Mauritius

mautitius

Mauritius:

mauritius

Quick Facts:

Area:  787 sq miles
Capital City:  Port Louis
Government:  Parliamentary Republic  
President: Kailash Purryag  Prime Minister:  Navin Ramgoolam
Languages:  English is the official language, French and Creole are used by the local people in every day life. 
Location:  Off the east coast of Africa, due south east of Madagascar
Population size:   1,291,456  Population density:  1,636.5/sq mi
Telephone code:  +230 followed by the phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 4 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

The local currency is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs). Traveller’s cheques may be exchanged at cashier’s desks at the hotels.  However, most hotels are close to commercial banks where you may receive a better rate of exchange.  Cash points are available at most banks where you may withdraw up to Mrps10 000 per week on your credit card.  There are Bureau de Change in both the Arrivals and Departure Halls.

Banking hours:

Monday to Thursday 09h15 – 15h15
Fridays 09h15 – 17h15
(closed on Saturdays)

Climate:

Situated near the Tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius has a subtropical climate. Good weather is enjoyed year-round.
There are two seasons; summer (November to April), with an average daytime temperature of 30°, and winter (May to September) where lows average 17° and highs around 24°.

The period September to November enjoys pleasant temperatures between 25° and 28°. Mauritius does not experience a monsoon season.

The Cyclone season is generally between January and March. Tropical cyclones passing near Mauritius can bring high winds and heavy rain, but these are uncommon.

In summer, sunrise is at 5.00am and sunset at 7.00pm. In winter, sunrise is at 6.00am and sunset at 6.00pm.
December through March is the best time for diving, when the waters are at their clearest. June through August is best for surfing, and October through April is excellent for big game fishing, when the large game fish feed close to shore.

- ºF
(Avg Temp)
ºC
(Avg Temp)
Sunshine
(Avg Hours per month)
Rain
(Avg inches per month)
Rain
(Avg mm per month)
January 86º 30º 8 hours 8″ 190mm
February 84º 29º 7 hours 8″ 200mm
March 84º 29º 7 hours 8″ 190mm
April 82º 28º 8 hours 5″ 135mm
May 89º 26º 7 hours 4″ 100mm
June 76º 24º 7 hours 3″ 75mm
July 75º 24º 8 hours 2″ 55mm
August 75º 24º 8 hours 2″ 45mm
September 77º 25º 8 hours 1″ 35mm
October 80º 27º 8 hours 2″ 45mm
November 83º 28º 9 hours 2″ 60mm
December 85º 29º 8 hours 5″ 125mm

Clothing:

Generally casual with some preferring fashionable beachwear during the day.  Evening wear is smart casual.  During the cooler months from May to September, a light sweater of jacket is recommended for the evening.

Credit Cards/ Currency:

The local currency is Mauritian Rupee(Rs). Rs1,00 is divided into 100 cents. It is recommended that you take your foreign currency in traveller’s cheques.  Travelers cheques in any hard currency e.g. US$, Euro or Sterling are accepted, but commission is charged on encashment. Payment by credit card can be made at all hotels.  Cards accepted are American Express, MasterCard and Visa and Diners Club.  Cash is really only required for tips and purchases from beach vendors.

Departure Tax:

Included in air ticket

Duty Free:

Duty free shops are located in the Arrivals and Departure Halls.  Articles are priced in Mauritian Rupees but payment can be made by credit card, any foreign currency or in Mauritian Rupees.

On arrival it is not necessary to access the Red Route at Customs unless you are importing goods.  Items per adult over 16 years, which are duty free, include:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 2 litres of wine or beer
  • 1 litre of spirits
  • 250 ml eau de toilette or 10 cl of perfume

Security:

Ensure that your passport, air tickets and travellers’ cheques are safely stored in either the individual safe in your room or at the hotel safety boxes. Do not leave jewellery, cell phones, cameras, binoculars or any other valuables in your room or public areas.

