Learning with Nature  
Learning with Nature tour started from Pointe Jerome, Mahebourg
© Jaques de Speville

In 2009, the Learning with Nature programme on Ile aux Aigrettes was launched. It is specifically targeted at Forms 1-2 students, both to introduce them to the conservation work being carried out in their country and, at the same time, support curriculum subjects that they study. Visits by primary classes are also welcomed, and for these we offer a shorter visit (lasting 1 hour 30 minutes), tailored to their level. 

Ile aux Aigrettes, in the bay of Mahebourg, is a natural museum where a unique collection of endemic species of Mauritian flora and fauna have evolved. Unfortunately, the island has suffered from severe deforestation and degradation in the past. However, in 1965, the island was declared a nature reserve and MWF was granted a long-term lease for conservation purposes in 1987. Extensive restoration has been achieved, with the removal of introduced plants and animals, planting native coastal species and the reintroduction of endemic species of birds and reptiles. Now visitors to the island can experience the ecosystem restored as closely as possible to its pristine state before the arrival of man and the consequent destruction.

Students learn about the flora and fauna as the conservation process
© Jacques de Speville

The Learning with Nature tour follows the Sentier du Dodo nature trail, which covers about 1. 5 km. Along the way the students learn about the flora and fauna as well as the conservation process, in line with their science syllabus. We also look at the history, geography and geology of the island. Stopping points along the trail enable the students to take part in hands-on activities, exploring themes such as biotic and abiotic factors, habitat, herbivores and carnivores, endemism, food chains, etc.  

Learning with Nature was awarded Best Education Project at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquarias awards for 2009.

Visit to the IAA nursery
© MWF library

At the start of the year, all primary and secondary schools are sent a copy of the Learning with Nature brochure and are invited to take part in the programme. If your school has not received a copy of the brochure and would like to visit Ile aux Aigrettes, or if you would like to receive more information about the programme, or book a tour then please contact the Ecotour Manager by:

 phone on: 52519524

 email: lwn@mauritian-wildlife.org
Group of students attending the LWN tour
© MWF Library
  • We cater for up to 60 children at a time, taken round the island in groups of 15.
  • School visits are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • All visits much be booked in advance.
  • Departures are at 9:30 am from Pointe Jerome (the old Sand Jetty), near Preskil Hotel, Mahebourg.
  • A nominal fee is charged to support the cost of the guide and the boat trip to and from the island. Sponsorship is available through the Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
  • A teacher’s research pack has been created, so that schools can get the most out of their visit. This is available for download.
To view the film featuring Ile aux Aigrettes,  'Learning with Nature'  please click here.