Rodrigues Country Guide

Rodrigues is an untouched and unspoilt island and it's only been in the last 10 years that the tourism industry came into play in the economy of this island. The people on the island all contribute to the charm of Rodrigues, as they are very welcoming even though they are of different cultures and origins. Their discretion, simplicity and kindness are what allow them to all live together in harmony in a laid back manner.

Become one of the locals by adopting their way of life during your stay meaning waking up at sunrise and being in bed by 10 pm. This will allow you to enjoy the day and discover all the island has on offer.


The Rodrigues Country Guide below will provide you with some general information about the island as well as some travel information that you need for a visit to this beautiful island. Our local team have put together some interesting local Rodrigues tours that you can venture on while holidaying on the island. Furthermore, more information on other things to see and do can be found in our Rodrigues Destination Guide.

Check out the latest Rodrigues Travel features on YouTube.

Rodrigues Country Guide

Useful information on this page includes:

Climate/Weather Top

Rodrigues weather is different to Mauritius as it consists of a dryer and warmer climate due to its close location to the equator.

In Rodrigues, the temperature during the summer season ranges from 28 to 35˚C and this occurs from November to April. It is important to note that this is also the period during which the island might be hit by a cyclone with the highest probability of this happening in January and February.

During the winter season, Rodrigues weather forecast tends to consist of cooler nights with a low of 16˚C and warmer days with a temperature that might peak at 27˚C. If this is the weather you are looking for, then May to October is the time to visit Rodrigues.

Communication Top

The international dialling code for Rodrigues is the same as Mauritius that is 230. If you would like to call overseas the outgoing code is 00 followed by the country code that you are calling.

The post office is located in Port Mathurin in Rue Mann if you wish to send some postcards to friends and families.

In 2003, Mauritius Telecom launched Cell-Oh a GSM mobile service in Rodrigues, so check with your local mobile company about international roaming as the facilities are definitely on the island for you to use. In addition, the island also saw the launch the ADSL services in 2006 and a broadband internet access service the TeleCyber was launched in 2007. For further information about where you can find an internet café, ask our local connection or alternatively speak to the reception at the hotel on how you can get connected to the rest of the world.

Currency/Money Top

 

Rodrigues being part of Mauritius, uses the same currency that is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs.) Notes come in the following denominations 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 rupees. Coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 20,50 cents and 1, 5 and 10 rupees. For the latest exchange rate of the Mauritian rupee visit yahoo

The two main banks that are available in Rodrigues are the Mauritius Commercial Bank and the State Bank of Mauritius and they are both located in Port Mathurin except the State Bank which is also located in La Ferme and Mont Lubin. ATMs are available for withdrawal at Port Mathurin, Mont Lubin and Plaine Corail Airport. Most hotels, restaurants and other tourist shops accept the following credit cards American Express, Diners, MasterCard and Visa, but we recommend that you ask if they do prior to purchasing anything.

The Mauritius Commercial Bank is opened from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 3pm and on Fridays the hours are extended until 5pm. The State Bank of Mauritius is opened between 9am and 3pm and operates from Monday to Friday in Port Mathurin, Tuesday and Thursday only in La Ferme and Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Mont Lubin.

 

Electricity Top

 

Rodrigues electricity runs off a 220V or 50Hz system, with either a two or three pin socket.

 

Embassy Location Top

 

For all foreign embassy locations, please refer to the information on the Mauritian embassy by clicking here.

 

General Information Top

Population: 40,000(according to the 2006 estimate)
Total Area: 109 km2
Capital: Port Mathurin
Time Zone: GMT +4hours

For the current time in Port Mathurin which will be the same as Mauritius, click on this link toTimeAndDate.com.

Geography Top

Rodrigues Island is located about 550km to the East of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and together with Reunion and Mauritius it forms part of the Mascarene Islands.

Rodrigues's geography expands over a surface area of 109km2 consisting of precipitous gorges that lead to spectacular bays, magnificent cliffs and creeks as well as mountains with the highest one being Mont Limon at a height of 398metres.

Ile aux Cocos is amongst the 18 islets that are found in the turquoise water close to the island together with the beautiful coral reefs that surrounds it. Speak to our local connection if you wish to tour the islets as there are a few that are quite famous and popular amongst visitors.

Health Top

Rodrigues does not have any infectious diseases that have been recorded and it also does not have any dangerous species such as venomous snakes or spiders. Travellers are not required to do any vaccination before visiting the island except if they have visited a country that is affected by cholera, small pox and yellow fever three months prior to their holidays in Rodrigues.

Even though there are mosquitoes in Rodrigues, it is important to note that there is no risk of malaria. For those of you that are prone to mosquito bites, a mosquito repellent might be handy in your luggage.

