Mauritius is, with La Réunion and Rodrigues, an island in the Mascarene Archipelago, located in the southwest of the Indian Ocean (20 ° / 57,5°E), at approximately 2000 km off the coast of Africa and 900 km from Madagascar. Of a surface of 1865 km2, the island is lined with a magnificent turquoise lagoon on most of its 330km of coast; it includes a vast central plateau surrounded with some mountainous peaks.
The population of Mauritius is about 1 300 000 inhabitants, with a very high density of about 700 inhabitant / km2. The capital, Port Louis, accounts 150 000 inhabitants. The population consist of 50% of Hindus and 15% of Muslims, 30% of Creoles, 3% of Sino-Mauritians and 2% of White-Mauritians (of European origin).
GMT jet lag : + 2 hours in Summer and + 3 hours in Winter. Current time in Mauritius.
English is the official language of Mauritius, but the most widely used is French and the local dialect, Creole. Hindi, Urdu and Chinese are also spoken.
FORMALITIES OF STAY
A valid passport at least 6 months after the date of return is required, as well as a return ticket. Nationals of the European Union do not need a visa.
No vaccination is required.
The monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs.) which is divided into 100 cents (cs). Latest echange rate EUR/MUR.
Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. ATMs are widely available in most towns (not in Pointe d'Esny/Blue Bay) and hotels, restaurants and large retailers accept major credit cards.
Monday to Thursday : 9.15 am -3.15 pm, Friday: 9 am -5 pm , Saturday :9.15 am -11.15 am (Some banks only).
The Mauritian economy is based on four sectors: Textile, Tourism, Sugar and Services.
Temperature on the coast varies between 22°C in winter and 34°C in summer. Sea temperature varies between 22°C and 27°C. In the central part of the island, the maximum daytime temperature varies from about 19°C in August to about 26°C in February. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the East and the South.
Mauritius is a democratic Republic, which took its independence on March 12th, 1968. Its Constitution is of British Westminster type. Members of parliament are elected for five years.
Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. The population consists of Hindus, Creole, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans.
Hinduism (50%), Christianity (30%), Islam (17%).
Tipping in Mauritius is discretionary. However, some extra money paid for services, such as a taxi ride, waitering or cleaning is appreciated. Government tax is added to all hotel and restaurant bills and this is included in the basic price. However, all incidental hotel expenses will incur a 12% tax, which is generally included in the price quoted.
THE CAPITAL and the MAIN CITIES
Port Louis is the capital and the seaport of Mauritius, situated in the West northwest of the island. The International airport Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is in the southeast, near the historic city of Mahébourg. The main cities are situated in the interieur of the island: Beau Bassin, Rose Hill, Quatre Bornes, Vacoas and Curepipe.
The international access code for Mauritius is +230. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 02033 for the France). City/area codes are not required. The whole island is covered by the mobile network; the local mobile phone operators use GSM networks, which are compatible with most international operators. Handsets and SIM cards can be hired at the airport. Internet cafes are widely available.
230 volts, 50Hz. The Plug types used are round pin attachment plug (European two-pin type) and rectangular blade plug (British three-pin rectangular).
Shopping hours in our main cities are from 10am to 6pm (Monday – Saturday). Some shops open until noon on Sundays and public holidays. Many duty free shops and modern shopping centers offer a wide choice of products. Please note that shops open only half-days on Thursdays in Rose-hill, Vacoas, Curepipe and Quatre-Bornes.
Note: It's a good idea to pack shoes that can be worn in the sea to protect against sharp coral, sea urchins and stonefish. Visitors should take precautions against mosquito bites, as there have been several cases of the Chikungunya virus, which is spread by mosquito bites, although this is more common from October to May. Medical facilities are good and free in public hospitals, but private clinics are expensive and medical insurance is recommended. For the latest information, please visit the World Health Organization website.
Passports must be valid for six months after period of intended stay. All visitors must hold valid tickets for onward journey and documents required for next destination, adequate funds for the intended length of stay (minimum of US$100 per day), and confirmed booking for accommodation in Mauritius.
Passengers over 18 years of age may import the following duty-free items: 250 grams of tobacco (including cigars and cigarettes), 1 liters of spirits, 2 liters of wine, ale or beer, one quarter liters of Eau de Toilette and perfume not exceeding 100 ml. A plant import permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, prior to the introduction of plants and plant materials including cuttings, flowers, bulbs, fresh fruits, vegetables and seeds. It is prohibited to introduce sugarcane and parts thereof, soil micro organisms and invertebrate animals. All imported animals and all other agricultural products require an import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and a health certificate from the country of origin.Drug trafficking carries very heavy penalties. Firearms and ammunitions require import permits and must be declared upon arrival.Find out more on the Mauritius Revenue Authority Website.