Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve

Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve

Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve
4.5
About
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.
Duration: < 1 hour
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Chris A
    Carnoustie, United Kingdom6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible visit to Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve.
    Amazing guided tour around the island after a short boat trip. Guide was brilliant, very knowledgeable. Fascinating to see the plants and animals, and to learn about their history and all the conservation work they are doing to protect them from extinction. We were luck enough to bump into a 120 year old gaint tortoise on the trail which was incredible. This trip was a highlight of our stay on Mauritius and couldn't recommend it enough. Very good value for money.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 June 2023
  • NicJoT
    33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tortoises and conservation
    Yesterday we had a full day Conservation trip to Ile aux Aigrettes. Absolutely fantastic! Julia was our guide who was very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the island and how the volunteers are trying to bring back some of the native species to the island. We had a tour round the island and saw the Pink Pidgeon, Olive White Eye, Ebony Trees and of course the giant tortoises who roam the island. The 'stud' of tortoises - Big Daddy followed us around wanting a back rub! We helped plant some palm trees with Pascal who was telling my husband all sorts of gardening tips. The highlight has got to be feeding and measuring the baby tortoises 🐢. They were so cute! Lunch was included and of course a visit to the gift shop. The trip there and back in a speed boat was exciting too. Overall a fantastic day we'll remember forever.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 June 2023
  • Andrew Wappat
    Whitby, United Kingdom10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational endemic wildlife experience on carefully protected islet.
    Enjoyable visit to this limited access reserve. Was able to change boat crossing time, we were welcomed by guide Leticia. Excellent, informative tour of the work of the Foundation on the islet, and the battle to increase endemic plants (and animals) and remove predators. Learned a lot about the importance of Ebony, and how fragile the balance is with the loss of so many tortoise for distributing seeds. Managed to see and photograph all the endemic birds I’d hoped for. Highly recommended, great value. And the views by boat heading over incredible too. Please support the work of MWF where you can!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 August 2023
  • Ramesh B
    Mauritius2,002 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A mind opening experience
    Please book in advance. Check the weather forecast as well. They take a maximum of 4 groups of 15 persons per day. The outward and return trip by a small boat could be a challenge for people with mobility handicap. Otherwise it is money spent for a good cause and the visit is most interesting. You will see endangered species, learn how we are trying to protect them and save them and also, unfortunately, how mankind is at fault for many extinction events. Moderate physical activity activity.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 21 August 2023
  • mssphd
    Providence, Rhode Island37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent birding
    I did two tours with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. I went birdwatching at Black River Gorge NP and then I took a VIP tour of Ile aux Aigrettes. I am very interested in both birdwatching and her pathology so these tours might not be for everyone. On the first trip, I saw 5 of the 8 endemic birds and my guide Julia did a great job searching for the other two that we might have found. The following day we saw another endemic as well as giant tortoise and the Telfair skink. Lots of great information about wildlife protection and reintroduction in Mauritius.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 1 September 2023
  • Salmon
    England, United Kingdom27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Trip
    Ile aux Aigrettes was amazing. You get a fast speedboat over and back amongst beautiful blue sea, boats and lovely scenery on a sunny day then a member of the Mauritian Wildlife association gives a 1.5 hour guided tour. Its like a coastal forest and we saw 2 big tortoises, who were 60 years old and about 1 metre long females in the forest and others and bats in a conservation area. We also saw the pink pigeon and a red bird very beautiful as well as red whiskered bulbin and small gecko like things and ebony trees. It was very good value at c£20 each. Loved it. We took 1.30pm tour which is in English, their 2pm tours are in French. Little shop there. They do amazing work and very dedicated staff.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 2 September 2023
  • Roberta
    Milan, Italy271 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting visit, do not miss it!
    We really enjoyed our visit. We had a wonderful guide who gave us a lot of very interesting information on the island, but also on the natural environment and the history of Mauritius. She was clearly very passionate about her work, very clear and always ready to answer our questions. It was exciting to 'meet' the giant turtles and several rare birds. We really appreciated the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation's hard work to reintroduce endangered species and their efforts to spread awareness about the unicity of Mauritian's wildlife. Well done!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 September 2023
  • Andrea
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An unforgettable visit to a unique island
    The tour to the Ile aux Aigrettes is truly worth it. Our guide was amazing knowing so much about the fauna and animals living there and on Mauritius. We saw some of the giant turtle and were lucky to spot a pink gigeon. On the boat ride to the island we got a first amazing impression of the turquois water of the ocean in Mauritius.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 October 2023
  • milcv
    Nottingham, United Kingdom162 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful island and nature
    We took the eco tour over to the island with the official Mauritian wildlife foundation, which you book via their website. This trip allows you actually into the interior of the island where a very knowledgeable guide takes you around the habit showing you the various flora and fauna - this also included talks on the species that were endemic to the islands but are now sadly extinct. However there was plenty of live wildlife to be seen, including the highlights of the wild Aldabra Giant Tortoises with 'Big Daddy' being a favourite, birds such as the pink pigeon and Mauritiun Dody and trees like endangered Ebony. Beautiful place, and a great trip would definitely recommend.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 November 2023
  • Valerie O
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great tour with our guide (beachcomber hotel)
    We went on a guided visit with Patrick (Shandrani Beachcomber hotel). We had a very interesting tour. We could sense the responsibility and willingness to protect this island and the animals. A great tour. Thanks Patrick!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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HP H
Swansea, UK14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Excellent tour by Eleanie (apologies didn’t catch the name properly). Knowledgable and clearly passionate. Fully reccomend, would have loved to have done “conservationist for a day” but it was fully booked while we were there.0
Written 1 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Benjamin J
Curepipe24 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
We rode on a good boat, didn't get boatsick [see Robben Island review] since it doesn't have a roof. Hopped off, then saw Aldebra giant tortoise. First tour part was baby tortoises and bats. Then there were lizards, a kiosk, pink pigeons then it was garden right near extra giant tortoise, B.D. Afraid because it nearly bit my sister's finger. Other stuff and honestly like my garden.
Written 28 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

