Sisserou is the original Carib/Kalinago name for this, the largest of the Amazona parrots. It is endemic to Dominica, beingfound nowhere else in the world. It is the ancient remnant of a species of parrot oncefound in South America that came to Dominica thousands of years ago. Locked into its island habitat, it remained the same while the original species on mainland South America changed by natural selection. It is therefore a perfect example of Charles Darwin’s findings on the evolution ofspecies. Dominica is the only island in the Lesser Antilles that still has two surviving Amazona parrots, the Sisserou and the Jacko or Red Necked Parrot (Amazona aurasiaca). The indigenous people tamed some of these birds and their feathers were also used todecorate their bodies. The Sisserou, particularly, became a prize collector’s item during the 19th century when naturalists came to shoot samples for their collections. The carcasses of many long dead Sisserous lie in drawers in museums in Europe and North America. For much of the 20th century the Sisserou was threatened by hunting and loss of habitat due to the forests being cleared for agriculture. But since being declared the national bird, protective legislation and educational programmes have been initiated to ensure its survival. Its image appears on the flag and the coat of arms and national postage stamps. The Dominica State College has it on its crest. More popularly it has given its name to a wide range of products as well as being adopted by a singing group and a former hotel. It appears on T-shirts and a wide range of tourist souvenirs. In January 2000 a national park was established around the highest mountain, Morne Diablotin. The Morne Diablotin National Park protects watersheds and thousands of species of plants and animals, but perhaps, most particularly, it protects the main habitat of the national bird.
|Dominica Roadmap & Guide
Our Skyview Guides provide the island visitor with a detailed, pocket sized holiday/vacation guide and road map. On your arrival to the Island, through your hire car company or accommodation provider please ask for your complimentary copy. The guides can also be bought online through our store. Use our map tools in the menu directly above to actually explore the Island in much more detail; start with our Map Viewer.
When in Dominica, one normally gets around in a hire car or taxi; see our Transport options in our Getting About Page.
We have visited many resorts, hotels and small inns to provide you with a full resource to help you create an individual holiday. Please do not be afraid to contact proprietors directly or through the links to their own web pages. We are sure that through your own exploration you will find the perfect place to get away from the stress of day to day living.
Shopping & Services
There are some excellent buys to be found among local handicrafts including hats, bags and rugs made from vetiver grass joined with wild banana strands. The Carib Reserve Crafts Centre produces bags made from two layers of reeds that are buried in the ground to achieve a three-color effect and covered with a layer of broad banana-type leaf to make them waterproof. See ourshopping guide.
Activities – What’s There To Do?
All Caribbean islands have something unique about them that the traveller should be aware of before leaving home, our Useful Information page gives an insight into this information.
|How to get Here
There are many options to getting to and from Dominica. Visit our How to get Here pages for the options and use our Travelocity© Partner link to book your flight!
We have compiled a short synopsis of the History of Dominica on our History Page.
Dominica has Luxuriant natural tropical forest blends with scenic volcanic features of great scientific interest in this national park centred on the 1,342-m-high volcano known as Morne Trois Pitons. With its precipitous slopes and deeply incised valleys, 50 fumaroles, hot springs, three freshwater lakes, a ‘boiling lake’ and five volcanoes, located on the park’s nearly 7,000 ha. On top of that Dominica is home to many cetaceans. Most notably a group of sperm whales live in this area year round. Other cetaceans commonly seen in the area include spinner dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. It’s got much more to offer, so please visit our sightseeing page where we have compiled information on places of interest to help you explore opportunities before you get to the Island.
Dining & Entertainment
When you’ve had enough of the beach, or you have strecthed yourself to the limit with the multitude of activities in Dominica, then what better than food and some nightlife? Check out our Dining & Entertainment Pages.
Calendar of Events
Dominica has a lively calendar of events, full of all sorts of activities beginning with Carnival in January-February, HikeFest in May, DiveFest in July and the renowned World Creole Music Festival in October – November, among many others. Whenever your time of travel you will find the spirit of Dominica and its people an experience you will never forget!
Recommended Links & Further Reading
Visit our Recommended Links page for further country specific on-line information. Also, we come accross publications from time to time that may be of benefit for further reading, when available these publications are available through Amazon on the links below.