Rodrigues, Mourouk Ebony Hotel

By Fiona McIntosh

ImageIf you want all the trappings of a tropical island without the crowds, head for Rodrigues. The small mountainous island sits in the middle of an aquamarine lagoon twice its size – a water sport and diving paradise. Rodrigues’ more famous bigger sister island, Mauritius, lies 560km to the south-west and getting there is easy. The two islands are linked by several daily flights on Air Mauritius.

Visiting Rodrigues is like being in a time warp and the island is somewhere close to what Mauritius was like 25 years ago before the tourist explosion. There are few obvious “tourist activities” and the island has severe water shortages which inhibit development, so don’t go expecting big, flashy resorts. If you are looking for an exclusive dive holiday, you’ll be pushed hard to find somewhere more comfortable and exotic than the Mourouk Ebony Hotel.

As you drive down the winding roads, the striking traditional red roofs of the small hotel are visible. It overlooks the picturesque little rocky outcrop of Île de Hermitage, so the views are magnificent. As you get closer, you will appreciate the beautiful terrace and local architecture – and spot the Bouba Diving Centre.

The hotel is close to some of the island’s most exciting scuba diving sites found along the impressive coral barrier reef, as well as in the large winding channel “La Grande Passe”.

The coral is prolific and, unlike much of that found in Mauritius, relatively unspoilt. The fish life is magnificent and big pelagics are often seen in the pass. We saw a few large shoals of jack, tuna, barracuda and several turtles there and at nearby Gouzoupa, one of more the popular snorkelling sites.

When you’re not diving, you can arrange to take surfing or kite-surfing lessons and hire equipment from the Osmosis Club on the beach. Bicycles are available or your can treat yourself to a fishing trip and go in search of tuna, marlin and shark thata are found prowling along the drop-off . And if that sounds too energy-draining, you can visit the spa and enjoy a Mauritian style pampering, wander along the empty beaches or go to the island’s quaint little market.

For more information

phone +230 832 3351, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Author: Fiona McIntosh