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“Great to see what the are accomplishing here!”

Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve
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Mahebourg Guided Day Tour
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Full-Day 4 Peninsulas Speed Boat Tour from Pointe Jerome
Ranked #30 of 203 things to do in Mauritius
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Ilfracombe, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great to see what the are accomplishing here!”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

The indigenous nature here is great to see, we enjoyed seeing the rare pink pigeon, the extremely rare olive white eye and the Mauritian Fody. Even though I have only a small interest in nature, this visit was truly wonderful and worth the visit. The tortoises were entertaining, one knocked over a bench trying to follow us!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank NoahMilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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258 reviews from our community

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N Devon
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Thoroughly enjoyable visit”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Greta to see what they are trying/succeeding in doing here.

We appreciated seeing both the Olive White Eye and the Pink Pigeon - as well as the Mauritius Cardinal (Fody).

The tortoises add to the appeal and are there to try to keep the invasive acacia down so that the natural plants can take command again.

Keep up the good work - if you have even a slight eye for nature, then make a visit and contribute to the Island;'s upkeep.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank QualityControlNDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Superb location in Mahebourg Bay”
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Great way to see more of Mahebourg Bay as the scenery on this side of the island is stunning - turquoise water with big mountains in the background.

We actually stayed on the exact opposite side of the island so took a scooter day trip down to see Ile aux Aigrettes. It was raining on the day and we froze our butts off on said scooter for just over 2 hours to get there (every time a bus passed us we were actually glad for the hot stinky diesel fumes!!!) but man it was worth the drive (drive itself was super cool esp the coastline between Grand River South East and Mahebourg where there is no beach just black volcanic rocks rolling into sea and no tourists either).

Anyhow so getting to see more of Mahebourg Bay was great, and the water around Ile aux Aigrettes really is as pretty as the photos you find on the web, even on a miserable day like when we were there. I also fully support the initiative, trying to sustain a unique ecosystem and plant life in a protected and isolated environment.

the guided tour will only be interesting/exciting if you really are into plants. If thats the case then yes you will totally enjoy it. We saw pink pigeons on 2 occasions and 2 giant tortoises and lotsa lizards. Also getting to see the big male fruit bats up close is cool. the mozzies (mosquitoes) were definitely around too. Our guide was a young girl and we were her very first tour so she was super nervous but did a good job overall.

There's a little restaurant on that same road back towards Mahebourg, just past the big hotel opposite a car rental spot where we had super yummy lunch.

Visited July 2012
4 Thank Jeanine J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
63 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Watch out for Big Daddy!”
Reviewed June 27, 2012

My daughter is studying Biological Science at university, with a particular interest in plants, so this was our main reason for wanting to visit the island & we weren't disappointed.We travelled from the north west, near Port Louis, to catch the 10.30 boat across to the island, which we'd prebooked (you can't just turn up as numbers are restricted). We spent about 2 hours with our excellent guide, in a group of 5, walking around, admiring the views, & meeting some of the inhabitants (fruit bats, geckos, skinks, fody, olive white-eye) & having some of the trees & plants pointed out & explained to us. Unfortunately, we didn't see a pink pigeon. There are toilet facilities at the end of the tour & a small gift shop, which we felt could be improved upon as we would have bought some postcards to support the cause if there's been any. Otherwise, the items were quite expensive - books etc. We'd taken a picnic lunch which we ate after returning to the mainland about 1.00pm. Watch out for Big Daddy!

Visited June 2012
3 Thank mrsfuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Lovely conservation effort”
Reviewed August 23, 2011

This is an interesting, half day’s trip away from the beaches and water sports. It is great for nature and conservation enthusiasts and there are some fantastic views to boot. Not to mention the lovely boat trip across the blue, crystalline waters of Mahebourg Bay.

An entire, small, coralline island has been given over to the planting and nurturing of endemic flora and the breeding of endemic fauna close to extinction. It is a truly laudable effort on the part of the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation.

Although the endemic species have actually mostly been carefully introduced there and non-endemic species removed (it is an ongoing effort), the effect is that of a totally natural, wild and completely authentic looking forest and eco-system out there.

It is a good idea to combine a trip here with an afternoon of activities in Blue Bay. The boat to the island departs from close to Preskil Beach Resort, Point Jerome. They have trips departing from 9.30am to 2pm. I would advise that you take the first boat out, since it becomes rather hot and muggy on the island by mid-day. It is a good idea to book ahead and go on a guided tour. Lunch can be had at the lovely La Belle Kreole Restaurant, Mahebourg and then you could have a trip to the Marine Conservation Park with Totof Tours in Blue Bay in the afternoon.

Since the animals are all free on the island, the guides are best able to take you to spots where you are most likely to see them. Else you might miss some of the loveliest of them. I was enthralled by the Ornate Day Gecko – I have seen nothing like it. We were also able to see Telfair’s Skink, the rare Pink Pigeon, the Olive White Eye, the Mauritius Fody. I was particularly grateful about the pink pigeon, since we were not able to fit in a hike in the Black River Gorge, where they are present in the wild. We also saw a few Giant Aldabran tortoises. We were quite amused by a rather territorial and aggressive old chap.

There are really interesting plants on the island. Ebony is growing well due to conservation efforts and is now naturally propagating itself. I was totally fascinated by the two plants there displaying heterophylly – bois de boeuf and bois de rat. Such dissimilar leaves on the same plant! If not for the guide, I would never have taken one of those for a single plant. There are also two rare palms, in addition to other plants.

There is a viewing platform on the island, from which there are some wonderful views across the bay.

The trek across the island takes about an hour and a half. It cannot be called arduous or particularly challenging, but the paths are stony and uneven – the rock underfoot is coralline. It is therefore not for someone totally unfit. There are gentle climbs and sometimes you need to duck under overhanging branches. You could get scratches from thorns. So, do be sure to wear comfortable, cool, preferably long clothes. You need good footwear for those stony paths. Apply and carry insect repellent. Carry anti-histamines if you are allergic to insect bites. Although a lot of the trek is under shade, there are patches when you are glad to have a cap and sunglasses on. Do carry water, since no water or refreshments are sold on the island.

I am really glad I went on that trip. I enjoyed myself.

Visited July 2011
4 Thank GatherinNoMoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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