Travel Tips to Keep in Mind Before Visiting Mauritius

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Travel Tips to Keep in Mind Before Visiting Mauritius

by Holxo Travel Specialist

MAURITIUS
TRAVEL TIPS

Mauritius, a part of the Mascarene Archipelago off the coast of Africa is renowned for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. It boasts of some of the most dazzling beaches like Trou Aux Biches and Belle Mare that make the island a haven for sun worshippers. But there is more to do on this island with 160 km of coastline than sunbathing and all that the island has to offer will surprise you.

Being surrounded by coral reefs, Mauritius forms the perfect playground for snorkelling. You can also indulge in diving from top spots like Rodrigues Island, Flic-en-Flac and Blue Bay. Inland Mauritius comprises impressive mountains, lush forests and Black River Gorge National Park which makes it a great spot to hike. Plus, the island is a melting pot of cultures with the population made up of Indian, Chinese, European and African descent which gives Mauritius a varied and rich history and an abundance of historical and cultural sites to visit. With so much to offer, good things come in small packages is a saying which aptly describes Mauritius- the small yet magnificent island.    

If your heart is set on visiting Mauritius, bookmark this page for travel tips for a Mauritius holiday before you let your hair down. 

Vital information:

  • Capital: Port Louis
Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis
Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis
  • Languages: The official language is English, but Creole and French are widely spoken.
  • Time: GMT+4 (no daylight saving)
  • Currency: Mauritian rupee (As of 25th September 2019, 1 Mauritian Rupee equals 1.95 Indian Rupee)
  • Visa: Visa on arrival for Indians. Passport must have a minimum of 6 months’ validity

Here are some in-depth travelling tips for Mauritius.

When to go to Mauritius

Being a tropical island, it’s blessed with warm tropical weather throughout the year. The high season is from November to April, and the peak months are December and January. April to October is the low season when it’s slightly cooler and the crowds are fewer.       

International airports

The international airport is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) and it’s 40 km from Port Louis, the capital and 6 km from Mahebourg. The flight time from India is anywhere 7 hours and upward. There is a domestic airport on the island of Rodrigues.

Visa

The tourist visa to Mauritius for Indians is available on arrival. One of the Mauritius travel tips to keep in mind is that your passport needs a validity of a minimum of six months from the date of departure. Once you arrive, you have to keep your passport and hotel booking handy. As a couple, you need to show a minimum of USD 600 or a credit card with a limit of minimum INR 75,000 to get approval. The tourist visa is valid for 60 days from the date of issue.

Wi-Fi and Sim card

Free Wi-Fi is available in most hotels and popular spots.

The most popular sim cards are Emtel and Matrix, which you can buy at the airport or local stores and recharge at local stores as well.  

Getting around Mauritius

One of the top Mauritius travel tips to keep in mind is that Google Maps isn’t completely optimized on the island. Unless you plan to stay in the hotel and its vicinity, a planned tour is the best way to take you in and around the island. Holxo Holidays’ Mauritius Package Tours have everything planned out for you from A to Z making your vacation hassle-free and enjoyable.

If you plan to drive around the island you can easily rent a car. Remember to stick to the left lane and avoid parking on the double yellow lines or you’ll get a ticket. Similarly, you can rent motorbikes too. Drivers must be over 23 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. You can cycle for short distances; for long distances, it’s better to stick to a bike or car. 

The public transportation system consists of buses that are comprehensive and frequent and cheap and budget-friendly. You can even hire taxis from reliable companies like Taxi Service Mauritius, Taxi Mauritius or TaxiCab Mauritius.

The roads typically get deserted and there are hardly any streetlights after 6 pm so it’s best to avoid travelling after dark.

Food and drinks in Mauritius

The Mauritian cuisine is brimming with aromas and flavours inherited from different periods from the country’s history. Mauritian cuisine takes inspiration from appreciated cuisines of the world like French, Chinese, Indian and African. This has resulted in mouth-watering Mauritian gastronomy. Whether it’s seafood, street food or traditional curry, food lovers from all over the world enjoy the food.

Typically, the cuisine is made up of roti/chapati called farata by the locals and rice which is eaten in combination with curries. Dal and fish and chips are common too. Spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and saffron and herbs such as curry leaves and basil are commonly used and give dishes that subtle yet powerful flavour.

The national beer is Phoenix and the national drink is rum.   

Money matters

Mauritius travel tips to keep in mind is to exchange a significant amount of money before you travel - it’s lucrative and handy. If you’re unable to  exchange in India, you can do the same at the international airport in Mauritius. Apart from the airport, you can get such transactions done at banks like Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC Bank, etc. The currency notes come in denominations of 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 and coins in 5, 20, and 50 cents. You can use debit and credit cards like MasterCard, American Express, and Visa. Plus, the US dollar is widely accepted and can be used throughout the island.           

Tipping

For tipping, it’s not mandatory and left to your discretion. If a service charge is levied on the bill, there’s no need to tip, of course, unless you find the service incredible. Certain restaurants and joints require tipping over and above service charges, where 5 to 10% works. It’s not expected to tip at basic eateries.

What to pack

Think light when you’re planning your packing list to Mauritius. Pack shorts, skirts, t-shirts, etc. It’s best to include cottons and exclude synthetics. A few warm clothes like a sweater for the evening when it gets cold. Swimwear is one of the first things you should pack along with sarongs, kaftans, sundresses and scarves. For footwear flip flops, flats and sandals work for a daily basis and shoes for trekking. Don’t forget to pack your favourite pair of sunglasses and your camera to capture the gorgeous landscapes. For the hot weather it’s best to stock up on sunblock and lather on loads before you step outside. Mosquito and insect repellent are also a necessity to keep mosquitoes at bay. Lastly, don’t forget to carry your medicines for common illnesses like headaches, stomach aches, nausea, allergies, fever and specific one such as heart problems, diabetes, etc.  

Get good travel insurance

An excellent tip for your holiday in Mauritius is to buy travel insurance. Ensure you pick an insurance plan that covers medical issues, delays, thefts, etc. Read all the fine points carefully to ensure you are safe in a foreign country.      

Here are a few Mauritius travel tips to avoid common tourist traps:

  • Luggage thugs at the airport - As soon as you land, you will find several eager men willing to lend a helping hand to carry your luggage and take you through the swarming crowds and help you find your way. They will charge heavily for this once they drop your bags off. However, you can avoid this unnecessary amount as the airport is small and you can find your way around easily.   
  • Buy water at the local store - Hotels nearly charge double for water. It’s best to buy them at local stores. A bottle costs anywhere between INR 30 to 600.
  • Trust only guides - A major tourist trap is taxi drivers who claim to take you to pristine golden sand beaches and the likes. But they charge exorbitantly, and it’s strictly not recommended. It’s best to stick to a tour guide.

Mauritius is a beautiful country and worth travelling to, but you need to keep these tips for a Mauritius holiday in mind to ensure you have a safe and carefree vacation.

Booking a holiday with Holxo will ensure that from communication to getting around and food and drinks, everything is taken care of. You can even opt for a customized package where our experience with numerous trips to Mauritius will help you plan the perfect getaway.

 

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