Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.
— Nikos Kazantzakis, 1883 - 1957

Travel Guide: Mauritius

Featured hotels in Mauritius »

Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa

Price (US$):
$303 - $1738 / night

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Location. Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Trou aux Biches, close to Trou aux Biches Beach, Grand Bay Beach, and… more »

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort

Price (US$):
$1157 - $3123 / night

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Location. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort is a business friendly hotel located in Le Morne, close to Le Morne Beach and Le Morne Mountain. Other… more »

Shandrani Resort & Spa

Price (US$):
$534 - $1091 / night

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Location. Shandrani Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Blue Bay, close to Shandari Beach, Cambuse Beach, and Blue Bay Beach. Ile aux… more »

Sofitel So Mauritius

Price (US$):
$807 - $3459 / night

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Location. Sofitel So Mauritius is located on the beach in Bel Ombre, close to Heritage Golf Club. Other points of interest are Chamarel Falls and… more »

One&Only Le Saint Geran

Price (US$):
$1431 - $2718 / night

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Location. One&Only Le Saint Geran is located on the beach in Belle Mare, close to Belle Mare Plage Golf Club The Links, Belle Mare Beach, and… more »

About  •  Understand  •  Get In  •  Get Around  •  See  •  Talk  •  Do  •  Eat  •  Drink  •  Sleep  •  Stay Safe  •  Stay Healthy  •  More »


This article is the Collaboration of the month for October 2010. Find out how it can be improved, and plunge forward to make this an article we can be proud of!

Mauritius (French: L’île Maurice, Mauritian Creole: Maurice) is a small, multicultural island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and southeast of the Seychelles. Mauritius also controls Rodrigues Island and the remote, sparsely populated Agalega and Cargados Garayos (Saint Brandon) islands.



The island of Mauritius was first discovered by Arab sailors, at some time in the 9th century, the exact date is unknown. At that time the island was uninhabited and covered in a dense forest. The Arab sailors were not interested in settling on the island which they named Dina Arobi or Dinarobin. Fernandez Pereira, a Portuguese sailor found the island in 1505 and decided to give it the name of Cerne. However, the Portuguese did not settle permenantly on the island either.

The first to colonise the island were the Dutch. They took possession of the island in 1598. The Dutch settlers landed on a bay in the south-eastern part of the island which was named Warwyck Haven after the commander VanWarwyck, the bay is now known as Grand Port. Mauritius also got its name during this period; the island was named after the Prince of Holland Mauritz de Nassau.

In 1710, the Dutch abandoned the island, leaving behind macaques, the java deer, sugar cane, fugitive slaves and, also, an irreversible damage to the endemic and indigenous flora and fauna of the island - the Dodo was, by then, extinct due to extensive hunting, the bird being very easy to capture, while the, once abundant, black ebony tree population was almost completely depleted due to over-exploitation for its timber.

The French settled on the island in 1713, also landing at the bay in the south-east. They renamed the bay Port Bourbon and renamed the island Ile de France. They settled on the north-western side of the island and established their main harbour there, Port Louis, the present-day capital of Mauritius. During the French settlement there was a lot of development in the country. Mahé de Labourdonnais , whose statue can be seen across from the harbour in Port louis,is known as the founder of the capital city and the island prospered under his governance (1735-1746).

In August 1810, the British tried to take over the island but lost after a fierce battle against the French in the famous Battle of Grand Port - the only victory of the French over the British. However, the British came back in December 1810 and successfully defeated the French. From then on, the island was renamed Mauritius and remained under British rule until it attained independence.

In 1835, slavery was officially abolished and, as most of the African slaves chose to abandon the agricultural fields and move to small coastal villages, indentured labourers (Coolies) were brought in from India to work in the growing sugar-cane industry.

On March 12, 1968 Mauritius became an independent nation within the Commonwealth. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam also known as the "Father of the Nation" led the island to independence and did a lot to develop the country. On March 12, 1992, Mauritius became a republic under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Sir Aneerood Jugnauth .

A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has one of Africa's highest per capita incomes. Recent poor weather and declining sugar prices have slowed economic growth leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.


Tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May); Natural hazards : Tropical cyclones (November to April);but most cyclones usually occur from the end of December until March. Mauritius has only two seasons, winter and summer. There is not much temperature differences between the two seasons of the year. The climate on the central plateau is cooler than on the coastal areas.

  • Hottest part is the west coast
  • Windiest part is the East coast
  • December to February are the hottest month of the year
  • The driest month of the year is October
  • Coolest months are from June to August
  • Mauritius Weather - Actual weather report from the Mauritius region.

Get In

The nationals of many countries, including Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and most Western countries do not need a visa in advance. For more information, visit the Passport and Immigration Office web-site.

By plane

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU), ☎ +230 603 6000 (airportinfo@aml.mru.aero, fax: +230 637 5306), [5]. at Plaisance in the southeast of the island is the major gateway for travelers coming from abroad.

