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Rodrigues: a piece of paradise in the Indian Ocean

Rodrigues Island is a small island in the Indian Ocean which is located about 560 km east of the island of Mauritius. The island belongs politically to the Republic of Mauritius and covers a little over 100 sq km. Rodrigues is part of the Mascarene Islands, together with Mauritius and Reunion it is one of the three main islands of the archipelago, and is the northernmost and most isolated. Rodrigues was discovered by Portuguese navigators in the early 16th century.

The island is inhabited by just over 40,000 inhabitants. Most of the inhabitants are Creoles of mixed African and French origin. The religion practiced is Catholic, while the spoken language is French Creole. Port Mathurin, located along the north coast, is the main inhabited center. The economy of the island is based on agriculture, pastoralism, fishing and crafts. An airport is in operation in the southwestern part of the island near the village of Plaine Corail (Sir Gaëtan Duval Airport), the airport has flights to Mauritius (one and a half hours of flight) and to Reunion.

THE GEOGRAPHY OF RODRIGUES

The island has a rugged volcanic territory and is surrounded by the coral reef. The interior of the island is formed by low hills, its highest mountain is Mont Limon which reaches 398 meters in height and is located in the center of the island. The mountainous reliefs of the island are organized around a central ridge from which steep ravines radiate. The southwestern part of the island is dominated by a karst plain formed by coral sandstones. In this area there are numerous caves, including the Caverne Patate, the Caverne Tamarin and the Grande Caverne.

Wild and unspoiled Rodrigues is surrounded by a beautiful lagoon. The coasts of Rodrigues are also dotted with some small islands. Tourism is underdeveloped, but the island is one of the underwater paradises of the Indian Ocean. In the waters of its lagoon, turtles, jackets, lobsters, sharks and reef fish meet. The beaches are located along the east coast of the island and in the sandy islands of the lagoon.

In the western part of the island there is the François Leguat reserve where attempts are made to restore the original Rodrigues ecosystem, here the giant turtles that once populated the island have been reintroduced. In the reserve there are also some caves with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, including the famous Grande Caverne, the Bambara Caverne and the Caverne de la Vierge.

Official page of the Ministry for Rodrigues.

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