â Ãle aux Cerfs Island , known in English as the deer island is an island near the east coast of Mauritius in the Flacq district. This paradise island of Mauritius constitutes of around 100 hectares of land. Nowadays there are no more deers on the island, but you will find there some of the worlds beautiful beaches and as such it is one of the must place to visit and see in Mauritius. â
The Ile aux Cerfs translated from Creole means Island of deers. It is situated just off the East coast of Mauritius and has one of the best beaches in Mauritius.
Every time I go to Mauritius Ile aux Cerfs is a must visit destination it is absolutely beautiful and one of my favourite places on this tiny island in the Indian Ocean. It can be reached by small boat which can be taken from nearby village of Trou D'eau Douce for approximately one pound Stirling or 50 rupees, across the lagoon or by private motor launch if you are lucky enough to be staying in the five star resort of La Tousserok hotel which owns the island.
The journey by boat is an adventure in itself and will take approximately 20- 25 minutes passing along the coast past the five star hotel La Tousserok skimming just inches above the coral reef and then past mangroves into the opening of the lagoon and landing area.
The island is absolutely stunning and as you approach the landing stage you will see the lagoon that looks out to the open sea. The waters are crystal clear and you will see small fish swimming about in the lagoon. As you approach the landing stage you will notice the white sandy beaches lined with straw sunshades and the wind surf boards along the side of the beach.
At the landing stage you follow a pathway to the beach area passing en route a compound containing giant tortoise. These fellows live for many years some reputed to be 100 years old. They look well cared for and they can move quite fast when they are being fed lettuce and other vegetables.
After passing the tortoise compound the pathway leads down to the beach area where there are a couple of restaurants, a shop and changing facilities. The prices are quite expensive here due to the high number of tourists that visit the island.
When I first visited this island thirty years ago it cost about Â£50 for a very basic one course meal for three of us whereas outside the tourist resorts for 13 of us eating substantial and filling fried rice and a dessert it came to a mind blowing Â£17 and that included drinks. We have never eaten here in the restaurant since and have taken a picnic lunch with us.
It is possible to find nooks and crannies that are completely deserted and the island is covered with casuarina trees which offer some shade from the searing sun. As for swimming you will find it delightful to swim in the crystal clear water and seeing the tiny fish swimming amongst you. There are some currants in the middle of the lagoon but it is generally safe to swim here.
There are various water activities available including paragliding, wind surfing, various types of boat rides out to the reefs, snorkelling and scuba diving although they do not disturb the fantastic swimming available here.
The beaches are a mixture of pure sand and around the island it can become a little coarser which is mainly made up of miniscule shells which have been worn down by the tides over the years.
Other facilities include a top of the range 18 hole golf course which can be reached by private helicopter transfer or private boat transfers.
Prior to the 1990's you would only find tourists here because of the exorbitant prices but now the local population have demanded their rights to visit this island. All beaches in Mauritius are designated public beaches which means everyone has a right to walk around the coast even where some of the five star hotels are built against the water's edge. They want to experience the island and its facilities themselves which is brilliant as they come in droves and usually en masse with many families and friends together even hiring a bus from all parts of the island and have great meals in together on the beaches.
They set up their pitches with wind breaks and great big pots of Biriani, curries and dhal puri and chapattis and have great fun. It is lovely to see them being really happy and enjoying themselves. They often then go onto playing Sega, the national music of Mauritius and dance on the beach it really is a nice atmosphere where everyone is enjoying themselves. Sometimes they even ask the tourists to come and share in and join them. Even so there is plenty of space on this small island which covers an area of approximately 100 hectares there is enough room for everyone.
If I were advising anyone who is coming to Mauritius what they should do or where they should visit Ile au Cerfs would be an absolute must choice of places to visit. It is definitely up there as one of the best beaches.
I promise you that you would not be disappointed with this beautiful place. It is just like you imagine a tropical beach to be.