Everyone looks forward to their holiday and hopefully with these few tips you will get more out of yours, just a few little things that will make a difference when planning and packing. And a few more for when you are on holiday in Mauritius.
Electricity and plugs - Ease of charging:
We all know how many electronic items travel with us on holiday now so its good to know that you need not carry adaptors as Mauritian power sockets are made to accept three-pin plugs.
Health & Body
Stock up your sunblock: Sunscreen in Mauritius is a must every time you step out of your room. Mauritius is an expensive place and toiletries and cosmetics could take a large chunk out of your spending money, also taking your own you have your preferred brand.
Keep hydrated: – Drinking lots of water and fruit juices will help balance out the alcohol intake that goes hand in hand with a holiday.
Be careful with the cuisine: You will be introduced to lots of spices, ask for mild if you are not used to eating this kind of food and work your way up gradually to spicier. Its also a good idea to take something like Imodium and rehydrate sachets with you ‘just in case’.
Look after your feet: The island is reputed for its picturesque white sand beaches, tropical climate, copious fauna flora, and legendary hospitality. However, some of the beaches do contain coral and shingle which is hard on delicate feet so I would advise you take some sea/jelly shoes
Tap water is completely safe to drink.
Drinking tap water will help to keep you hydrated, if you prefer bottled water it is readily available though may be quite expensive (if its the taste that puts you off try a little cordial with it). Most of the hotels do supply bottled water complimentary in your room , if you run out you can ask for more but check if there is a charge.If you are near to a local shop it may be worth buying some bottles from there.
The import duty on alcohol is very high and by the time you add the mark-up from restaurants and resorts you could end up with a very expensive bottle of wine or spirits. So try local produce...
Gin, rum, wine and beer are manufactured on the island. Try the local drinks as they are very palatable, cheap and of course the Rum has won awards.
If you do really prefer international brands look for an All-Inclusive package that includes them (rather than local products).
Run for Rum: The Rhumerie de Chamarel in South Island is among those distilleries that cultivate their own sugarcane. Sipping on sugar cane juice and sampling rum at its Rum Tasting Plant is among the activities you must not miss.
Eating – a unique feast for your palate
Just imagine ... Indians, Chinese, French and Creoles have contributed their style and spices to Mauritian food history and culture. Each community has borrowed, exchanged and mixed their traditional ingredients.
Street food is healthy and delicious! It costs a few rupees to sample all types of exotic Mauritian food: finger food, pineapple slices with chili (!) sauce, fried noodles, Indian type snacks...
The most famous Mauritius food - Her name is ‘dholl puri’ or ‘dhal poori’. Imagine a thin soft pancake made with grounded yellow split pea flour filled with all sorts of tasty goodies. Bean curry, wild herbs, sweet tomatoes …
Eat smart, eat cheap: - when you need a snack! Get to the local eateries or street stalls. Don’t worry about its quality as it is freshly cooked.
Being a tropical region, Mauritius is famous for its tempting seafood. Must try is sea-based treats that include crab curry, vindaye ourite (octopus), fried squid, and vindaye poisson (fish). Mobile food shops on various beaches sell vegetarian samosas which are called “samoussa legume” in Mauritius and “masala vada” is a southern India spicy fritter labeled as “gateau piment”.
Most hotels and resorts do also have a great range of International meat dishes, including Steak, Lamb & Pork as well as some of the best fish and seafood you will get anywhere.
Like elsewhere fast food restaurants are popular with the younger generation.
Out and about – It’s a lovely island, get out and see it!
Driving: Cars drive on the left, as long as you have a valid (national) driving license and you’re above 23, you can hire a car and open up a completely different experience one this lovely island. Mauritius has only one highway. The highway starts from the airport situated in the South East of the Island and ends in the North of the Island at Grand Baie. ... However, it should be noted that the roads are not paved and that both people and animals may be using the roads as well.
Prices vary on vehicle size and location but are roughly £70-£90 pounds a day, please note it is strictly illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone when driving.
Not keen on driving: If you don't fancy driving yourself but still want to expolre ask at your hotel and they will be able to organise a driver and car for anything from a few hours to a full day, and by organising through the hotel they will be safe and trustworthy and they will take you where you want to go as well as making some suggestions of their own.
Trust only guides: Do not fall for taxi drivers claiming to take you to ‘pristine beaches with golden sands’ and the likes. This is a major tourist trap as these taxi drivers not only charge exorbitantly but are also paid to get travellers to not-so-touristy-places. AVOID! Stick with your travel guide.
‘Bargain’ is not the word: Although bargain will take you places in Mauritius, it is a good idea not to go to far, excessive bargaining as it is not much appreciated in this island nation.
Skip factory shops: Prices at factory shops are similar to the retail ones/ government shops and usually stack the same clothes. So avoid them and walk down the Port-Louis Street for buying cheaper stuff.
Be careful what you buy at the Port-Louis Central market: Buying spices from this market should be avoided. Rather buy some from the local supermarket. Also, don’t buy craft stuff from sellers of this market as such items are fake. Prices here are sky high, even bargaining won’t help.
‘Real’ is not real: A host of tourist shops frankly tell you that several items are fake. Then they come up with ‘real’ stuff such as Hermes bags. It’s a trap! This ‘real’ is also fake. Walk away.
Having said all of this - there are bargains to be had.
Especially if you are looking for Pashminas & Sarongs, at the end of the day as long as you know that your items are not designer bargains and you are happy with the price then I would say 'shop away'...
There is also a high duty on imported cigarettes. If you are a smoker then buy your favourite brand at duty free shops.
When is the best weather in Mauritius?
Everyone has different ideas about the best weather, but this should help you decide
While sunny skies, sandy beaches and the warm Indian Ocean (the water is rarely cooler than a balmy 23°C / 73°F!) The average air temperatures are between 29°C & 23°C degrees C..
October is a good time to visit Mauritius. It really depends on your interests and the weather you enjoy on holiday. Hot weather with warm sea or lukewarm weather and cool sea?
Mauritius has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. November to April are the summer months which means it is warm and humid. June until September it's winter with cooler temperatures and less rain.
Annual rainfall ranges from 880 mm to 1550 mm depending on where you are in the country. There is no real rainy season / monsoon season, but most rainfall is seen in the summer months.
Month-by-month Mauritius weather patterns
January Summer - hot and humid weather
February Hottest and wettest - air fares are cheaper
March Still hot and humid
April End of summer - a slight chill in the air
May Transition month - cooler sea and air temperature
June It’s officially winter in Mauritius
July Winter - chilly at night and at sea
August Last winter month
September Transition month - it’s getting warmer
October Glorious - the best time to go to Mauritius
November Summer on its way - a beautiful month
December Summer arrives – getting hotter and more humid