Blissfully isolated over 600km northeast with the mainland, this tiny volcanic outcrop encompassed by a massive turquoise lagoon can be a stunning mountainous gem that barely feels attached to its big sister, Mauritius, not to say the wider world. Often billed as being the 'Mauritius of two-and-a-half decades ago', Rodrigues actually bears little resemblance to its neighbour in the evening scenic strips of peach-tinged sand.
The island's population of approximately 40,000 is predominantly African and Creole - a far cry on the ethnic melting pot on Mauritius’ main island - and you also won't locate a stalk of sugar cane anywhere on Rodrigues' hilly landscape. The pace of life, too, is undeniably slow, giving the island its time-warped vibe. Great food, some fine natural sites plus a host of activities round out an experience that lives long within the memory as one of those beautiful forgotten worlds in most remote corner with the globe.
.François Leguat Reserve
Top choice wildlife reserve in Rodrigues. In 1691, François Leguat wrote that there were a lot of tortoises on Rodrigues that 'one may take more than a hundred steps on the shell without touching the ground'. Sadly, the Rodrigues version in the giant tortoise became extinct, but this reserve is recreating the Eden described by the city's early explorers. Hundreds of tortoises (the actual end result of a breeding program) roam the causes, and 100,000 indigenous trees have already been planted over the past four years. Cave visits can also be possible.
In the caves, spirited tour leaders mention quirky rock shapes and discuss the region's interesting geological history. Keep an eye out with the tibia bone of the solitaire bird that juts in the cavern's stone ceiling. There's another small enclosure with several giant fruit bats (the region's only endemic mammal) along with a handful of recently arrived, critically endangered ploughshare tortoises from Madagascar. The on-site museum recounts the historical past and settlement from the island, with details about the extinct solitaire, cousin in the dodo. The reserve is in the region's southwest and is particularly poorly signposted from the main road around 1.5km northeast with the airport.
Top choice market in Port Mathurin. The Saturday information mill as busy as Rodrigues gets this is the best place on the city to shop for fresh produce and souvenirs. It's open the rest in the week yet , gears high on Saturday, when much from the island ends up. It's next for the bridge close to the post office. Turn up later than 10am and you also'll wonder what the many fuss is approximately.
Grande Montagne Nature Reserve
Nature Reserve in Rodrigues. One from the last remaining stands of forest on Rodrigues, this nature reserve crowns this tropical isle's summit. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) has overseen the planting well over 150,000 native plant species, and also the restoration of the ecosystem has ensured the survival on the Rodrigues fody as well as the Rodrigues warbler bird species. Trails traverse the forest - although they are certainly not especially well marked, it's hard to get too lost. Pick in the useful (and free) Grande Montagne Nature Reserve Field Guide for the entrance to assist with plant and bird identification. The MWF was as a result of take over management in the reserve and interpretation centre soon after we are there.
Cave in Rodrigues. Caverne Patate, inside the southwestern corner with the island, is surely an impressive cave system by incorporating stalagmite and stalactite formations. Visit is as simple as guided tour, when a guide highlights formations with uncanny resemblances to some dodo, Buckingham Palace and also Winston Churchill! The 700m tunnel can be an easy walk but gets slippery in wet weather; wear shoes
with an above average grip and please take a light jacket. Watch to the spectacular white-tailed tropicbirds soaring overhead before you head underground.
The track towards the caves is signposted away from the road from La Ferme (within the main road into Rodrigues through the airport) to Petite Butte. Buses that could La Fourche can drop you with the turn-off.
Jardin des 5 Sens
Gardens in Rodrigues. This pretty little botanical garden of indigenous Rodriguan plants is surely an interesting solution for an hour, as well as a good initiative. Time your holiday to coincide with lunch on the attached Chez Jeanette.
Architecture in Port Mathurin. One on the oldest buildings still waiting in Port Mathurin, La Résidence dates from 1897, gets hotter provided a rather modest home for that British chief commissioner. Its facilities have become used as function rooms to the new Regional Assembly. As such, it truly is closed to your public, although it can be possible to obtain an idea with the structure on the veranda from the tourist office over the road.
St Gabriel Church
Church in Rodrigues. This surprisingly grand church within the middle of Rodrigues has one on the largest congregations inside Port Louis diocese. Constructed between 1936 and 1939, it had been built by local volunteers who arduously lugged stone, sand and coral of all corners with the island. Christianity is undoubtedly an integral part of life on this tropical isle - hundreds upon many Rodriguans gather here every Sunday.
Church in Port Mathurin. One of varied churches dotted around Port Mathurin.