2/7 Ile Aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve

For ages: seven and up

mauritius-Tortoise

At this re-wilded nature reserve, families can travel back in time to discover how Mauritius looked like 400 years ago before the arrival of man. Covering 27 hectares ad just 800m off the southeast coast, families are taken on a guided tour with a ranger to discover endemic creatures and plants that have been successfully reintroduced here since it was declared a nature reserve in 1965 after the island was used by the British as a World War II base.

Mauritius has just 2% of its endemic forest left and half of it is on this island. As you journey through the incredible forest of rare ebony with rare orchids happily ensconced on their branches, kids will be in raptures as they spot giant tortoises reintroduced from the coral atoll of Aldabra in the Seychelles. There are 26 adult tortoises including Big Daddy, thought to be 100 years old, and 200 babies. Kids will also love to spot the Telfair skink, a reptile which help keep the mice population in check.

But it’s the birds that really stand out here. Pink pigeons, the Mauritius Fody with their flame red heads in breeding season, and the tiniest bird on Mauritius, the Mauritius Olive White-Eye that look like they’re wearing spectacles could well inspire your kids to become twitchers. The conservation work on this island is incredible. To put it in perspective, there are only 55 olive white-eyes on Ile Aux Aigrettes and only 300 in Mauritius.

Price

Guided tours cost £20 per adult and £10 per child aged 4-11 years including tour and boat across. Book your ticket by calling 230 631 2396 or email reservation@mauritian-wildlife.org

Find out more about Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

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