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Category Archives: Birdwatching

Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

The places

– Ile aux Aigrettes –
In the fabulously-coloured lagoon of the south-east of Mauritius lies Ile-aux-Aigrettes nature reserve, an islet originally attached to the main island before the rising of sea-levels. Its isolation saved the only piece of original dry coastal forest of Mauritius and several endemic species with it. It has, since then, been enriched by other endangered endemic species from other regions & islets around Mauritius.

– The Black River Gorges national park –
Managed by the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), a government body, the 67 Km² park hosts several endemic species of fauna and flora. It provides an excellent hiking environment owing to its sloping topography, offering breathtaking views, a variety of vegetation sets and microclimates.

The Background

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) was established in 1984, engaging in species-specific conservation programmes which its founder, Gerald Durell had initiated back in 1976 and managed to save the Pink Pigeon and the Mauritius Kestrel from extinction.

The concept

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation manages the visits and excursions in and around Ile-aux-Aigrettes and are the beneficiaries of the fares and entrance fees charged. In the Black River Gorges, it carries-out daily conservationist works and propose birdwatching tours, guided by their biologists.

The Focus

Endangered species of flora, birds and reptiles.

The excursions and activities

Among the tours proposed, we retained the following:

– Guided visit of Ile-aux-Aigrettes –
The MWF shuttle boats board at less than a kilometre from the islet. The guided visits led by eco-guides take you through the dry forest for an overview of the biodiversity of Mauritius, of which the islet is a sample, as well as an overview of the foundation’s works and achievements since they took over its management in 1985.
Tour duration: 90 – 120 minutes. Departure Times: Monday to Saturday 09.30, 10.00, 10.30, 13.30, 14.00, 14.30 – Sunday 09.30, 10.00, 10.30.

– The extended tour –
After the guided visit of the islet, the boat will glide on the crystal waters, heading towards the marine park of Trou Moutou in Blue Bay, 5 Kms down the coast, for a swim and snorkelling session.
Picnic lunch is served on a small stretch of beach on Île des deux Cocos.
Starts at 10ish – Duration: ½ day – Requires pre-booking.

– The South-east island adventure tour –
In-between the guided visit and the snorkelling session, visit the historical islets of Ile au Phare (or Ile aux Fouquets) and Ile de la Passe; both having capital historical importance as they have been the stage for one of the fiercest naval battles of colonial history, between the French and the British. To make this day complete, you will be taken to La Case du Pêcheur a rustic “table d’hôtes”, serving delicious local specialities under thatch-roof kiosks around a swimming pool and crab/fish reserve.
Full-day tour – Requires pre-booking

– Birdwatching guided tour –
Hike in Pétrin, the highest region of the Black River Gorges National Park, with a biologist from the MWF and discover the rare to endangered species of endemic birds of Mauritius and / or the Mascarene islands. The species that can be observed in this region are:
– The Pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) – Approx. 400 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
– The Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) – Approx. 350 individuals in the wild (from only 4 in 1974) – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
– The Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques) – Approx. 400 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
– The Mauritius Fody (Foudia rubra) – Approx. 700 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
– The Olive White-eye (Zosterops chloronothos) – Approx. 300 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: critically endangered.
– The Cuckoo-shrike (Lalage typica) – 200 – 360 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: vulnerable.
– The Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone bourbonnensis) – IUCN Red List status: least concern.
– The Mauritius Bulbul (Hypsipetes olivaceus) – 900 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: vulnerable.
Easy 3 to 4-hour hike – Requires pre-booking.


    Various

    Sightseeing in Mauritius

    Sightseeing

    Boating excursions in Mauritius

    Boating

    Birdwatching in Mauritius

    Birdwatching

    Exploration activities in Mauritius

    Exploration

    Eco-tourism visits & excursions in Mauritius
    Birdwatching in the Black River Gorges National Park in Mauritius

    Other experiences

    The places

    – Ile aux Aigrettes –
    In the fabulously-coloured lagoon of the south-east of Mauritius lies Ile-aux-Aigrettes nature reserve, an islet originally attached to the main island before the rising of sea-levels. Its isolation saved the only piece of original dry coastal forest of Mauritius and several endemic species with it. It has, since then, been enriched by other endangered endemic species from other regions & islets around Mauritius.

    – The Black River Gorges national park –
    Managed by the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), a government body, the 67 Km² park hosts several endemic species of fauna and flora. It provides an excellent hiking environment owing to its sloping topography, offering breathtaking views, a variety of vegetation sets and microclimates.

    The Background

    The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) was established in 1984, engaging in species-specific conservation programmes which its founder, Gerald Durell had initiated back in 1976 and managed to save the Pink Pigeon and the Mauritius Kestrel from extinction.

    The concept

    The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation manages the visits and excursions in and around Ile-aux-Aigrettes and are the beneficiaries of the fares and entrance fees charged. In the Black River Gorges, it carries-out daily conservationist works and propose birdwatching tours, guided by their biologists.

