94 Things to Do in Rodrigues

We spent several months in Rodrigues checking out a lot of different corners of this compact island. Many Mauritians and Rodriguans asked us if we didn’t get bored here. The answer to that question is a resounding no—and there are even things we didn’t do yet but are saving for a return trip. Many Rodriguans we spoke to weren’t familiar with some of the places we’ve been to. So here’s a monster list of more than 90 things to do in Rodrigues. And a map!

  1. Learn kitesurfing in Mourouk. Ask for Drany – a local and national champion – if it’s your first time. He’ll get you on the board in no time and believes in you
    8 kitesrufing Mourouk things to do in Rodrigues
  2. Pick up a free paper map at the Rodrigues tourist information office in Port Mathurin to get an overview of this small island
  3. Once you’re good at kitesurfing, do a downwinder trip to Île aux Chats
  4. Join a boat trip to Île aux Cocos. From there you can enjoy a tour, do some birdwatching, and have a swim
  5. Hike up Montagne Croupier
  6. Do a boat trip to Île aux Chats and Île Hermitage
  7. Join the walking tour of Port Mathurin. It’s usually organized on Tuesdays by Rodrigues Friendly Café. Contact them on Facebook or by phone: +230 5498 0010. The price is 300 Rupees per person, which includes a refreshment and their favorite sweet: Boudoute à la crème de limon local. It’s in French
  8. Go snorkeling at the ‘aquarium’ in Rivière Banane (at low tide). Bring your own snorkel gear or borrow it
  9. Watch the MV Black Rhino or the MV Mauritius Trochetia arrive at the port of Port Mathurin. The ship arrives after two days of travel from Port Louis. You can track this in the Marine Traffic app/website
  10. Watch the stars at night (during a power outage)
  11. Walk up the highest peak, Mont Limon. At 389 meters, it’s not a difficult hike at all, so definitely do it. But does Mont Limon have the best views of Rodrigues island? Also no, so stay tuned for the other mountain top suggestions down this list!
  12. Visit the François Leguat Nature Reserve. The tour includes petting many giant tortoises and a visit to the Grande Caverne cave system
  13. Hike the airport loop trail and watch the plane land and take off
    7 plane spotting things to do in Rodrigues
  14. Visit Pointe Corail/Anse Quitor and the lonely abandoned fisherman’s station
  15. Join a tour (or wander into) Caverne Patate. We showed up for one of the times a tour started, but a guy just pointed us in the direction of one of the cave entrances, trusting us we’d find our way out as well
  16. Go to the Carrière de Corail and admire the artsy murals
  17. Enjoy the art of the bus stops all across Rodrigues island. You’ll see popular themes, such as 18 years of autonomy, sega tambour, kitesurfing, but also a PSA against drug use and teen pregnancy
  18. Have a picnic at Pointe Matourin/Pointe Mapou, aka the roundabout at ‘the End of the World’
  19. At low tide, visit the nameless island close to the funky church on foot
  20. Visit the funky boat-shaped church. It’s made of local materials and designed by a Rodriguan. The shape is truly iconic. The official name is La Chapelle Saint Jean L’Evangéliste
  21. Rent a kayak to paddle to Îlot Hollandais, Île aux Fous, and Île aux Diamant
  22. Visit the Grande Montagne Nature reserve and take a tour. And of course, pet a tortoise. They have five
  23. Rent a kayak to paddle to Île Michel, Île Paille en Queue
  24. Visit the 5 Senses Botanic Garden (and pet their solo tortoise)
  25. Go ziplining over the Mourouk River valley
  26. Do the Via Ferrata at Montagne Tonnerre. If you want more of a thrill, you can also do abseiling down the cliff wall. They’re also working on a wall climbing section, which will probably open in 2023
    9 via ferrata things to do in Rodrigues
  27. Walk over the Pont Suspendu at Cascade Pistache. And if you think that’s boring, you can do the bridge swing
  28. See Port Mathurin from Pointe Cannon
  29. Enjoy a sunset dinner at Le Pandanus
  30. Hike the Trou d’Argent hike and stand on the easternmost point of continental Africa
  31. Hike from Montagne Cabris to Anse Bouteille and go for a swim in azure waters
  32. Watch the fishermen at low tide approach the reef at Plage Baladirou and have a swim
