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Mauritius

Mauritius is considered the dreamed destination by many with its heavenly beaches and turquoise waters. This small gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean hides far more treasures that deserve to be discovered during your family vacations. The population, its history, cuisine, culture and nature are just some of the facets that make the island unique and rich. Here is a Top 10 of the things to do and see, to bring back home unforgettable memories from your stay in Mauritius.

Mauritius, so far away, yet so much at home... Mauritius, a sparkling crystal in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, will fascinate you. The contrast of colours, cultures and tastes makes the island so charming that the scene is set for an unforgettable holiday.

Here, you have the opportunity to experience unparalleled luxury: a level of refinement that is head and shoulders above that on offer in other tropical holiday destinations. Here, you will discover the true meaning of ‘beauty’ – a realisation that will compel you to return to Mauritius’ shores time and again. Mauritius was named after Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau...

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Mauritius is also renowned worldwide for its diving and kitesurfing spots by both professionals and amateurs. There are various types of diving activities for sea lovers of all levels. The marine parks of Blue Bay and Balaclava are to be seen by snorkelling enthusiasts, and those who practise free or bottle diving, will be delighted to discover all the intriguing spots around the island. You will easily find recognized and certified diving centres in some hotels and in the coastal regions. Kite surfers will choose the lagoons of the southwest and southeast.

Climate

Mauritius’ mild tropical climate – with over 300 days of sunshine a year– gives the destination its year-round appeal. Located in the southern hemisphere, the summer and winter months in Mauritius are opposite to the seasons in Europe. The peak summer season runs from October to May and winter runs from June to September.

The weather is hot and tropical during the summer, with peaks in temperatures occurring in the months of December, January and February. The summer also sees the most rain – but the showers rarely last for long and most rain falls on the central plateau. This is the best time for scuba diving – especially December through to March – and for deep-sea fishing. The cyclonic season runs from November to April. Typically the cyclones avoid Mauritius because of the small size of the island, however in the event a cyclone does reach the island, rest assured that all of the beach resorts have been constructed to resist strong cyclonic winds.

The dry winters attract those seeking winter sun and is perfect for families as the temperature is cooler from May to October. Prevailing winds tend to blow over the island from the east and south-east which mean ideal conditions for kite and wind-surfing.

On the central plateau, which is some 600 metres above sea level, the average day temperature is between 20°C in August and 26°C in February. On the coast, the temperatures are higher by about three to five degrees. The northern and the western parts of the island are warmer and drier than the eastern and the southern regions.

Customs

In order to ensure you are being culturally respectful, please dress conservatively when visiting temples/shrines. Many hotels have a dress code for dinner, so remember to check this before trave

Duty Free

Foreign visitors and departing Mauritians can enjoy savings up to 15% when they shop across the island in over 1000 registered stores.

Foreign visitors can claim the VAT/Duty Paid on their purchases made in registered shops displaying the logos tax2 and tax1

Immediate cash refunds in Euro (EUR), British Pound (GBP), US Dollar (USD) and South African Rand (ZAR) can be obtained at the time of departure.

Cruise ship visitors should inquire with their Captain whether Tax Refund facilities will be provided on departure from Mauritius.

Shop at stores displaying the Tax Refund logo and ask for a VAT PAID SUPPLIES TO VISITORS Sales Receipt or DF5 invoice when your purchases total a minimum of MUR2, 300 (VAT included) per store. Check that your passport and departure details (flight or sea voyage) have been properly entered on your sales receipt.

Air travel

On arriving at the SSR International Airport and before checking-in on your departure flight, get your sales receipts approved at the MRA Customs Counter in the check-in hall.

Cruise ships

The refund procedure for cruise ships depends on the individual arrangements made between the ship’s captain and the relevant Mauritian authorities at the point of calling.

HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR REFUND?

After going through passport and security control, go to the MCCI Tax Refund Counter in the main departure lounge and present your approved VAT PAID SUPPLIES TO VISITORS Sales receipts or DF5 invoice to collect your refund.

TAX FREE  tax2 airport tax1

Foreign visitors may also make VAT/Duty Free purchases for goods meant for hand luggage in registered shops displaying the above logos.

At the time of purchase, the passport and ticket are shown to confirm the eligibility for VAT/duty free purchase. The foreign visitors should ensure that their name, passport number and flight details are properly input on the VAT Free sales receipt/ DF4 invoice.

At the airport, after the passport and security control, the purchased goods can be collected at the MCCI Tax Refund Counter on presentation of the VAT Free sales receipt/ DF4 invoice.

The procedure for cruise ships depends on the individual arrangements made between the ship’s captain and the relevant Mauritian authorities at the point of calling.

Departing Mauritians are now entitled to purchase tax free goods in nearly 200 registered stores displaying the logos, tax2 airportand tax1.

Purchases can be made without the payment of any VAT/DUTY at the stores displaying the above logos and goods will only be handed over after immigration at the MCCI Tax Refund Counter at the airport by producing the sales receipt issued by the registered stores.

At the time of purchase, the passport and ticket are shown to confirm the eligibility for tax free purchase.  The departing Mauritians should ensure that their name, passport number and flight details are correctly input on the VAT Free receipt/DF4 invoice.

At the airport, after the passport and security control, the purchased goods can be collected at the MCCI Tax Refund Counter on presentation of the VAT Free receipt/DF4 invoice.

