A guide to Mauritius
This page is a guide that we have put together to give you an overview of various details about Mauritius from A-Z. For example topics such as where is the island located? What to expect as a traveller? What kind of leisure activities can I practice? And what you should definitely consider before you travel.
Underlined terms indicate that these are explained separately in our guide. The guide is alphabetically sorted, so you can find each term easily.
There are many ways that you can spend the days and nights on the island – either be lodged in a villa, in a hotel, in an apartment or in a lodge. To make your vacation ideal, contact us to get detailed advice from our Isla-Mauricia team. Here
you can find out more about the different accommodations that we offer.
On the plane you'll receive a form to fill out. You'll need to provide your personal details, where you're staying in → Mauritius
and how long you're staying for. You’ll also need to fill out a health card, about what you're allergic to, if you've been ill, where your last holiday was etc. Both forms must be presented at the airport with your return ticket and a booking confirmation. Once the officer has stamped your documents you may leave the airport. You'll find more detailed information about your entry here
Bay → Lagoon
The Blue Mauritius as well as the Red Mauritius were the first two stamps that got printed in → Mauritius with an edition of 500 pieces in 1847. Worldwide Invitations were sent on the occasion of a grand masked ball which the British Governor Sir William Gomm and his wife gave in Port Louis. Due to a printing error, the two stamps have become real collector's items. Of the Blue Mauritius there are only 12 copies left (of the Red Mauritius 14 copies). Even Queen Elizabeth is to be in possession of each one of these rarities.
The buses run from morning to night. Bus fares are not expensive. A journey of 10-15 minutes usually costs no more than 50 pence. The buses are not in perfect condition (but neither are taxis). Each bus holds approx. 60 people. Get some more information about the possibilities to travel in → Mauritius here
Camping holidays itself are not possible in → Mauritius because you have to provide an exact address for where you're staying when you arrive at the airport. But if you want to put up your tent, you can take it down to the beach and spend a night there. You'll probably see lots of tents on the beach. Mauritians come to the beach with their families, put their tent up and enjoy a family holiday/outing.
Mauritius is well known for its beautiful catamaran tours. A catamaran is a boat made of two hulls which are connected by a supporting deck. Catamaran day tours are e.g. offered in the north to the island Ilôt Gabriel or to the island in the east Île aux Cerfs.
If you want to eat something in → Mauritius and you are asked if you want Piment (french word for chilli), don't nod your head too much because you may get a lot. Chilli is definitely spicier here than it is in the UK. It brings a new meaning to the word spicy. But if you like it spicy, which is very important here, there are no limits.
The official language is English. But nearly everyone speaks Creole. This language sounds like badly spoken French. However, it consists of other languages, like English or Portuguese. This language is so open that it will probably soon take on elements from other languages too.
Due to the many different religions and people, you will find an incredible cultural diversity in → Mauritius. Hindus, → Creole, Chinese, Muslim and Europeans live here. It shows in the food. Typical Mauritian food means that a little of each culture is thrown into the meal. A little bit of curry, some chinese noodles, some chicken. For this reason, you'll always experience something new in Mauritius. Therefore, one holiday is just not enough.
The monetary unit of → Mauritius
is the Mauritian Rupee (MRU). In 1877 the Mauritian Rupee was introduced as the official national currency. According to the current exchange rate (2014) 1 EUR = 40 MRU. Get some more information here
During summer → Mauritius
is ravaged by cyclones – storms with a force of over 74 mph. This causes towering clouds which bring storms, rain and swirling wind. You'll find more information about the seasons and the → climate here
Dholl Puri is a typical Mauritian snack. You can get in on the street for just a few rupees. It is a thin paste consisting of mainly yellow peas and flour. The end result looks like a pancake, in terms of shape and consistency. It is filled with mixed vegetable, sauces and → chilli. If you don't like spicy things it's best to just try a little bit.
Whether you’re an experienced diver or a novice, you really should go diving during your stay in → Mauritius. Around the island you'll find diving schools which offer diving courses for every ability. Be it a beginner’s course, advanced, underwater walks, feeding fish – there's something for everyone at these diving schools.
The dodo was a flightless bird which was only found in → Mauritius and La Réunion. However, dodos no longer exist. But you'll still find some in various locations throughout Mauritius. On the Mauritian coat of arms, the dodo serves as a supporter, a picture of a dodo is printed on some restaurants labels and you'll find dodo souvenirs being sold on the street.
