Dominica Stories and Tips

Geography, Flora, and Fauna

Red Banded Shrimp Photo, Dominica, Caribbean

General: Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is an independent state within the British Commonwealth, 16 miles wide by 29 miles long. There are three main cities: Marigot in the NE where the main airport is located, Portsmouth in the NW, and Roseau in the SW close to the secondary airport. The main cities, as well as the others, are all located near the shore as the terrain inland is quite rugged with 4 mountains over 4000 feet, boiling sulfur lakes and 12 waterfalls. After all, Dominica sits on a volcanic arc of the Lesser Antilles.

Geography: The Island has the dubious distinction of being one of the wettest in the Caribbean. Rainforests steep terrain, narrow rivers, volcanic activity all make for a truly unique island. So much diversity is usually found in much more vast areas than an island. And as far back as 1952, people began protecting this natural wonder, beginning with the first forest reserve, to the first National Park and on to expanding the Forestry Division.

Fauna: Wildlife includes over 150 species of birds including the Sisserou Parrot, Dominica’s endangered national bird. Tours are offered specifically for the bird enthusiasts. Personally I’m a fan of hummingbirds like the Purple Throated and Antillean Crested found here. There are several types of bats, but only one variety of snake and it isn’t even a poisonous one. On the other hand, a boa doesn’t make me feel warm and cozy. Other creatures include opossums, frogs and agoutis. There are no bears, deer or crocodiles. The fact that there is good whale watching here is becoming known.

Flora: Banana plantations are so beautiful tours often include them. Higher altitudes in the rainforest provide the perfect setting for a variety heleconias including bird of paradise, antherium, tiger claw and gingers as well as begonias and orchids. Fruits include oranges, grapefruit, avocado, mangos, guavas and more. And let us not forget the lush foliage of Australian tree ferns, ground ferns, gommiers, elephant ears, and a variety of vines.

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