Electrical Current:

220/230 volts AC.  Twin plugs are the same as in South Africa (round prongs), but three-pin plugs have square prongs, the same as those in use in Britain.

Health Concerns:

Mauritius is a Malaria free area and every effort is made to keep it as such.  At certain times of the year, particularly in the summer months, it is necessary to use mosquito repellent. Sprays in the rooms are available on request.

Metal Hips, Pins, Knee Replacements, Pacemakers, etc:

Please be aware that if any guests travelling with us have had a knee or hip replacement (usually metal) or have pins, pacemakers, etc., they may set off security alarms at airports which can prevent them from being allowed to board. Our recommendation is that they travel with a doctor’s card / letter stating this information, to show security officials to ensure there are no delays, especially at our regional airports.

Holidays:

2013
1-2 Jan New Year
27 Jan Thaipoosam Cavadee
1 Feb Abolition of Slavery Day
10 Feb Chinese New Year
10 Mar Mahashivratri
12 Mar National Day
11 Apr Ougadi
1 May Labour Day
9 Aug Id-ul-Fitr*
10 Sep Ganesh Chaturthi
1 Nov All Saints Day
2 Nov Arrival of Indentured Labourers
3 Nov
Diwali
25 Dec Christmas

Passport/ Visa Requirements:

Visas are not the responsibility of Trans Africa Safaris.  Please check with local authorities for all information pertaining to visa requirements. Other nationalities – it is the responsibility of the overseas booking agent to check visa requirements.  If you request us to check the information for you, we will do so and give you the status which is current at that time.  Trans Africa Safaris cannot be held responsible if the visa situation changes after we have provided the information.  We suggest you check at the time of booking and again one month prior to clients’ departure from home country.

Passports: The situation regarding blank pages in passports, for visits to Southern Africa, changes regularly.  Please see the list of counties with their specific requirements below:

  • Passports must be valid for 6 months after your departure from Southern Africa
  • For your visit to Mauritius: 2 blank VISA pages.
  • Please note pages headed “Endorsements, Observations” etc are not VISA pages.

Without the above you could be denied entry.

Shopping:

Shopping in Mauritius is a pleasurable experience with high quality goods available at local boutiques, factory shops or on the beach.  Quality jewellery purchases include diamonds and gold which are duty free in recognized shops.  Pearls are sold by beach vendors and range from high quality to the everyday freshwater variety.  Fine Oriental carpets are in abundance and fashionable woolen garments are manufactured locally.  Pashminas vary from fake to the real thing.  Beach vendors expect to be bargained with.  Factory shops are located all over the island selling good quality copies of Ralph Laurent and Polo garments at very reasonable prices.

It is illegal to purchase or remove shells from the island unless from a licensed vendor. Other good purchases are beautifully embroidered Chinese linen and tableware.  Fun items include basket-ware, bead-ware and other crafts either locally manufactured or imported.

Shopping hours:

Port Louis

 Cure Pipe

 Monday to Friday  09h00 – 17h00  Monday to Friday (excl Thursday)  09h00 – 18h00
 Saturday  09h00 – 13h00  Thursday and Sunday  09h00 – 12h00
 Sunday  09h00 – 12h00  Saturday  09h00 – 17h00

Photography:

A good SLR (single lens reflex) or digital SLR camera with telephoto zoom lens is recommended for photography of birds and animals, as is colour reversal film (slides) if using film as this will give better quality pictures than regular film. A big memory card / abundant film and spare batteries as recommended as these are often not available at the bush camps/lodges

Recommended Reading:

  • Mauritius: Bradt Travel Guide
  • Mauritius, Rodriques & Reunion: The Mascarene Isles 6th Edition, 2006 Royston Ellis
  • Journey to Mauritius by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre
  • Jason Wilson Travel Narrative 2002
  • Spectrum Guide to Mauritius Camerapix Guidebook 1997
  • The Mauritius Command by Patrick O’Brian Literature 1991
  • Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands by Ian Sinclair & Olivier Langrand – field guide 2003
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