Mauritius Travel Guide

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Mauritius

To put it simply, Mauritius is paradise!  The island is draped in palm trees, white sands, waterfalls, streams and lush forests.  This country is the perfect holiday destination with numerous modern resorts dotted along its coastline all of which were designed to enhance the island’s ecology and beauty.  This is surely the closest place to heaven!

Where is Mauritius? History of Mauritius
Mauritius Visa Requirements Mauritius-Travel-Health
What is Mauritius Local Currency? What is Mauritius Weather?
Culture of Mauritius What Languages Are Spoken In Mauritius?
Mauritius Transport Options Mauritius Travel Tips
Mauritius Local Food Mauritius Local Timezones
Mauritius Dutyfree Limits

Where is Mauritius?

The small, multicultural island of Mauritius is located east of Madagascar and southeast of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius also governs the islands of Agalega, Cargados, Carajos and Rodrigues.

History of Mauritius

Mauritius Flag

Discovered in 1505 by the Portuguese, the island has been occupied by the French, Chinese, African, Dutch and British and all have contributed to the islands vibrant culture and history.

The capital city is Port Louis located on the West Coast of Mauritius and this is where most tourist activity occurs. however most of the country’s population resides on the central plateaux around Curepipe.  The people of Mauritius are friendly, warm and welcoming and the island not only has glorious beaches and lagoons, it also offers wonderful food, entertainment, historic sights and cultural diversity.  Here you will experience extravagance and luxury you won’t soon forget and you’ll see why they say it’s paradise on earth!

Mauritius Visa Requirements

For entry into Mauritius you must have a valid passport, a return or onward ticket, accommodation details and adequate funds for intended length of stay in the country. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry. If a traveler is sponsored by a citizen of Mauritius then they must show a supporting letter of the sponsor displaying name, address and relationship. 

On arrival in Mauritius visas will be granted for stays of up to three months except citizens of Bulgaria and Romania who may obtain a two-week visa on arrival. Citizens of most countries do not require a visa in advance. The airport departure tax and tourist entry tax are all included in the price of a plane ticket. Travelers arriving from yellow fever-infected areas may be required to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Mauritius Travel Health

Recommended vaccinations for travel to Mauritius include Hepatitis A, Tetanus and sometimes Diphtheria and Typhoid depending on the region being visited. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers arriving from infected areas who are over one year of age.

There are many public medical facilities in Mauritius and they are all of a high standard. There are also several inexpensive private clinics available on the island. There is a decompression chamber located at the Victoria Hospital in Quatre Brones. 

An HIV test is required for all travelers who wish to apply for a permanent residence or a working visa. From December to June meningococcal meningitis is a possible risk. Dengue fever, chikungunya virus, dysentery, malaria, typhoid and hepatitis B have been reported on Mauritius. Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly advised for all travel to Mauritius. 

All water used for drinking should be boiled or sterilized and vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. Bottled water is widely available throughout the island. 

Crime levels are generally low on Mauritius however petty crime is common. Always remain alert, use common sense and keep valuables hidden especially in busy tourist areas. Avoid traveling alone at night. Avoid using unlicensed taxis as there have been reports of people being robbed and attacked while using these vehicles. The threat from terrorism is fairly low however all travelers should be aware of the global risk of terrorist attacks especially in popular tourist destinations. 

The possibility of cyclones affecting Mauritius is highest during the months of December through to the end of March.

The emergency number for Mauritius is 999

What is Mauritius Local Currency?

The official currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (Rp). Notes are in denominations of Rp2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 25 and coins are in denominations of Rp10, 5 and 1.

Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards by hotels, restaurants, shops and banks. American Express and Diners Club are also accepted by some places. ATM’s are readily available throughout the island and travelers cheques may be exchanged at authorized dealers, banks and some hotels. Outside the main tourist areas most small businesses only accept cash. Currency exchange is available at bureaux de change, some larger hotels and banks.

Banking hours are: Mon-Thurs 0915-1515, Fri 0915-1530, Sat 0915-1115. 

No restrictions exist on the import or export of foreign currency however it must be declared on arrival. 15% VAT is subject to most items except for unprepared food. High end hotels can sometimes add a 10-15% service charge.

What is Mauritius’s Weather?

Mauritius offers a beautiful tropical climate all year round with the summer months of November to May experiencing high temperatures and humidity and and the winters months of May to November typically experiencing slightly cooler temperatures. On the coast temperatures range from 25°C and 33°C in summer and 18°C and 24°C in winter. The central plateau is usually 5°C cooler. Because of its tropical location the possibility of cyclones affecting Mauritius is highest during the months of December through to the end of March.

