The 200-hectare nature reserve of La Vallée de Ferney, recently saved from developers, contains a handful of rare and endangered endemic species which can be glimpsed on one of the island’s most accessible nature walks. The well-marked 3km trail can be walked independently, but the guided walk is worth the higher fee. You’ll arrive first at the old basalt buildings of the Ferney Sugar Estate, where there are useful panels on the nature, history and wildlife of the area, and from where a 4WD gives visitors a lift to the start of the trail. On the way through the manicured Ferney forest itself, guides will point out some of the hundred plants, including rare nailwood and ebony trees, and if lucky, the recently-introduced echo parakeet or endangered Mauritian kestrel: around twenty breeding pairs of the latter are found in the valley and can usually be spotted at the daily noon feeding. There’s also a popular restaurant serving Mauritian-style seafood and game here, and a small coffee plantation and tiny coffee museum.

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