Giant Tortoise Reserve
The Francois Leguat Tortoise and Cave reserve in Anse Quitor (on the wild southwest side), is just a few minutes from the airport and is the result of passion for the natural heritage of the island. Visiting this Reserve is like going back in time – with herds of giant tortoises grazing freely among the luxuriant endemic flora, you almost expect look up and see dinosaurs roaming amongst them!
Lucrative trade and over-exploitation led to the demise of the indigenous tortoises, as they were transported by thousands during multiple voyages between Rodrigues and Mauritius upon order of the British East India Company. With efforts of scientists working on a project to reintroduce species of tortoises from Aldabra and Madagascar, the reserve today boasts over 2,000 tortoises including 700 new-born babies. The nature reserve spans over 19 hectares, where so far more than 145,000 native and endemic shrubs and trees have been planted.
The Reserve is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and no reservations are required. There are guided tours every day at 9:30, 10:30, 12:00 and 14:30. For those who wish to stay for lunch there is an attractive outdoor restaurant serving local Rodriguan dishes and snacks. There is also a boutique and a museum to visit at your leisure.