Electricity

British-style three square pins and continental two round-pin plugs are both used here

Getting Around

Around the size of Surrey (45 x 65 kms), everything in Mauritius is within a two hour drive. All vehicles drive on the left, so it’s easy to hire a car or driver. Taxis are stationed at every hotel and car or scooter hire is inexpensive. Minibus excursions pick up from hotels, and most resorts have bicycles, and bicycle tours. Motorised pirogues, glass-bottom boats, catamarans and speedboats get visitors on the water.

Public Transport

Public transport is provided by a number of bus companies that operate throughout the island. Express bus services run from Port Louis to the north, south and to the main towns.

In the urban regions, timetables run between 5.30am to 8. 00pm. In rural areas, buses tend to run between 6.30am and 6.30pm.

Transport Companies:

Taxis

You can easily get to where you want to be by taxi. All taxis have a yellow square box indicating their route on both sides of their car doors and a taxi sign on top. Taxis are available at the airport, at hotels and are also found at the bus stations.

Car / Bicycle / Scooter Rental

Several companies and local tour operators offer car, bicycle and scooter rental services at reasonable prices. You can easily traverse the different parts of the island in a car or on a scooter.

Helicopter Services

If you want to enjoy an aerial view of the island, why not opt for the helicopter services that are offered by Air Mauritius and the Police Force of Mauritius.

Language

English is the official language, though French Creole is spoken island wide

Money

The national currency is the Mauritian Rupee which is divided into 100 cents

Passport Visa

Your Visa Eligible Criteria for Visas

  1. A valid passport, where the expiry date is beyond the intended period of stay.
  2. A valid return or onward ticket to the country of origin or residence.
  3. A confirmed booking for accommodation – for example, a booking at a hotel. If the person travelling is being sponsored by a Mauritian citizen, they will need to produce evidence of sponsorship, stating their name, address, profession, relationship, national identity card number and telephone number.
  4. Sufficient funds to meet the costs of stay (US$100 per night).
  5. A pledge not to engage in any profit-making activities.

 

Application Procedure

  1. Duly filled and signed application forms are available at http://passport.govmu.org
  2. The following documents must be provided:
    • Two recent passport-sized photographs;
    • A photocopy of data pages within the traveller’s passport; and a photocopy of the residence/re-Entry visa with three months validity, where applicable.
  3. An average of five working days is required for processing applications and for a visa to be issued, provided all relevant documents are submitted.

 

Citizens of most contries do not need a visa or may obtain a visa on arrival to Mauritius for tourism purpose.

Please consult the visa section of the Prime Minister's office to view more info.

Click here to view (i) lists of countries whose citizens are exempted from visa; (ii) lists of countries whose citizens are granted visa on arrival; and (iii) lists of countries whose citizens require a visa prior to undertaking their travel to Mauritius

Safety

Safety and security tips for visitors

Just as you need to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety in your home country, you need to be mindful of the following useful advice so as to make your trip in Mauritius as enjoyable as possible.

At the airport

  • Agree on the taxi fare prior to proceeding to your destination

At your accommodation

  • Select a tourist accommodation which is licensed by the Tourism Authority which would ensure that security measures put in place are as required ( refer to website of Tourism Authority- http://www.tourismauthority.mu/en/).
  • Store your valuables, passport and money in the safety deposit box provided by the hotel/guesthouse/tourist residence.

In public places

  • Do not leave your personal belongings unattended on public beaches/places.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money with you.
  • Avoid displaying expensive jewellery and valuables whilst sightseeing.
  • At night, avoid deserted or poorly lit places.

At the beach

  • Avoid buying products and seeking services from unauthorised persons.
  • Request price of products before any purchase.
  • Be careful with those who demonstrate too much insistence.

Shops

  • In shops, shopping malls, ask for a receipt for any important transaction.

Markets

  • Request price of products before any purchase

Transport

  • Remember that hitch-hiking is not practiced in Mauritius.
  • Agree on the fare before embarking on any trip from the information desk of your place of stay.
  • Be aware that advice tendered by some taxi drivers may be motivated by commissions that they receive from some traders.

Tourist excursions

  • Before undertaking any sea-based activities, please remember that Pleasure Crafts bearing a "PC" registration number are meant for commercial purposes.
  • Be environment-friendly and follow the codes of conduct for activities such as dolphin and whale watching, helmet diving and scuba diving.


Tips to ensure personal safety and security in the tourist accommodation

  • Upon check-in, examine that all doors in your room are secured properly.
  • Store your valuables, passport and money in the digital safe provided by the hotel/guesthouse/tourist residence.
  • Lock the items you won't be carrying with you such as laptop or other electronics.
  • Always use the peephole (if any) before opening the door.
  • Before going to bed, check if you have locked the door of your room and that of your bacony or terrace.
  • When leaving the room, always ensure that door of the balcony/terrace of your room is locked
  • Never use codes like 1111, 2222, 3333 etc or birthday dates for the digital safes
  • If you lose your room key or room entry card, report it immediately to your hotel/tourist residence/guesthouse and have the card deactivated immediately.

Emergency Numbers

  • Police: 999 or 112
  • Fire Services: 995 or 115
  • SAMU Ambulances: 114
  • National Directory: 150
  • Tourist Info: 152
  • Weather: 171 and 96 for cyclone reports
  • Airline Data: 6033030

Time

The time zone is Greenwich Mean Time plus four hours.

Tipping

Tipping is discretionary, but any tips are always welcomed

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