Mauritius is a stunning and very popular island destination in the Indian ocean on the East Coast of Africa. It’s azure lagoon surrounding the island, natural beauty and vibrant culture makes it a perfect getaway. If you are planning on visiting this island here are some things you need to know!
Visa requirements for Mauritius
Most countries ( including the United States, UK and South Africa ) don’t require visas for entry. There are also a few countries that can apply for a 60 day visa on arrival and then some that need to get a visa before they leave their country.
For the ones that don’t need visas the process at the airport is quite simple. On the plane they will give you two forms to fill out so remember to bring a pen. You will need to include the address where you are staying and if the trip is for business or pleasure ( you might need additional forms if it is for business ) Then all you do is give the forms to the officers at the customs desks where they might ask you a question or two and thats it!
Check out if your country needs a visa here.
What is the weather like
The climate in Mauritius is mostly tropical and a bit unpredictable at times. The hot humid conditions are slightly set off by the south east trade winds.
Because the topography is so varied in Mauritius you might have rain on higher elevated areas while it’s completely warm and sunny on the coast.
The temperature varies from 19°C to 30°C throughout the year, and rarely ever drops below 17°C or exceeds 31°C. In Mauritius, the warm season usually lasts from early December until the beginning of April, with average daily high temperatures of above 29°C.
Winter or dry season stretches from May to October and is a great time to go as the weather is great. During the Summer or wet season from November to April you will see more rain and humidity although the showers quickly pass.
The island gets the most rain between January and March. The east coast experience the most wind from July till August.
My favorite time of the year to visit is May or October as the crowds are less and the weather is usually great.
Where on the island should you stay
There are about 150 hotels and resorts on the island so finding one that suits you in a specific area wont be very difficult. Each part of the island is quite different in terms of what the coast looks like, the weather and what you can do.
Situated furthest away from the airport the North Coast of Mauritius is very popular with Tourists. Grand Baie is situated there which is a busy coastal village with loads of restaurants, markets and a great night life.
You will be spoiled with beautiful beaches like Mont Choisy and this is the side to go to if you want sunsets!
It is easy to get around in the north with plenty of supermarkets and even a large shopping centre.
Situated on the West coast of Mauritius Flic-en-flac has become the second most popular spot for tourists on the island. It has a long white sand beach with a number of great hotels.
The Le Morne area is probably my favorite on the island with La Morne Brabant Mountain setting a dramatic backdrop agains the turquoise lagoon.
It is know for kite surfing, snorkelling and swimming with wild dolphins so there is plenty to do! You can also hike up the mountain for absolutely breathtaking views.
Close by you get Chamarel with the Seven coloured earths, the famous Chamarel rummery and the much instagramed Chamarel Waterfall.
This is also the area with the iconic underwater waterfall!
The east coast is a bit more untouched than the rest of Mauritius so if you are in the mood for romance and tranquility this is the side for you. Home to some luxurious hotels like the One and Only, Four Seasons, LUX Belle Mare, Four Seasons and more it’s an area you will want to spend some time in.
Ile aux Cerfs is located on the East coast and is a popular little island to visit with a catamaran for the day.
There are also plenty of options for playing golf on this side of the island.
What can you do on the island
Visit a Rummery – A must do as there are so many amazing flavoured rums on the island and its so rich with history!
Go on a catamaran for the day. – A full day on a catamaran with a BBQ lunch and local drinks ( like Phoenix beer and Rum and juice ) is a must do when visiting the island.
Visit one of the local markets – The local markets is where you will find the best street food, fresh produce and loads of goodies to buy to take back home!
Spend the day in Port Louis – Port Louis is the Capital city of Mauritius, it is vibrant and bustling and also where the umbrella road is located!
Swim with wild dolphins – A very special experience is to swim with wild dolphins in Mauritius. It’t out deep in the ocean and only available if the dolphins feel like coming to say hi. You aren’t allowed to touch them which is fantastic and the experience is amazing!
Go snorkelling near Le Morne – Such a beautiful area to snorkel with loads of sea life and some epic views.
Visit the Seven Coloured Earths and Chamarel Waterfall – These two attractions are close together and something you should really see!
Spend the day in Grand Baie – This is the trendy place to be with beach bars and restaurants galore! Be sure to pop into the Chinese market as well!
Visit the beautiful temples – There are some really colourful and unique Hindu temples in Mauritius especially at the Great lake!
Learn to Kite surf – If you are into watersports Mauritius is the perfect place to ad onto your skill list especailly kite surfing!
What transport is there on Mauritius
Mauritius has quite a good bus system with busses usually running from 5:30 till 8pm in busier areas. The busses are the most economical way to get around the island!
You can also hire scooters or cars but it is not for the faint hearted. Driving is on the left although it’s a term I use loosely as overtaking seems to happen constantly. The locals seem to know exactly what they are doing but if you are not a confident driver rather stick to another mode of transport than self driving.
There are also tour companies that can take you out on excursions, like Mautourco which we have used before. It was great as our driver had loads of knowledge about the island and our transfer car had wifi!
From the airport we usually take a transfer which you can book through the hotel you are staying at. You can book these through your hotel as private or shared.
Taxis are plentiful and near all resorts and tourist areas. Just know the fares and decided on the rate before getting in!
What currency do they use in Mauritius
They use a Mauritian Rupee and although you can pay with a credit card or debit card at most places. It’s always best to have some cash on hand especially when visiting markets and more rural areas.
Is Mauritius expensive
The answer differs depending on what currency you come in with. It is generally like all island destinations with resorts more expensive in the resorts than outside. For South African I feel like it is mid range and definitely cheaper than Seychelles.
A local beer will only cost you about 90 Mauritian rupees ( excluding resorts ) and a bottle of water about 24 Mauritian rupees. A full day shared catamaran excursion with local drinks and lunch will cost you about 2500 Mauritian rupees per person which isn’t bad!
You can definitely do Mauritius on a budget. If you want to splurge at your resort go for all inclusive as that includes all alcoholic beverages.
Convert your currency here.