Rodrigues Island

Rodrigues Island

One of Mauritius’s principal outer islands is Rodrigues Island, another amazing nation in the Indian Ocean. Let’s discover it in brief further…

Rodrigues Island, A Shining Diamond…

Rodrigues, or “Île Rodrigues” in French, or “Rodrig” in the native Creole language, is a volcanic island located in the Indian Ocean and it is an autonomous outer island of Mauritius. The capital is, Port-Mathurin.

A Short History Of Rodrigues

Historically, it was the Arabs who were the first to sail in the Rodrigues’s regions in the 1200s. The geographer Ash-Sharif al-Idrisi, had an illustration of the island on his map. Normally, the island’s name was obtained from the Portuguese explorer, Diogo Rodrigues in the end of 1520s. In addition, it was also known as “Dina Arobi” same as Mauritius.

Old ship Rodrigues Island
An illustration of an old ship.

When the Dutch was sailing nearby, they visited Rodrigues regularly. It was during that time they introduced animals, foods and other commodities. A famous personality, François Leguat started developing the farming sector in the end of 1690s. Unfortunately, the plan was not successful.

After that, the French came to develop the island. When the British came to fight against the French, they took possession of the island in 1809. Rodrigues, at that time had immigrants from African regions who were slaves. Additionally, slavery was abolished in the British regime, same as for Mauritius during the same period, in the 1830s.

Became Autonomous In 2002

Rodrigues Island became autonomous in 2002, but still forms part of Mauritius since 1968. The subject whether it will be fully independent one day is still debatable and questionable.

The People…

The people of Rodrigues are Mauritian citizens. They are very nice and always helpful. They are composed of different religious backgrounds and multilingual as well. The mother-tongue is Mauritian Creole, with a little different accent. English and French are the main national languages.

Cultures & Arts

Boy playing guitar Rodrigues Island
An illustration of a boy playing a classic guitar which forms part in Rodrigues’s musical culture.

As it is a mixed population, Rodrigues has different cultures. The traditional cuisines are very popular, tasty and unique, mostly include seafood. The traditional music is Séga, similar with Mauritius but more rhythmic with “tambourine”, a musical instrument popular in Africa. Regarding sports, football and volleyball are the most popular.

Economy & Politics

The economy is fully dependent on agricultural and farming sectors. Exportation of animals and agricultural foods are among the main sources of income for the island. Since recent years, the tourism sector has known a boom. Many people visit Rodrigues every year because of its peaceful environment compared to Mauritius. Gradually, this island is being known to the world. Even that, Rodrigues still remains dependent on Mauritius in economic fields.

Free education and healthcare

Education and healthcare are provided freely like in Mauritius. The transport system relies primarily on bus, car and 4×4 as well as motorcycle/scooter. Moreover, it has a small airport in Plaine Corail and a sea port in Port-Mathurin.

As mentioned earlier, the island became autonomous in 2002 and is still a constituency of Mauritius. It has a regional assembly to discuss budget, laws matter as well as other decisions regarding the nation. The regional assembly has head a chief commissioner, who is elected every 5 years.

Nature & Climate

More than that, the nature of Rodrigues Island is amazing. It has endemic plants and species. It is hilly, where the highest point is 398m and enriched with limestone and caves. One of the famous extinct birds, Solitaire, lived in Rodrigues only. It has two seasons, summer and winter. The climate there is hotter than in Mauritius.

Rodrigues Today…

The island of Rodrigues is progressing and developing massively. This nation will no doubt shine in the future. Even it is fully dependent on Mauritius for its economy, it has the capability to progress by itself. To conclude, Rodrigues Island is a must to visit!

Ali J

I am a hiker, explorer, cyclist and humanist! Feel free to follow on social media and contact me for any questions.