Made up of several islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a rich melting pot of influences and cultures. African and Indian elements mingle with Chinese, French and British elements to create a unique combination.
Far from being just another idyllic island, Mauritius has much more to offer than some Indian Ocean luxury getaways. Carpeted in sugar cane, with dramatic mountains erupting from the green fields, the countryside is spectacular.
Port Louis is the main port and capital. A bustling commercial centre, it showcases the country's diverse cultural influences, with street names in French and English and a mass of architectural styles on display. Visit the Natural History Museum to learn the fate of the hapless dodo, Mauritius' most famous bird, and trawl the main market for bargains.
Grand Baie in the north is a lively spot with some great shopping and nightlife opportunities. Nearby Triolet Shivala is home to the island's largest Hindu temple, Maheswarnath, dating from 1819.
Visit the old Balaclava estate and take time to explore the world-renowned Pamplemousses Gardens, which house an impressive collection of indigenous and exotic plants, including the talipot palm that flowers once every sixty years, and a group of tortoises, some over 100-years old. Set out on foot in the Black Gorges National Park to explore virgin forest and see wild monkeys.
On the west coast, surf the big waves created by giant ocean swells that break around Tamarin. In the shadow of the Riviere Noire Mountains, the beaches here are good and the swimming in a protected lagoon is excellent. The village of Chamarel in the south west is home to the island's highest waterfall and some spectacularly coloured dunes, made up of seven different shades of volcanic rock.
Away from the main island, visit Ile aux Cerfs, off the east coast, to relax on Mauritius' best beach and enjoy some world-class watersports.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0619.
Hot and humid from December to April (January and February are the most likely months for cyclones, although these are rare), cooler and drier from May to November. The highlands are wettest point and cooler than the coast.
With origins in three separate continents and with three major religions, there is a great diversity of religious and cultural festivals in Mauritius. Public holidays mark the Chinese New Year, in January/February, as well as the major Christian festivals. Hindu and Tamil fire-walking ceremonies take place all year but are concentrated in January and February. Also at this time, Thaipoosam Cavadee is a homage to the second son of Lord Shiva where devotees skewer their tongues and cheeks. Holi, the festival of colours, sees lots of paint throwing. From the Islamic calendar Ramadan, the month of fasting (dates vary), is particularly significant. National Day is on 12 March.
French, Creole, Indian and Chinese cuisine, generally of a high standard although restaurants usually depend on imported foodstuff. Specialities include venison in season, camarons (freshwater prawns) in hot sauces, creole fish, fresh pineapple with chilli sauce, dholl purri is a wheat pancake stuffed with peas and served with curry. Rum, beer and alouda (almond-flavoured ice milk drink) are staple beverages.
Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. Travellers should respect the local and religious traditions of their hosts, particularly when visiting a private home. It is appropriate to offer a gift as a token of appreciation if invited for a meal. Dress is normally informal.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (MRU) 48 km from Port Louis. This is also commonly referred to as Plaisance Airport.
Air travel between Port Louis and Rodrigues Island. Good network of paved roads and many bus companies operate along them. Numerous car hire firms.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Mauritius. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0619.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Mauritius. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Mauritius, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0619.
The types of holiday listed below are just a flavour of the experiences available in Mauritius. We can also suggest and plan alternative types of holiday to take into account your individual interests. To start planning what to do whilst away, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0619.
Tim Tan - Indian Ocean Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0619