Cousin Island, which belongs to the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, offers a very different experience for travellers interested in ecotourism. The site has a camp that teaches about conservation of nature called Conservation Boot Camp.
It is a program for anyone who wants to have a conservation experience on a tropical island paradise. The group consists of six or seven people who participate in the camp for two or four weeks.
Just 2 kilometres from the island of Praslin, Cousin is a both terrestrial and maritime reserve. By the end of the 1960, the island was elected a natural reserve to protect the last populations of almost extinct birds.
The island draws the attention of scientists, journalists and professionals involved with ecotourism and has received prizes due to the work developed with responsible tourism.
Despite its small area, the island houses a huge biodiversity. In the old days, the place was a coconut plantation. Its vegetation was successfully restored after 30 years of work.
Five species of bird’s endemic to Seychelles are found there, besides turtle’s comb (the island has the longest monitoring program of these turtles, since 1972), reptiles, tortoises, sea birds and a rich underwater life.
As an example of conservation efforts, in 1968 there were only 26 Seychelles Warbler birds in the world, in the Isle of Cousin. Today this number has risen to 3000 birds spread over five islands.
The participants of the program learn in practice with the researchers. The agenda includes courses for the preservation of various species of animals and plants.
They are trained in monitoring techniques, engage in eco-orientation and ecotourism activities, interact with researchers and local staff, live with rare animal species, know a new culture and people from all over the world, among many other experiences.
They also can interact or even guide a group of tourists who are visiting the island.
There are also other smaller projects that can be developed by participants contributing to the management of the island, related to garbage waste, energy consumption, logistical facilities, among others.
There are also moments of fun and relaxation to enjoy the paradisiacal location. The camp membership fee includes accommodation, Praslin’s airport transfers, supervision, training and equipment.