For the Bhugaloo family, hunting is a passionate tradition inherited from their ancestor Gooljar, who arrived from India. Since he was a deer hunter, his descendants have become hunters. In recent years, it is Anaida, the great-granddaughter, and daughter of Alaoudin Bhugaloo, who has been responsible for diversifying the activity towards an ecotourism sector.

Every year, at this time, a real frenzy takes over the Bhugaloo family, based in Rose-Hill. This is because here we only live and breathe by hunting. “Depi mo gran-papa Gooljar finn vinn depi Lind, tout mo fami finn angaze dan la-sas. “Li finn fer batteaz everywhere in Moris, Belriv, Medinn, Bel-Om”, explains Alaoudin, 64 years old, father of Anaida and who operates the Chassé de la Rivière-du-Poste, in Salazie. Although her two boys are also involved in this activity, it is Anaida who bears responsibility for the innovation and expansion of the company. “In agreement with my father and his advice, we are very advanced in this project, contacts have been made with Gulf countries and France, among others,” indicates the young woman, currently studying criminology at a private university. , but who has already made his choice. “I feel very driven by entrepreneurship. With the family business well established and enjoying an excellent reputation throughout Mauritius, the outlook is very positive,” she says.

First battles

It is true that since the first hunts of the Gooljar ancestor in the local forests serving a handful of wealthy people from the Franco-Mauritian community, the Bhugaloo family has found its way in the field of hunting. So much so that she ended up obtaining a lease of hunting land where she organizes hunting parties every year. “To obtain this authorization, you can show who or what you see and who complies with the regulations. La-sas se enn domenn kot zi ti ena zis enn kategori dimunn lontan, he observes. “My family ends up showing that there are leksperyans and li kapav rant in his domenn-la,” he adds.

In Saint-Pierre, where the family was born, his father Adam had also carved out a solid reputation as a taxidermist, developing this activity as a true 'art'. “Depi sa lepok-la, li ti ti deza konsian kuma bizin truv bannn lzot activite avek la-sas. Li finn bien gegn so lavi avek anpayaz serf,” he rejoices. His father, he adds proudly, had stuffed a deer's head as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Mauritius, which led to him being invited by Buckingham Palace. He has vivid memories of this hard-working man, father of 16 children, alternating between selling coal and bread, training hunting dogs for his bosses and getting paid in venison when he carried out harvests.

Initiation phase

“Mo ti ena around 15 zan kan mo finn kumans al ar li pou la-sas,” he still remembers. He confides: “Premie fwa, nou ti al Medine dan enn landrwa call 'Karo sarbonie'. Zanfan, depi sa lepok-la, pa ti ena drwa tous fisi. Mo papa finn akonpagn pou bann grand dimun kuma Sir Emile Series, la-fami D'Unienville, Harel, Sir Harold Walter, par ekzamp. This is not the case, but it is not well regulated. Me bann saser-la zot ti ena deza gran respe pour bann serf”. Like any individual in the initiation to hunting phase, he must learn to know the woods, the trails, the tracks taken by deer and, above all, how to distinguish does, brockets, females from large deer. “Ou bizin aprann get zo bann korn pu konn tout sala, ki kantite ena ki zot groser,” he replies, to which Anaida adds: “All antlered deer are males anyway.”

Hunter psychology

Since the young woman became deeply involved in the family business, she knows almost all the habits and customs inherent to hunting, but also the psychology of the hunter. “I sought to understand this very particular environment, its history and its evolution, the sociological profile of hunters, the vocabulary and jargon specific to it, but also the environmental issues to which hunting is linked. These factors are important for the family project which is part of ecotourism,” says the woman who, today, is responsible for leading the morning briefing before the hunters go into the woods or climb the watchtowers. Her commitment also takes into account a new factor that she has seen grow over the last ten years. “My parents and I have seen quite a few women who come to the hunts to have a good time, certainly to eat fresh venison, but also to socialize and relax in nature,” admits this fan of thrills and little supporter of large masses of consumption in the food courts of Mauritius.

Anaida Bhugaloo: “there is also a trend among young nouveau riche Mauritians who want to distance themselves from the clichés specific to this social class”

Eco-responsible indoor tourism

The family project to develop indoor tourism is in line with the development of highly sought-after eco-responsible indoor tourism in order to diversify the traditional postcard offer of our tourism sector. “Whether Mauritians or foreigners, some of them want to rediscover natural sensations. Furthermore, there is also a trend among young Mauritian nouveau riche who want to distance themselves from the clichés specific to this social class. At the heart of our offer, there is certainly hunting on the watchtowers, but there is also accommodation, catering, discovery of the place and documentation on the history of hunting in Mauritius, similar to that sugar cane. We will also support micro-enterprises to revive wildlife in the courtyards of our hunting grounds. In addition, we will pay particular attention to the security of the premises,” says Anaida, who is keen on entrepreneurship.

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