Top choice island in Pointe d'Esny & Blue Bay. This popular ecotourism destination is a 26-hectare nature reserve while on an island roughly 800m from the coast. It preserves unusual remnants with the coastal forests of Mauritius and offers a sanctuary to get a range of endemic and endangered wildlife species.
Visits are merely possible within a guided tour, that leave from Pointe Jérome, near to Le Preskîl. Highlights include Aldabra giant tortoises, ebony trees, wild orchids, as well as the endangered pink pigeon along with other rare bird species.
As the guides to Île aux Aigrettes rightly indicate, this can be a last put in place Mauritius which you could see it as being the first explorers did almost five centuries ago - everywhere else, the land may be tamed. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation manages the reserve and conducts tours.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
Top choice gardens in Pamplemousses. After London's Kew Gardens the SSR Gardens is one in the world's best botanical gardens. It's also one with the most popular places of interest in Mauritius and easily reached from almost anywhere within the island. Labelling with the plants is usually a work in progress and that we strongly recommend that you just hire one with the knowledgeable guides who wait just from the entrance; golf-buggy tours can be obtained upon request those with limited mobility.
The centrepiece from the gardens is often a pond loaded with giant Victoria amazonica water lilies, native to South America. Young leaves emerge as wrinkled balls and unfold to the classic tea-tray shape around 2m across inside of hours. The flowers from the centre in the huge leaves open white at some point and close red another. The lilies have reached their biggest and finest in the warm summer seasonn, notably January.
Palms constitute the most crucial part in the horticultural display, and they also come in an impressive variety of shapes and forms. Some with the more prominent would be the stubby bottle palms, the tall royal palms plus the talipot palms, which flower once after about forty years and then die. Other varieties range from the raffia, sugar, toddy, fever, fan and in some cases sealing-wax palms. There are many other curious tree species on display, such as marmalade box tree, the fish poison tree plus the sausage tree. Another highlight could be the abundant birdlife - loose time waiting for the crimson hues with the Madagascar fody - while you will find captive populations of deer and around endless weeks of frustration giant Aldabra tortoises near to the park's northern exit.
The gardens were named after Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the 1st prime minister of independent Mauritius, and were started by Mahé de Labourdonnais in 1735 to be a vegetable plot for his Mon Plaisir Château (which now has a small exhibition of photographs). Close to the chateau would be the funerary platform where Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was cremated (his ashes were scattered for the Ganges in India).
Various international dignitaries have planted trees within the surrounding gardens, including Nelson Mandela, Indira Gandhi along with a host of British royals. The landscape entered its own in 1768 in the auspices of French horticulturalist Pierre Poivre. Like Kew Gardens, the gardens played a tremendous role in the horticultural espionage in the day. Poivre imported seeds from world wide in a bid to separate France's reliance on Asian spices. The gardens were neglected between 1810 and 1849 until British horticulturalist James Duncan transformed into an arboretum for palms along with tropical trees.