  • Air Mauritius is the home carrier and operates a network of routes to the local islands and to international destinations in Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia.
  • Regional airlines Air Austral , Air Madgascar and Air Seychelles connect Mauritius with the surrounding islands.
  • International airlines such as Air Europe, Air France , Emirates, Virgin Airlines, Air Zimbabwe, Austrian Airlines , British Airways , Condor, South African Airways and Air India all serve Mauritius from their home bases.

The arrivals hall can get rather congested in the morning when most of the flights from Europe arrive. Immigration officers tend to be rather slow and the whole immigration process can be a frustrating experience.

Visitors are required to provide accommodation details to the immigration service on arrival. If you arrive in Mauritius from a country where malaria is endemic, you may receive a visit from the government health service and be required to give a blood sample for malaria screening.

By sea

Vessels that arrive at the port are mainly cargo ships. The Mauritius Pride and the Trochetia are the Mauritian vessels that usually sail to and from Reunion Island, Rodrigues Island and Madagascar. Costa Cruises ships have recently started an Indian Ocean cruise including a visit to Mauritius.

As of April 2008, one way passage prices to travel from Tamatave in Madagascar to Mauritius by boat were €275 first class or €255 second class, compared to €212 to fly from Antananarivo on Air Madagascar. The journey takes at least four days, possibly more if transiting through Reunion. A boat leaves every other Wednesday.

The prices quoted are for a passage in a first or second class cabin. In attempting to go directly to the port in Tamatave to negotiate with a boat captain for a non-cabin berth, tourists are turned away at the gate. Visiting the Nautical Club in Tamatave to enquire about yachts that might be heading to Mauritius also yields no results.

Get Around

Bus and taxi services are best used in urban areas. Bicycles and motorbikes are also available for hire.

By plane

  • Air Mauritius operates daily flights connecting Plaisance Airport and Rodrigues (flight time - 1 hour 15 minutes).

By helicopter

Helicopters are available for transfers and sightseeing tours

  • Air Mauritius Helicopter, ☎ +230 603 3754 (helicopter@airmauritius.com), [15].

By car

One major highway runs north to south, otherwise a good network of paved, if sometimes narrow, roads cover the island. Traffic drives on the left.

Numerous car hire firms include major international and independent firms. Prices vary widely starting from 800 rupees per day. To be on the safe side, with full insurance, visitors should rent cars from companies holding a tourism enterprise license. These cars are identifiable by their yellow registration number plates, while private cars ( unsuitable for rent ) have black plates.

Regulations: Drivers are required to be over 18 years old. Speed limits are 110kph (68mph) on the motorway and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. Seatbelts are compulsory. A foreign licence is accepted.

The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Port Louis to other major cities/towns/resorts in Mauritius.

  • Curepipe 0:20
  • Grand Baie, North 0:30
  • Mahebourg, Southeast 0:45
  • Flic-en-Flac, West 0:30

By bus

Several fairly good bus services ply the island. Taking the bus is the most economical way of travelling. Air-conditioned buses have been recently introduced on some routes.

The major bus companies are:

  • National Transport Corporation (NTC), ☎ +230 426 2938.
  • United Bus Service (UBS), ☎ +230 212 2026.
  • Mauritius Bus Transport (MTB), Long mountain (mr Dhiraj Dosieah), ☎ +230 245 2539.
  • Triolet Bus Service (TBS), ☎ +230 2616725.
  • Others. Other smaller companies bear amusing names e.g. Apollo, Turbo etc.

Buses are still manned by a driver and a conductor who walks around collecting fares and issuing tickets after passengers have boarded. Tell the conductor where you want to go and he'll tell you the fare amount. Upon payment, he'll give you a ticket with the charged amount printed on it.

Most conductors are very helpful in providing directions to tourists. In the local Creole dialect, the conductors are called con-tro-lair (literally controller).

Bus routes and schedules are available from the Ministry of Transport and Mauritius Busses who list all the main operators and their schedules.

Try to pay with small denominations or the conductor may not have enough change. Intentional over-charging of tourists is seldom reported.

By Metered Taxi

  • TaxiMauritius, ☎ +230 9167662, +230 4934065.
  • Reshad Taxi Service, Ebene Cybercity (Mr Reshad Cawder), ☎ +230 2524848.
  • Saheb Dowlut, Ebene Cybercity, ☎ +230 2576081.

These are regulated and metered (though meters are almost never used) and linked to provinces or hotels, printed on a yellow panel on the drivers' door. Tips are not customary for taxi drivers, but appreciated. Taxis are the best way to visit the island. Various tours are available as from 2500 rupees : The holy lake, Chamarel 7 colored earth, Le Morne, swimming with dolphins in Tamarin and Ile aux cerfs are among the most appreciated by visitors.

DO NOT patronize unlicensed taxis. They promise a cheaper ride but, lately, there has been a surge in cases of robbers using this trick to lure and attack their victims. See safety section below.

By boat

  • Coraline, ☎ +230 210 5944 (+230 210 6120), [18]. Sails once a week to Rodrigues Island and to Reunion island from Port Louis Harbour. Mauritius Pride, launched in 1991, and Mauritius Trochetia, in service since 2001, are the two ships operating on the Reunion route, and also have Madagascar as a destination. Both vessels are used as passenger and container ships.

