Driving in Rodrigues Island
Below you find some facts, tips and advices for driving in Rodrigues Island
The driver must have a valid driving license for at least one year (minimum 21-23 years of age).
Foreigners with a driving license issued by a competent authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in Rodrigues. Be sure to check if your country’s driving license is sufficient for driving within the states of Mauritius or if you require an International Driver’s License along with your country’s national driving license.
Roads in Rodrigues
The road system in Rodrigues has greatly improved over the past years, with more parts of the island being accessible by road.
Rodrigues is a hilly island, with several valleys and canyons- so be prepared for steep ascents and descents, as well as winding roads with sharp bends. The rural lifestyle of Rodrigues also adds the factor of encountering livestock such as cows on the roads and dimly lit roads in the evening due to the lack of artificial lights and cars. Caution should be exercised as when driving in any environment.
Though most parts of the island can be reached by road, some parts may only be accessible through off-road tracks. Some hilly parts of the island may also be difficult to navigate while on a scooter. In such cases, pickup trucks and 4x4s are the preferred mode of transport.
Driving from the Airport
It is always a good idea to prearrange your transport before your arrival. You will often find the vehicle you have hired waiting for you in the parking lot of the airport, with the keys inside the vehicle (crime rate is very low in Rodrigues), unless specified otherwise.
The Airport located on the southwest tip of the island, is connected to all major roads on the island, so you shouldn’t have any issues driving to your place of accommodation.
Rodrigues is the smallest island of the Mascarene archipelago, being 18km long and 8km wide. It is possible to drive around the entire island in about 30 minutes. Most villages and landmarks can be reached within 10 to 20 minutes.
Rodrigues has a limited network of roads. With that, when planning your driving course, you should take into account factors such as the speed limitations, small roads and the rural countryside of the island.
Speed limitations in Rodrigues go up to 50 km/h. Make sure to follow the speed signs and be on the lookout for livestock, pedestrians and other driving hazards in the countryside.
Drive on the Left
Cars drive on the left hand side whilst priority is for vehicles coming from the right.
All roads signposts are of International standards.
Rush hours & Heavy Traffic
There are no rush hours or heavy traffic flows in Rodrigues, due to the low number of vehicles on the island.
Make sure not to drink and drive! Police have a zero tolerance approach towards drunken drivers. When driving, you are not allowed to have more than:
- 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.
- 67 milligrams of alcohol in 100 ml of urine.
- 23 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath.
Mobile Phone Whilst Driving
It is strictly illegal to use a hand held mobile phone when driving.
There are no road tolls in Mauritius.
Wearing seat belts is mandatory at any given time for all car passengers.
Fuel / Petrol
There are now 3 petrol stations in Rodrigues, an upgrade from only one station a couple of years ago. The petrol stations can be found at Mont Lubin, Port Mathurin and Fouche Corail.
Tips for Driving in Rodrigues
Rodrigues is a Small Island - The small size of Rodrigues as well as the lack of traffic makes it easy for tourists to navigate the island from one end to another. There are no coastal roads, which encircle the island - so you would need to keep returning to the centre of the island to make it from one point to another.
Narrow roads - Most of the roads are small and narrow in Rodrigues, so you might find yourself squeezing past oncoming vehicles (or people) from time to time. You may find that some parts of the island are only accessible through off-road tracks, where a pickup truck or 4x4 may come in handy instead of a scooter.
Road Map - Try to keep a map handy when driving in Rodrigues. Though the island is small, you may find yourself sometimes lost or taking a wrong turn if you missed the sign. With that, when deciding to go off the main roads you will find very little direction and can easily get lost. This is why a decent road map can be very helpful too.
Friendly people happy to assist and show the way - If you find yourself lost, just ask the locals for directions. Even if you’re off-road and cannot find anyone nearby, simply drive for a few minutes and you are sure to reach a small village or passer-by.