Name The Republic of Mauritius
Time Zone: GMT + 4
Capital City: Port Louis
Independence gained on: 12 March 1968 (from Britain)
National Language: Mauritian Creole, French, English
Official Language: None; English is the official language used in Parliament
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
Land Area: Mauritius covers an area of about 2,040 km2
Drives on the: Left
Country Code: 230
Mauritius is situated in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agaléga and Saint Brandon. The islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues and the French department of Réunion form part of the Mascarene Islands.
Population & People:
• The population is estimated at 1,291,456 as of 2012.
Vegetation & Special Natural Features:
• The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. Together with Saint Brandon, Réunion and Rodrigues, the island is part of the Mascarene Islands. These islands have emerged from the abysses as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of kilometres to the east off the continental block made up by Africa and Madagascar. They are no longer volcanically active and the hotspot now rests under Réunion island. Mauritius is encircled by a broken ring of mountain ranges, varying in height from 300 to 800 meters above sea level. The land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau where it reaches a height of 670 meters. Streams and rivers speckle the island, a lot of them are formed in the cracks created by lava flows.
• The environment in Mauritius is typically tropical in the coastal regions with forests in the mountainous areas. Seasonal cyclones are destructive to the flora and fauna, although they recover quickly. Mauritius ranked second in an air quality index released by the World Health Organization in 2011.
• Situated near the tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius has a tropical climate.
• There are two seasons: a warm, humid summer from November to April, with a mean temperature of 24.7°c, and a relatively cool, dry winter from June to September with a mean temperature of 20.4°c. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3°.
• The warmest months are January and February with average maximum daytime temperature reaching 29.2°c and the coolest months are July and August when average night minimum temperatures drops down to 16.4°c.
• Annual rainfall ranges from 900mm on the coast to 1,500mm on the central plateau. Although there is no marked rainy season, most of the rainfall occurs in summer months.
• Sea temperature in the lagoon varies from 22°c to 27°c. The central plateau is much cooler than the surrounding coastal areas and can experience as much as double the rainfall. The prevailing trade winds keep the east side of the island cooler and also tend to bring more rain. Occasional tropical cyclones generally occur between January to March and tend to disrupt the weather for about three days, bringing a lot of rain.
• Mauritian Rupee (MUR).
• Foreign currencies can be bought and sold at banks, bureaux de change and airports, train stations, ports and large hotels at the official currency rates.
• American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are all accepted in Mauritius. Contact your debit or credit card issuer for information on merchant acceptability in Mauritius. ATMs are widely accessible.
• International Travellers Cheques in GBP, Euros and US Dollars are widely accepted.
• Bank opening hours are as follows:
• Monday to Friday: 9.15am-3.15pm;
• Saturday: 9.15am-11.15 am (some banks only).
Banks also open to coincide with the arrival and departure of international flights at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport.
Passport / Visa:
• A valid passport is required.
• Visitors to Mauritius can ascertain if they require a visa to enter, via this link:
• Citizens from the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, the US and Canada do not require visas. Any person entering Mauritius must:
• Hold a valid passport or any other recognized travel document, with expiry date beyond the intended period of stay.
• Hold a valid return/onward passage tickets to his/her country of origin or residence.
• Have sufficient funds to meet the costs of stay in Mauritius (Min 100 US dollars per day).
• Have a confirmed booking for accommodation in Mauritius.
• It is a requirement of booking with us that you have your own travel/medical insurance in place to cover your trip in case of unforeseen circumstances and in the event that medical evacuation and repatriation is required.
• Please leave a copy of your travel insurance policy with us at the beginning of your holiday, along with copies of your airline tickets and passports.
• The medical standard on Mauritius is very high and the hospitals are free of charge to both residents and visitors. In addition, there are many private clinics in the island that offer a more attractive environment plus some of the latest medical equipment available. These, however, are not free and visitors to Mauritius must carry their own, valid travel/medical insurance.
• Mauritius is fairly unique for a tropical country in that it is free of such diseases as malaria, yellow fever and cholera.
• There are no mandatory inoculations required but please contact your doctor or a specialised travel clinic for further advice.
• 220-230 volts at 50 Hz Cycles
• Type E French 2-pin (2 round power pins 19mm apart with a hole for the sockets male earthing pin) electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet.
• Type F Schuko (with 2 earthing clips on the sides) electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet.
• Type M South African round 3-pin (basically a larger version of the Old British plug) electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet.
• Mauritius has several mobile telecommunications operators and over 77% of the population have mobile handsets. Roaming contracts currently exist with the UK, France and Germany but other providers are continually coming on board. If roaming is too expensive for you, purchasing a local SIM card on arrival may be a cheaper option.
• Please respect the local people with regards to photography and only use cameras if you have the permission of the subject/s to do so.
• Never try to "steal" a photo against the will of the person concerned. Let your guide help negotiate terms before you start shooting!
Food & Water:
• The local water is relatively clean and the Mauritians drink it. It is perfectly safe to use for cleaning your teeth, however it is recommended that only bottled water, which is readily available, be used for drinking.
• Please advise us of any allergies, likes or dislikes before you embark on your holiday.
• Please ensure that baggage is packed in soft-sided bags and should weigh no more than 23kg per person, if you are travelling on local aircraft.
When on Holiday
Mauritius offers a treasure-trove of experiences, ecosystems, wildlife and cultures. The SAFARI Company encourages our guests to support our guides by learning and honouring their policies which helps preserve our precious environment. In order to promote responsible tourism, we ask that you join us in observing the following tips.
Protect the Environment:
• Please do not litter, especially cigarette butts.
• Please do not collect bones, feathers, stones or plants etc; they are all mini ecosystems.
• Please do not buy bones, stones, feather displays or plants etc.
• Please do not take photographs of the local people without asking their permission first.
• Please do not encourage trade or give personal items away to the local people (if we support begging we promote begging).
• Beware of anyone asking you for gifts or money and do not feel obliged to donate anything.
• Please report back to us if you are harassed.
• All hotels and lodges have a security box for valuables and lock-up rooms for excess luggage storage.
Guide to Tipping:
• Although tipping is a holiday tradition, it is never compulsory and should only be done if you feel you have received good service.
• Staff very much appreciate receiving gratuities from you, our guests, because it is one way of assuring them they are doing a good job.
• Most properties have a staff tip box located at reception, or in a central location. We recommend $10 per client per day in the tip box. These tips are divided among all lodge staff.
• If you are particularly satisfied with assistance received from someone in particular, a personal tip is also acceptable.