By tour

Several tour companies operate in Mauritius. Each is unique in services offered but most operate with safety in mind.


Northern Touristic Zone

  • Grand Bay was the first area of the island to fully experience the tourist boom. A shopping and leisure paradise, Grand Bay is also where Mauritians go when they want a fun-filled night out (restaurants, bars and discos). Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit.
  • Pereybere — The wonderful Pereybere public beach is popular because of its shopping facilities, restaurants and pubs.
  • Balaclava Ruins — A few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava estate. Visitors can see the sea walls, whose initial foundations were laid down by Mahé de Labourdonnais. The location of the ruins now forms part of Maritim Hotel, and public access may not be possible.
  • The Triolet Shivala — The longest village on the island, Triolet offers an opportunity to visit the biggest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, first built in 1819 in honour of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha.
  • The Labourdonnais Orchards — Discover a large variety of tropical fruit trees, and colourful and perfumed exotic flowers. Trips on mountain bikes or hiking are possible.
  • The Caudan Waterfront — The Caudan Waterfront and it's surroundings has a great collection of local souvenir shops and other foreign brand materials such as clothes, spirits . . . In addition to the harbor of Mauritius, you will also find the movie theater, game arcades, local restaurants. . . .
  • The "Bazard" of Port-Louis — Literally translated as "The market of Port Louis" — here you will find a variety of local snacks and tropical fruits. These are the cheapest food you will find in the capital city. Numerous shops sell crafted objects such as the "goni" basket. Unfortunately you will also find a lot of stalls selling pirate versions of programs, movies and games: they are extremely cheap but still are illegal and do not guarantee quality. Like all crowded areas, be wary of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you. Food sold on the street may have health issues, but those are for the most part rare. If you have any allergies though, refrain from eating at these stalls.
  • Restaurants — Don't hesitate to go to the various local restaurants around the city. Although many of them advertise a specific ethnic cuisine, like everywhere around the world they have their own mix of traditional and local. You might discover that 'fried rice' can have more than one flavor.
  • The SSR Botanical Garden If you want to see some plants originating from Mauritius, then this is the place for you. The SSR botanical garden is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. It was founded by Pierre Poivre (1719 – 1786) in 1770, and covers an area of around 37 hectares.


  • Flacq Market — Flacq is one of the most important villages in Mauritius. This meeting point for inhabitants of the East boasts the country’s largest open air market. This extremely colourful market attracts a large number of people.
  • The Waterpark Leisure Village — Enjoy sliding on the giant chutes with family or friends. Relaxation and pleasure guaranteed.
  • Ile aux Cerfs — A paradise for water sports and has one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. You cannot afford to miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the ocean, a real pearl in the Mauritian landscape. Price conscious visitors would be well advised to take ample food and drink, as the only bar and restaurant on the island primarily targets well-heeled tourists.
  • Beaches— The eastern part of the island is known for its long sand bank beaches and famous hotels such as "The Coco Beach Hotel" and the 5-star "Le Touessrok".

South East

  • Dutch Ruins — At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Excavation work is underway in a bid to uncover an important part of Mauritian history.
  • Ile aux Aigrettes — As a result of the remarkable work accomplished by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island has become an international standard for the protection of natural resources and endangered species. A few of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel, can be seen there. You can also see the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise.
  • Mahebourg is one of the main fishing villages on the island. Built on the magnificent Grand Port Bay, it was founded in 1804 by the French Governor Charles Decaën. The Monday markets are among the biggest and best on the island and are held right next to the main bus station.
  • Domaine du Chasseur, Tel: +230 634-5011, Fax: +230 634-5261. Nestling in the Anse Jonchée hills, the Domaine des Grand Bois has splendid hunting grounds covering an area of 900 hectares. Stags, monkeys and boars live amidst the luxuriant vegetation of the hillside. One can watch a few species of endangered birds, including the kestrel. The Domaine contains four thatched-roof bungalows and a restaurant with a panoramic sea view. Take an opportunity to enjoy a meal of venison. (The view is great and well worth the visit, but the food can best be described as average. The venison is very chewy.) There is a steep hike up the hill from the car park to the restaurant. The restaurant offers a 4wd taxi service which is free if you eat one of their overpriced meals, but if you only want a cup of tea or desert they will slug you an outrageous 230 Rupee per person, for the 5 minute ride.
  • Souillac — A small seaside resort along the rugged coast of the Savanne district. A famous feature is the garden overlooking the sea and named after Dr. Charles Telfair. A popular viewpoint is found at the southern end of the village, right on the cliff top : Gris Gris.
  • Blue Bay — Bluest water and most amazing white sand beaches you will ever see... Take the trip across the island from Port Louis and see what this quiet place has to offer. Very busy with the locals on weekends. Try to go during the week. Glass bottom boats are an excellent outing. Part of Blue Bay has been designated a Marine Park, and the snorkeling trips by boat to this area, offered for sale on the main public beach, are well worth trying.


