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Discover the Unique Endemic Plants and Green Initiatives at La Pirogue

December 26 2017

The incredible four-star resort of La Pirogue is anything but ordinary. Sprawled along the stunning west coast of Mauritius, this charming resort boasts an unparalleled beach, phenomenal azure lagoon and absolutely spectacular views of the incredible sunset, which lights up the sea in an array of gold, pinks and purples. Known for its incredible location, stunning accommodation—unique stand alone thatched bungalows made from volcanic rock and tastefully decorated in the hotel’s boho-chic style—and sumptuous beach barbeque (and all of it’s dining options, in fact). Travellers come from far and wide to enjoy the laid back island lifestyle surrounded by magnificent settings of this extraordinary Mauritian hotel. 
 
What many travellers may not know about this resort, is that in line with the Sun Group’s ethos, it’s committed to implementing greener, more environmentally-conscious practices to ensure that it contribute to a greener planet. In fact, it’s recently been awarded the TUI Environmental Champion Award 2017 and already has the EarthCheck Silver Certification.
 
If you are a nature lover and interested to know more about this hotel’s green initiatives, then here are some of the amazing things happening at La Pirogue:
 
The outstanding endemic trail
 
Amongst the famed lush, tropical gardens and gorgeous coconut palms of La Pirogue, guests are offered the opportunity to discover an array of incredible endemic plants on the La Pirogue endemic trail. Here are some of the incredible plants you can discover:
 
Datura metel—This interesting plant is commonly found in warm climates and is coveted for its ornamental and chemical properties (despite being toxic and incredibly dangerous if ingested, this plant is commonly used in very small amounts in herbal and Chinese medicines). It has characteristic furry leaves and dark purple shoots and a wonderful scent. The colour of the gorgeous flowers range from white to yellow, red and purple. 
 
Diospyros tessellaria—A phenomenal native plant, the Diospyros tessellaria, is also known as the black or Mauritian ebony. This incredible evergreen tree can grow to 20 metres but grows incredibly slowly. The leaves are thick and have two tones of green which is darker on the top of the leaf than on the bottom. Wonderful when in bloom, these trees boast small white flowers with with a beautiful aroma and fleshy fruit. 
 
Gastonia Mauritiana—This plant is said to be a species in the Araliaceae family, with this specific type being endemic to Mauritius where it was commonly found in forests and coastal areas. Gastonia in general tend to be island endemics, naturally occurring in large numbers specifically in Madagascar and New Guinea. 
 
Dombeya Mauritiana—This gorgeous flowering plant is endemic to Mauritius, with other species found throughout Africa and Madagascar. Said to contain 255 different species, the Dombeya is a gorgeous plant and has flowers similar to those of a hydrangea (the plant with which it is commonly confused).  

Hibiscus mutabilis—A seemingly magical colour-changing plant, the Hibiscus mutabilis is also known as the Confederate rose, Dixie rosemallow or the cotton rosemallow, and is famous for it’s very unique flowers. These plants can either be shrubby or treelike with either double or single flowers. When these flowers open in the morning they are typically white or pink and change to a deep red by the evening (it’s been suggested that heat plays a part in the colour changing process). 

A plant that prefers rich, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade, it can grow rapidly and reach heights of between three and four metres. Interestingly, these flowers are not only exotic and unusual, they are incredibly useful. Both the leaves and the flowers of Hibiscus mutabilis are used to treat infections and swelling as they help to sooth skin. The secretion from the flowers and leaves is said to also be used by midwives to facilitate delivery during labour. 

Dracaena concinna—The Dracaena comes from the ancient Greek word for “female dragon” and is a genus of approximately 120 species of trees and succulent shrubs. Most of the species are native to Africa, with this particular one—the Dracaena concinna—being endemic to Mauritius. Interestingly, this plant has a high salt and drought tolerance which means that it thrives in hot and dry areas by the coast. Also called “candlewood”, these plants can also be found at the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens and are typically cultivated for their ornamental properties. 
 
This Mauritian species can grow up to four metres long and sports leaves that are long, thin and vividly green. They are larger than those of Reunion Island and bare orange red fruit. Generally, this plant grows in dry coastal forests but is actually considered endangered, which is why many nurseries and places such as La Pirogue, are interested in growing them.
 
Coffea Macrocarpa—This unusual species can typically be found in the the native forests of Mauritius. It enjoys a broad distribution extending from the southwest of the island to the east and even branches up towards the north. Historically, this plant was found at Le Pounce, but this forest has since become overrun with alien species. 
 
The in-house water bottling process
 
Because sustainable practices are important to La Pirogue, they have decided to cut down on their plastic use by bottling their own water in glass bottles. Each time a bottle of water is used, the bottle is cleaned thoroughly, refilled and ready to be restocked in mini bars and the bars and restaurants around the resort, drastically reducing the use of plastic at La Pirogue. 

Everything is recycled
 
To ensure that they limited their demand on landfills, La Pirogue has committed to recycling and reusing items where possible to ensure they have a creative and environmentally-friendly solution to the issue of waste from the hotel. 
 
Solar power
 
In an effort to reduce the energy needed to match La Pirogue’s demand for hot water, the property is home to a special area of solar panels. Between this and the use of energy saving light bulbs throughout the resort, La Pirogue is able to cut their conventional energy usage by an incredible amount. 
 
They inspire their guests to be more environmentally-conscious
 
Because La Pirogue is constantly striving to be greener, it’s hugely helpful if guests contribute to the greener functioning of the hotel. While living the life in luxury on the gorgeous island of Mauritius, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce the collective impact on the environment and even to encourage community engagement in sustainable practices. You can start by experiencing and exploring the natural environment (the more people enjoy it the more people will fight to protect it), buy local products, reuse and recycle where possible, take shorter showers and re-use towels when possible, walk when you can and always respect the marine rules, they are there for a reason!
 
If you are looking for the ultimate escape where you can enjoy a phenomenal holiday while being environmentally conscious, then look no further than La Pirogue. This incredible four-star resort is everything you could possibly want for a holiday of a lifetime in Mauritius.

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