Grande Montagne Nature Reserve, Mauritius Overview
Grande Montagne Nature Reserve is located in the vicinity of the mighty Grande Montagne Mountains in central eastern part of Rodrigues Island and is known for preserving the last remnant of Rodrigues’ endemic forests. Besides this, the 25 hectare nature reserve also has an education and research centre in the reserves where the remains of extinct species like the Solitaire bird and the Giant Tortoise. It is home to other only remaining endemic species like the Rodrigues fruit bat, Warbler and Fody and the endemic plant species of Rodrigues Aloe.
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has been carrying out restoration works in the Grande Montagne Nature Reserve since 1996. Their initiative include production of endemic seedlings in a nursery located at Solitudes and wet, fertile soil of the Grande Montagne mountain areas have been tremendously helpful in contributing to the high success rate of the planted seedlings. Along with the MWF, many local groups such as Rotaract, Scout, Youth Club and many volunteering school students participate in the restoration process from planting new seedlings of endemic species to removal of weeds and invasive plants. Moreover, the MWF has been pretty successful in eradicating unemployment and poverty by recruiting the people from nearby villages in order to carry out the restoration programme. As a result of their dedicated hard work, more than 9 hectares of land within the reserve have been restored by removal of invasive plant species and over 73000 species of endemic and native plants have been planted since June 2008.
The Grande Montagne Nature Reserve is open for public visit from Monday to Saturday where the visitors can witness the outstanding results of the conservation work being carried out in the premises. The guided tour begins at 9.30 AM and no prior bookings are required.
In case of tours at other timings, booking can be made through the following phone numbers and email:
The meeting place for the tour is at the Grande Montagne visitors centre located on the main road from Mont Lubin to Pointe Cotton. The tour begins from the Interpretation centre present at the entrance of the reserve.