Roche Noire Lava Tubes

Princess Margaret Cave


Useful Information

Location: Plaine des Roches, Mauritius
(-20.117219, 57.711408)
Open: no restrictions.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: bring torch
Dimension: Trail: L=500 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Roche Noire Lava Tubes, Roche Noire, Tel: +230-5903-4289.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

17-DEC-2015 Roches Noires Caves Trail inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth.

Description

The Roche Noire Lava Tubes (Black Rocks Lava Tubes) is a small nature park with some trails which lead to various lava tubes. It is located at the western edge of the village Roche Noire, and both are actually named after the black rocks. The black volcanic rock forms the basement of the island and is the result of an eruption 29.000 years ago. So it is quite easy to understand why this place was named "Black Rocks" by the first settlers.

The Roches Noires Caves Trail, including a museum and a tree nursery, covers an area of more than five acres of land. The main cave is the Princess Margaret Cave, with a wide staircase of stone steps leading down to the cave entrance. The small park with its well maintained trails was inaugurated in 2015 by the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Guests were the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, Jayeshwur Raj Dayal and other eminent personalitites. Mauritius is a small island and there are not many spectacular tourist destinations except for the sea, so even such a small park with a semi wild lava tube gets high ranking attentions. On the other hand it is a good sign that a geotope gets some public reception.

Beneath the caves there are several freshwater pools, like Bassin Lave, and Trou Diable. One of the lava tubes contains a cave lake, and one requires wading through water. The difficulty of the cave visits is quite different, if you plan to visit caves beneath Princess Margaret Cave you should definitely hire a guide. Some locals offer guided walks through the park explaining the geology and biology of the park, so the park also provides income for the locals. Sir Anerood Jugnauth stressed that for safety reasons, it is not advisable to visit the caves without being accompanied by a guide. While we would say that most caves are mostly harmless we actually have no reason to contradict him on that.