  33. Hike to the cross at Pointe Monnier and watch the MV Black Rhino depart. This is usually at 16:00 after the ship has been in Rodrigues unloading/reloading for two days
  34. Hike up Montagne Topaze and watch the plane land
  35. Rent a scooter and explore the backroads
  36. Hike up Mont Chéri and have the best view over Mourouk
  37. Go urban exploring the semi-abandoned antennas at Montagne Malartic, the second-highest peak in Rodrigues
  38. Visit Port Mathurin market on a Saturday and buy delicious jars of limon confit and achard de bilamby
  39. Socialize at Café Friendly at the after-work tapas. They usually organize this event once per month and they will mention it on their Facebook page
  40. Eat fishy things, such as kono-kono salad and ourite
  41. Kayak to Ile Frégate, Île Destinée, Île Catherine, and Île Marianne
  42. Visit the water reservoir at Anse Raffin
  43. Go diving in various places, including in the lagoon in Mourouk
  44. Do a boat trip to Île Plate and Île Gombrani
  45. Venture outside of the lagoon by joining a big game fishing thing (I don’t approve) or wave kiting if you’re kickass at kitesurfing
  46. At your local hotel/resort, enjoy a night of music and dance called sega tambour or ask if it’s happening elsewhere on the island. It’s listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and there’s a monument dedicated to this inscription at Tombeau Marragon
    13 Sega tambour unesco world heritage intangible Rodrigues island Mauritius monument
  47. Take a local bus on the island. Just make sure it isn’t the last bus, which usually runs at 17:00
  48. Watch a pirogue sailing regatta from Oasis Vacances. They’re announced only shortly in advance!
  49. Admire the mangroves in Baie Malgache. You can also take a kayaking tour there with a local who will make sure you don’t get stuck in the mud at low tide
  50. Go windsurfing in Mourouk. I’ve only seen one person do this in a sea full of kitesurfers, but it’s possible
  51. If you are a literal child, you can rent an Optimist dinghy in Mourouk and sail it in the lagoon for a bit. Again, I’ve only seen the Optimist being utilized once (with mild success)
  52. Watch the ourite dry in various locations on the island
  53. Go shopping at the market in Mont Lubin. It’s often a bit cheaper there as this market is closer to the farms
  54. When it’s the season, get up very early to watch the sea blend with the sky on the north coast. This phenomenon doesn’t have a particular name, but it can be witnessed in autumn and spring in Rodrigues when the temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold and it’s wind still
  55. Visit the Saint Gabriel Cathedral. It’s in a beautiful area of the island and quite a pretty building
  56. Buy gato piment from a shop when they have it
  57. Follow the scent of barbeque and eat a local saucisse doux sausage. I think it’s a pork sausage, but I’m not sure. These grill masters also sell chicken wings, hot dog sausages, and garlic bread if that’s more up your alley
  58. Stand on the sharp craggy rocks of Pointe Cotton
  59. Visit a permission-only island, such as Île aux Crabes. Again, boatman Jean-Marc from Ti Gajak can help you with this
    11 Ti Gajak Jean-Marc boatman Rodrigues Île aux Crabes trip
  60. Pick up some words and phrases of Rodriguan Creole. Know when to say “korek!” and of course the Mauritian classic “c’est top!
  61. Get shitfaced drunk in Ti La Passe during karaoke night, usually on Thursday
  62. Eat fruits that are in season, such as papaya or passion fruit
  63. Admire the varying shells on the beaches of Rodrigues. You’ll notice that the species change from one beach to another. But don’t take them home! That’s not allowed and customs in Rodrigues will take them from you if you try to fly out with them. Also, taking sea shells can seriously damage the beautiful ecosystem of Rodrigues y’all came for, since tiny organisms make those their home
  64. Dodge the orange yarn of spiderwebs that cross various hiking trail tunnels. Then find the spider and admire the size of it
  65. Fight off olochuri (snake sea cucumber/synapta maculata) while wading through the water. They’ll hug you and never let go if you’re wearing neoprene
  66. Enjoy a big milkshake and a quiet afternoon at Kafé Rose. This is simply the best café in Port Mathurin for quiet times, so perhaps bring a book!