  • Martello Towers — at La Preneuse, Black River, represent the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind. They are a milestone in the island’s history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of Indian immigration.
  • Chamarel — A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel: an undulating landscape of different and contrasting shades of colours. The different shades of blue, green, red and yellow are apparently the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash. The neighbouring waterfalls of Chamarel rise from the moors and the native plant life . The site possesses a rare beauty. An adventure park has also recently been opened at Chamarel. Much of the sand has been souvenired by locals. It is now sectioned off, but is not that impressive.
  • Salt Pans — Owing to the exceptional high level of sunshine the district receives, Tamarin is the heart of salt production in Mauritius.
  • Casela, Tel: +230 452-2828. Situated in the Rivière Noire district, the Casela Nature & Leisure Park stretches over 25 hectares. It contains more than 140 bird species from five continents and is home to many other animals like giant tortoises, zebras, a tiger and ostriches. Activities like walking with lions, Rando Fun (ziplines & hanging bridges), quad, buggy & Segway, a petting farm and many more promise a fun day for the whole family.
  • Yemen Yemen Reserve may not be the largest game reserve on the island, but there is still lots to see. You will be able to get close to the herds of deer, and admire some splendid species of Mauritian fauna. A few rustic kiosks available in the reserve provide an unobstructed view of the sea. There you can sip a local punch while watching the sun going down.

The Interior

  • Black River Gorges This national park of 6,574 hectares (16,244 acres) was created in 1994 for the protection of Mauritius’ remaining native forests. Visitors can enjoy magnificent landscapes, with endemic plants and rare bird species. A trail leads from the Pétrin information centre to an area of typical plant life and to a conservation area.
  • Eureka, Tel: (204) 326-4775, Fax: (204) 326-9732. Is an old Creole residence built in 1830, Eureka is an essential place to visit during your stay in Mauritius if you wish to immerse yourself in tropical sweetness. Includes a tour of the colonial house with the opportunity to purchase overpriced textile products, and a tour of the gardens and a visit to the waterfalls below.
  • Ganga Talao - Grand Bassin Beyond La Marie and Mare-aux-Vacoas is found one of the two natural lakes of Mauritius. It rests within the crater of an extinct volcano. Ganga Talao is an important pilgrimage site and many Mauritians of the Hindu faith walk there during the Maha Shivaratri festival or the night fasting dedicated to Shiva. Gigantic eels live in the lake and are fed by the pilgrims. A walk to the top of the mount beside the lake is recommended for beautiful views over the area known as "Plaine Champagne".
  • L’Aventure du Sucre, Tel: 243 06 60. Daily 9AM-6PM. Visit an interactive and ultra modern exhibition situated at the heart of an ancient sugar mill and discover the fascinating history of Mauritius and its sugarcane adventure exposed over 5000 sq meters. Then, let yourself be tempted by their boutique with its unique gifts, souvenirs and tasting of special unrefined sugars as well as local rum. Do not miss the opportunity to relish authentic Mauritian cuisine with refined flavours at their restaurant "Le Fangourin". Free access to the restaurant and the Village Boutique Beau Plan-Pamplemousses.


The official language in Mauritius is English. As such, all government administrative documents will be drawn up in English. However, French is the language most commonly used in formal settings, and is by far the dominant language in the mass media, as well as in corporate and business dealings. In fact, even English language television programmes are usually dubbed into French. French is also the main language of instruction used in the education system.

The most commonly spoken language is Mauritian Creole, a French based creole which has incorporated some words from diverse sources including but not limited to English, Dutch and Portuguese, and has slight pronunciation differences from standard French. While there is no official written standard for Mauritian Creole, when written down for informal communication, words are often spelt differently from standard French. The next most commonly spoken language is French, which is spoken fluently by most locals, with English being a not too distant third. Virtually everyone working in the tourism industry will be able to speak fairly decent, albeit heavily accented English, and all government departments will have English-speaking staff on duty. Other languages spoken by much smaller numbers include: Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri and Mandarin. Tamilians constitues around 10% of population and they speak Tamil.


