Mauritius

Mauritius is an exotic island with an interesting cultural mix, endless sugar cane plantations, striking mountains and some of the finest beaches and lagoons in the Indian Ocean. The cosmopolitan blend of French, British, Indian, Chinese and Creole cultures creates an island of rich diversity. Its unique reputation has been built upon the welcoming nature of its friendly people. Apart from the beautiful beaches and water sports, Mauritius offers a number of sightseeing opportunities, which delve into the country’s history, scenic beauty, and mouth-watering cuisine.

When to Visit

Mauritius enjoys a relatively mild climate but the best time to visit is from April to June and September to November. The summer months of December to March are hot and humid with the highest rainfall occuring through February and March.

Highlights

GRAND BAIE The trendy resort town of Grand Baie is renowned for its entertainment and shopping. You can scout for a bargain amongst the Mauritian crafts at the local Bazaar, or browse through the boutiques and stores.

ILE AUX CERFS Ile Aux Cerfs, famous for its dazzling beaches, beautiful lagoon and crystal clear water, is one of the most popular destinations in Mauritius. As well as movie star looks, it offers a selection of great activities.

PAMPLEMOUSSES BOTANICAL GARDENS Pamplemousses is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The 300 year old garden is famous for its long pond of giant water lilies but also features spices, sugar canes, baobabs, and 85 varieties of palms.

CHAMAREL The spectacular Chamarel Falls lie near the charming village of Chamarel. Further along the same road are the curious rolling dunes of multi-coloured lunar-like landscape that form the intriguing Coloured Earths.

TAMARIN Tamarin is a picturesque old fishing village surrounded by hills alongside the Black River on the west coast. Recently developed into a holiday resort area, Tamarin still retains an authentic feel and is popular amongst surfers.

BLACK RIVER GORGES NATIONAL PARK The largest national park in Mauritius, the wide gorge curves between a series of rolling hills covered in thick forest. You will be awestruck by the beauty of its waterfalls, sensational vistas and incredible hiking trails.

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Useful Information

Shopping

Shopping in Mauritius is more than just an interesting experience. It is a journey in time and space of the civilisation and cultures that have come across its history. The sculptures and drums of Africans origin, colourful sarees or tailor-made suit, is a proof of this diversity. Traditional Mauritian Arts and Crafts products and the best-branded luxury goods can be found in a number of shopping centres/arcades in all the towns and beach resorts. There are also a number of duty free shops, which offers very attractive prices. Last but not least are the traditional and colourful markets where you can really experience the Mauritian way of life and practice the national sport, bargaining!

Tipping

Tipping in Mauritius is discretionary. However, extra money for exceptional service is always appreciated. However, tips, regardless of the amount, are always appreciated among service staff in Mauritius, as salaries are generally low.

Getting around

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. You can easily hop in a taxi for some independent travel. 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 and at hotels. They can also be found at bus stations. Several companies and local tour operators offer car, bicycle and scooter rental services at reasonable prices. It is important to note that Mauritians drive on the left-hand side of the road. You can easily traverse the different parts of the island in a car or on a scooter. 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

Creole (French based) 80%, Bhojpuri 12%,French 4%, English (official but not widely used).

Visa's

Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz

Customs

Most outsiders think of Mauritians as being aloof at first. Among themselves they are quite social and friendly, and this ultimately prevails with visitors and locals alike. Dress is culturally dependent but somewhat conservative. Lightweight and colored fabrics are usually worn. Attire among women can vary from one-piece bathing suits to complete covering, especially among Muslims. Toplessness and nudity are not condoned for either sex.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Mauritius. Frequent or long stay travellers to Mauritius should consider vaccination against Hepatitis B. Vaccination against Typhoid should be considered particularly if travelling to areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. As Dengue Fever occurs in Mauritius insect avoidance measures may be necessary depending on your itinerary. Regardless of destination, all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine "background" vaccinations, including a recent annual Influenza vaccination. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealanders travelling to Mauritius should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. Medications that are legal in New Zealand may be illegal in other countries. 

Electricity

Electrical Socket type: European and British. Voltage: 220-240 volts (same as New Zealand, no voltage/frequency converter required). European Socket British Socket Modem Plug: US and French. For further information, please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au.

Communications

Country Code for Mauritius: +230 Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz Emergency Services: Ambulance - 114 Fire - 115 Police - 999 Tourist Police - 210 3894 The emergency services may not have English speaking staff. To avoid delay it may be best to seek the assistance of a Creole speaker to call the emergency services.

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