August 4, 2014

Mauritius Travel Guide

Mauritius is one of the most popular holiday destinations for South Africans, and it’s not surprising. Sunny blue skies and palm trees fringing warm turquoise water epitomise that dream holiday for many. Mauritius has that perfect picture-postcard appeal and offers good value for money for honeymoons, romantic getaways and family holidays. No matter where you are travelling, it’s always a good idea to be as prepared as possible so here’s our general Mauritius travel guide…

Although English is the official language, French and Creole are commonly used. At the hotels and resorts you will have no problem communicating in English. Moving away from the tourist areas, however, you may find that the locals understand less English but almost all still have at the very least a basic/conversational understanding. Airport signs, as well as restaurant menus and tourist attractions, will have both French and English.

The local currency is the Mauritian Rupee (not to be confused with the Indian Rupee). The exchange rate is about 1 ZAR = 2.86 MUR.US Dollars and Euros are accepted at most resorts however we would highly recommend that you travel with Rupees as well. You can order your Mauritian Rupees through your Sure Travel consultant before departure (recommended for the best rates). If you have to, there is a foreign exchange counter at the airport that you can use (once you’ve picked up your bags and are ready to leave the airport building).

What things cost approximately:
Bottle of water: MUR 150
Soft drink: MUR 150
Beer: MUR 185
Cocktail (Alcoholic): MUR 350-450

No visas are required for South African passport holders.

2 Hours ahead of South Africa.

Best time to visit
With its subtropical climate, Mauritius is an all-year round destination. However there are preferred times to visit certain areas. If you’re visiting during the winter especially, the north/west coasts are advised as their beaches have the least wind.

December-April: Wet season (rain showers are short) & most humid. 23°C-33°C.
May-November: Less rain. May to August are usually the coolest months and September to November is warmer and less humid. 17°C-23°C.

Where to go
Discuss exactly what you have in mind for your holiday with your consultant. Close to the action in a hotel with activities and nightlife, a relaxing holiday away from the crowds on a quiet beach, good kids facilities, a variety of water sports and wind-related activities for the active traveller, an adults-only resort for a honeymoon, etc? You don’t want to arrive only to discover that the hotel you have chosen doesn't suit what you had in mind. There is really a hotel to suit everyone so let the experts offer you their first-hand advice.

North coast: Many windless beaches, most populated
South coast: Least developed, close to the airport
East coast: Trade winds (excellent windsurfing)
West coast: No wind, calm seas

Read a traveller's story of a family holiday at Beachcomber's Le Victoria here.

Getting there
It takes just over 4 hours to get to Mauritius flying direct from Joburg and Durban and about 5 hours flying direct from Cape Town. Air Mauritius flies direct from Cape Town, Durban and Joburg. SAA and BA/Kulula also fly direct from Joburg.

Navigating the airport
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport has a recently revamped airport terminal and is modern, bright and easy to navigate.

Getting around
Your hotel should be able to recommend a taxi service that offers a good rate. Always agree to a price before setting off to avoid any surprises later. There are buses but the timetables are near impossible to find and they aren't very reliable.

What to pack
Beach wear! Sunscreen, hat, reef shoes/protective footwear if you’re going to be walking on the reef (and depending where you are), umbrella or light rain jacket, insect repellent (to be safe but if you’re lucky it won’t be needed at all), something smart casual for restaurant dining (many hotels specify no swimwear, shorts and flip flops in the restaurants so pack some smart/casual wear) and a light jacket for evenings, boat trips or when the wind is blowing.

Ask the Sure Travel experts! Are you travelling to Mauritius and have a question? Comment below and we will get back to you.

Browse Mauritius packages, and find your nearest agency, on the Sure Travel website here.

Photo credits: Jenna Berndt, Sure Travel Social Media Coordinator


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