From shrinking forests to rewilding
Four hundred years ago, Mauritius was mostly shrouded in forest, but when the Dutch, French and British colonised the island, they used enslaved people and indentured workers to fell forests for wood, sugarcane fields and tobacco plantations. Only two percent
of native forest remains, and these days its biggest threats are expanding towns, beach resorts and invasive species. The government reforestation programme is slow-going, so lots of independent projects have cropped up, trying to revive endemic flora and fauna – including the Ebony Forest
. A vacation that visits here will provide an insight into the efforts being made to rewild the island.
Not many people go to Mauritius to hike, so many of its trails remain wild. However, litter is a problem in Mauritius. Some walking vacations offer you cleaning kits in collaboration with My Green Trip
, an NGO that gives you the chance to actively clean up trails as you go, and leave the environment better than you found it.
Gerald Ami says: “As local tour operators, we have the responsibility of giving something that is truly sustainable... That is what we and the people we work with are waking up daily to do.”