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Honour World Wildlife Day at Ile aux Cerfs

March 02 2020

Ile aux Cerfs, or “Deer Island”, located just off the east coast of Mauritius, is a dazzling tropical gem. Surrounded by pristine white beaches and lined by perfect aquamarine waters, this incredible island provides a wonderful “Robinson Crusoe” experience for sunseekers, intrepid travellers and—with its legendary 18-hole golf course designed by Bernard Langer—golfers!

Not only does Ile aux Cerfs offer a myriad of thrilling activities, culinary establishments and beaches, it’s a natural oasis in its own right. The gorgeously vibrant and perfectly-manicured greens are crisscrossed with streams, tropical coconut palm trees line the beaches and the island is adorned throughout with wonderful, endemic flora. In the distance, you can see the dramatic volcanic mountains of Mauritius—the island is the epitome of picturesque. With this wealth of incredible nature, it’s little surprise that the island is also home to a wide array of stunning birds and small animals as well—it’s a little slice of paradise all on its own.

Ile aux Cerfs

 

A veritable natural wonderland, Ile aux Cerfs is the perfect place to celebrate this year’s World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2020. Does that sound interesting? Then this is what you need to know about World Wildlife Day itself and the incredible nature at Ile aux Cerfs: 

World Wildlife Day was created to celebrate the world’s precious flora and fauna

We live in a changing world; polar caps are melting, the number of unprecedented natural disasters is on the rise (along with the earth’s temperatures), fish populations are declining and corals are dying—with each passing day, it’s becoming clearer that the natural world is in trouble. As humans, it’s important to try and course-correct in order to try and curb these problems, but it’s also important to celebrate the incredible—and hugely precious—flora and fauna that still exists on this planet.

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared World Wildlife Day on the 3rd of March, which was also the day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed in 1973. Today, World Wildlife Day is the most significant wildlife-oriented day across the globe.

This year’s World Wildlife Day’s theme is “Sustaining all life on Earth”

This year, World Wildlife Day will centre on a poignant theme: Sustaining all life on Earth. The focus is the celebration of wild animal and plant species and their vital part in the biodiversity of the planet—and the risk they now face, largely at the cost of human actions. The day also raises awareness about the benefits of looking after our wildlife and plants, and around the species that are not thriving—species that if we were to lose, would set off a butterfly effect in nature that will definitely have consequences for all living creatures.

The UN’s intention for this day is that people can come together to celebrate the natural world and discuss more sustainable measures and conservation efforts that everyone can partake in. Ile aux Cerfs, along with the whole Sun Resorts team, is actively involved in sustainable measures and encourages their guests to do the same.

Spending World Wildlife Day at Ile aux Cerfs is a great for twitchers

Mauritius is known for its wide array of rare endemic birds which makes it a fabulous destination for avid bird watchers. Ile aux Cerfs is an equally magnificent place to see some fantastic birdlife, whether you are visiting the Leisure Island portion of the property or playing golf on World Wildlife Day, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for any interesting birds. 14 different species of birds that stem from 12 bird families have been observed at Ile aux Cerfs, with four species being migratory. The different species tended towards three different habitats; grasslands, wetlands (such as the ponds and marshes) and the woodlands.

Different habitats for different species Ile aux Cerfs

 

The types of birds you might spot at Ile aux Cerfs include:

  • Crows
  • Garganey
  • Waxbills
  • Moorhens
  • Red-whiskered bulbuls
  • Common mynas
  • House sparrows
  • Rock doves
  • Black-crowned night herons
  • Eurasian curlews
  • Madagascar Fodies
  • Village weavers

 

Perhaps the most significant and special, however, is the rare, endemic white-tailed tropicbird, the bird that inspired Air Mauritius’ iconic logo—if you are an avid birder, this is certainly the one to spot.

