Rodrigues embraces a creole life through its music, dance and cuisine. Music is an important part of the island, which is a subtle mix of European melodies and African rhythms. Typical island music, the Rodrigues Island Sega Tambour is a vibrant rhythmic performance of music, songs and dances from slave communities.
Since 2017, the Sega Tambour has been part of UNESCO’s intangible heritage. Local food is also an important aspect of Rodrigues culture that deserves to be discovered.
Traditional dishes include an octopus curry meal and red kidney beans served with rice or corn. Visitors are also invited to prepare the meal as part of the experience. Or there are also barbecues on the beach with lobster and seafood.
The island is a well-kept secret among travellers who enjoy the deserted white sand beaches that are found for the majority of them in the east of the island.
One of these beaches, ‘Trou D’Argent’, has been classified as of the five most beautiful beaches of the Indian Ocean. Accessible only by foot during hikes and treks, the legend has it that pirates have hidden their loot there, which is still waiting to be discovered. In order to promote the Rodrigues as an eco-responsible destination, the majority of activities are nature-oriented and mainly outdoors.
Conscious of the importance of the preservation of the environment and its biodiversity, the government has banned the use of single-use plastic bags since 2014 as well as food containers made of polystyrene in Rodrigues since 2018.
Those measures combined with stunning views have contributed to making Rodrigues a popular destination for hiking and trail running. With the help of professional guides, hikers will visit the most beautiful places on the island.
The immersion with the local residents adds value to this activity which can also be done as an amateur for a less demanding hike. Caving is another popular activity on the smallest island of Mascarene. Among the best known caves are the 'Caverne Patate' and the François Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve.
A wide variety of water activities
Surrounded by a 220km square lagoon that is twice the size of Rodrigues, the island is an ideal playground for water activities. On the menu are snorkelling, diving, kitesurfing and traditional fishing, all activities that are practised with great respect for nature. With an ideal temperature all year round, the turquoise waters of the lagoon act as a natural spa with these benefits.
Snorkel in this natural aquarium and enjoy a colourful display of fish and corals of all kinds. Dive deeper to explore the dazzling and rich marine flora and fauna. The diving spots well preserved and are protected from excessive tourism and fishing activities. Divers will be delighted by this underwater world, home to more than 280 species of corals and a dizzying array of marine life; among the animals regularly seen are graceful fish or charming turtles.
Anglers will enjoy fishing in the lagoon as well as in open water. Locals can arrange excursions using traditional angling techniques. Another event is the traditional net fishing that lasts from March to September and is marked by a party that attracts more and more tourists throughout the year. The festivities begin in anticipation of the first big catch of the year.
Boat excursion is one of the popular activities organized around the island. This includes a fishing trip on a traditional boat on the southern islets of Ile aux Chats ending with a barbecue of your catch.