  • Views For a spectacular 360-degree view of Port Louis and the north, climb Le Pouce or ‘the thumb', at 812m (2,664ft). It is an easy 2-hour climb from the village of Petit Verger (near St. Pierre), and takes another 2 hours to walk into Port Louis.
  • Tour the Moka mountains by quad bike, horse or 4-wheel drive at the accessible 1,500-hectare (3,700-acre) nature park of Domaine Les Pailles. Travel to the sugar mill and rum distillery by train or horse-drawn carriage before dining in one of four restaurants.
  • Deep sea fishing Mauritius is ideally positioned for game-fishing. Depending on the time of year it is possible to catch Blue or Black Marlin , Sailfish , Wahoo , Yellow fin Tuna , Giant Trevally , Dogtooth Tuna , Bonito , Dolphinfish, Sharks and many more. The majority of the Big game fishing boats are well equipped with VHF radio, mobile telephone, G.P.S navigation system, radar, radio telephone, safety equipment, Penn International reels, life jackets, medical kits, fire extinguishers, flares, and all related fishing equipment such as fighting chairs and rods (usually 9). You can choose between half day and full day fishing trips . Big game fishing is best on the west coast of Mauritius because the currents swirl around the foot of Le Morne, creating a marine environment attractive to bait fish, which in turn attracts the larger fish. Boats usually accommodate up to 5 anglers and full day trips typically include both breakfast and lunch in the price.
  • Head to Grand Baie, for watersports such as parasailing, an underwater walk, submarine and semi-submersible scooters, or to La Cuvette, a long beach with clear water between Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux, for sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing.
  • Full day sightseeing tours Go on one of the full day sightseeing tours and see many beautiful sights of Mauritius. Choose between: Mauritius North Tour, Mauritius South & Southwest Tour, Mauritius South West Tour, Mauritius South-Chamouny Tour, Mauritius South-East Tour and Mauritius Complete Tea Route tour
  • Safari Jeep Trips The Safari Jeep trip takes place in Yemen natural reserve park on the West Coast of Mauritius. It hosts two of the longest rivers on the island – Rivière Rempart and Tamarin River – and is a haven for all sorts of native and exotic wildlife. The actual size of this natural reserve is of around 4500 hectares. The Yemen Park is the setting for Safari trips where you will have a thrilling ride and will be able to see many beautiful animals such as Zebras, ostriches, African antelopes, Java deer, monkeys, ducks and geese, and will see extraordinary panoramic views of this breathtaking part of the island.
  • Safari Quad biking Trips Experience an adventurous Quad biking activity in the most amazing natural setting! quad-biking activity in the 4,500 hectares of Yemen natural reserve park. More than a quad bike outing, it is a trip through a real safari. During the trip it is possible to see deers, zebras, ostriches, African antelopes, wild boars and many more; this a very big added bonus to this activity
  • Swim at the northern beaches such as Trou aux Biches, shaded by casuarinas, Mont Choisy, a 2km (1.2-mile) narrow white stretch of sand curving north from there, and Péreybère, a little cove between Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux.
  • Scuba diving — When you dive in Mauritius you can explore coral reefs, multi-colored marine life, ship wrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, or some ships sunk more recently which create beautiful artificial reefs. There are numerous dive sites strewn all around the island. One of the well-known and popular dive sites in Mauritius is the Cathedral, which is located off the Flic en Flac on the western coast of Mauritius. Other dive sites in Mauritius include the Whale Rock and Roche Zozo that is an underwater rock pinnacle, and the submerged crater near Ile Ronde. Mauritius is almost completely encircled by a barrier coral reef which is home to many sponges, sea anemones and a variety of brightly colored fish such as Damselfish, Trumpet fish, Boxfish and clown fish, as well as the orange Mauritian scorpionfish. Most of the dive sites are located on the west coast around Flic-en-Flac or in the north, at Trou aux Biches or at the Northern Islands. The best time to go diving is from November to April with very good visibility underwater. The Mauritius Scuba Diving Association (MSDA) can provide further information.
  • Watch dolphins up-close in their natural habitat off the western coast (Tamarin) of the island.
  • Speedboat rides are available from Trou d'eau Douce to the popular island playground of Ile aux Cerfs for beaches, golf and watersports. Or, for a quieter day, a catamaran to the Northern Islands - Gabriel Island, Flat Island and Gunner's Quoin.
  • Hiking and Trekking in Mauritius with breathtaking views of mountains, rivers, and forests. Enjoy a hiking trip through the fields, trekking on a zip line or on a bike, and discover this magnificent nature paradise Mauritius being a volcanic island has several breathtaking summits and valleys to explore on foot. You can visit the Black River Gorges National Park, a 6,794-hectare (16,788-acre) forest, to see indigenous plants, birds and wildlife. Black River Peak trail goes to Mauritius' highest mountain, while the Maccabee Trail starts nearby and plunges into the gorge to Black River.
  • Mauritius Tandem Skydiving – Experience a 10,000ft skydive in Mauritius. Enjoy a spectacular scenic flight and a visually awesome Tandem Skydive. Tandem skydiving refers to a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected via a harness to a tandem instructor. The instructor guides the student through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. The student needs only minimal instruction before making a tandem jump.
  • Horse racing - The Mauritius horse racing club commonly called the Champ de Mars was founded in 1812, making it the oldest horse-racing club in the Southern Hemisphere. Horse racing is the most popular sport in Mauritius, and you can expect to have about 30,000 visitors on each race day. The horse racing season usually starts in April and ends in late November. There are an average of 9 and a maximum of 12 horses per race. On average some 60 horses participate on each racing day. It is highly recommended to go and experience the electric atmosphere of horse racing in Mauritius. For those interested it is also possible have a VIP treatment in one of the VIP suites while enjoying snacks and drinks and a clear view of the race from your private balcony
  • Lunch For an adventurous lunch of roasted wild boar, duck or deer curry with one of the best island views, try Domaine du Chasseur's alfresco Panoramour Restaurant. This domain is the best place to glimpse the Mauritius kestrel in the wild. ** WARNING. There is a steep hike up the hill from the car park to the restaurant. The restaurant offers a 4wd taxi service which is free if you eat one of their overpriced meals, but if you only want a cup of tea or desert they will slug you an outrageous 230 Rupee per person, for the 5 minute ride. **
