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Some uncertainty surrounds the date of the discovery of Rodrigues: the Portuguese landed there either in 1507 or in 1528. However, there is evidence of Arabs having called to the island as far back as the 13th century.

In the early 17th century, the Dutch set foot on the island. From then on, various navigators (British, French and Dutch) visited Rodrigues.

In 1691, the first inhabitants, seven French Protestants, settled in the island for two years. One of them, François Leguat wrote the first book on Rodrigues.

The British took possession of the island in 1807 and governed it up to the independence of Mauritius in 1968. Since then, Rodrigues forms part of the Mauritian territory.


Summer is from November to April with temperatures ranging between 29ºC and 34ºC.
From May to October, winter temperatures vary between 15ºC and 29ºC. Sea temperatures average 27ºC in summer and 23ºC in winter.

Fauna and Flora

Much of the Rodriguan fauna and flora has disappeared. However, some interesting endemic specimens are still extant and conservation efforts are being made to protect them.

The “bois de fer”, the “bois d’olive”, the “bois cabri”, and the “café marron” are some of the endemic plants and trees. Other species like the “filao”, the “vacoas”, the “traveller’s tree”, the “vetyver” are more common.

The Solitaire, a distant cousin of the Mauritian Dodo, has disappeared a long time back. Birds which can be found in Rodrigues are, amongst others, the fruit-eating bat, the warbler and the “foude”. On Ile aux Cocos and Ile aux Sables live the white seagull, the gannet and the beautiful “oiseau la vierge”.


The Rodriguan economy relies mainly on:
  • agriculture (maize, sweet potatoes, cassava, chillies, lemons,…),
  • fishing, and
  • husbandry (cattle, sheep, goat, pig, poultry).
Tourism is also being developed in the island.


A bus network links various parts of the island, however, there is no regular schedule. Cars, jeeps, 4 x 4, motorcycles and bicycles can be rented. Please note that driving is on the left and that the only filling station is located in Port Mathurin.

How to get there?

By air
Air Mauritius is the only airline to operate on this route and has two scheduled daily flights. However, during the peak season, up to five flights can be scheduled. For the time being, Plaine Corail Airport, built in the 70s, can only accommodate small airplanes like the ATR42. Plans for its extension are being readied.
By sea
Mauritius Pride, a mixed passenger and cargo ship, serves Rodrigues. It has a seating capacity of 248 but can accommodate 16 additional passengers in 8 cabins.
It takes some 30 hours to link the island to the mainland.


Products ranging from hats to baskets and bags, from trays to place mats, are made with various leaves or fibres (pandanus, aloe, raffia, and bamboo).
models, fancy jewellery made with coconut shell, dried flowers are typical products of Rodriguan handicraft.

Local products

Smoked ham, sausages, prawns, dried octopus, honey, pickled chillies and lemons are worth taking back.

Music and dance

Rodriguan culture has strong African, Malagasy and European strains. Typical instruments include the diatonic accordion, the “triangle”, the “bobre”, and the “tambour”. Scottish (or Cotis), Polka, Mazok (or Mazurka), Quadrille and Séga Tambour are local dances which Rodriguans love performing.