  67. Spot a faratha man in Port Mathurin and catch him to get a fat stack of farathas
  68. Eat at the food court in Port Mathurin with someone who wants to eat something different from you. From vegetarian to fishy, at the food court in Port Mathurin, they have it all
  69. See the tiniest mosque in the world in Port Mathurin (maybe an exaggeration)
  70. Visit the Hindu temple on the main road between Port Mathurin and Mont Lubin
  71. Hitchhike with a Rodriguan. Distances are short and people are very trusting. Also this is important if you miss the last bus
  72. Buy locally-grown coffee from Madame Casimir in Cygangue. She sometimes shows people around and serves coffee
  73. Go kiting to Graviers. This is an ‘upwinder’, so you need to be skilled enough to make it up there without tiring yourself out too much
  74. From Île aux Cocos, watch longingly to Île au Sable in the distance. That island is generally off-limits for visitors since it’s a nature reserve, but if you know the right boatman (e.g. Jean-Marc from Ti Gajak), you can land on the sandy part for a bit as long as you don’t venture out into the forest where the birds nest
  75. Visit the island that isn’t: Île Michel peninsula. And while you’re in the area, go to Petit Butte peninsula as well
  76. On the shitty road between Songes and Anse Raffin, buy some artisan limon confit aigre doux from one of the many shops. It’s a bit cheaper here than at Port Mathurin market and a good way to take a break from riding over the bumpy road
  77. Try out a variety of pizzas, from the calzones of Le Point Chaud to the studenty Ti Baz in Mont Lubin and the fancy ones at L’Atelier Gourmand. The most normal pizzas are at The Blue Marlin in Anse aux Anglais.
  78. Go whale watching, either from the shore or at sea outside the reef. If the seasonal info from Mauritius also applies to Rodrigues, it’s possible to see sperm whales year-round, but for humpback whales, your best guess is between July and November. I only saw whales from the mainland (they make a big sploosh) and didn’t join a tour for this
  79. See the Rodrigues flying fox in the hills of Rodrigues. They usually roost at around 16:00 in Malabar. However, these gigantic fruit bats are much shyer than their (larger) Mauritian cousins. So count yourself lucky if you manage to see one up close enough to see their puppy dog eyes
  80. Visit the old ‘lighthouse’ at memorial du traité
  81. See the following domesticated animals pass by your window: goats, sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, (no donkeys or horses, to my surprise!) and all their cute adorable loud baby variants. Why Rodrigues doesn’t sell artisanal goat cheese is a mystery for the ages, though
    12 Rooster chicken animals of Rodrigues
  82. If you are blessed with such a job, choose Rodrigues for working remotely. It’s actually not such a bad place to open up your laptop, crack your fingers, and earn some money
  83. Admire the flowers that bloom during your visit, be it in winter or in summer
    10 flowers of Rodrigues island Mauritius
  84. Admire or buy traditional woven straw hats or placemats called nattes. You’ll encounter shops that sell these local Rodriguan products at the Port Mathurin market, but also at roadside stalls, such as on the road to Pointe Coton
  85. Lie down in the shadow of the trees on a lazy Sunday on the beach and enjoy the breeze and good company
  86. Drink a beer on the beach while watching kitesurfers crash their kites
  87. If you travel with climbing gear, go explore new routes on the steep side of Montagne Chéri and this funky rock near Montagne Croupier
  88. Cozy up inside during a cyclone or anticyclone
  89. Take the MV Trochetia back to Mauritius across the shining Indian Ocean. Everyone is longing for the day when there is again a passenger service between Mauritius and Rodrigues
  90. Learn the schedule of your local house geckos and when they visit the kitchen. If you’re unlucky, you’ll see the bigger ones eat the baby lizards
  91. Drink a coconut when the coconut man is there next to the market. Are his coconuts from Agaléga? I think that depends on how well the coconuts grow in Rodrigues that year, but I’ve heard sometimes they do import coconuts from Agaléga
  92. Hike down the Cascade Pigeon hiking trail and visit the water reservoir that serves Port Mathurin. It’s not a very popular trail in a very humid area, so bring mosquito repellent and long pants
  93. Spot tropicbirds (paille-en-queue) in the valleys and near the mountain peaks. They have a spectacularly long tail and are generally beautiful birds
  94. Stay long enough in Rodrigues to watch the island change. You might see a road being finished, a telecom tower being built, or even just something as simple as watching the season change. I promise you won’t regret it!

Great ideas? Consider buying me tamarind juice!

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