  • Parasailing For those looking for a fun sea-air activity, you can try parasailing. You will be rewarded with a breathtaking bird's eye view of the beautiful lagoon and beaches. The parasailing begins with a short safety briefing. Then you will be taken by boat to the launch pod where you will take off and start the parasailing. No steering is actually necessary as the sail follows the course of the boat
  • Water Ski Water-skiing is one of the most popular water sports in Mauritius. You can enjoy water skiing along several of Mauritius’ coasts or in a few of the lakes. The best area for water skiing is considered to be the north area of the island, along the coasts, where the lagoon provides full protection from the big waves of the open sea and offers ideal water skiing conditions of very calm sea
  • La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes The park which is home to various species of animals, reptiles and plants is set in a beautiful rain forested valley with natural freshwater springs, full of prawns and fish. It is commonly referred to as ‘The Crocodile Park', for its thousands of Nile crocodiles. It is the only place worldwide to breed aldabra tortoises. There is also a mini zoo of Mauritian fauna where you can find most of the Mauritian mammals and reptiles including skinks, phelsumas (geckos), tortoises, turtles, bats, deer, mongooses, monkeys, pigs, as well as domestic livestock such as goats, fat-tailed sheep and donkeys. At the park shop, you'll find crocodile belts and other crocodile goods.
  • Swimming with Dolphins - Go on a speed boat trip and swim with Dolphins in the open sea. You can choose between 2 hours trip, half day and full day trips where you will get to swim with the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Spinner Dolphin, which have made of the West Coast of Mauritius a place for them to rest before going to the deep sea for their fishing.
  • Walk with Lions & Cheetahs Experience a one-on-one encounter with Lions and Cheetahs! Feel the adrenaline rush, the sense of excitement and know how it is to be so close to these amazing creatures. From the moment you meet the lions, your adventure shall begin. Under the coolness of the trees you can take pleasure in viewing the lions from very close, see them playing and hopping on the rocks of the river banks and scaling the trees. The lions roam freely amongst the participants giving them the unique opportunity of being in close contact with them.
  • Rodrigues Island Tiny, rugged, volcanic it lies 550km (340 miles) northeast of Mauritius and is known as the ‘anti-stress' island. The capital, Port Mathurin, is only seven streets wide, with a Creole population. Rodrigues offers walking, diving, kitesurfing and deep sea fishing.
  • Tamarind Waterfalls The Tamarind Falls (also known as Tamarin Falls) are a beautiful attraction of the southwest of Mauritius. These falls are awkward to reach, but no doubt, it's worth the effort. Tamarind Falls on the Interior portion of the island is an incredible string of about 7 waterfalls surrounds by green mountains and is tucked away beyond a sugar cane filled. Bring something to swim in as the are numerous pools beneath certain falls to take a dip in. There are some spots that require getting a little dirty and some traction on your shoes, but it is well worth it. First time visitors would be advised not to go unguided. No doubt this is one of the most beautiful and calmest places in Mauritius, and one of the best places for nature and animals lovers, and for finding exotic plants and birds.
  • Blue Safari Submarine see the wonderful underwater tropical fish without even getting your feet wet. Going underwater to 35 meters depth on board of a real submarine. You will get to visit a shipwreck, explore the rich coral reefs, and observe and encounter various species of fish. The submarine is air-conditioned with fully transparent-glassed cabin so you will enjoy exceptionally clear panoramic views of the extraordinary underwater world. At 35 meters undersea, you may see some rare species and will explore the underwater world just like on any other traditional safari
  • Underwater Submarine Scooter Adventure Pilot your own underwater scooter by yourself or as a couple to 3-4 meters depth in full safety. Comfortably seated one behind the other, you breath freely and naturally in a broad common, transparent and panoramic cupola which allow you to discover and to enjoy full the view of the reef and marine life, while communicating all along with your partner. You will receive full briefing about the easy control of the underwater scooter, and will be equipped with a diving suit for warmth and full safety
  • Sea Kayaking is a great way to explore the fine greenery of the lagoons, or the open waters of the Indian Ocean. It is possible to find wide range of sea kayaking trips and packages from breezy, calmer routes, to a few days trip surrounding the island in the deep ocean waters. This is also possible to have a kayak trip to any of the small islets surrounding the main island such as Ile D'Ambre Island.
  • Shop Mauritius is not at all like Bali or Thailand. Don't expect the local merchants to be interested in a long bartering game. Many shops will not come down on price at all and even at the markets don't expect more than a 10 -20% discount. There are bargains to be had however. Many large brand names in the textile world are manufactured in Mauritius and you can often find over runs or slightly flawed items at a fraction of the European prices. It is also a good place to find unique designed jewelery, wide range of hand crafts such as: artificial flowers, model boats, wooden art and more. It is possible to reach the main shopping centers by public transportation, or to take a full day shopping tour which includes a driver to take you to the main centers and handcrafts workshops.
  • Rock climbing – Rock climbing on the South West coast of Mauritius. You will get to experience rock climbing in a beautiful setting Of the Belle Vue Cliffs, where the caves of "La Pointe aux Caves" are nestled and in close proximity from the famous lighthouse of Albion. This a great outdoor sport where you will learn the basic techniques of knots, safe climbing and rock progression from Mauritius’ top professional guides. As part of rock climbing excursion you will be trained on some breathing exercises to maximize climbing performance over rock faces and cliffs
  • Canyoning – For those seeking more adrenalin and thrill, canyoning is your ideal excursion, which challenges you to abseil down the steep walls of the canyons using nature watercourses and canyoning gear. The canyoning is offered in few locations in Mauritius. The Canyoning (known also as canyoneering) in Mauritius consists of traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and/or swimming


