Rodrigues is a volcanic island rising from a ridge along the edge of the Mascarene Plateau. It is about 18 kilometres long and 6.5 kilometres wide with an area of 108 km2.A large fringing reef surrounds the island forming a lagoon within which lie eighteen small islets.
The coral reef of Rodrigues is of particular interest as it is self-seeding – it receives no coral zooplankton from elsewhere. This has led to an overall species-poor but highly adapted ecosystem. The isolation and location of the island give a micro climate specific to Rodrigues, with two seasons. Rodrigues enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate with persistent trade winds blowing throughout the year.
Air Mauritius operates daily flights connecting Plaisance Airport and Rodrigues (flight time – 1 hour 15 minutes).
Coraline sails once a week to Rodrigues Island and to Reunion island from Port Louis Harbour.
The beaches are beyond beautiful too. The local dialect is Rodriguan Creole, with French and English as second languages, and the food is a sort of creole too – curries and chutneys and rice, local sausage and fish dishes all served with the ubiquitous green chilli paste called mazavaroo.
Rodrigues island is very peaceful and has never had any political, social or ethnic upheaval. In fact, the place if one of the quietest inhabited island I have ever visited. Time seem to have taken a halt and ‘haste’ is a word most Rodrigues inhabitants are very upset about. They believe and preach a zen way of life in its true sense without knowing the word itself. Public transport is more of a casual lift by a passing car, so most people walk to the few small villages strew across the island. The locals are very honest in a naive sense as living in such a secluded piece of rock in the middle of nowhere. The British Royal family, especially the younger princes are regular visitors to the island.
As a Mauritian, I am washed by the hotels, beaches, outdoor sights, culture and food of the island, but my sight of Rodrigues was ‘Wow!’ … I fell in love head over heels. I thought Mauritius was paradise, but Rodrigues is paradise next to paradise. Tranquil, unstressed, friendly, welcoming… and easy to get lost! Rodrigues Island is a lovely, surprising stop-over on any journey from or to Mauritius. If I describe it, you might say but that sounds like the Seychelles … nope! it is eons better than the sticky humid crazily developed, shark infested lagoons of the Seychelles. Steep green sides reach down to tiny beaches; these and a few small uninhabited islands are completely protected by a broad reef around the island: the scenery is beautiful, rustic,peaceful. With this island geography, the Creole islanders (of mixed African and French descent) have a difficult task feeding their population of 36000, but wherever they can the locals manage small market gardens, All organic, as buying and flying fertilisers is costly from Mauritius. People live simply in a sustainable way.
Don’t miss it, visit it !