Trafalgar Falls

World Tours

ROSEAU, DOMINICA – Situated east of the picturesque  village of Trafalgar is one of Dominica’s most popular natural attractions, the Trafalgar Falls. The tours are organized with professional Tour Guide and driver. Trafalgar Tour starts at the center of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, boarding the special panoramic van. Driving takes about 45 minutes one way through a scenic jungle environment.

A 10-minute walk, after drop off, takes the visitors to a viewing platform for a panoramic view of the twin waterfalls which plunge about 125 ft and 75 ft respectively.

A major rockslide in September 1995 buried the once popular hot springs and pools at the base of the waterfall to the left.  The once taller waterfall, the one on the left, is popularly referred to as the ‘Papa Falls’ and the shorter but stronger one is affectionately called the ‘Mama Falls’, they are both on tributaries of the Roseau river.

The Breakfast river that hikers cross en route  to Boiling lake is one of those tributaries, and it tumbles into the shorter waterfall. The water that leaves the Freshwater lake area flows through Ti-Tou Gorge before cascading in the Papa Falls. As you walk the trail, note the orange coloration in the small spring that flows across the trail. This is cost by iron compounds in the clay and not by sulphur. Sometimes the water may be slightly warm, and this is further evidence of Dominica’s volcanic origin. The stream coming from the hot springs at the base of the Papa falls is much warmer. As you begin your walk, Begonias and Wild Anthuriums may grab your attention. On the stems of some trees are large climbing plants with leaves that resemble flies wings.

Passing the base of the first set of steps also, look out for the Breadfruit tree. Breadfruit  was first brought to the Caribbean in 1791 by Captain Blight, as a cheap source of food to feed the African slaves. The following are some other plants that you may observe along the trail, growing either on the ground or on the trees.

Dominica has 188 species of ferns, and along the trail you will find some species growing on the ground as well as on  the trees. Note the tall, graceful tree ferns, and the transparent filmy ferns which are only one-cell thick and growing on the stems. The plants that you see growing on some of the trees and even lianas and resembling pineapple plants are bromeliads. Some of the species that grow in the rain forest are quiet large, and when it rains they collect water and support several small creatures. Heliconia or ‘Balizye’ is related to the banana plant and there are two native species on Dominica, the one along the trail may have either  red or yellow flowers. The leaves are used mainly for waterproofing large Lawouman baskets made by Dominica’s Kalinago Indians. Trekking Dominica: Unexplored hiking paradise

Another unique plant is the Trumpet tree that  has prominent leaf scars on its hollow trunk. Its large leaves are divided, and when young are reddish to golden in colour, when mature the under side is white, making the three easy to identify from a distance on a windy day. The leaves are used in folk medicine and floral arrangements, while the young stem is used to make a blowing instrument played in traditional Jing – pink bands. This natural reservat is real sanctuary of numerous represents of Dominica’s Wildlife Fauna. The animals that you are likely to encounter along the trail are lizards, crabs, birds and butterflies. However, hundreds of piping calls of a small whistling frog will usually fill the air, especially after heavy shower. Stick insects which resemble twigs, may also be found in the area.

The Dominican three lizard or ‘Zanndoli’ is very common and it can only be found on this island. The male is the more colourful of the sexes, and sometimes puts on a display with its throat-fan as it tries to defend it’s territory or attract a mate. You may also see some large, blue and grey ground lizards near the parking lot and the viewing platform, and if you are lucky you may also spot a ‘lesser antillean iguana’ in the trees near the Welcome Centre.

Look out for the brown and yellow river crap that Dominicans call ‘siwic’. This is the only crap specie that you will find in the islands interior forest.

  Human birds look very busy as they move among the flowers feeding on nectar. Dominica has four different types, including the blue-headed hummingbird that exists only here and on the island of Martinique. The ‘Antillean crested human bird’ with it shimmering green crust and the purple-throated carib are the other two hummingbirds that may also be observed here.

Some of the other birds that you may see are the brown Trembler, the house wren, broad winged hawk, as it soars of overhead, the Bananaquit, the Lesser antillean bullfinch, the Lesser antillean flycatcher and herons. Also listen for the melodious song of the Rufous-throated solitaire, localy known as the ‘Mountain Whistler’.
The large steel pipes on the cliffs to the north – east of the Visitor Centre and approaching the building, are carrying water that comes from the Freshwater lake and Ti- to Gorge at Laudat, down to power plants at Trafalgar, where the energy in the fast- flowing water turns turbines and generates  hydro-electricity for the island.

The trail to the Trafalgar Falls officially ends at the viewing platform, and anyone proceeding beyond this point is doing so at  own risk. However if you do decide to go closer to the falls, for your personal safety it is strongly advised against swimming while it is raining, as flash floods can  occure on both Rivers that form the waterfall.

Site passes can be purchased at the visitor centre.


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