History Top

It is believed that Rodrigues Island's history started as far back as the 10th century during which time the Arabs used to visit the Mascarene Islands. The first map on which the island appears was drawn during the 12th century by Ash-Sharif al-Idrisi an Arab geographer and during this time the island was known as Dina Moraze and the two other sister islands as part of the Mascarene were Dina Margabin(Reunion) and Dina Arobi(Mauritius).

In 1528, the island was named Rodrigues after Dom Diogo Rodrigues a Portuguese navigator. During the 17th century the island is visited by the Dutch who stock up on fresh supplies and Francois Leguat and seven travel companion from the Huguenot try to set up a farming colony which was not successful.

After making several attempts to develop the island in the 18th century, the French decide to bring in slaves from Africa to help with the development of farming as well as the breeding of stock. Slavery was abolished after the British troops took possession of Rodrigues after a battle with the French in 1809. Gradually the population on the island started to increase and around 3000 inhabitants consisting of European colonists and freed slaves were registered on the island towards the end of the 19th century.

After Mauritius gained its independence in 1968, Rodrigues became part of the Mauritian territory. Rodrigues Regional Assembly was given a maximum level of autonomy by the National Assembly of the Republic of Mauritius in October 2002. The Chief Commissioner leads the Rodrigues Regional Assembly which consists of an executive council as well as 18 commissioners. The task of the Chief Commissioner is to take care of all of the internal affairs of the island and also update the Mauritian Prime Minister of the affairs on Rodrigues.

Language Top

Being considered as another district of Mauritius, the people of Rodrigues communicate in both English and French. Even though English is the official language, most of the local population speak Creole and French on a day to day basis. The Creole spoken in Rodrigues differs slightly to the one in Mauritius as the pronunciation of some words are different, but it is still very close to the French language and French speakers can easily understand the locals after a few days on the island.

Hello
 = Bonjour 
Goodbye = Au revoir
Thank you = Merci
Nice to meet you = Enchante de faire votre connaissance
Where is the bathroom = Ou sont les toilettes?
How much does it cost = Combien ca coute?
Help = Au secours
Doctor = Docteur
Police = Police
Taxi = Taxi
Bus = Bus

Location Top

Rodrigues is located in the Indian Ocean at about 650km to the north east of Mauritius. The length of the island is around 18km from the east (Pointe Coton) to the west (Pointe Mapou) and its breadth approximately 8km from the north (Jeantac) to the south (Pointe Portsuite).

To view a map of the location of Rodrigues , click on this link for WorldAtlas.com

People/Culture Top

Rodrigues would not be as appealing as it is without its people who live a very simple life. The inhabitants of this beautiful island are known for their friendliness, warmth and the way they welcome everyone with open arms. The Rodriguans are up at sunrise to make the most of their days by the sea as quite a few of them depend on the sea for a living.

The population on this island is mostly made up of creoles that have for ancestors' slaves who came from Madagascar and Africa and some of them even have the first European colonist genes. The Sega is also present in Rodrigues just like Mauritius but it is slightly different and it is known as the 'sega tambour' and is a form of folkloric music which is unique to this island just like the 'sega quadrille' and the 'sega kordeon'. Through these different forms of dance, the locals share their Creole spirit with the visitors.

Another very important facet of the culture on the island is the art of fishing in the traditional manner, which is on display nearly everyday by the local fishermen who are both males and females. Keep an eye out for the Fish Festival which is an important and lively event in Rodrigues.

Public Holidays Top

 

Rodrigues has several public holidays which remain the same every year such as Christmas and New Year's but others vary. Follow the link to view a current list of public holidays in Rodrigues.

 

Religion Top

 

The Catholic religion is the one with the most followers in Rodrigues as the population is dominated mainly by the Creoles. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Rodrigues is the island with the largest church in the Indian Ocean which is Saint Gabriel church. The island also has a small population of Hindus, Muslims and Chinese who practise their own religion.

 

Visas/Passports Top

It is important to note that as Rodrigues is part of Mauritius and as such, the flight from Mauritius to Rodrigues is considered a domestic flight. For this reason all travellers to Rodrigues, must adhere to the entry requirements of Mauritius that is they must be in possession of a valid passport, return ticket and enough money to cover their costs during their stay on the island. In addition, citizens from the following countries: United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other EU countries(except Bulgaria and Romania) do not need a visa for holidays in Mauritius as long as it is no longer than 3 months.

For holidays that are longer than 3 months, please allow at least a month to obtain a visa. It is always recommended you check with your local consulate for all entry requirements to Mauritius. Mauritians travelling to Rodrigues need to bring their National Identity Card instead of their passport.