Art de Vivre present a collection of private villas and islands for rental whose profits help fund the conservation and community work of their surrounding estates. Inspired by their philanthropic passion, we have found that opportunities to give back to communities and the natural world are of great importance to our clients. The guests and property owners of these beautiful properties for rental help preserve the beauty and adventure of travel through supporting various projects.
Click below for further details on how to support conservation and community projects in the collection.
Conservation & Community Collection
We have created an exclusive conservation and community property rental collection across Africa and Indian Ocean with an extensive selection of unique conservation experiences which conserve the endemic wildlife, coral reefs and local communities.
Where it began
Some philanthropic owners of African estates and Indian Ocean private islands have personally approached Julie Gauthier (Founder & Director, Art de Vivre) to present to family office clients their beautifully designed exclusive villas, the rental of which supports the conservation and community projects of their surrounding estates.
Our private island properties have always featured conservation projects but when Cousine Island approached us we decided to promote and celebrate these fantastic preservation projects in a collection of their own.
How our clients support conservation projects
Our clients often wish to give back to the paradises that they holiday in. Many of them being philanthropists and environmental advocates themselves, we find the unforgettable conservation experiences available at our destinations to be a perfect match. Whether it’s saving and tracking endemic turtle species, educating their families on the responsibilities of conservation or simply learning about the conservation projects supported by their relaxing visit.
What has been achieved
With solar, wind and biomass power, these islands are self-sufficient and plenty of endemic and endangered species are constantly being monitored, cared for and reintroduced. Across the islands there are hundreds of endemic species of tropical birds, tortoises, plants and fish that are being protected. The condition of the coral reef in the regions are maintained by specialist teams and some of the islands are providing schools to improve education in the local communities.
One of the islands in our collection, Fregate, was the only remaining habitat of the “Seychelles Magpie Robin”. Almost extinct with a headcount of only 14; it was the second rarest bird in the world. These charismatic birds have since been restored to a healthy population by their permanent on-island conservation staff. Cousine Island has also reintroduced this species to the island and monitors the population as part of its interactive conservation programme. Wildlife conservation is the driving force of Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, with a focus on critically endangered and threatened species. Ol Jogi strives towards creating an economically sustainable model for private sector conservation in Africa. With over 58,000 acres most of which is a critical wildlife migration route, this Kenyan reserve, has huge responsibilities. Their most endangers species are the African Wild Dog, Eastern Black and Southern White Rhino, and the Grevy’s Zebra. With the vast quantity of vulnerable and threatened species, Ol Jogi have constructed their own wildlife rescue centre and veterinary clinic.
The turtle monitoring programme on Cousine Island has been running since 1994. Both the endangered Green and critically endangered Hawksbill turtles nest on the island. Conservation officers can guide island guests in interacting with this unique animal without disturbing the natural process. Guests can also help with monitoring and collecting valuable information from the nesting female turtles or assist in releasing the hatchlings. Thanda Island is situated within the Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, and Thanda’s team is partnering with ‘Sea Sense’ on a range of marine conservation and education programmes in the region. These include research and conservation projects on the endangered sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves.
There is a wealth of marine wildlife around Fregate Island. Exotic fish, coral reefs and crustaceans make any excursion into the deep a voyage of discovery. This is such a fulfilling experience due to the attempts at recovering and protecting the aquatic ecology around the island - including sharks and dolphins. The island’s ecologists are always willing and available to accompany dives and snorkel trips and share their unique understanding of the marine environment.
Supporting Local Communities
Many of the islands give back to the local communities by building schools and focusing on education. Miavana has built a school on Nosy Ankao and constantly improves the quality of education and resources available to the local community. Miavana’s investment in the education of the local community has led to a health awareness campaign, environmental education, special needs support and a drama society. North Island is involved in the ‘Children in the Wilderness’ programme, closing its doors to welcome children from Mahé on an incredible programme educating them on environmental issues pertinent to the Seychelles.
Beyond education, many sponsored charities have been put in place to support the livelihood of the local communities. Segera’s founder set up the Zeitz Foundation in 2008, focusing on the philosophy of the 4 C’s: Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. They have undertaken many projects to embetter the communities around them: domestic water supply through sustainable rainwater harvesting, energy conservation and supply with solar LED lights, beekeeping group support, agricultural conservation and support.
Reintroducing Endemic Species
North Island features its own ‘Noah’s Ark’ Project, with the goal of restoring biodiversity to the island. Small islands have a very fragile ecology and it is their goal to restore the strength of the endemic species of the island. Their primary focus is birds (such as the Seychelles White-Eye) and reptiles (like the Giant Aldabran Tortoises). At Miavana, 200,000 saplings of indigenous vegetation are being replanted on the island, which is a ‘dry deciduous forest’ ecosystem. Currently, over 50,000 of these saplings have been planted. The ecological rehabilitation team hires over 100 people to accomplish its goals of restoring the endemic plant life and habitat to the island.
The construction of the properties in these areas is fully eco-friendly with renewable materials from readily available sources and design that supports low energy-consumption and domestic self-sufficiency. With alien and invasive plants and species removed and endemic species restored, these habitats have recolonized with their natural population of fruit bats, giant millipedes, crabs and seabirds.