25+ Interesting Facts About Dominica

  1. Dominica is an island country in the Lesser Antilles, an arc of tiny islands on the Caribbean Sea. Its nearest islands are two French overseas departments (Guadeloupe and Martinique).
  2. Dominica is known as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean” due to its variety of plantsanimals, and other natural features. Nearly 60% of Dominica’s land is forested, making it the most heavily forested country in Lesser Antilles.
  3. Dominica contains some less-known endemic and endangered birds and other animals. Some unique animals on this island are two parrot species (sisserou and red-necked parrots), blue-headed hummingbirds, Lesser Antillean iguanas, and a frog (mountain chicken).
  4. The mountain chicken, one of the largest frogs in the world, tastes like a chicken and was once considered the national dish of Dominica. It is present only in Dominica and Montserrat (a British overseas territory to its north). Due to an infectious disease, the wild population is now limited to Dominica. Previously, the number of hunted frogs in Dominica was 36,000 annually, but a microscopic fungus has reduced its population to 90% since 2002. According to estimates, the current number of wild frogs in Dominica is around 30. However, they have developed resistance to the deadly disease. (Source)
  5. Dominica is one of the two countries, alongside Nicaragua, having the color purple on national flags. The flag features a sisserou parrot, the national bird, with a purple crown and the underside. This parrot is also present on the coat of arms and the public seal of Dominica.
  6. Dominica is one of the few places where sperm whales swim throughout the year. In 2023, the government announced the creation of the world’s first sperm whale reserve to protect this endangered marine mammal. (Source)
  7. Dominica is the youngest island in the Caribbean due to its formation 26 million years ago. The terrain mainly consists of rugged mountains with several active volcanoes. The country contains five of 16 volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles, the highest on any regional island. Unlike white-sand beaches on several Caribbean islands, the color of sand on beaches of Dominica is usually black or golden due to volcanic activity.
  8. The peak of Mount Diablotins is the highest point (1,430 m) in Dominica. It is also the second-highest point in the Lesser Antilles after La Grande Soufriere in Guadeloupe (France).
  9. The only UNESCO World Heritage site in Dominica is Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The main point of this natural site is Morne Trois Pitons, a 1,342-m-high volcano. This national park, having an area of 7,000 ha, also contains five volcanoes, 50 fumaroles (volcanic openings), three freshwater lakes, a boiling lake, and hot springs. Its unique boiling lake is one of the largest of its kind and has a water temperature of about 95 C. (Source
    A lake at Morne Trois Pitons National Park
    A UNESCO site in Dominica contains several unique features

  10. Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica is the first long-distance hiking trail in the Caribbean, officially opened in 2013. The name of this 185 km-long trail, Waitukubali (tall is her body), was the original name of this island before the arrival of Europeans.
  11. The initial known settlers of Dominica were Arawak. Later, the Carib people from South America captured this island in the 14th Century and forced the Arawak to leave. The Carib were the settlers in Dominica when Christopher Columbus sighted this island in 1493. He named it Dominica (Sunday) after the day of its sighting.
  12. Dominica was the last Caribbean island colonized by Europeans due to stiff resistance from the local population. France initially colonized it in 1632 but later let it remain neutral with a large Carib population after a treaty with Britain. France ceded Dominica to Britain after the Treaty of Paris (1763). However, the British took complete possession in 1805 after the cessation of French raids.
  13. The British abolished slavery in Dominica in 1834. Small black merchants and holders took advantage of this situation and won a majority in the legislative assembly in 1838. Thus, it became the only British colony in the 19th Century to have a black-controlled legislature.
  14. Dominica got the status of self-government in internal affairs in 1967. After over a decade, it gained complete independence from Britain in 1978.
  15. Eugene Charles became the first female prime minister of Dominica and the Caribbean region in 1980. Despite devastating hurricanes and coup attempts, she retained this position until her retirement in 1995.
  16. In 1981, white supremacists from the USA and Canada plotted to overthrow the government of Dominica and use the island as a white ethnostate. Operation Red Dog got support from the former black prime minister of Dominica. However, their plot failed before the conspirators could reach the island country. (Source)
  17. The climate of Dominica is warm in summer and pleasantly cool in winter. The rainy season is from June to October. It is also the period when this Caribbean country faces hurricanes.
  18. Roosevelt Skerrit became prime minister of Dominica in 2004 at 31. He was the world’s youngest head of government at the time. His tenure continued till now, in 2024.
  19. Many scenes of the famous 2006 Hollywood movie; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; were shot in Dominica. It assisted in the growth of tourism in the country.
  20. Hurricane Maria in 2017 was the most destructive in Dominica, resulting in dozens of deaths and nearly 90% destroyed homes. Experts believe the forests destroyed by this hurricane can take decades to recover. (Source)
  21. Dominica is one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean due to its dependence on agriculture and its destruction by frequent hurricanes. The country has recently diversified its economy by focusing on tourism and offshore banking.
  22. Nearly 85% of Dominicans have African ethnicity, while the remaining include mixed, Kalinago, and Europeans. Colonists brought ancestors of the majority population as African slaves during the 18th Century.
  23. Dominica is the only island in the region with a population of local Indians (Kalinago) living before the arrival of Europeans. Most indigenous people reside in Kalinago Territory, located northeast of Dominica.
  24. The main languages in Dominica reflect its colonial past. English is the official language of the country, while a common spoken language is the French patois.
  25. Almost 80% of Dominicans follow Christianity, particularly Roman Catholicism. The remaining population is either non-religious or adherents of other religions.
  26. Dominica is among the eight Caribbean island countries that use Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) as their official currency. All these countries are members of OECS (Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States).

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