In → Mauritius
we drive on the left. For this reason, it is not necessarily advisable to rent a car on the day you arrive. The roads are not in the best condition and people seem to follow different traffic rules to those you may have learnt at driving school or practiced on European roads. If you want to hire a car, you can get more information here
General Emergency ☎999
Fire Service: ☎995
You increasingly hear about the idea of being 'eco-friendly'. If hotels are being built, we don't want to destroy nature any further by cutting down trees, but we want to adapt the hotel complex to its environmental surroundings.
Many fruits that you get offered on the island are native to → Mauritius and do not have to be imported. Some of them are obtained throughout the year, such as coconut, guava, star fruit, banana, papaya and pineapple. Seasonal there is lychee and mango in summer only. A special guava – the guava de Chine or Strawberry Guava – can only be obtained during the Mauritian winter. Do not miss these delicacies!
If you like to eat fish and other seafood → Mauritius is the right place for your palate. Lots of delicious food is offered in the local restaurants. You can taste e.g. the local specialty "ourite sauce piquante" (specialty made from fresh or dried squid with turmeric, ginger and → chilli), "poisson sauce créole" (grilled fish in a spicy tomato sauce) or "Samoussas au poisson" (crispy fried dumplings stuffed with fish).
The Mauritian flag consists of 4 colours which are draped horizontally. Red is at the top. The red represents the blood that was shed in the past. Blue is underneath the red. This represents the water of the Indian Ocean. Yellow is underneath the blue representing the independence of → Mauritius. Green is at the bottom. Due to the wealth of → flora and fauna species, the last colour represents nature.
Flora and Fauna
Whether mahogany trees, palms or shrubs, no location is 'spared' from the colour green. Be it just a tree, a whole row of trees or flowers. The numerous colourful birds will also catch your eye. Sometimes you can stand under a tree and a bird song can make you think there's a whole flock of birds above you. As well as birds, there are also lots of lizards.
The golf trend is increasing in → Mauritius
, where there are increasingly luxurious golf courses. It is quite common for golf courses to be part of a hotel. Get some more information about this kind of sport here
A glassbottom boat has a glass panel in the middle so you can watch the fish as they swim under the boat. If you go on a tour, the fish are fed so that as many fish as possible stay under the boat so the tourists can see them properly.
The majority of the population are Hindus. You'll discover many influences of this religion through the country. You’ll see women in saris and religious figures in the brightest colours and clothes.
Natives does not exist in → Mauritius. About 65 percent of the Mauritian population are from India. You will discover lots of Indian influences on the island. Not only to clothing and language, even to the dishes that are offered here. You should definitely try the Indian food.
Kite-surfing is recommended in the south west to the south east coast. In summer it is highly dependent on the wind. In summer there is the “Kiteival Mauritius”, a kite-surfing festival which attracts many passionate kite-surfers.
You will not be able to escape these beauties in → Mauritius. Grand Baie, Point d'Esny, Flic en Flac, Pereybere, Trou aux Biches, Mont Choisy, Belle Mare, Le Morne and countless other beautiful lagoons will enrich your holiday on the island. We offer → accommodations in different price ranges in the above mentioned regions. Find out more about the lagoons and beaches of Mauritius here. Link to “Beaches”
Mauritius is an African island nation in the Indian Ocean, independent since 1968. There are around 1.3 million inhabitants. The → volcanic island covers an area of 2.040 square kilometres – from the north to the south, Mauritius measures maximum 64km and 47km from the west to the east.
The African continent is located 1900km westwards of Mauritius. Other islands that are located around Mauritius are the Seychelles and the Maldives in the north, the Comoros, Madagascar and La Réunion Island in the west and Rodrigues in the east. Together with Rodrigues and La Réunion, Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands.
Mauritius includes several small uninhabited islands that are only a few Kilometres away from the coast and can be reached e.g. by speedboat or → catamaran. In the north there are Ilôt Gabriel, Île Plat and Coin de Mire. In the east of Mauritius, you can spend the day on Île aux Cerfs with beach walks, paragliding and golf. Île d'Ambre is located in the north-east, Île aux Aigrettes in the south-east. Île aux Benitiers and Ilôt Fourneau in the south-west.
