Located around 650 kilometres off the east coast of Mauritius, right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Rodrigues is a tiny exotic island surrounded by the ocean on all sides. With lush green slopes everywhere, the island is inexplicably beautiful and secluded. The island is a volcanic outcrop located a sizeable distance away from the mainland and is surrounded by a shimmering turquoise lagoon that abounds in more marine life than you can find on the entire mainland.
The ViewPoints of Rodrigues Island
Being an island that's a volcanic outcrop, Rodrigues is exceptionally hilly. There are a number of viewpoints dotting the island giving a beautiful panoramic view of Rodrigues.
One of the best viewpoints from where you can catch a glimpse of the tiny island is the Eau Claire Viewpoint. Translating to 'Clear Water' in English, the landscape turns into fiery red and orange during sunrise. During the day time, it offers crystal clear views of the Indian Ocean, you can also spot the Grande Passe from here, which is a wide passage meant for boats on the Indian Ocean to cross the lagoon and enter the Rodrigues coast.
Another popular viewpoint in Rodrigues is the Citron Donis viewpoint, which offers captivating views of the southern islands surrounding Rodrigues, and is a beautiful place to sit down and watch the sunset on the Indian Ocean.
An Island of Caves
Being an island entirely cut off from the mainland, Rodrigues is home to quite a few caves and caverns which were used in ancient times by pirates to hoard their treasures, and while any such treasures are all gone today, the caves still exist, and they are one of the most intriguing places you can think of exploring.
Caverne Patate The most famous such cave in Rodrigues is the Caverne Patate. Literally translating to ‘Sweet Potato Cave (and no one can tell why this place got such a fascinating name), this cave system was discovered by farmers long back and is now famous as the longest limestone cave in Mauritius.
Mostly slippery and requiring some tricky manoeuvring in some places, the cave is incredibly fascinating, and the rows of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave are fascinating. The Caverne Patate is directly connected to the ocean, so certain parts of the cave are inaccessible as they have water in them.
Wildlife in Tropical Mauritius
Rodrigues has a variety of flora and fauna in their untouched natural habitat.
The Francois Legault Nature Reserve, sprawled out over a huge 20-hectare area, is home to over 3000 giant turtles. Named after French explorer Francois Legault, the park now houses over 11000 species of flora and fauna and is one of the most visited places on the island. Before the island was populated by humans, there were two different species of giant turtles thriving on the island, both of which became extinct after the arrival and settlement of immigrants on the island.
The giant turtles that you can see at the Reserve today are very close relatives of the species that went extinct, and a walk through the park will let you not only catch a glimpse of the turtles in their natural habitat, but you can also walk up to them and pet them as well!
Apart from turtles, you will also see a huge variety of different plants and trees throughout the reserve, some of them endemic to the island, and others that have been brought in from other places and cultivated here. Apart from a natural reserve, Francois Legault also has a cave system, out of which tourists are allowed to visit just one cave – the Grande Cave.
One of the most popular activities to do in Rodrigues is to take a walk on the Pistachio Valley Suspension Bridge. Built above a canyon with a river flowing through it, the Suspension Bridge is a popular place visited by tourists to get that adrenaline flowing in your veins, and to experience the adventure of a lifetime.