Friendly, inviting and relentlessly beautiful – welcome to Mauritius! Beaches, temples, lagoons, rainforests, reefs, waterfalls, shopping, dining… Mauritius has it all. For the adventurous and active, the array of options is endless; from scuba diving and snorkelling to sailing and deep sea fishing, or water-skiing and parasailing, kite surfing and yoga, quad biking and horse riding – you name it, Mauritius has got it.
Mauritius was a Dutch colony in the 1600’s until it was occupied by the French in the 1700’s and then it became a British Colony in the 1800’s. It gained independence from Britain in the late 1960’s after almost 200 years, and finally became a Republic in 1992.
Language & Culture
Due to its multicultural diversity, Mauritius boasts a number of spoken languages. With immigrants from Africa, India, France, the UK and China, there is a vast mixture of cultures, languages and traditions. Both English and French are generally accepted as the official languages (with French being the most dominant), and Creole being the most commonly used language on the street.
The island is blessed with a tropical climate and is a fantastic year-round destination. Temperatures range from the low to mid-20s°C in the cooler months (April to October), up to the late 20s°C and early 30s°C during the gorgeous summer months from November to March.
Mauritius is 2 hours ahead of South Africa
The monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs) which is divided into 100 cents. Major currencies such as US Dollars and Euros, and even South African Rands, are accepted in most hotels and by many vendors. You don’t need to schlepp to get forex before you travel to Mauritius, you can literally convert Rands to Rupees on arrival at the airport or simply draw local currency at an ATM.
What to do in Mauritius
Mauritius has an impressive array of activities available – from exhilarating zip lining to cultural temple visits. Of course, it’s also very important to factor in plenty of time to soak up the sun around your hotel pool. If you are looking for more than the beach, look at what is in store for you:
- Deep Sea Fishing – Mauritius is a paradise for deep sea fishing – the ocean is 70 metres deep one kilometre away from the coast. Species include the blue or black marlin, all types of sharks, yellow tuna, the Bonitos, barracuda and more. Huge fish like the Blue Marlin roam the seas and hunt around the island from November to April. Mauritius holds several world fishing records. Fishing boats can be hired from almost all hotels.
- Spa and Wellbeing – If you’re looking for some pampering be sure to visit the spa found at most hotels where you can put yourself into the capable hands of experts and allow yourself to be carried away by your senses (you deserve it)!
- Golf – What could be more pleasant than being on holiday on a dream island whilst having the opportunity to improve your golf skills? Some excellent golf courses including Heritage Golf Club at Bel Ombre, Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Club, Tamarina, the Links and Legends courses at Belle Mare Plage and Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita
- Shopping – The Island’s reputation as a shopping paradise is enhanced by the diversity and quality of shopping opportunities. From sophisticated shopping centres to small craft shops and bustling market stalls, there is something for everyone. Whatever happens, you can’t leave Mauritius without a sega outfit and at least one frangipani hair clip!
- Scuba Diving and Snorkelling – Mauritius is fantastic for diving all year round. A barrier reef encircles almost the entire island which creates a shallow lagoon reef, making it particularly good diving for beginners. On the other side of the barrier reef, caverns and crevasses as well as a bunch of ship wrecks will delight the more experienced divers out there.
- Nightlife – Most hotels in Mauritius offer nightly entertainment but for those seeking a little more, there is lots of fun to be had on the island. The nightlife scene of Mauritius entices with beach clubs, happening nightclubs, casinos, bars& pubs with live music, and even laid back lounges.
What to Pack
- As a guide, the maximum weight for checked luggage is 20kg in economy class and 30kg in business class
- Your hand-luggage should not weigh more than 6kg and needs to be small and compact
- Take along your best beach and casual wear, perfect for the day
- The dress-code for dinner is usually smart casual and gents are required to wear long trousers
- Sunglasses and suntan lotion are a must
- Don’t forget any medication that you might need, and be sure to pack it in your hand luggage
- Chargers for all your devices (it’s a good idea to take along a few movies on a tablet or something similar as the English TV channels in your hotel may be limited)
- Swimming shoes and goggles
- Mosquito repellent
- A hat or cap
- And for whatever you leave behind, take it as an opportunity for some retail therapy. Mauritius is a living and working island so you will be able to get most things you might need. In fact, you won’t regret a trip to the shops or markets.
- Pack a change of clothing in your hand luggage in case of baggage delays (and a spare cozzie so at least you can have a swim when you get to your resort)
- Clothing creases less if rolled in a sausage shape when packed – so roll, don’t fold
- No sharp objects are permitted in your hand luggage (yes, tweezers are sharp!)
- Travel insurance is a must. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford to travel!
- Travelling with kids – please check that you have all the relevant documents including unabridged Birth Certificates.
- Put electronics, medication, toothbrushes and jewellery in your carry-on bag
- It’s often a good idea to let your bank or credit card company know that you’re going overseas
- Be patient, be flexible, be spontaneous and have the best time ever!