    The Focus

    Endangered species of flora, birds and reptiles.

    The excursions and activities

    Among the tours proposed, we retained the following:

    – Guided visit of Ile-aux-Aigrettes –
    The MWF shuttle boats board at less than a kilometre from the islet. The guided visits led by eco-guides take you through the dry forest for an overview of the biodiversity of Mauritius, of which the islet is a sample, as well as an overview of the foundation’s works and achievements since they took over its management in 1985.
    Tour duration: 90 – 120 minutes. Departure Times: Monday to Saturday 09.30, 10.00, 10.30, 13.30, 14.00, 14.30 – Sunday 09.30, 10.00, 10.30.

    – The extended tour –
    After the guided visit of the islet, the boat will glide on the crystal waters, heading towards the marine park of Trou Moutou in Blue Bay, 5 Kms down the coast, for a swim and snorkelling session.
    Picnic lunch is served on a small stretch of beach on Île des deux Cocos.
    Starts at 10ish – Duration: ½ day – Requires pre-booking.

    – The South-east island adventure tour –
    In-between the guided visit and the snorkelling session, visit the historical islets of Ile au Phare (or Ile aux Fouquets) and Ile de la Passe; both having capital historical importance as they have been the stage for one of the fiercest naval battles of colonial history, between the French and the British. To make this day complete, you will be taken to La Case du Pêcheur a rustic “table d’hôtes”, serving delicious local specialities under thatch-roof kiosks around a swimming pool and crab/fish reserve.
    Full-day tour – Requires pre-booking

    – Birdwatching guided tour –
    Hike in Pétrin, the highest region of the Black River Gorges National Park, with a biologist from the MWF and discover the rare to endangered species of endemic birds of Mauritius and / or the Mascarene islands. The species that can be observed in this region are:
    – The Pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) – Approx. 400 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
    – The Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) – Approx. 350 individuals in the wild (from only 4 in 1974) – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
    – The Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques) – Approx. 400 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
    – The Mauritius Fody (Foudia rubra) – Approx. 700 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: endangered.
    – The Olive White-eye (Zosterops chloronothos) – Approx. 300 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: critically endangered.
    – The Cuckoo-shrike (Lalage typica) – 200 – 360 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: vulnerable.
    – The Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone bourbonnensis) – IUCN Red List status: least concern.
    – The Mauritius Bulbul (Hypsipetes olivaceus) – 900 individuals in the wild – IUCN Red List status: vulnerable.
    Easy 3 to 4-hour hike – Requires pre-booking.

    Other experiences


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      Bel Ombre

      The place

      A 1,300 hectare domain in the south of Mauritius on mountain slopes, ending at the coast. On an ecosystem standpoint, it is the ideal “Ridge-to-reef” zone counting a variety of ecosystems typical of their respective location and elevation, all interconnected to ensure the sustainability and a profusion of “services”, from food stock to inspiring beauty.

      On a touristic standpoint it could be limited to its beauty: of the numerous species of fauna & flora, of the topography and of the stunning views. The activities and excursions at Bel Ombre offer much richer experiences.

      The project

      Like most of Mauritius, the region of Bel Ombre once counted one of the richest biodiversity in the world, with a very high percentage of endemic and indigenous species. Like for the whole of Mauritius, most of this (endemic) biodiversity is lost or threatened, as a result of ignorance from early settlers, of exploitation (mainly agricultural) of the colonising powers, of mismanagement by the authorities since independence.

      Heritage could have limited the Bel Ombre project to a tourist attraction, the exploitation of natural beauty. Instead, through restoration programmes in which Heritage is directly involved and a scientifically driven management, Heritage has taken a sustainable tourism approach, with the scope of not only making sure this beauty lasts but to restore at best the ensemble of ecosystems and the services they provide.

      The tours and hikes are therefore centred around the biodiversity, the ecosystems, how they interact and the steps taken and to be taken for their conservation and restoration.

      The excursions and activities

      The Domaine de Bel Ombre proposes excursions into three distinct parts of the domain:
      the Frederica reserve, the Sepoy fortification and the Unesco biosphere. And by a variety of means, of which we retain the least motorised.

      Trails:
      – 2-hour along the Jacotet river,
      – 2-hour waterfalls trek,
      – 5-hour guided trek within the Unesco Biosphere,
      – 5-hour guided trek to Cascade 500 pieds

      Picnics at any of the three spots.

      Residents of the Heritage hotels, Heritage Le Chateau and Heritage villas have enlarged possibilities.


        Bel Ombre

        Sightseeing in Mauritius

        Sightseeing

        Hiking in Mauritius

        Hiking

        Birdwatching in Mauritius

        Birdwatching

        Restaurants in Mauritius

        Restaurant

        Hiking Bel Ombre Mauritius

        Other experiences

        The place

        A 1,300 hectare domain in the south of Mauritius on mountain slopes, ending at the coast. On an ecosystem standpoint, it is the ideal “Ridge-to-reef” zone counting a variety of ecosystems typical of their respective location and elevation, all interconnected to ensure the sustainability and a profusion of “services”, from food stock to inspiring beauty.

