Ile aux Aigrettes
Visit Ile aux Aigrettes on one of our guided tours and travel back in time to discover what Mauritius would have looked like over 400 years ago, before the arrival of man and his devastating impact on the environment.
Ile aux Aigrettes is a small (27 ha) island situated in the Mahebourg Bay, about 850 m off the south-east coast of Mauritius. Unlike the mainland which is of volcanic origin, Ile aux Aigrettes is made up of coralline limestone. It is home to the last remnants of dry coastal forest, once found around most of Mauritius.
Like the mainland, Ile aux Aigrettes was affected by tree logging and land clearance, and the introduction of exotic animal and plant species almost destroyed the native fauna and flora. In 1965 the island was declared a nature reserve and our intense conservation efforts have resulted in the restoration of the forest and reintroduction of rare species that had long since disappeared from the island.
The tour starts with short boat trip from Pointe Jerome (the old Sand Jetty, around 500 m south of le Preskil Hotel). This is followed by a 1.5 to 2 hour walking trail, led by one of our trained ecotour rangers, who will introduce the unique flora and fauna to you, explain about our restoration work on the island, and share their knowledge of the local area and the history of the island.
At the end of your visit, you will be able to rediscover some of the extinct species of the Mascarene islands in our museum, in the form of impressive life-size bronzes and paintings. You may already have encountered some of the bronzes positioned around the island.
You will also have the opportunity to visit our shop, which offers interesting and attractive souvenirs for sale including T-shirts and caps, items embroidered with rare birds and animals, children’s books and a whole range of other wildlife-related products. The boat will then take you back to the mainland.
So that you can fully enjoy your visit, please make sure that you have:
sensible and comfortable shoes (the trail can be uneven and rocky in places)
drinking water or soft drinks (these are not available on the island)
insect repellent and sunscreen