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Mauritius Travel Tips

Climate

Mauritius has a tropical maritime climate, with relatively little seasonal variation in temperatures, and generally pleasant and sunny on the coast year round. Winter, from May to October is warm and dry. Summer from November to April is hot, humid and rainy. Cyclones occur between January and March. Sea breezes blow all year, especially on the east coast, and the inland central plateau around Curepipe is cooler and rainy year round. Tropical lightweights, with warmer wear for evenings and winter months. Rainwear advisable all year round. In the summer months, sun–care products and a hat are advisable and long sleeves and trousers to help prevent insect bites.

Languages

The official languages are English and French (with French being the most dominant), the most commonly used are Creole (pidgin French with other languages added to the mix), Hindi and Bhojpuri. Urdu and Chinese are also spoken.

Currency details

Mauritian Rupee (MUR; symbol Rp) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of Rp2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 25. Coins are in denominations of Rp10, 5 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, and 5 cents. Currency Exchange is available in banks and at bureaux de change. A better rate of exchange can be obtained on traveller´s cheques than on cash. Mauritius Commercial Bank is reputed to have the quickest service. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted by most banks, hotels, restaurants and tourist shops followed by American Express and Diners Club. ATMs are widespread.

Social Conventions

Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. Visitors should respect the traditions of their hosts, particularly when visiting a private house. The type of hospitality the visitor receives is determined by the religion and social customs of the host, which are closely related. It is appropriate to give a gift as a small token of appreciation if invited for a meal. Dress is normally informal although men will need to wear a suit for particularly formal occasions.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. UK–type three–pin plugs are commonly used in hotels.

Security Tips

Most visits to Mauritius are trouble–free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. Drug trafficking carries severe penalties.

Tipping customs

10% is usual in most hotels and restaurants.

Health Precautions

Public medical facilities are numerous and of a high standard and there are several inexpensive private clinics, mostly staffed by doctors educated in the west. There is no reciprocal health agreement with the UK; foreign visitors have to pay at state–run clinics and hospitals. Emergency evacuation health insurance is advised for those at serious risk.

Tourism Attractions

The small volcanic island of Mauritius is situated in the warm Indian Ocean, surrounded by magnificent coral reefs and an abundance of exotic sea life. It´s a most exotic island, with lush subtropical forests, over 80 different types of palm trees and craters and basalt rocks littering its interior. Its historic capital, Port Louis, still retains much of its charm, with many interesting landmarks and a bustling marketplace selling every exotic spice imaginable and a variety of leather goods, gifts and souvenirs.

Getting around

Bus and taxi services are best used in urban areas. Bicycles and motorbikes are also available for hire.

Visa Requirements

Visa required, except for:

  1. holders of British Passports endorsed "British Citizen" or "British Dependent Territories Citizen",
  2. Nationals of: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany Utd, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland (Rep.), Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Papua, New Guinea, Portugal, Qatar, Samoa (Western), San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore,
  3. Solomon isl, South Africa, Spain, St. Christopher, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, U.S.A., Vanuatu, Vatican City, Zambia, Zimbabwe.