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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ile aux Aigrettes – a little piece of Paradise in Mauritius

D Thisbe-2011Situated close to the South East coast of Mauritius, just off the town of Mahebourg, Ile aux Aigrettes is the perfect place for nature lovers. The island was declared a nature conservation site in 1965 by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Transported out of time, away from the bustle of the modern world, you can discover the magic of Ile aux Aigrettes, home to the last remnants of an ecosystem once abundant in the coastal regions of Mauritius. This coastal forest, rich in ebonies and other endemic species of plants as well as bird and reptile species, was once the home of the Dodo.

Only 26 ha small and thanks to the restoration work through the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation the coral island is a fascinating place where you will discover plants and animals, unique to Mauritius and found nowhere else in the world. Ile aux Aigrettes is the perfect showcase of what the costal ecosystem was like before the arrival of mankind. Thus Ile aux Aigrettes has become a beautiful ecological spot that should be on the list of every Mauritius visitor. Ile  aux  Aigrettes is open  to  the  public for  guided  tours,  lasting between  1½ and  2 hours.  All tours are accompanied by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides who will give you the opportunity of encountering the flora and fauna in their natural environment with beautiful and who will introduce you to the unusual Pink Pigeons distant cousins of the Dodo, the Mauritius Kestrel and the giant tortoises. 

IAA view from boat-K-Nundloll
At  the  end  of  your  visit,  you  will be  able  to  rediscover  some of  the extinct Species of the Mascarene Islands in the museum, in the form of impressive life size bronzes. The Wildlife Foundation offers private tours for interested groups or individuals tailored to specific requirements or interests, such as bird watching, flora or photography.

When you go to Ile aux Aigrettes you should not miss the opportunity of visiting the historic town of Mahebourg whichremains one of the most authentic and traditional towns in Mauritius. Monday is market day in Mahébourg. Every week this traditional, colourful and perfumed market overflows with spices, tropical fruit and vegetables, clothes and hand crafts of all kinds, breathing life into the heart of the town. Mahébourg is perfect for strolls along the coast where you can admire the views of île de la Passe, île Vacoas, île au Phare as well as île aux Fouquets and île Mouchoir Rouge.

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