Who would have thought that it's possible to find a paradise right next to the other?
This is possible and what happened to me in the middle of the Indian Ocean!
After a long flight in Air Mauritius' Business class, I finally made it to the island of Mauritius. But that's not where the journey ended, as I hopped onto the next flight, which took me even further into the Indian Ocean.
When looking on a map, you should be able to find Mauritius quite quickly, but take a look a bit further East. Yes, towards the right, not towards Africa...
You don't see anything? Zoom in... There is that tiny island, which is called Rodrigues Island.
If you were to take a ship from Mauritius, this journey would take you around 38 hours, therefore I would recommend that you choose an Air Mauritius flight, which makes the trip to Rodrigues Island in just over an hour.
Mauritius is a paradise!
So you probably wonder why you should take another flight even further. It's actually not that easy to answer, as Rodrigues Island's beauty does not stand out that clearly, though there are quite a few good reasons to visit it.
It's an island for nature lovers, though it doesn't provide a wild jungle. It's an island for hikers, though the hiking trails are limited. It's clearly an island for kite-surfers, as the island is surrounded by a huge lagoon. At some point it seems that this lagoon is never-ending. If you are into kite-surfing, then I'm sure that you have already heard of Rodrigues Island. It's well known in the scene, not only because of its international competition, which is held yearly at the end of June.
Rodrigues Island is THE place to go to have a digital detox! How often have you checked your mobile in the last 24 hours? Doesn't it drive you nuts from time to time? Sure it's super awesome to have and it makes our life much easier, but if you feel like having a break from it, from time to time, then Rodrigues Island is the spot for you. Internet is available, but it's slow. Even if you keep looking at your phone, it won't take long to stop doing that on Rodrigues Island.
Instead you will lift your head and see the beauty around you!
The island is so tiny, that you will always see the sea somewhere. On the East coast you'll find beaches that are some of the nicest ones you will be able to find in the world.
Not to forget the locals. They have that Island spirit and life takes place at a very different speed. No rush and easy going. Don't even try to keep a fast pace. Relax and instead connect with them. The locals make the island special and for that what it is, is a paradise.
If you are looking for huge resorts, entertainment, lifestyle, or shopping trips... Head elsewhere!
Though that does not mean that you have to miss out on a specific standard of living. The food you get served here is fabulous. Depending on where you go, the cuisine might be simple, but the quality of it is really good. Most of the food on the island is organic and you can taste the freshness.
You'll be able to find several guesthouses and B&B's on Rodrigues Island. I stayed at the Cotton Bay Hotel, which is probably the biggest accommodation on the island and has 200 rooms. The hotel is positioned on the North East of the island at a beautiful bay, which invites visitors for beach walks, especially at sunrise. In the evening the hotel offers live music, so you might want to ask for a room a bit further away of the pool. Like I said, the reason for visiting Rodrigues Island is the nature and not it's hotel's nightlife. The rooms all face the sea and it's simply awesome to sit on your terrace and listen to the waves, which roll against the riff.
Another accommodation I can recommend is the Bakwa Lodge, which you'll find in Port Sud-Est. There are only a few bungalows/apartments, which are a few meters above the beach (with direct access). All of them are very warmly decorated and face the sea, though a few have another bungalow in front of it. The best one was also the biggest one, the family bungalow, which is situated in the front and has 2 bed rooms for the parents and an extra room beneath the ceiling for four kids. So it's the perfect place to stay with some friends. To top all that was the food. There is a little, cozy restaurant-lounge, with a view towards the sea. Bakwa Lodge is definitely the place to hang loose for a while and enjoy the island!
And if you are looking for an even higher standard, then there is no way around the Tekoma hotel. There are 14 bungalows total and they all have a good amount of distance between them. The 15th bungalow has a little spa. The whole place is sustainable. The water comes out of their own desalination plant and the electricity comes mainly from solar panels. It's only a few meters down to the beach, where you find several cozy spots to chill. The main building hosts the restaurant. It's stylish and combines a modern design with the island's rough and natural touch. And we need to again talk about the food... it's simply awesome! The chef comes from Rodrigues Island, but has worldwide experience, despite his young age. So when he had the chance to go back home, he used this chance and now combines his international experience with the island's cuisine. Even if you aren't able to stay here, at least treat yourself to a special dinner.
But Rodrigues Island is not really about its accommodations... it's about the island experience!
Get to a lookout, take out your phone and find the spot you are standing on your map. Then zoom out, turn your head and look around! Enjoy being somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Then turn off your phone, slow down and start enjoying the island life!
Travel tip shared by Melvin for Travel Dudes.