About 500 metres off the coast at La Gaulette (South West of Mauritius) is l'ile aux Bénitiers. It is a large coral sand island approximately two kilometres long and 500 metres at its widest point and 65 hectares in area. The island itself has very little biodiversity value since it has a highly modified vegetative cover and is used as a coconut plantation. Since 1927 the islet has been leased to a private company that tends the coconut plantations there. On the northern tip of the island there is a small colony of migratory sea birds.
The lagoon is vast and shallow with large coral fields in relatively good health. The region around the island is the fishing ground of locals who for years have used the islet for leisure purposes and a stop over when fishing in the lagoon. Over the past decade or so, a number of small entrepreneurs have used the islet to bring tourists there on day trips or on camping. It has become a very popular location for tourists and on certain days up to a dozen boats of all shapes and sizes can be seen off the islet.
On Ile aux Benitiers there are vendors as well, not much.. and they do net sell caps or sunglasses. They sell colourful textile and all the small souvenirs they sell is made from shelves.
Imagine yourself walking through turqouise water 300 meters away from shore, looking over Mauritius.
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