If you wish to escape from the rat race, hectic lifestyle and the actual troubled world, then going on a nature trek will certainly appease your soul. The island of Mauritius is much more than its pristine beaches and luxurious hotels. Being of a volcanic origin, the island is bestowed with some hidden nature hideaways and Mare aux Joncs Waterfall is without exception included in the list.
This mesmerising waterfall is located in the midst of Black River Gorges National Park, which is one of the most unspoilt nature reserves in Mauritius. It consists of rainforest, covering about 2% of the island’s surface. The national park is home to over 300 species of plants, including the ebony trees. There are also some endemic bird species such as the Mauritius Kestrel, Pink Pigeon, Echo Parakeet, Mauritius Olive White-eye and many other interesting birds.
Besides, the Black River Gorges is very well known for being a hiking landmark, where you will find many hiking trails ranging from the most difficult to the easiest one. If you are seeking to go into the wild nature for some moments of peace, then Mare aux Joncs Waterfall is what you need.
Certainly, sometimes photos don’t give justice to the natural beauty. You need to go on the spot to really witness the sheer beauty. I have to admit that I wasn’t impressed by the pictures that I can find on the net, yet I decided to join in for the hike with the ‘guide friend’ from my previous outdoor adventure.
So we decided to go to the Black River Gorges, and upon reaching the parking lot, we took our bags and set for the main pathway. You can easily spot the information center and a signboard of the Do’s and the Don’ts while hiking the area. We walked for about 5 to 10 minutes to come across an intersection (fork) where you can find signs indicating the Mare aux Joncs trail which is actually by taking the left.
As I walked along the rugged path with rocks scattered all over, I instantly feel the connection with this unspoiled reserve. There was a strong earthy smell combined with the fragrance of the eucalyptus trees, which are widely present in the forest. So I kept on consciously breathing in and out which made me feel good.
As we walk through the forest, we heard the chirping of the birds, croaking of the frogs, creaking of tree barks with the rustling leaves and the rivers burbling harmoniously with nature. As you can deduce, it was a nature therapy!
The initial track was rather easy and less challenging. We came across several rivers, and sometimes if you are lucky you can spot endemic birds and wild frogs. You will also find some weird branches twisting and overlapping. There are some occasional track signs such as the orange markings, colourful ribbons attached to branches of the trees, and the green circle on signboards. It is essential that you watch out for these signs throughout the trail so as you don’t want to get lost.
You will notice that the forest gets thicker as you penetrate deeper. It becomes more sombre and challenging. The path gets narrower and infested with mosquitoes. The sound of the rushing rivers becomes more intense, and at some point, we were yearning for the waterfall view. We kept on walking until we reached a point where we could actually see light and hear the sound of the pounding Mare aux Joncs waterfall.
As we climbed some boulders, we were simply mesmerised by the impressive view of the huge canyons and waterfall. The view was so soothing and captivating at the same time, it was a blissful moment to cherish. Photos indeed didn’t do any justice to this pristine beauty. The majestic cliff has a cave which is probably a habitat for the bats. You will be able to see endemic birds flying above the canyons which add a beautiful touch to the scenic view.
It was time to go under the waterfall to feel the cold rushing water. We all needed that chilled and relaxing sensation. The water basin was filled with rocks and frogs were giving us company. Beware there are eels as well, which got me a bit scared.
Eventually, we made our way back on the same track which was kind of easy since we felt rejuvenated after spending time at the waterfall.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT MARE AUX JONCS WATERFALL
Starting Point: Black River Gorges National Park
Distance: Around 8 km round trip
Duration: 2-3 Hours