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Travel tips to know before you go to Mauritius

Listed below are the top travel tips you need to know before you go to Mauritius including details about the currency, safety, getting around, languages, and opening hours.

Travel tips to know before you go to Mauritius - Mauritius

Passports/Visas

You may not need a visa to enter Mauritius, however you must ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay on the island. Citizens of Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America are not required to have a visa to enter Mauritius. For all other countries, be sure to check with your local foreign department or for more details click here. Visas and extensions of stay are issued free of charge.

Currency

The currency in Mauritius is Rupees (Rs). You can check the current exchange rate by clicking here.
Taxes - 15% VAT is charged on all goods and services
Tips - no obligation to tip, but is much appreciated by locals

Natural Disasters

Cyclone season is from November to May so follow instructions and remain indoors if a cyclone strikes. Some areas of the island can be prone to landslides so please take care during this time. You can check local weather updates from Mauritius Meteorological Services

Main Airport

The main airport in Mauritius is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
> 26 nautical miles SE of Port Louis
> 11 nautical miles SE of Curepipe

A direct flight from London Heathrow to Mauritius takes approximately 12 hours. Be sure to check the airport website for live departure and arrival information.

To & from?
> Public bus:
9 - Mahébourg Bus Station to Curepipe Jan Palach South Bus Station via the airport.
10 - Mahébourg Traffic Centre to Rivière des Gallets via the airport.
198 - Port Louis Victoria Square Bus Station to Mahébourg Bus Station via the airport.
> Taxi - rates depend on the final destination.

Health

Check with your local doctor to see if you need any vaccinations prior to your trip to Mauritius. Wear a tropical strength insect repellent for maximum safety. There is free treatment available in public hospitals and clinics in Mauritius if needed.

Opening Hours

Business hours in the main cities are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Banks on the island open 9am - 3pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9am - 5pm, Friday.
Post offices open 8am - 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am - 11:45am, Saturday.
Shops are typically open 9:30am - 7:30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Restaurants generally open 12pm - 3pm for lunch, and 7pm - 10pm for dinner.

Languages

The main languages spoken in Mauritius are French, English, and Mauritian Creole. Most Mauritian citizens are bilingual and some are even trilingual. Ethnic languages such as Mandarin, Hindu, and Urdu are spoken too as the population is so diverse. However, the dominant language in the mass media is French, whereas English is spoken in the business sector, the courts, and in government administration. Both French and English are spoken in education. 

Getting Around

Buses and taxis operate daily around the coast to Port Louis, stopping at the beaches along the way. You can also hire a car for your time on the island, however roads are typically narrow so take care if driving. There are two main highways - M1 and M2 - running the length of the island.

Safety

Look after bags and valuables, especially in popular areas.
Mauritius has a low crime rate and most crime is non violent.

Road Travel

You can drive using your own driving licence for up to 4 weeks, but you must have it at all times. If you intend to stay longer than 4 weeks you will have to apply for an International Driving Permit which is issued in your home country.
Mauritians drive on the left so this may take some getting used to if you come from a country that drives on the right.

Time Zone

Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of GMT.

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