When leaving Mauritius, don't wait until you go through passport control if you want to have a snack. The coffee shop after passport control is not value for money. You would be better off visiting the snack bar before check-in and taking your purchases through with you.

Mauritius is a paradise for the senses, not only for the eyes with its beautiful landscape, but also for the palate. Gastronomes will find a variety of flavours and aromas inherited from the different migrations through its history. Culinary traditions from France, India, China and Africa, the best-known and appreciated cuisines in the world, have been passed on through generations.

Depending on the region, rice or a variety of flat bread called chapattis or roti, called farata (paratha) by the local people, is eaten with curries. The extensive use of spices like saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and herbs like thyme, basil, and curry leaves are the common ingredients that provide some powerful, yet subtle, savour. Dal, a variety of lentil soup, are many and varied according to which type of lentil is used; vegetables, beans, and pickles accompany the dishes. Dholl puri and roti, originally an Indian delicacy have become the fish and chips of Mauritians.

Biryani from Mughal origins is a dish expertly prepared by the Muslim community, with meat mixed with spiced rice and potatoes.

You can buy many snacks on the streets of Mauritius including the famous gateaux piments (a variant of the indian vadai ; literally, chilli cakes), and vegetable or meat samosas (puffs), along with octopus curry in bread. The tomato and onion based dish called Rougaille (pronounced rooh-guy) is a variation of the French ragoût . The dish usually consists of meat or seafood (corned beef and salted snoek fish rougaille are very popular with the locals) and all Mauritians eat this dish often if not daily.

Mauritians have a sweet tooth and make many types of 'gateaux', as they are called. The cakes vary and you can find cakes very much like at home and others similar to Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla among many others.

Check out the queues where the street sellers are selling their type of snacks and the longest queue will probably have the tastiest food on sale and is very cheap.


Mauritius produces a wide range of cane rum. It is very cheap and is a nice drink when mixed with cola and ice. Don't forget the coconut water with a dash of lime and a splash of local rum over ice. The serious amateur will try to find a bottle of five years old (or older) rum. Worth the price difference!

If you are staying in a hotel where the drinks are wildly expensive consider collecting your tipples while you are out and about from the local village shops or supermarkets where the prices are much cheaper.

The local beer Phoenix is considered to be one of the best in the world and costs around 30 rupees (less than one pound sterling) for a pint. Usually served very cold.

The local Black Eagle beer, brewed in Nouvelle France is one to watch out for as well. Definite refreshment to match the sweltering summer heat.

Try visiting the Medine Estate Refinery shop at Bambous (4km from Flic en Flac), on the west of the Island, for a wide variety of locally produced rums and liquors.


