The Bras d'Eau National Park, created on 25 October 1991, is one of the three national parks of Mauritius. It is located in the north-east of the island and covers an area of 497.2 hectares. It is the second largest national park in Mauritius. It takes its name from the arms of water that cross it. There, you can discover some ponds along the pathway laid out in the middle of basaltic rocks. Like any hike, long sleeves are recommended to avoid the numerous and voracious mosquito bites. However, the shaded walk is very pleasant. The Bras d'Eau National Park is a birdwatcher's paradise. According to them, it is here that you will have the best chance to meet the discreet and elegant Mauritian Tchitrec.
Like all parks, the route starts at an information point. You will then have to take a well-marked path that loops through the woods. At the beginning of the adventure, you may come across the Mauritius Grey White-eye, with their small calls, these birds signal their presence among the branches and shrubs on the path. You will probably also see the more discreet and famous Mauritian Chitrec. Rather shy, it is even intrigued by the presence of visitors! The female can be distinguished by a grey head, whereas in the males, this part of the body is black. This endemic bird is an insectivore and is considered vulnerable. Moreover, it is the near extinction of several of these endemic species that motivated the creation of the park.
What species are found in Bras d'Eau National Park? Two species of giant trees native to Mauritius still survive in Bras d'Eau National Park: Diospyros melanida and Diospyros egrettarum. There are also other surviving endemic species including the Sideroxylon boutonianum ("ironwood"), doryopteris pilosa, the aquatic Acrostichum aureum, and polystachys Oeoniella Orchid. Although most of the endemic animals are already extinct, the park still serves as a nature reserve for several species.
A large area of water called Mare Sarcelle stretches over nearly 89 hectares of the park. In addition to a wide variety of ferns and orchids, the area is home to mangroves and several birds. Bras d'Eau National Park also hides ruins within the forest, including the remains of a sugar mill and a lime kiln. There is a picnic site with wooden tables in the forest.
Along the path and the walk among the low walls and vast black steps you discover the ruins of Hindu temples. Like the book of the jungle… But don't worry, there are no felines around. The only mammals that you can meet on the path are groups of macaques. However, you must remain vigilant. Enjoy your visit!