Guadeloupe National Park

Created by the law of 1960 (modified and replaced in 2006), the French national parks ensure the protection and the valorization of natural environment and landscapes of exception. You are in the national park of Guadeloupe, created in 1989. Its value and its fame are recognized on the international plan. You are welcome in this jewels of nature, appreciate it and respect it for your wellness, that of your neighbors, and that of the future generations.

France counts today 9 national parks, jewels of nature… These park are part of the heritage of France, they shelter an exceptional flora and a fauna…

Raton laveur, symbole du parc national de Guadeloupe

9 French parks: Vanoise, Port-Cros, Pyrenees,  Cevennes, Ecrins, Mercantour, Réunion, Guyane, and  Guadeloupe… The national parks cover nearly 8% of the French territory (more than 49 000km ²). They attract each year more than 7 million visitors…. The parks are maintained, protected and arranged to make it possible to the visitors to visit them in all quietude. Paths in Guadeloupe, bridges, make it possible to admire the flora and fauna.  Not to leave these paths, in order not to damage the neighbourhoods. It is obviously prohibited to gather flowers and plants…

Parc national de Guadeloupe, carte The national park of Guadeloupe covers approximately 40% of the surface of Low-Is in hiding. The central zone covers 173 km ², and peripheral zone the “(including the communes of Pointe-Noire, Bouillante and Vieux-Habitants)  approximately 182 km ².

The national park of Guadeloupe (in green)

The symbol of the national park of Guadeloupe is the raccoon

 

The relief of Low-Is in hiding

Forêt domaniale As opposed to what its name could let believe, la Basse-Terre is a mountainous region. It is cut by a single road, (la route de la traversée) which it is necessary to borrow at least once to admire the surrounding vegetation. It much more often rains in Basse-Terre  than in Grande-Terre. Many sources and cascades support a luxuriant vegetation. In Basse-Terre, nature is queen.

The shaded paths and traces give innumerable opportunities of excursions. Basse-Terre in hiding shelters the National park of Guadeloupe, classified by UNESCO with the world network of the reserves of the biosphere. In seaside, one discovers historical vestiges, guns, old powder mills, mills…

It is in Basse-Terre in hiding that is the volcano the Soufrière, always active, which culminates with 1,467 meters, the point highest of the Lesser Antilles. The last eruption dated July 8th, 1976. On August 15th, 1976, 70 000 people living the south of Basse-Terre were evacuated. The village of Saint-Claude was plunged in the darkness under a rain of ashes and dust.

Relief de la Basse-Terre canne à sucre             Relief de la Basse-Terre

 

Relief de la Basse-Terre              Relief de la Basse-Terre

Plantations of sugar cane, bananas, pineapple… In Basse-Terre nature is generous

La Basse-Terre             Relief de la Basse-Terre

 

Relief de la Basse-Terre      

La maison de la Forêt

Maison de la forêt, Guadeloupe Small house out of wooden, (close to the cascade to crayfish on the "route de la traversée"). You will be able to discuss with the guards the National park, and to ask them all the questions about the Tropical forest, the flora, fauna, the excursions, the falls, the cascades...

 

Maison de la forêt - Parc National de Guadeloupe          Maison de la Forêt, route de la Traversée

The river Bras-David

Just beside the "maison de la forêt", departure of superb strolls on the site of “Bras-David”, arranged so that each one can discover the tropical forest without danger. Strolls starts with the crossing of a suspended bridge to the top of the river Bras-David…

Pont suspendu au dessus de la rivière Bras David                Rivière Bras David

In the river Bras-David, which takes his source with the Pitons of Bouillante with 1000 meter altitudes, one can see fresh water prawns and fishes black and white, called "mulets".. Per good weather it is possible to bathe. The river joined the "Grande-Rivière" in goyave, which  thrown in the "cul-de-sac-marin".

In the middle of the tropical forest and National park: falls of Carbet. Three falls of 115,110 and 20 meters in height. :

First fall of the carbetP1010456_800x600.JPG

 

Paths and traces

Excursions, paths and traces: ground with the many tangled up roots (click to increase)

Trace en forêt tropicale                     Trace en forêt tropicale

Tropical vegetation

The wealth of the tropical forest is due to heat and especially to water. The height of the rains on these areas is from 4 to 6 meters according to the years. The water content is of 90%. Between the ground and the summit of the trees, a few 40 meters. On the ground, enchevètrement of roots and dead leaves, paradise of the insects, batrachians and invertebrates. While raising the eyes one can admire tree ferns, lianas which seek the light, or of the trees whose branches are covered with plants.

Alpinias en forêt tropicale         Fougère arborescente

Above, flowers (alpinias) and tree ferns, being able to reach up to 15 meters height.

Forêt tropicale          Licopode

In Guadeloupe, not less than 300 species of trees, 2,700 species of plants with flowers, a hundred species of orchises….

Végétation forêt tropicale          Forêt tropicale vue

 

Fougères          Plante "cotelette"

 

Végétation forêt tropicla Parc National          Végétation forêt tropicla Parc National

Siguine white or philodendron giganteum, with the immense sheets and luisantes which can reach nearly 2 meters length.

Vue au départ de la randonnée vers chute du Carbet          Cascade dans le Parc National

 A jewel of nature.

Termite mounds

Scientific name “nasutiterme costalis. The termite belongs to the class of the insects. Order of Isoptera. Family of the termitidae.

The termites are a true danger to the houses. They devour the wood which they manage to digest thanks to micro-organisms in their stomach. Able to devour our houses, they take, on the other hand, well care of their. The termite mound, made up of mud and wood lamb's lettuce is a good example of ingeniousness. The temperature inside is constant there, to protect larvae and eggs.

Termitière en forêt tropicale, Guadeloupe        Termitière

Termite mounds photographed in tropical forest

Termitière en forêt tropicale, Guadeloupe         Termitière en forêt tropicale, Guadeloupe     Termitière en forêt tropicale, Guadeloupe

Acomat Din

Acomat Boucan                      Acomat Boucan

 

Acomat boucanTo give an idea of the size of the tree, the hole in the root (photo of left) is with more 1,8O meter of the ground… this tree can reach briskly 40 meters in height (tropical forest). As opposed to what one could think, these trees do not have roots deeply anchored in the ground. For this reason they develop enormous external roots, kind of buttresses which enable them to hold upright and to stabilize their trunk. Along the tree, a “liana with water”, enormous plant being able to reach 3O cm of diameter. These lianas secrete a very abundant sap, from where them name. Acomat din. Really impressive.

The road of the Crossing…

One of the most beautiful road of Guadeloupe. In a few 35 kilometers, it “crosses into two” Basse-Terre, by connecting the two opposite coasts. It was inaugurated in 1967. It is also named “route des deux mamelles”. This name comes from two volcanic knobs, the "mamelle Pigeon  (768 meters of altidude) and the udder of Petit-Bourg (716 meters). The access to the road can be prohibited in the event of strong rains.

Map of the road of the crossing                La route de la traversée

this road, you can reach the cascade aux écrevisses, the House of the Forest, the Saut de la Lézarde, the Parc des mamelles… la route de la traversée... another manner of discovering the luxuriant tropical vegetation.

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