The perfect time to visit Mauritius is May to early December. The sun generally shines all year round and the sea is a perfect temperature for swimming. Light weight clothing is recommended for travel to Mauritius.

Culture of Mauritius

The people of Mauritius are incredibly friendly, warm and very welcoming. It is a multicultural society where its people co-exist in peace and harmony. 

Tipping in Mauritius is up to the individual however it is common to tip 10% in most restaurants and hotels. A government tax is included in the price to all hotel and restaurant bills. A 12% tax is also added to all incidental hotel expenses. It is common practice to tip taxi drivers.

There are several different religions that are followed in Mauritius with 48% Hindu, 32% Christian, 17% Muslim, 2% Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism, 1% other.

Visitors to Mauritius should be aware and respectful of the religion and social customs of the people and area they are visiting. Handshaking is the typical form of greeting and dress is usually informal unless at special formal occasions. It is usual to give a gift showing your appreciation if invited for a meal.

What Languages Are Spoken In Mauritius?

The official language on the island is English however French and local dialects are more widely used. Other languages spoken are Hindi, Urdu, Creole and Chinese. 

The international access code for the island of Mauritius is 230. Mobile coverage is excellent throughout the island and internet cafes are readily available. Wireless internet access is offered at most hotels. 

Airmail to Western Europe generally takes approximately seven days and by sea it usually takes four to six weeks.

Post office hours are: Mon-Fri 0815-1115 and 1200-1600, Sat 0815-1145.

Mauritius Transport Options

The international airport in Mauritius is Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU). Air Mauritius operates daily flights connecting Mauritius to Rodrigues as well as Air Mauritius Helicopter operates transfers and sightseeing tours for travelers. 

The island has a good network of paved roads and one main highway runs from the north to the south. Sometimes roads may be quite narrow. Traffic drives on the left. 

There are many car hire companies for tourists to chose from as well as bicycle and motorbike hire. To hire a car drivers must be over 23 years of age and a foreign license is generally accepted. Seat belts are compulsory. Efficient and reliable bus and taxi services are also available throughout the island.

Mauritius Travel Tips

It is very important to be aware of local laws and penalties when traveling through Mauritius. Penalties for drug offenses are severe and may incur prison sentences. Some pharmaceutical drugs are illegal; it is illegal to import or possess cigarette papers; counterfeited or pirated goods are illegal; homosexuality is illegal; and in Mauritius the act of sodomy is illegal. 

Mauritius is quite conservative in its dress and behavior so visitors should be careful not to cause any offense particularly in rural areas and religious places.

Mauritius Local Food

Mauritius offers an array of wonderful local and imported food. Cuisines include English, Indian, Creole, French, Chinese, African and many more. Most dishes generally have an extensive yet subtle use of spices such as saffron, cardamom, cloves and many different herbs. You will also have a large selection of Moorish gâteaux’s similar to the ones found in France as well as some wonderful Indian sweets. Mauritius also is proud to claim their local beer, Phoenix, to be one of the best in the world and as an added bonus it is extremely cheap. Be careful purchasing drinks in the hotels as they are usually very expensive. You would be better off purchasing drinks in supermarkets or shops as they are much cheaper. 

Specialities include: Venison; Camarons (freshwater prawns); Octopus; Dholl purri (a pancake made from wheat encased with ground peas); Gateaux piments (chilli cakes).

Drinks include: Phoenix (the local beer); Rum; Coconut milk; Alouda (almond milk).

The drinking age in Mauritius is 18.

Mauritius Local Timezones

Mauritius Standard Time is 4 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 4).

Mauritius no longer operates on Daylight-Saving Time.


Electricity in Mauritius is 230 volts, 50Hz. 

Outlets in Mauritius generally accept 2 types of plug: square three-pin plugs and round two-pin plugs.

Mauritius Dutyfree Limits

The official currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (Rp). Notes are in denominations of Rp2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 25 and coins are in denominations of Rp10, 5 and 1.

Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards by hotels, restaurants, shops and banks. American Express and Diners Club are also accepted by some places. ATM’s are readily available throughout the island and travelers cheques may be exchanged at authorized dealers, banks and some hotels. Outside the main tourist areas most small businesses only accept cash. Currency exchange is available at bureaux de change, some larger hotels and banks.

Banking hours are: Mon-Thurs 0915-1515, Fri 0915-1530, Sat 0915-1115. 

No restrictions exist on the import or export of foreign currency however it must be declared on arrival. 15% VAT is subject to most items except for unprepared food. High end hotels can sometimes add a 10-15% service charge.

Mauritus/Seven Coloured Earths

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