Rodrigues Island is a tiny little jewel of 108km2 off the northeast coast of Mauritius, with a population of around 38,000 people. Of volcanic origin, it owes its name to the Portuguese ships’ boat, Diego Rodrigues, who discovered it in February 1528. The island prides itself in its silky beaches, its gorgeous uneven topography, the natural politeness of its inhabitants, its scrumptious gastronomy and its landmarks, as well as its sea activities.
During this excursion the clients will discover the most interesting places around the island and will be able to make their shopping (local artisanal products).
Places to visit: Port Mathurin ,the Cathedral Saint Gabriel ,the view point Pompée, the cave ‘Caverne Patate’ and end with Cascade Pistache.
The day starts at 09.00 a.m. and ends at 04.00 p.m.
Being a volcanic island, Rodrigues with its hills and valleys offers a magnificent panorama with a rich fauna and flora.
Discover the most splendid view points where you will see the unique scenery that the island offers.
Pick-up van or minibus will be available depending of the number of person.
A guide speaking both French and English will be provided.
End with an authetic lunch at the local “Table d'Hote”.
Port Mathurin is the hub and capital of Rodrigues. It is a friendly, bustling place with a fantastic market, some attractive mosques and an enjoyable atmosphere. Port Mathurin is also the center of shipping activity (it has a small deep water port) there is the main bus station, banks and is where most of the administrative offices are located.
The main attraction of Port Mathurin is naturally the marketplace or “bazar”, which features a colorful display of local handicrafts such as basketry, hat making, textile based handicrafts, embroidery, coconut craft, jewellery, souvenir articles, wood carving, straw crafts, in addition to paintings from local artists. All this combined with a vegetable and fruit market as well as a meat and fish market.
Caverne Patate, in the southwestern corner of the island, is an impressive cave system with a few stalagmite and stalactite formations. Visit is by guided tour, during which a guide points out formations with uncanny resemblances to a dodo, Buckingham Palace and even Winston Churchill! The 700m tunnel is an easy walk but gets slippery in wet weather; wear shoes with a good grip and take a light jacket.
The road swings inland just west of Baie du Nord towards La Ferme , perched on the central, hilly ridge that forms the backbone of Rodrigues. Pope John Paul held mass in La Ferme's little church in 1989, but it is the Cascade Pistache waterfall , a couple of kilometres west of the large, noisy village that draws most visitors.
St. Gabriel Cathedral, formerly the largest and beautiful church of the Indian Ocean. This surprisingly grand church, situated at the heart of Rodrigues, has one of the largest congregations. Constructed between 1936 and 1939, each and every parishioner who arduously lugged stone, sand and coral from all corners of the island, contributed to the construction of the edifice.
People and Culture: Rodrigues Island is also renowned for its authenticity – which makes the uniqueness of its 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 rythms; the ‘sega tambour’ is the folk dance of Rodrigues. The population mainly lives off fishing, farm produce handicraft and more recently, tourism. Women play an active part in the economic life of the island
Gastronomy: The Rodriguan gastronomy (enriched by Chinese, Indian and European influence) is made up of local produce that is naturally available in abundance. Dishes made with fish, octopus, pork and chicken are of incomparable flavor. The cuisine consists of simple but tasty dishes that bring out the natural good taste of the produce. A typical Rodriguan meal is served with rice or maize and red beans, and is accented with chili or chutneys
Fauna & Flora:Rodrigues used to be home to a number of unique birds of which the solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria), now extinct, is most famous. The Rodrigues Fody (Foudia flavicans), the Rodrigues Warbler (Acrocephalus rodericanus) and seabirds such as terns are protected species living peacefully in natural reserves and on the islets in the lagoon. A sanctuary for reptiles suach as the Giant Tortoise and the Gecko, Rodrigues also has an endemic mammal, the Golden Fruit Bat (pteropus rodericencis) 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’ (Rasmonia rodriguesii), are receiving special attention and monitoring.
Sports & Leisure:The topology of the island lends itself to a number of nature discovery opportunities, namely through trekking excursions, mountain-bike hikes, nautical activities and cave exploration. The undersea world uncovers its secrets to divers and fishermen. Surf, kite surf and windsurf enthusiasts will find there an unparalleled haven whilst the steep-sided ravines attract ornithologists as well as nature lovers
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