Rodrigues Island is one of the most unusual places, where the crowd is nowhere to be found! Even when the kiters of the neighbouring islands visit to kiteboard in its lagoon, it never seems overwhelming. If you are looking for an exotic place with pristine kiteboarding, this is the place to visit! Rodrigues is wild in comparison to Mauritius island (which is also gorgeous by the way) The people are simple and humble, and when you arrive on the island, you will be greeted with big smiles.
During our last trip, our host forgot to arrange a car to pick us up from the airport, and we had to rely on the goodwill of the people to help us out. Everyone knows everyone around the area, and within 5 minutes, the message had been passed on, and our driver arrived.
We were stunned when we arrived. The edge of the island blends by different shades of blue, and we couldn't imagine that this would be our playground! We could see the Indian ocean from every spot you are on the island. There are many hills on the inside so that you can have some lovely walk around, with a genuine market place in Port Maturin.
The temperature never goes below 20°c, even in winter, and fluctuates between 30-35°c in summer. Rainbows are frequently seen due to heavy rainfall during winter.
Alize winds are present from June to October, and you'll get between 22 - 28 knots at this period. During the other half of the year, you'll often get between 16 - 22 knots. I've been visiting Rodrigues for years, and I'm usually on my 9m. The water temperature varies from 24 to 28°c depending on seasons, and the climate tends to be hot and humid. You'll never need anything more than a 3/2mm wetsuit (if any at all)
The treasure of this island remains the lagoon! You can visit it by boat to discover the little islands inside the lagoon: Cat Island, Catherine Island; This lagoon is one of the biggest in the Indian Ocean. The lagoon is a great place to go snorkelling and see magical multi-coloured fishes.
If you want to drive across the island, budgets for transportation are 30€/day for a renting car, 17€ for renting a scooter and less than 1 euro the trip by bus.
As the quality of life, food, in general, is very healthy and almost none of the vegetables or fruits are imported. Many local productions of fresh vegetable and fruits are found on the island. Mango, litchi, papaya, guava, tamarind, tomato heart, avocado, jamrosa, red coconut… they've got it all!
If you like seafood, you're in for a treat! I strongly recommend tasting their local dish “Ourite”. (Dried out octopus) This dish is often accompanied with green papaya salad, without forgetting the Rodrigues pie.
Chicken are grown freely on the island; you'll see them walking around!
The local’s drinks are Tamarind juice (Alouda), grenadine-flavoured milk, thickened with local tapioca. The tea is good; it's heavy and often vanilla. It is produced mainly in Bois Chéri, south of the island.
As for alcohol: Beers (Phoenix, from Mauritius) is tasty, several rums are distilled on the island (The vanilla rum from the Domaine de Saint-Aubin (Mauritius) is the best)
Rodrigues people are very social and easy going and will not hesitate to offer you a beer at the local bar, and numerous parties are happening during the international kite festival. As it is a small island with few tourists, don’t expect to find places with a massive party made for tourists. There is no night club around the kite spot, but you don’t need them, as you can count on local people to have real fun.
Kiteboarding is indeed one of the major activities on the island, but there are loads of other things to do as well! Paddleboarding, snorkelling, fishing, scuba diving, or lay on the beach with a fresh cocktail (Make sure you visit Cat Island)
There are many places with great views, so hiking should be on your list if you are want to do something different. Also, make sure you check out Tyrolienne (One of the most impressive I have ever done!) The expert team will guide you from one valley to the other on the Zip-line: it's incredible!
Near the airport, you can visit Francois Leguat Park; The Turtle Park with the two caves and the Cave Reserve or rent a car en across the island for the day. Take a picnic to eat in the middle of nowhere or go to the sea the sunset on the Limon Hill (393m). It only takes a few minutes to climb to the top, and it's the best vantage point on Rodrigues.
You won't run out of things to do - guaranteed!
Even though it's a wild island, you're able to get some work done (if you need to!) and upload a few photos. The Internet is available and free on most of the accommodations.
Compared to many places, accommodation is very cheap in Rodrigues. The owners are all amiable and will make you enjoy your stay. The prices can vary/from 30€ to 225€ including half board, depending on standing you are searching for.
Families very well maintain many lodges at excellent prices (around 30€). I recommend it!
Here are a few accommodations recommendations for you to check out:
Most are extremely well located (50 meters from the spot) overlooking the sea.
For all those who prefer a hotel standard, we advise you to book at Mourouk Ebony. This hotel has a bird's eye view of the kite spot, just down a flight of stairs to inflate your kite. Room prices including half board are over 100€/night.
All accommodations have free wifi at the reception.
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Mauritian rupee (MUR)
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Mourouk is the most popular kite spot in the area. The lagoon is spacious, and there is loads of room to practice jumps or your latest tricks. Keep an eye out for the small fishing boats.
At high tide, it can get a little choppy, but in general, it is relatively flat, without any shorebreaks.
Gravier is the waviest spot you'll find in the area. They are not the biggest waves, but you can still score a pretty good session!
If you haven't guessed by the name - this island s populated by cats! This downwind is quite fast (about 45 minutes). We usually start at Mourouk beach and have a boat following us (with a barbecue, food and drinks!)
Similar to the Cat Island trip, the downwinder to Catherine Island is slightly longer (approximately 2 hours), but there is also a boat following you for safety as well as carrying all the supplies for a barbeque. Once you arrive at Catherine Island, there is a massive sandbank to ride at.
This little island is located close to Catherine Island. At the eastern barrier reef, during high tide, you will find the most famous waves at the Jimmy Passe. You can go there by boat after the one hour of crossing from Baie du Nord or Port Mathurin. Passe Jimmy has a right and a left, the left being longer and the right, which tends to be abrupt and hollower.
The windy months to go kitesurfing in Rodrigues Island are June, July, August, September, October