Mauritius is situated in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2400 kilometres off the South East Coast of Africa. The island, which is of volcanic origin, covers an area of 1,865 square kilometres or 720 square miles. Mauritius has 330 kilometres of coastline and is protected from the open sea by the world’s third largest coral reef which almost surrounds the island. It offers exceptionally high standards and offers great value. Home to subtropical forests, rivers, streams and waterfalls, there is just so much to see and do. The west coast generally experiences great weather all year round with long days and beautiful sunsets. The east coast offers fine powdery white beaches, exquisite waters and magnificent sunrises. The rugged south is scenic and peaceful whilst the northern coast is within close proximity to the hustle and bustle of Grand Baie and Port Louis, the capital city. Mauritius is a mecca for water sports enthusiasts and the majority of resorts offer excellent facilities, many of which are complimentary. December through March is the best time for diving when the waters are clearest. June through August are the best months for surfing and October through April are excellent for big game fishing when the large predators feed close to the reef.
The island enjoys a subtropical climate with all year round warm weather and coastal temperatures range from 22 ˚C in winter to 34 ˚C in summer. The cyclone season brings heavy rains and generally occurs between January and March. The western and northern regions are relatively warmer and drier than the east and south.
WHAT TO WEAR
Lightweight cotton and linen, casual eveningwear for dining. Although most resorts require long trousers for men some resorts allow men to wear smart shorts/bermuda shorts and collared shirts to dinner. It’s worth enquiring about this with the hotel you are going to book. A wrap or jacket for the cooler winter evenings. Sun hats, sunglasses and sun block are recommended.
Locals speak Creole and French. English is widely spoken.
The monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs). All major credit cards are widely accepted. Money can be changed from Rands into Rupees at the airport in Mauritius. ATMs are available at the airport and major centres throughout Mauritius.
No vaccinations are required and there is no malaria risk on the island. Visitors to Mauritius who have passed through Yellow Fever infected areas will be required to provide proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination before entering Mauritius.
Mauritius is four hours ahead of GMT and two hours ahead of South African standard time.
MONEY & BANKING
Banks are open to coincide with the arrival and departure of international flights at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
Monday to Thursday: 9.00am - 3.00pm
Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
Shopping hours in Mauritius’ main cities run from 9.30am to 7.30pm (Monday to Saturday). Some shops open until noon on Sundays and public holidays. Many duty free shops and modern shopping centres offer a wide choice of products. Please note that shops only open for half-days on Thursdays in Rose-hill, Vacoas, Curepipe and Quatre-Bornes.
220V AC, 50Hz. British type plugs with 3 flat pins are used.
South African passport holders do not require a visa. Passports should be valid for at least six months from date of departure from Mauritius.
The duty free allowance is as follows -