morne and its idyllic lagoon, will quickly make you forget that you have just climbed the highest mountain on the island.
In the 1940s, Louis Lenferna, a bird enthusiast from Mauritius, who lived at Balises of Rivière Noire, had created great aviaries comprising of a surprising collection from several countries but also some endemic species. These aviaries were subsequently entrusted to the Casela Nature Park, which can be visited to the enjoyment of each and everyone.
One of Rivière Noire’ s gems is undeniably Le Morne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which needs no introduction. Its legendary mountain and its kitesurfing and windsurfing spots, located along one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, attract aficionados. Without doubt, Rivière Noire remains one of the most popular meeting points for sea outings. We strongly recommend a most authentic experience, a day of dolce farniente spent at Ile aux Bénitiers enjoying an exquisite turquoise lagoon while indulging in some freshly caught seafood, prepared Mauritian style. But then again, and this could be the highlight of your holidays: an outing aboard one of the boats to meet our friendly sperm whales and whales parading off Rivière Noire coast.