 

You’ll also find a huge variety of plant life 

The incredible plant life enjoyed at Ile aux Cerfs is truly spectacular. There is a large number of non-native species that were introduced accidentally from other regions, but unlike alien species, these plants are not seen as problematic. Around 17% of the island's plant life is native and 15% is endemic with measures in place to ensure these percentages increase and the percentages of non-native and alien species decrease. Some of the common plants you will find on Ile aux Cerfs include Creole aloes, aloe macra, hibiscus, filao trees and the endangered palmiste or imperial palm, among others. 

The Ile aux Cerfs nature experience starts from the transfer 

Guests heading to Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club (or the Leisure Island) are able to reconnect with nature from the beginning of their journey. Even as you wait for the boat at Pointe Maurice Jetty, you can enjoy the vivid tropical flowers, watch the local cats make their daily rounds and observe the fish in the lagoon water. On the boat ferry to the island, you might spot a variety of sea life in the lagoon waters, which includes anything from colourful fish and corals to water plants and, if you are very lucky, even larger sea creatures.

As you disembark, you will be welcomed at the thatched clubhouse, which has been specially built to blend in with its natural surroundings. On the greens, you will notice the gorgeous, old Banyan tree, which stands as a grand symbol of the conservation efforts on the island.

Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club

 

A round of golf at Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club will take you through fairy-like gardens, dotted with magical plant life where you might share the space with birds and other smaller animals. After a memorable round of golf, you can enjoy the view of the course and the Bambou mountains in the background from the clubhouse or simply embrace the wondrous golfer’s beach, where you can spot vivid tropical fish in the water while snorkelling or enjoy the powder-soft golden sands. On the way back to the mainland, you’ll be able to spot the incredible Mangroves close to the jetty in Trou d'Eau Douce. 

The experience of witnessing the magical natural scenery of the island combined with a round of golf at Ile aux Cerfs is sure to inspire lifelong memories. 

You can fully immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature with an overnight stay 

As Mauritius grew into a popular tourist destination, a number of big developments and resorts popped up all over the island, including on the incredible Mauritian golf courses themselves. It was important to the Ile aux Cerfs’ management team, however, to ensure this never happened on the island—they didn’t want the gorgeous natural landscapes here to be marred by huge developments. But, you can still stay on the island itself in one of three recently-added, eco-friendly Bubble Lodge rooms. 

Bubble lodge at Ile aux Cerfs

 

These incredible structures have been set up with care in some of the most incredible spots on Ile aux Cerfs, where they are secluded and totally immersed in the natural beauty of the island. Enjoy the view of sunrise over the lake, watch the stars at night from your beach bubble or opt for the Bubble Lodge cradled by the ancient Banyan tree—this is the ultimate way to celebrate and embrace the world’s awe-inspiring natural world. 

Ile aux Cerfs is involved in a number of Biodiversity Projects

As businesses gain greater insights into the impact and size of their carbon footprints, the need for ways to offset it grows. This also complements the values of a changing consumer base who are looking to support businesses who strive for more sustainable practices. Ile aux Cerfs’ Biodiversity Project: Adopt an Endemic Tree offers businesses a cost-effective way to do just that. 

Each time a business adopts a tree, an endemic tree is added to the existing Mangrove nearby. Mangroves are not only able to convert the CO2 from the air into plant matter (in other words, absorb it into the plant itself) but they do so at two to four times the rate other tropical forests and plants do. Dangerous greenhouse gasses like CO2 contribute massively to climate change and global warming, which is why this incredible project is so important to Ile aux Cerfs. The benefits of Mangroves don’t stop there, however, these incredible plants also contribute massively to the entire coastal ecosystem (from providing a protective barrier to beaches and shorelines to filtering the water and stabilising sediments). This is just one of the many sustainable and nature-centric programmes Ile aux Cerfs is a part of.

With all this in mind, it’s clear that Ile aux Cerfs is a tropical Eden and the ultimate place to immerse yourself amongst amazing fauna and flora this World Wildlife Day. Interested in playing a round of golf or booking at the Bubble Lodge? Get in touch with us for an experience to remember. 

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