Ile aux Aigrettes
Ile aux Aigrettes is an island nature reserve, found about 850 metres off the south-east coast of Mauritius, approximately 1 kilometre from the coastal town of Mahebourg. Aboiut 27 hectares in size. Pronounced ‘eelozagret’ it is a popular visitors attraction for both tourists and Mauritians. To get to the island embark at Pointe Jerome on the coastal road between Mahebourg and Pointe d’Esny. There is ample parking at Pointe Jerome and you won’t need a map. The visitor centre is across the road from Pointe Jerome and it is here that you can pay for your Eco Tour and collect your ticket. You are only able to visit the nature reserve on a Mauritian Wildlife Foundation tour. These tours are conducted by a MWF ranger and last around 2 hours and include your short boat trip to and from the island. Tailor-made tours can be booked in advance to cater for special interests that you might have, such as photography or birdwatching.
Ile aux Aigrettes conserves the world’s only remaining piece of Mauritius Dry Coastal Forest. It is also home to a large number of extremely rare or endangered species of plants and animals. It’s a treasure trove of endemic animals and plants saved from the brink of extinction by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.
Here you can discover all about Mauritius before the arrival of man. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation cleared the islet of plants and animals not native to Mauritius. These included rats, cats and other small predators. Once cleared rare native plants and animals were introduced. There are now over 60 species of native plants growing on the island. All of the animals are tagged and closely monitored
What can you expect to see on a visit to Ile aux Aigrettes:
- Pink pigeons, once there were only 9 left in Mauritius until a successful conservation effort brought them back from the brink of extinction.
- Small Mauritius Fody, the male’s plumage turns red on its head to attract females
- Echo Parakeet
- Olive White-Eye bird, one of the rarest birds on Mauritius.
- Aldabra Tortoises, there are 20 roaming the nature reserve.
- Telfair skink, the biggest lizards in Mauritius.
Monday to Saturday: 9.30, 10.00, 13.30, 14.00, 14.30
Sunday: morning only
Images by Amit Mehra
Courtesy of Mauritius of Tourist Board