Ile Aux Aigrettes

The Ile Aux Aigrettes is an international standard of natural resources and endangered species protection. Located 800m off the Mauritian southeast coast, this nature reserve is a remarkable success of the Mauritius Wildlife Fund.

The island’s sparkling lagoon, historic ruins, and dense forests are home to a multitude of species – a collection that would make it one of the world’s forerunners in biodiversity.

An expert guide will lead you around the island, as you might encounter rare animals such as the Pink Pigeon, the Ornate Day Gecko, the Aldabran Giant Tortoise, Telfair’s Skink, and the Mauritius Kestrel.

Along the way, you could see 20 species of plants endemic to the country, and the Ebony Forest, where the fabled dodo bird used to live before it went extinct.

Old buildings and ruins around the island, with cannons and symbols of French and British occupation, show the history of Ile Aux Aigrettes.

Take a tour around Ile Aux Aigrettes to develop a deeper appreciation of nature, and to better understand our responsibility to protect it.

Domaine du Chasseur

Domaine du Chasseur, or “the hunter’s domain,” is a 1,000-hectare nature reserve that is at 300m above sea level. Located at Anse Jonchee in southeastern Mauritius, the park has a 30km trail where visitors can travel by foot, by bike, or by mini jeep.

An interesting and rather unusual thing about this nature reserve is that it is open to hunting! It has been so for the past 20 years.

The most common hunting targets in the park are the deer, though wild boars are also popular prey.

To maintain the sustainability of the park, there is a limit to the number of animals that can be hunted down. For instance, since approximately 400 deer need to be removed from the reserve to maintain proper ecological balance, this is the number limit set for deer hunting.

All hunting materials, including guns and bullets, are provided by the park, and guides accompany the hunters at all times. Killed animals remain properties of the nature reserve, but hunters get to choose their trophies.

There is an advantage to this system for the hunter: it becomes easier for them to transport their catch back home because the park offers freight and taxidermy services.

Other activities of Domaine du Chasseur include archery, target shooting, big game fishing, and line fishing.

Chamarel Village

The village of Chamarel is a small, peaceful village in southwestern Mauritius. The village, with its humble setting and hospitable residents, is the site of two wonders of nature – the Chamarel Falls and the Colored Earths of Chamarel.

The Chamarel Falls are a pair of terrifically high waterfalls plummeting hundreds of feet down a multicolored cliff.

Like the Colored Earths, these cliffs are made of volcanic rocks that cooled at different temperatures. They have different shades of blue, green, red, and yellow, painting an exquisite pattern on the exposed hillsides, which no human is allowed to walk on, to preserve the earth’s smoothness.

One more interesting thing you would find is that, because of the different colored particles’ difference in composition, if you mix the different colors all together, they would still settle back into their original color groupings in time.

Ganga Talao

Ganga Talao is one of just two natural lakes in Mauritius. Located within the crater of an extinct volcano, Ganga Talao is an important Hindu pilgrimage site in this country.

Also known as the Grand Basin, Ganga Talao is located on the higher plateau of Mauritius. Hindu followers believe that the lake is connected to the sacred Ganges River in India. This calls them to pilgrimage in this site.

On the banks of Ganga Talao, there is a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Once a year, Hindi pilgrims leave the comfort of their own homes at various locations in Mauritius and travel barefoot toward this temple.

Several construction projects, such as special prayer areas and safer walking paths, have been made around Ganga Talao to accommodate these pilgrimages.

The lake itself is thriving with eel and fish, but it is forbidden to catch and eat these as the Hindu consider them sacred.

Le Touessrok Golf Course

There are many golf courses in Mauritius, but there is perhaps nothing as spectacular there – or maybe anywhere – as the Le Touessrok Golf Course, which is located in its own tropical island.

White sand beaches and dense forestry surround this course, which encompasses 38 hectares of land and contains within it nine lakes.

All 18 holes have a magnificent view of the ocean, which you will find refreshing – or distracting – as you work on your golf game.

Three of the holes in the course require you to hit tee shots over sea inlets to reach the fairways. This sounds difficult, and it is.

Fortunately, the golf course has been designed not just to be challenging for serious golfers but to be enjoyable for casual golfers as well.

 

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