Visit Ile aux Aigrettes  
Visit Ile aux Aigrettes on one of our guided tours and travel back in time to discover what Mauritius would have looked like over 400 years ago, before the arrival of man and his devastating impact on the environment.  
 
Ile aux Aigrettes-Aerial View
© V.Mudhoo

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.

 
     
Pink Pigeon
© Jacques de Speville

Visitors to the island are encouraged and can take part in one of our tour options:

1. Our standard ecotour provides a guided trail around the sites of interest on the island, lasting approx. 1.5 to 2 hours, with a short boat trip to and from the island (see full details below).

2. Our tailor-made tours can be booked in advance to cater for any special interests that you might have, such as photography or birdwatching, for example. Please contact us to discuss your particular needs and interests. 

3. Primary and secondary school pupils can visit the island under our specially designed Learning with Nature programmeclick here for more information. 

 
     
 
Mauritius Fody
© Danny Thisbe
 Ecotour details

The tour starts with short boat trip from Pointe Jerome (the old Sand Jetty, around 500 m south of le Preskil Hotel). This is followed by a 1.5 to 2 hour walking trail, led by one of our trained ecotour rangers, who will introduce the unique flora and fauna to you, explain about our restoration work on the island, and share their knowledge of the local area and the history of the island.

 
     
Olive White-eyes
© Richard Moon

At the end of your visit, you will be able to rediscover some of the extinct species of the Mascarene islands in our museum, in the form of impressive life-size bronzes and paintings. You may already have encountered some of the bronzes positioned around the island. 


You will also have the opportunity to visit our shop, which offers interesting and attractive souvenirs for sale including T-shirts and caps, items embroidered with rare birds and animals, children’s books and a whole range of other wildlife-related products. The boat will then take you back to the mainland.

 
     

Oniella-polystachys
© Elizabeth Weaver
 
Bronze Dodo in the Ebony Forest
© MWF Library

Practical information

So that you can fully enjoy your visit, please make sure that you have:

  • sensible and comfortable shoes (the trail can be uneven and rocky in places)
  • drinking water or soft drinks (these are not available on the island)
  • insect repellent and sunscreen
  • your camera
  • a hat/cap
  • ...and don’t forget to bring money for the gift shop!




For your comfort, toilet facilities are available.

(Please note that eating, smoking and alcoholic drinks are not allowed on the island, nor is littering. Visitors are required to remain on the trail at all times, accompanied by their ranger, and are requested not to touch animals or damage/remove plants. To enable you to catch sight of the rare birds it is helpful to keep loud noise to a minimum. You are advised that wearing of a lifejacket on the boat is compulsory. Your compliance with these requirements is greatly appreciated.)      

 
     
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
© Danny Thisbe
 
Ornate Day Gecko
© Danny Thisbe
PUBLIC RATE

Adult: MUR 800
Child 4 to 11 years old: MUR 400
0 up to 3 years: Free of charge

MAURITIAN RATE

Adult: MUR 250
Child 4 to 11 years old: MUR 125
0 up to 3 years: Free of charge

-Expatriates resident in Mauritius: Rs600 per adult and Rs125 per child 4-11 years.

-Quotations available for Groups, Packages, VIP tours, Tailor made Tours and Senior Citizens 60+

Conditions:

These rates are subject to revision. All rates are in Mauritian rupees per person per visit. To qualify for a Mauritian rate you may be asked for an ID card or proof of residence.

 

Departure times

Below are the boat departure times for the tours, leaving from the old Sands Jetty at Pointe Jerome:

Monday to Saturday – 9.30, 10:00, 10:30, 13:30, 14:00 and 14:30

Sunday – mornings only.

 
     
 

Telfair Skink
© Nik Cole


How to book

To avoid disappointment, please book your tour in advance by:

Or pop in to our visitor centre and booking office at the departures point on the mainland at Pointe Jerome.

 
  To view a film featuring Ile aux Aigrettes,  'Paradise Island: back from the brink" please click here.