Cuisine, Tradition and Charm
« Learning how to fish zourite is an activity to be missed under no circumstances. The octopus of this warm sea will for sure fulfil your island cuisine desire! » - Emmanuelle, Islandian Expert
Travel in style to Rodrigues, a chic retreat that offers true repose. The rhythm of Rodriguan life is governed by pleasant hikes along the rocky cliffs, hours spent fishing for zourite, the local octopus, dips in the warm blue waters, the bustle of Port Mathurin on market day, the slow drives along roads that wind through rural grasslands, the vibrant culture and the local people’s zest for life. Rodrigues practices a certain localism by designing and fabricating crafts made from the straw of endemic trees and coconut shreddings: large straw hats, woven baskets… These make for some very cool gifts to take back (along with unforgettable memories of your trip.)
Bakwa Lodge encourages one to escape to a simpler, more relaxed way of life. To reach the eco-chic lodge on the southeast coast, one must drive along a small road that winds through rural grasslands where herds of cows and sheep are grazing. Nestled between the hills and Montagne Cherie, off a dirt path, is the lodge: Eight bungalows set in a large garden planted with Bakwa trees. The white wood was used to build in a style respectful of the local aesthetic and nature.
The suites are in fact separate bungalows with shutters then open onto wooden decks, from which you may watch the picturesque sunrise. The light and airy rooms epitomize understated luxury. Travelers may opt for a Lagoon Suite, Family Suite or the Villa, which accommodates up to eight people (it even has a kitchenette). There is no shortage of comfort at the Bakwa.
The restaurant-bar is a “kaz” painted white, with large glass window panes that offer exquisite views of the lagoon. The Chef cooks up fabulous homey meals deeply-rooted in the local Creole culture, using seasonal produce, fish caught by the local fishermen and tropical fruit. The table d’hôte style dining can be arranged to accommodate vegetarians. The friendly personnel is happy to prepare a picnic basket for you to take on a trek.
Bakwa Lodge is undoubtedly a chic nomadic travel retreat that offers respite from the bustle and a chance to discover the flora and fauna of Rodrigues, an earthly paradise.
- The rental of a vehicle – Nissan Navarra / HardBody Pick Up 2x4 or equivalent
- 3 nights at the Bakwa Lodge in Lagoon Suite and on half board basis
- Universe Excursion with Rodrigues Friendly
The price does not include:- Meals not mentioned as included.
An excursion with Rodrigues Friendly: the small local company plans curated cultural tours of the island. Visit Port Mathurin and its market (the vendors are half-hidden by dozens of jars of pickled limon, tiny green chilies, salted fish, dried octopus, and honey. Our favorite is the Rodriguan “tourte” - a pie with a tropical fruit filling, which you will learn to bake. Visit a typical Rodriguan village nestled in the woods and a local dwelling, and learn about the rhythm of Séga-tambour (séga music performed with drums), intrinsic to the local culture. You will be invited to plant a tree and understand the island’s hilly landscape. Visit the St Gabriel church, symbolic of the Creole Christian faith before having lunch at someone’s home.
Learn to fish zourite: During octopus fishing season, accompany Virginie (a piqueuse d’ourite) at low tide as she trudges through the warm waters, spear in hand, attentive to the slightest movement in the coral cavities. Learn to hunt ourite, octopus - a national delicacy - that is left to dry in the sun or prepared as a curry, vindaye or daube.
Honey-making: Visit the beehives at Miel Victoria and learn about how the honey is made. Honey is a staple food, with a flourishing industry that began in the nineties with a project that aimed to provide disabled persons with an income. Today Rodriguan honey is famed for its flavour and quality.
Cave exploration: The island has 830 hectares of limestone, the largest of the Mascarene Islands. The maze of underground tunnels and passages goes for 4 km. These caves (of which there are 30) with their odd shapes and cones make for an otherworldly landscape. You may explore the two that are open to the public, Caverne Patate and Grande Caverne.
Zip-lining: Soar among the white paille-en-queues (Tropicbird), the national bird, across three valleys. This is your chance to get a bird’s-eye view of the island’s splendid nature. The first zipline measures over 400 m meaning you are in for an adrenaline trip.
Kite-surfing: Rodrigues’ prime location in the Indian Ocean makes it the perfect spot for kitesurfing. The immense lagoon is a playground for adrenaline junkies while providing a safe place for beginners to learn.