Travel guide to Mauritius

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» Mauritius
Mauritius is a perfect destination if you want to combine a relaxing bathing holiday with beautiful natural scenery. The island has white sand beaches and blue lagoons encircled by colourful coral reefs, but even though it is cheap to stay on the island it has not yet been overwhelmed by tourists.

Facts

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Local name
Mauritius
Capital
Port Louis (146.499)
Size
1.860 km2
Principal Languages
English is the official language. Other languages include French, Creole, Hindi, Urdu, Hakka and Bojpoori.
Principal Religion
Hinduism
Inhabitants
1.179.368 (2000)
Government
Republic
Geography
Mauritius lies in the Indian Ocean about 800 kilometres east of Madagascar. The island Mauritius is a volcano island. The island Rodrigues 600 kilometres east of the main island also belong to the Mauritian State.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

There is no high or low season in Mauritius. During the winter months from July to September the temperature during the day is 25-28 degrees Celsius and between 15-20 degrees during the night. The warmest months are from January to April when the temperature during the day rises to 35-37 degrees Celsius. During these months tropical storms and heavy rain can occur. The rest of the year the climate is comfortable at around 30 degrees Celsius during the day.

Literature

The Mauritius Command Lonely Planet Mauritius, Reunion & Seychelles Insight Guides Mauritius and Seychelles

Local conditions

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Currency

Mauritian Rupie (R), 1R = 100 cents

Net cafes

If you look closely you will find Internet cafés in Mauritius. Most of them are just rooms without any special signposts and only a couple of computers. Most of the Internet cafés can be found in the towns.

In case of emergency

If you need help while staying at Mauritius you should dial the following number: Police, ambulance and fire department (999)

Tipping

Better restaurants and hotels have a service charge of 5-10 percent on top of the bill. When a restaurant or a hotel doesn't have a service charge you should give a tip. Porters in the airport should have a tip of around 5-10 R.

Timezone

When the time is 12.00 in the UK (summertime) it is 15.00 at Mauritius When the time is 12.00 in the UK (wintertime) it is 16.00 at Mauritius

Weight and Measures

At Mauritius you use the following weight and measurements: Temperature: Celsius Length: metres Weight: kilos Volume: litres

Photography

In some mosques you are not allowed to take pictures but they usually have signposts. In general, it is a good idea to ask the locals. You should avoid taking pictures in the airport and avoid taking pictures of police and military installations.

Drinking water

You must never drink tap water. Instead you should buy water in bottles.

Electricity

In Mauritius you use 220 volt AC/50 Hz

Behaviour

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Business Hours

Banks are open from 10.00 to 14.00 (Monday-Friday) and from 9.30 to 11.30 (Saturday) Shops are open from 8.00 to 16.00 (Monday to Friday) and from 8.00 to 12.00 (Saturday) Public Offices are open from 9.30 to 16.00 (Monday to Friday) and from 9.00 to 12.00 (Saturday)

Food and drink

The kitchen in Mauritius is a mixture of Creole, Chinese, Indian and European food. At a typical buffet in Mauritius you will find Muslim Biryani, Indian curried chicken-flesh, Chinese pork, French vegetables and barbecued Creole beef. Mauritian people mostly drink beer and rum, but the almond drink Alouda, or fresh coconut milk, are also popular.

Disabled travellers

Mauritius is not the best place to go for the disabled. The luxurious hotels often have lifts but apart from this do not expect that your needs have been taken into consideration.

Holidays

New Year, 1st of January Second Day of New Year 2nd of January Independence Day 12th March Labour's Day, 1st of May All Saint's Day 1st of November Christmas Day 25th of December Mauritius has a lot of religious holidays since there are many different religions on the island. The dates for the holidays change year for year. The local tourist information will provide you with a calendar that shows when there is a holiday coming up.

Accommodation / Hotel

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Hotels

There are good inexpensive hotels on the entire island. From June to September it is a good idea to book in advance.

Bed og breakfast or guesthouse

You will not find many Bed & Breakfasts at Mauritius but there are two in Guildford, which are both cheap and cosy.

Hostels

You will not find standard hostels at Mauritius. Instead you will find cosy and cheap boarding-houses in Curepipe and Mahébourg.

Other Accommodation

Bungalows and self-catering apartments can be found around Mauritius. The standard and prices vary a lot.

Local transport

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Planes

Mauritius has two airports. The main airport lies at Port Louis. From here there are daily departures to Rodrigues Island.

Bus

The entire island has good bus connections. It is cheap to take the bus, but remember to keep you ticket as inspectors often board the buses.

Trains

There are no railways in Mauritius.

Taxi

Taxis in Mauritius are recognised by their white number plates. The taxis have no taxi-meters, so you have to agree on a price beforehand. There are taxis in the city areas.

Car rental

You can rent a car at the airport and in the larger towns. In Mauritius there are the large companies, but also a considerable number of local car rentals. To rent a car you have to be over 23 years old and to have an international driver's license. In Mauritius the cars drive on the left hand side of the road, just like here in the UK.

Boat or Ferry

There is a ferry to Rodriguez Island once a week from Port Louis. if you want to spend a day on the sea most ports have boats to rent.

Find your travel arrangement to Mauritius here

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