There are some places, that are absolutly different, they have things that you won´t see anywhere else. Luckily for us, the little island we are going to tell you about, is one of those places. Rodrigues is a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where everyone is smiling all day long, and that´s one of the reasons why we think this place is the best of Mauritius! They have species that can only be found in that part of the world, thanks to it´s location . The lagoon that surounds Rodrigues Island makes it have the clearest water you could ever see and that also means paradise beaches, there are hundreds of them!! But if all that wasn´t enough to convince you to visit Rodrigues Island wait to read more… it will surprise you!!
Rodrigues an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean
Rodrigues island, is in the middle of nowhere, and the closest big civilization they have is 617km far. 600km of the impressive Indian Ocean. But before getting to the ocean, there´s a big lagoon that surrounds the whole island and it´s twice the size of it. There are coral reefs all over. The blues of the water in the lagoon are as clear as you could imagine. Therefore diving is one of the must things to do in Rodrigues Island. Don´t worry if you don´t want to dive, because you could always take a walk through the Paradise beaches of Rodrigues or just go for a swim. Another must thing to do when you visit Rodrigues Island, is spending a day at the paradise Ile des deux Cocos, Mauritius. It´s about 30 minutes far by boat from Rodrigues and it´s also the homeland of thousands of birds!
Hiking the mountains in Rodrigues
If you love nature and wildlife, one of the things you´ll enjoy the most when you visit Rodrigues Island will be the small hikes you can take all over the island. Thanks to the many mountains there are in Rodrigues and how green it is, you will be able to just walk and walk. We would tell you about any trails we took, but as you know what we like to do is explore the places we visit, so we didn´t take any references and we just went for it. Totally recommend it, as you really don´t know what you´ll find. Anyway during those trails, we saw some spectacular views of the greens of the island and blues of the lagoon as a background. We also recommend to hike in the afternoon, that way you´ll be able to see the many Rodrigues flying fox flying freely, which is spectacular.
Rodrigues Island food
When we said Rodrigues Island is a unique place, that includes everything. The Rodrigues food is also very different. In despite of rice, which you will realize, they serve it in every meal you get, the fish and molluscs are typical in Rodrigues. Thanks to the huge variety they are able to find in the lagoon that surounds the island, you will be able to try all type of fish, including some that you probably won´t try anywhere else. Something you wouldn´t like to miss is the opening day of the fishing season, after 6 months break, fishermen get back together and go to the ocean to get the food for the people of the town. What was more impressive of all, was their team work spirit, it wasn´t a competition, but instead they would help each other, and at the end the benefits are for all of them
Grande montagne a nature reserve in Rodrigues Island.
Centuries ago, the people who were living in this small island did awful with their resources and with the nature of the area. Some of the iconic animals of the island such as the Rodrigues Solitaire bird or the Rodrigues Giant Tortoise became extinct.
Now a days, Rodirgues population don´t want to commit the same mistake and they are much more involved in protecting the endemic species of Rodrigues. In 2014 they took a very important decisión, and they decided to ban plastic bags, which of course is a step in the right directions. But that is not all they have been doing, they also have created nature reserves like Grande Montagne Rodrigues, where they are planting just vegetation from the macarene islands, which is also very helpful for the birds and the Rodrigues Flying foxes of the islands as they will have more food and tres for themselves.
Francois Leguat and Caverne Patate in Rodrigues Island
Antother natural reserve that was built to preserve the endemic species of the Mascarene Islands, is the Francois Leguat. This reserve has two sides. In one side the Giant Tortoise reserve, where thousands of turtle live and walk freely and where there are also hundreds of types of Rodrigues plants. In the other side, the Francois Leguat Cave Reserve, where you will be able to see the most authentic cave of the Island.
Not far from there, there is another cave, called Caverne Patate. This is the most famous one of Rodrigues and it is better prepared for tourists, but we prefered the first one, as in our opinión it all was more real.
Anyway in both of them are doing a great job preserving them and it´s something to be thankfull for.
Port Muthurin, the capital of Rodrigues
Port Mathurin population is the biggest of Rodrigues, and there is about 6000 people. Therefore, once in the city you will have a great opportunity to see how the locals live and also some of the markets. You will see that although, not everyone speak english (they mainly talk in creole or french) they are very friendly, so they will try to undersand you and they will always have smile for you. If you are not that much into meeting the people and knowing more about the culture, you could always take a walk and see some of the important buildings in port mathurin, which include two churches, two mosques, the Rodrigues tourism office where you will be able to get more information about the island…
How to get there? Flights to Rodrigues Island
There are three posible ways to get to Rodrigues two of them from Mauritius and one that will be from Reunion
The first and less common way is to go by boat from Mauritius, which is a 36 hour trip and you can get the price for about 2450 MUR (around 60€).
Your second option is the most common one, flying from Mauritius island to Rodrigues Island with Air Mauritius. Rodrigues tickets price to Mauritius are about 180€ round trip and the flight time is around 1hour and a half more or less. The service was great, and they even gave us a whole meal in both of our flights. The views during the flight are beautiful, so you won´t suffer much in your trip to Rodrigues Island from Mauritius.
And the last option, is flying from Reunion with Air Mauritius to Rodrigues. Unless you want to go straight to Rodrigues, we highly recommend you to travel first to Mauritius, as the flights are way cheaper from there.
Rodrigues Island Airport
Once you arrive to Rodrigues, like at any other airport, they will check your bags and a document that you will have to fill in during the flight. After all the boring stuff you will be free to go. The airport is very small, so finding your way out won´t be a big deal. We prefer to prepare everything before the trip, but just in case you don´t have time before, in the parking of the airport, you will be able to either get a taxi or rent a motorbike to get to your hotel. There are also shuttle bus services for all the scheduled flights and they will drop you off anywhere around the island.
Where to stay? Best hotels in Rodrigues
The island is not that big, but still there are all kind of places where you can stay. No matter what your taste is like you will find something. We stayed at a relly cool villa in the east side of Rodrigues named Koki Boner. The place was great, literally 2 minutes walking from the beach and very good breakfast, the only problem was that it was in the middle on nowhere. There are also some other good options like Cotton Bay or Les Cocotiers, which are absolutely amazing and have beautiful views to the beach. If you are looking for cheap hotel or places to stay in Rodrigues Island you will always have the option of staying at an Airbnb or Guest House which there are many all over the island.
Rodrigues Island tourism
Just between 6000 and 7000 people visit Rodrigues Island every year, which is a very small number for such an impressive place. Therefore, now it´s the right time to visit this little island as there is not much tourist yet, but it will start growing more and more. It´s also one of the safest places in Africa and getting around the island is pretty easy. But in the despite of all that, the uniqueness of this place is the main reason why you should visit Rodrigues Island, Mauritius.