digitalsun
Vienna, Austria16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Very informative tour, we were lucky to have our "private" guide, who answered all our questions and took her time to explain everything. Great project for protecting the Mauritian wildlife.
Written 15 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rasa A
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Amazing tour with a funtastic and knowledgeable tour guide. Thank you!
Amazing experience - I recommend it to all nature lovers.
Written 27 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terence
London7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
The Île Aux Aigrettes is a fascinating place. Most of the indigenous plants and animals of Mauritius were wiped out by European sailors and settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries, and scientists have now restored this little island to its indigenous state.

We went with Patrick Athion from the Shandrani Hotel. He was an excellent guide, with a comprehensive knowledge of botany and zoology. He led us around the island for a couple of hours as he explained what the scientists and researchers are doing, and how its ecosystem works. Don't miss a trip to Île Aux Aigrettes with him if you are staying at the Shandrani!

The tour had several highlights. Big Daddy is marvellous. I'd always thought of tortoises as living IN their shells, but actually they ARE their shells, and their nervous systems and spinal cord are attached to their shells. Fascinating!

The Mauritius pink pigeons were also rather lovely. Flying foxes. The ebony tree, somehow growing on the thin soil. And the two plants there that display heterophylly – bois de boeuf and bois de rat. Their higher and lower leaves were astonishingly different.

If you have any interest at all in conservation, then visit Île Aux Aigrettes and learn!
Written 25 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melissa W
Perth, Australia346 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
Great tour of the island which is home to lots of different wildlife species. I really enjoyed the guided tour and seeing the different animals that call the reserve home and finding out the conservation work which is being completed. Listen to the guide and stay quiet as you walk thru the reserve to help keep the peaceful atmosphere of the reverse. Lots to see and learn about as you wander through well kept pathways.
The ferry ride to the island is very short and where you take off from is simply beautiful. The staff were friendly and informative throughout the tour and really glad I went. There are toilets on the island but not shops to buy drink or food so take a water bottle. There is a gift shop to exit through before leaving the island.
Written 12 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maëva G
Toulouse, France2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The experience is really great and the work of the mauritius fundation is necesary. Thank you to our guide !
Written 26 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Da H
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
An amazing place in mauritius! The wwf people are doing a great job here. I hope there is always enough money for this work. I wish you all the very best. Thank you for having me here.
Written 26 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ana
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
Definitively one of the best tours I did in Mauritius. Passionate conservationists that aim at restoring the native ecosystem. The explanations are well given and you have the chance to see endemic trees and endangered species.
Written 13 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Valerie O
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
We went on a guided visit with Patrick (Shandrani Beachcomber hotel). We had a very interesting tour. We could sense the responsibility and willingness to protect this island and the animals. A great tour. Thanks Patrick!
Written 10 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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