Mauritius, a member of the SADC group is an attractive tourist destination. Despite being located thousands of kilometers away from most of the major countries, Mauritius has been many people’s preferred destination for years. The three major factors which boosted the trust of travelers are the low cost of living, ease of communication and access to different parts of the island and most importantly the very low level of crime rate to other countries. Its nearest neighbors are Reunion island and Rodrigues islands. Found in the heart of the Indian ocean and together they are known as the Mascarene Islands. Accessibility to Mauritius is very easy both by sea and air, though the preferred choice remains airlines. The fine airline networks cover most countries, with passengers from distant countries having to make at least one transit. The main airlines serving the island are Air Mauritius, Emirates, Concaire, Air Seychelles and Air Madagascar.
Mauritius enjoys a mild maritime climate throughout the year. The country has two seasons. warm summer weather from November to April and remaining months are classified as winter and are relatively cool dry. The cyclone season starts from the 15th of November and lasts till the 15th of May. It has been observed that the peak cyclonic formation months are from December to February which happens to be as well the hottest months of the calendar. Winter has less to offer in terms of severe weather. The noticeable change is the slight drop in temperature when anticyclones are situated South West of the island. Occasionally swells generated by stronger anticyclones may affect lagoons and paralyze water activities in lagoons. For the stats, on average one cyclone passes within 100 km of Mauritius each year.
Ease of communication and multicultural
The multicultural island
Mauritius is a multicultural island whose history dates back to when the first Dutch settlers came here. Don’t be surprised to hear people speaking in Mauritian Creole, English, French or Asian languages. This is a key reason why people love Mauritius is for its amazing beaches, rich vibrant history and the ease of communication is cherry on top. There are several restaurants around the island that serve traditional Asian food and creole cuisine and affordable prices. Among the Fast foods, nearly in every mall, there are international franchises like KFC, MC Donald’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut. National festivals and other cultural events
While in Mauritius, one must also be aware of what’s happening in the country. The main way of getting the latest updates is either listening to radios or by reading newspapers that are available freely on the net. We also have a daily broadcast of the french bulletin at 7.30 pm on TV or the English version at 9.00 PM. The most famous radio stations in Mauritius are Radio One, Radio Plus and Cool FM.
Transport facilities & driving permit
There are several means of transport in the country. The most common means used by locals are the public and private buses which operate on a scheduled time and cover nearly the whole island. There are also taxi services available which are quicker than buses but are nearly one and a half times more expensive compared to bus fares and they also don’t have a fixed operating time. Other services which are also available are contract cars which is a popular option among travelers nowadays.
Bus network in Mauritius
Maximizing a stay in Mauritius comes at a cost, in this case, it’s the traveling time. The bus line covers nearly the whole island and its one of the most affordable means of transport. Daily at least half of the population uses public and private buses to commute to the workplace, universities or simply to move around. The bus fare is standard in Mauritius and it is already set by the National Transport Authority.
The bus fares as at April 2020 (in Mauritian rupees) calculated by the stages you travel and are as follows
Mauritius is famous for its exotic sea and beaches, amazing scenic routes and places rich in history. To make out most of your stay, an interesting option is to rent a car as it gives the luxury and privilege to explore everything the island has to offer at your own pace. There are several companies like Avis, budget, and Europcar which offer self driver cars at affordable prices. Here at Easycab, we have a wide variety of rental cars to suit your needs.
International driving license
The first question I get from someone willing to rent a car is about the driving license. Renting a car in Mauritius does not require an international license as Mauritius recognizes the Geneva Road Traffic Convention of 1949. According to law any person holding a valid International Driving Permit or Driving Licence issued by a competent foreign authority can drive in Mauritius with their domestic license. For any stay longer than 4 weeks, either apply for an International Driving Permit (in your home country) or apply for an extension with the Mauritian authorities at Port Louis Line Barracks. We recommend sorting everything before coming to Mauritius as these formalities might cost days from your vacations.
Lately, there has been an increase in Central and North-East Asia tourists. We recommend travelers from these countries to opt for an international license from their home country if the same is not in Latin letters. These precautionary measures will come handy in the road check. The other issue which might arise with an international license is the minimum driving age and the expiry dates of the license. As per conditions laid by the insurance company minimum driver age is 21 years old. On top of that for countries where licenses get renewed periodically, please bring proof that you’ve been allowed to drive before that.
Things to consider before visiting Mauritius
The best deals are available in winter. During this period there is a slight drop in tourist activity mainly because of the variable winter weather and also the unpredictable nature of the sea state. Thus winter deals would suit the audience who are planning to stay on the leeward side of the island. These places are spared from the morning showers most of the time. During summer things get different. Prices go up and most of the bookings have to be made weeks prior to avoid disappointment. Mauritius is famous for its beaches, tropical climate, and turquoise seas. Tourists from all around the world come to take advantage of outdoor activities like parasailing, water sports and road trips. Other factors worth considering are:
- During a global crisis, for example, an outbreak of diseases several additional socio-economic stress adds on. Coronavirus is a good example. The pandemic hit the whole world and several countries even decided to suspend all flights. In these situations, there are special provisions made by Easycab. First, all pre-booking made can be canceled free of charge and bookings which customers have already settled the fee in toto will get either a full refund or partial depending on the number of days left in the rental contract.
- We strongly recommend preparing a checklist of things that might not be available here. This list has become very small with time but there are still few things that need to be taken care of, like the type of plugs used in Mauritius. Here we use mainly the type C and G plugs. Type C has two round pins and G has three rectangular pins. Mauritius operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
AUTHOR’S POINT OF VIEW
Along with the above-listed factors, I often came across a few questions in forums which often come across travelers mind. Choosing the right destination can be a headache at times, several factors are weight again and again as for some it also involves using up a whole year savings where for other safety comes first.
Is there a rainy season in Mauritius?
The second fortnight of December till February is known to be the rainy season in Mauritius.
Is Mauritius better than other islands?
Like any other tourist destination, Mauritius also has its drawbacks. But the prime reason to come here is it has a better cost of living compared to other places
Is Mauritius a safe place?
Crime rates are very low in Mauritius. It is one of the safest countries in SADC.
Keep valuables closely by your side, since petty theft is common like in any other countries.
Which currency do we use in Mauritius?
Exchanges can be done in Banks or registered companies like Thomas cook, Shibani money exchanger.
How will the weather be during my stay?
After finalizing a destination, the first question many would ask is about the weather. Honestly, no one would want to ruin a vacation due to bad weather. Our Mauritius Meteorological Services have seven days probabilistic forecast which is freely available on the website to help event organizers, travelers and locals for planning purposes.
If you have any unanswered questions before coming to Mauritius please contact us or ask us in the comments section below.