  • Bungalow Vanille, Royal Road, Black River, (info@bungalowvanille.com), [19]. Detached bungalow with a pool. 5 min walk to the beach. Friendly staff. €50/night.
  • Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa, Le Morne Peninsula, ☎ +230 401 4900 (dinarobin@bchot.com, fax: +230 401 4901), [20]. All suite 5 star beach and golf resort with spa
  • Labourdonnais, Waterfront, Port Louis. 5 star hotel convenient for Port Louis and many restaurants around the area. Popular with businessmen.
  • Lacazecreole, Mare la chaux, Belle Mare, ☎ +230 4934065 (lacazecreole@hotmail.com), [21].
  • Alpha Villa, Ave des perruches Flic en Flac. Black River, ☎ +230 256 99 00 (alphavilla@orang.mu), [22]. Self catering studios and apartments. 50 m to the beach. Friendly staff. €29/night.
  • La Maison d'Eté (small beach hotel), Coastal Road, Poste Lafayette, ☎ +230 410 5039 (info@lamaisondete.com, fax: + 230 410 5354), [23]. A good alternative to the big hotels. A few rooms. Private beach along the lagoon, from where you can swim and snorkel to view the reef life. Good restaurant. Warm welcome by the owners. Room for 2 persons €110.
  • Le Meridien Ile Maurice, [24]. Beachfront on the bay of Pointe aux Piments.
  • Paradis Hotel & Golf Club, Le Morne Peninsula, ☎ +230 401 5050 (paradis@bchot.com, fax: +230 450 5140), [25]. 5 star golf resort
  • The Residence (The Residence Hotel Mauritius), [26]. 5* hotel in the style of a plantation house; popular with honeymooners. Inspired by turn-of-the-century colonial mansions.
  • Le Touessrok, [27]. Luxury hotel that is a member of Leading Hotels of the World
  • Rialto Villa, Trou Aux Biches, ☎ +230 4653293 (info@rialtovilla.com, fax: +230 465 3293), [28].
  • Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, [29]. Right on Tamarin Bay.
  • Trou Aux Biches Resort & Spa, Triolet, ☎ +230 204 6565 (trouauxbiches@bchot.com, fax: +230 265 6611), [30]. Hotel completely reconstructed and reopening on 1st of Nov 2010
  • Le Victoria, Pointe Aux Piments, ☎ +230 204 2000 (victoria@bchot.com, fax: +230 261 8224), [31]. Family holiday resort.
  • Safia Tourist Residence, 16 route royale eau Bassin, ☎ +230 256 9900 (info@safia.mu, fax: +230 465 20 81), [32]. Rooms, studios and apartment. €15.
  • One&Only - Le Saint Géran, [33]. 5* hotel opened in 1975 and remodeled in 1999 with balconied rooms facing the Indian Ocean. 60-acre resort has a 9-hole Gary Player designed golf course, spa with pool and gym, a French restaurant, an Indian restaurant. Amenities includes a KidsOnly club for 4-11 year olds and a teens club.
  • La Cocoteraie, Mont-Choisy, ☎ +230 265 5694, [34]. On the northwest coast two minutes walk from the beaches at Mont Choisy and Trou-aux-Biches.
  • Royal Palm, Royal Road - Grand Baie (north), ☎ +230 209 8300, [35]. Nice hotel in the north. A member of the leading hotels of the world
  • Pingouinvillas, (8 mins drive from SSR International Airport), ☎ +230 637 3051, +230 758 383 (resa@pingouinvillas.com, fax: +230 637 3051), [36]. 200 m (3 minutes walk) from the Blue-Bay beach. Apartment and studio complex set in small tropical garden, nightly and weekly rates available. TV, free local calls and wifi, laptop provided. Safe, washing machine, fridge/freezer, coffee machine and microwave and similar requirements provided. €40-60.
  • Shandrani Resort & Spa, Blue Bay, ☎ +230 603 4343, [37]. Hotel on the south east coast.

Stay Safe

Be alert for your own security in Mauritius. Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would anywhere in the world. Be a smart traveler. Before your trip: Organize comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy. Register your travel and contact details, so that you can be contacted in an emergency.

Crime levels in Mauritius are low, though petty crime is on the rise. Most crime against foreign tourists is petty crime, although incidents of assault and rape occur. The rate of crime is higher in downtown Port Louis, and in the coastal tourist centres of Grand Bay, Pereybere, Flic en Flac and Tamarin. Security risks increase after dark especially on beaches, city streets and in other secluded areas. There have been incidents of tourists being assaulted and robbed while staying at beachside bungalows run by unregistered proprietors.

Some safety advice:

  • Avoid remote areas alone.
  • Do not leave valuables in view in your car.
  • Avoid unexpected offers of (seemingly free) guided tours. Ulterior motives are common.
  • Do not patronize unlicensed taxis (taxi marrons). Some robbers use this trick to lure and attack their victims.

Important telephone numbers

The Tourist Police service (Police du Tourisme), ☎ +230 213 2818.

Stay Healthy

Mauritius is a risk area for infection with dengue fever (also known as "breakbone fever" from the muscular paroxysms sometimes induced). No vaccine is available. However no cases of dengue fever have been recorded in the country for several years now.

Since 2005 during the high season a certain type of mosquito called the Aedes albopictus causes the viral illness Chikungunya and the insect is more likely to be around in the daytime.

It is important to use anti-mosquito protection at all times. Mosquitoes are more prevalent in rural areas but they can also inhabit the beach in the tourist zone and may lead to swollen joints and/or rashes. Symptoms last from one week up to several months depending how seriously you are affected. Some people recover quickly but it can take several months to recover completely.

It shouldn't put you off visiting Mauritius. Just take good care to cover yourself completely in the best mosquito repellent you can find and re-apply again after swimming. Sleep under a mosquito net. Spray the bedroom well before going to bed with a good repellant and take an electric repellant to plug into the power supply. You can buy plenty of repellants of all types locally in Mauritius quite cheaply including bracelets for kids.

Here is a website with comprehensive information on the Chikungunya virus - Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s website:

In 1991, , 86% of the population had antibodies indicating that they had been exposed to the hepatitis A virus, following an epidemic of the disease in 1989. Hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended for travel in East Africa (and most other places) by the CDC .

Depending on the time of the year, many of the beaches are infested with sea urchins, and it is not uncommon to see broken glass on the beach or in the water. It is a very good idea to either buy or bring plastic/wet shoes when venturing into the water. This is generally not a problem at the big hotels as the designated swimming areas on the beaches are regularly cleaned of urchins and debris. Use wet shoes nonetheless.

Reef fish in Mauritius have been found to contain a neurotoxin similar, but not identical, to that found in Caribbean reef fish.

It is important not to eat peanuts or take alcohol if you eat coral or reef fish like sea bass, snapper, mullet, grouper, there are many more. The fish eat the toxic algae that grows on the coral reefs. Don't eat intestines or testes of the fish as higher concentrations of the toxin collect here. The symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhoea and sometimes numb feelings of the arms and legs.