Rodrigues Island

Rodrigues island is a jewel (18*8 km) off the northeast coast of Mauritius, with a population of around 42,000 people. Of volcanic origin, it owes its name to the Portuguese ship’s pilot, Diego Rodriguez, who discovered it in February 1528.

The island prides itself for its silky beaches, its gorgeous uneven topography, and the natural politeness of its inhabitants, its scrumptious gastronomy and its landmarks, as well as its sea activities. Interestingly, Rodrigues also has a vast fine stone plain with beautiful caves.

Fauna and Flora

Rodrigues used to be home to a number of unique birds of which the solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria), now instinct, is most famous. The Rodrigues Fody (Foudia flavicans), the Rodrigues Warbler (Acrocephalus rodericanus) and sea birds such as terns are protected species living peacefully in natural reserves and on the islets in the lagoon.

The protection of the flora has become a priority. Huge effort is being invested in the conservation, restoration and recreation of the pristine natural ecosystem of the island. Critically rare and endangered plants like the <café marron> (Ramosmania rodriguesii), are receiving special attention and monitoring.

Clear turquoise water of the lagoon also serves as a healing geothermal spa, which is the perfect hideaway form the day to day stress. Snorkel this natural aquarium and enjoy a colorful show of fish and corals of all kinds.

Dive deeper to explore the dazzling and rich marine fauna and flora. The diving spots are unpolluted as they as they have been protected from excessive tourism and fishing activities. Divers will be delighted with this undersea world, home of more than 280 species of coral and dizzying array of marine life; among the regularly sighted animals are graceful rays, fast moving jack and charming turtles.

People and culture
Rodrigues island is also known for its authenticity which makes the uniqueness of this anti-stress island.

Authentically Creole, the Rodriguan culture is vibrant through the music, dances and cuisine of its people. The music is a sweet blend of European melodies and African rhythms; the sega tambour is the folk dance of Rodrigues.

The population mainly lives off fishing, farming, handicraft and tourism. Women play an active part in the economic life of the island. The people live a naturally harmonious life.

 

Sports and leisure

The topography of the island lends itself to a number of nature discovery opportunities namely through trekking; excursions, nautical activities and cave exploration. As part of Rodrigues Island’s effort to promote its credentials as an eco-friendly destination, more that 80% of the activities offered are nature-based.

Rodrigues is entirely surrounded by coral reefs offering world-class diving and snorkeling. The undersea world uncovers its secrets to divers and fishermen. Kite surf and wind surf enthusiasts will find an unparalleled heaven whilst the steep-sided ravines attract ornithologists as well as nature lovers.

Others activities involve the discovery of natural habitat of Rodrigues through nature reserve whereby conservation efforts are put forward to protect the species once rampant on the island.

Cuisine
Local food is also one important facets of the Rodriguan culture that deserve to be discovered. The traditional dishes include a meal of curried octopus, red kidney beans served with rice or maize. Visitors are also invited to prepare the meal as part of the experience. Or there are also beach barbecues with lobster and seafood.

With the multiple ethnicities of the island, European, Chinese or Creole cuisine are easily found around Rodrigues. Restaurant and hotels offer gastronomical dishes to those who want to taste luxury.

 

Popular attractions

Caves are also part of the most famous touristic activities of the island. Among the most popular are the Caverne Patate and the Grande Caverne found at the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoises and Cave Reserve.

Nature reserves such as the Grande Montagne Nature Reserve and Ile aux Cocos offers a glimpse of the potential of the island before the arrival of mankind. Viewpoints from around the island offer a magnificent blend of the blue of the lagoon and the green color of the island.

The Port-Mathurin market, one of the most popular attractions of the island offers the possibilities to meet and discuss with the local population. Local producers meet daily to sell their products ranging from fruits and vegetables to handicrafts and local made pickles.

Hospitality : Recommended places and stays

Rodrigues island offers visitors a vast choice of accommodation, ranging from high standard hotels to fully-furnished studio apartments. Something they all have in common is their warm welcome in <the Rodriguan way>, which will mark the stay on the island.

The tourism accommodation sector can be classified in 5 distinct categories: hotels, tourist residences, guest houses, chambre d’hôtes and gites. Since the outbreak of the Covid 19, the tourism sector in Rodrigues evolved to ensure that sanitary protocols are respected. The Safe Travel Certification was introduced in February 2022 and it became mandatory to every tourist accommodation.

Currency: Mauritian Rupees

Phone Numbers

Police Station: 999

Hospital (Queen Elisabeth Hospital): +230 83 12 500

Rodrigues Tourism Office: +230 8320866/7