François Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve is a place where you can have the unique experience of discovering what Rodrigues was like 300 years ago, before the island was colonised.
Since then, all of the native forest of Rodrigues has disappeared and many species of plants and animals have become extinct while many others are still threatened, making Rodrigues one most environmentally devastated ecosystems in the world. This 20-hectare nature reserve, which until recently was almost entirely over-run with introduced plants, is an ongoing conservation project, working on re-wilding the lowland savanah of this area; planting shrubs and trees that once grew here and reintroducing key animal species to recreate the lost links between flora and fauna that make up this unique ecosystem.
A whole ecosystem is being recreated
As you follow the 2km-long through the reserve, surrounded by the emerging forest and some very rare plants, you will be able to imagine yourself back in time, with the luxuriant greenery a stark contrast to the rest of the island, a reminder of man's destructive impact on his environment. you can stroll amongst giant tortoises, which were once present in large numbers, see the rare Rodrigues fruit bat and take a guided tour of the magnificent caves, unique to this area of the island.
Extending below the surface of the reserve is a network of eleven caves, the largest of which, at 500m in length, is called Grande Caverne and is open to visitors. Follow specially designed walkways on a guided tour of the cave, where you can see the beautifully illuminated stalactites and stalagmites, formed over thousands of years. Our informed and entertaining guides will ensure your enjoyment and safety during the tour. In the reserve, you will also be able to see inside Caverne de la Vierge.