What is typically Mauritian? Sega of course! Sometimes it sounds like this music comes from Reggae. Originally it was funeral music for the slaves and is native to Africa. Emotional elements are meant to animate the body, to move in the 'Sega' dance. Originally it was improvised music which was accompanied by instruments like the rattle or the drums.
In → Mauritius there are several museums. In the Mauritius Postal Museum you can see the famous → Blue Mauritius. The National History Museum gives some insights into the past. What happened to the → Dodo? And what connection does the Portuguese and the Dutch have to this island?
Piment → Chilli
Port Louis is the capital of → Mauritius and the largest city of the island. It is situated on the north west coast, more than 155.000 people live here. If you want to do some shopping, the Waterfront shopping center at the port offers a lot. To relax you can sit down in a cafe and enjoy the view of the ocean.
Roti is the equivalent of → Dholl Puri. If you want to buy Dholl Puri from a stand, you will usually be offered Roti too. The only difference is that the dough is made without yellow beans, so it looks more like a pancake compared to Dholl Puri. It tastes less like corn and more like flour.
You'll meet Africans and Indians as well as Chinese and Europeans. 50 percent of the population are Hindus. Approximately 25 percent of the people are Christians and 17 percent are Muslims. You'll find Hindu temples as well as churches and mosques. There are also Chinese Buddhists. The wonderful thing is that so many different people live together in peace in → Mauritius, even though the country was once running a slave trade. Nowadays more countries should look to Mauritius as an example – such a tolerance towards other people and their cultures is rare.
Lovers of rum specialties will feel well in → Mauritius. Due to the excellent climatic conditions, a number of rum varieties can be cultivated of → sugar cane. There are excellent rums made in Mauritius to delight the palate with exotic fruits and strong herbs. You also have the opportunity to visit a distillery and participate in a rum tasting.
A hint of lychee and coconut offers e.g. the clear Blue Bay B. Very exclusive and unique in taste is the dark Bristol Black Spiced by the interplay of orange peel, cloves, cinnamon, anise, lemon and peppermint. The clear Green Iceland Overproof heard with its 75.5% is the strongest rum of the island. Its aroma of dark chocolate and coconut is a rarity.
The peak season for tourists is in December and January. At this time it's usually dark and cold at the place where you live. → Mauritius is offering sun, hot temperatures and nice landscape. In Mauritius, there are only two seasons: the summer and the winter. The Mauritian winter begins in May. This is of course still tropical and offers pleasant temperatures up to 25°C. More information about Climate and season, we give you here. Link to Climate
Those who don't want to dive can go snorkelling instead! You can go on a guided snorkelling trip or just on your own. On the beach at Trou aux Biches, for example, you only have to swim a few metres out before you see the beautiful colourful fish. Or you can see some underwater wonders in Blue Bay, in the south east of the island.
Like any other holiday destination, there is a variety of souvenirs to choose: from postcards via → Dodo figures and shells to textiles. If you're good in bargaining you should better buy your souvenirs at a bazaar, it's worth it.
Sugar cane has been around since the start of Mauritian history. Wherever you look you'll see sugar cane plantations. In some hotels the roofs are made from wood from the sugar cane plants. Mauritians try to exploit all of the plant according to → 'eco-friendly' principles.
You should only get in these cars that are clearly recognizable as a taxi. Often individuals are offering to bring you to your destination – please refuse this service politely. You should arrange the price before starting a trip. More information on how you can get around on the island, we give you here
Mauritius is a volcanic island. The highest mountain on the island is Piton de la Rivière Noire at 828 metres. A famous tourist attraction is the Trou aux Cerfs crater in Curepipe.
Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your date of entry. You will need to present a return ticket and proof that you have → accommodation. You have to present all this at the airport when you arrive. If you want to stay for longer than three months, you need to apply for a visa.
Those who love watersports will not be disappointed in → Mauritius
. Be it surfing, deep-sea fishing, kite-surfing, wind-surfing. More detailed information we give you here
Weather → Season
Spend Christmas in Mauritius? Why not? Christmas is now celebrated here, with Christmas trees and Christmas shopping. Those looking for a break from Europe with their family and loved ones; Mauritius is the perfect place. Christmas time is one of the most popular travel times. You can leave rainy England and come to hot Mauritius. And if it's too hot, you can just jump into the sea.