        On a touristic standpoint it could be limited to its beauty: of the numerous species of fauna & flora, of the topography and of the stunning views. The activities and excursions at Bel Ombre offer much richer experiences.

        The project

        Like most of Mauritius, the region of Bel Ombre once counted one of the richest biodiversity in the world, with a very high percentage of endemic and indigenous species. Like for the whole of Mauritius, most of this (endemic) biodiversity is lost or threatened, as a result of ignorance from early settlers, of exploitation (mainly agricultural) of the colonising powers, of mismanagement by the authorities since independence.

        Heritage could have limited the Bel Ombre project to a tourist attraction, the exploitation of natural beauty. Instead, through restoration programmes in which Heritage is directly involved and a scientifically driven management, Heritage has taken a sustainable tourism approach, with the scope of not only making sure this beauty lasts but to restore at best the ensemble of ecosystems and the services they provide.

        The tours and hikes are therefore centred around the biodiversity, the ecosystems, how they interact and the steps taken and to be taken for their conservation and restoration.

        The excursions and activities

        The Domaine de Bel Ombre proposes excursions into three distinct parts of the domain:
        the Frederica reserve, the Sepoy fortification and the Unesco biosphere. And by a variety of means, of which we retain the least motorised.

        Trails:
        – 2-hour along the Jacotet river,
        – 2-hour waterfalls trek,
        – 5-hour guided trek within the Unesco Biosphere,
        – 5-hour guided trek to Cascade 500 pieds

        Picnics at any of the three spots.

        Residents of the Heritage hotels, Heritage Le Chateau and Heritage villas have enlarged possibilities.

        Other experiences


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          Ebony forest

          The project

          From a project hatched in 2006 where weeding and restoration activities were initiated, Ebony Forest opened to public access in 2017 with the mission to save threatened species and ecosystems from extinction. This is achieved through restoration, reintroduction of species, as well as awareness-raising and through education.

          The place

          Next to the Chamarel 7-Coloured Earths, Ebony Forest, operated as an NGO, Ebony Forest Foundation, carrying out eco-tourism activities for the sake of conservation and restoration of Mauritian bio-diversity.

          The focus

          Indeed; Ebony Forest is a success story. Since 2006, 2 Critically-Endangered species of endemic birds as well as 140 endemic and natives species of plants have found refuge with a total of over 147,000 plants having been planted and 21 hectare s weeded.

          The excursions and activities

          Activities evolve around visiting the forest, namely along the elevated pathways for observing and enjoying the endemic wildlife and wonderful views.
          – Guided hikes,
          – Hike up the “Piton Canot” (1hr00; average difficulty),
          – Sundowner from Sublime viewpoint (includes drinks & snacks),
          – Bird watching,
          – Plant a tree (and offset part of your carbon-footprint),

          For the laid-back: – You are welcome to book a guided tour in one of our 4X4.

          Through an accessible immersion into wildlife, inspire your children to learn and shine through authentic experiences in nature, becoming active global citizens for a sustainable future.


            Chamarel

            Sightseeing in Mauritius

            Sightseeing

            Hiking in Mauritius

            Hiking

            Birdwatching in Mauritius

            Birdwatching

            Restaurants in Mauritius

            Restaurant

            Other experiences

            The project

            From a project hatched in 2006 where weeding and restoration activities were initiated, Ebony Forest opened to public access in 2017 with the mission to save threatened species and ecosystems from extinction. This is achieved through restoration, reintroduction of species, as well as awareness-raising and through education.

            The place

            Next to the Chamarel 7-Coloured Earths, Ebony Forest, operated as an NGO, Ebony Forest Foundation, carrying out eco-tourism activities for the sake of conservation and restoration of Mauritian bio-diversity.

            The focus

            Indeed; Ebony Forest is a success story. Since 2006, 2 Critically-Endangered species of endemic birds as well as 140 endemic and natives species of plants have found refuge with a total of over 147,000 plants having been planted and 21 hectare s weeded.

            The excursions and activities

            Activities evolve around visiting the forest, namely along the elevated pathways for observing and enjoying the endemic wildlife and wonderful views.
            – Guided hikes,
            – Hike up the “Piton Canot” (1hr00; average difficulty),
            – Sundowner from Sublime viewpoint (includes drinks & snacks),
            – Bird watching,
            – Plant a tree (and offset part of your carbon-footprint),

            For the laid-back: – You are welcome to book a guided tour in one of our 4X4.

            Through an accessible immersion into wildlife, inspire your children to learn and shine through authentic experiences in nature, becoming active global citizens for a sustainable future.

            Other experiences


              0 Continue Reading →