MEMO FOR TOURISTS – MAURITIUS
“Nature and the heart are inexhaustible.”
Bernandin de Saint-Pierre
North of the island:
The cape of Cap Malheuret is the northernmost point of the island. The tiny church of Notre Dame Oxillatris is located here, famous for its roof, quaint carved wood interior and font in the shape of a giant sea shell.
Triolet is a pretty village, famous for the fact that it is in it that the largest Hindu temple in Mauritius is located – Maheswarnath Shivala.
South of the island:
Maheburg used to be an important economic center of the country. Founded in 1804, the city witnessed the only naval victory of the Napoleonic army over the British. The famous slave market was also located here. Today, this town with a rich past pleases tourists with its atmosphere and sights. What is worth only the castle of Chateau Robillard, built at the entrance to the city, which now houses the Museum of National History with old maps and engravings, swords of corsairs and the remains of sunken ships.
Souillac is a small village located along the rocky shores of Sawan County. The nature here is very beautiful: the Telfair garden, the Gris-Gris rocks, decorated with bizarre “stucco” due to many years of erosion, and, of course, the Rochester waterfalls.
West of the island:
The capital of Port Louis is a small city, but still there is something to see: the white and green Jumma Mosque, St. James Cathedral, the Museum of the Mauritius Institute La Chassy, hours a day, the dream of every philatelist is exhibited – the most expensive stamp in the world Blue Penny), the ancient fortress of Fort Adelaide and the Champ de Mars near its walls. The Seven Colored Lands of Chamarel are bizarre dunes of blue, green, red and orange hues that have appeared as a result of soil erosion. In addition, nearby you can admire the Chamarel waterfalls.
East of the island:
Deer Island (Ile aux Cerfs) is a beautiful place with excellent beaches and a transparent lagoon, where sailing, diving and water skiing are practiced.
Center of the island:
In Mauritius, you can also visit the Pamplemousses botanical garden, the Le Domaine des Pailles estate, which recreates the atmosphere of a former colonial estate and demonstrates the entire process of making rum.
Rose Hill is home to many schools, colleges and the University of Mauritius. This lively town is also famous for its colonial-style buildings, Italian-style theatre, gallery and shopping arcades of the Arab quarter.
Curepipe is one of the main cities of the island. Local shops and restaurants are almost always full, especially during New Year’s celebrations and football matches (the largest stadium in Mauritius is located near the city). You should definitely visit the nearby Trou aux Cerfs, an extinct volcano with a crater 85 meters deep and 200 meters wide.
The most convenient flight option is offered by Emirates Airlines: daily flights, except Tuesday (flight time, including docking, is about 15 hours). Also relatively convenient flights from Air France – Air Mauritius, British Airways, Lufthansa and KLM.
The airport of the country “Plaisance” (Plaisance) is located on the southeast coast, near the old port of Mahebourg.
The same airlines fly from Belarus to the transfer cities, then Air Mauritius directly to the islands (travel time is about 15 hours, including connecting).
Import and export of foreign and national currencies is not limited (the declaration is obligatory). For persons over 16 years of age, duty-free importation of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco, spirits – up to a liter, wine or beer – up to 2 liters, up to 250 ml of toilet water or one small bottle of perfume, as well as video, photo – and other household appliances – one item of each item.
It is forbidden to import drugs and medicines containing drugs, weapons, military equipment and ammunition, fruits and food products from Africa, East and Southeast Asia, seeds, plants and flowers, as well as car tires. It is forbidden to export coral products and objects illegally raised from the bottom of the sea, as well as seedlings – especially if they are planted in the ground. The transport of animals requires permission from the Veterinary Service of the Mauritian Ministry of Agriculture.
where to call if
Help Desk: 150, Police: 999, 208-7020, Ambulance: 114, Rescue: 116, Ambulance: 114, Fire Department: 995 or 115.
There are no area codes in the country, all numbers are dialed by direct call.
What to ride
Taxis can be taken at the airport or near the hotel. The cost of the trip should be negotiated in advance: most taxi drivers do not recognize meters, and, moreover, receive certain percentages from the owners of those places where they supposedly bring tourists along the way. The cost of the trip is on average 15–20 MUR per kilometer, while traveling over long distances, the rates are slightly reduced.
Car rental on the island is carried out by branches of large international companies and small local firms. Private offices have lower prices, but a weak technical assistance service, insurance is often not issued, and the car fleet is outdated. To rent a car, you must be over 23 years old and have an international driving license issued at least a year before the start of the rental. Some companies are lowering the age limit to 21 and adopting national rights. Renting a car for a day will cost 45 EUR (~1500 MUR) and more, depending on the brand of car and the availability of air conditioning.
The climate is tropical maritime, hot, with abundant moisture brought by the trade winds from the ocean. Summer (November to April) is hot and humid: +25°C at night, +30°C and above during the day, humidity reaches 80%. Winter (May to October) is cooler and drier: +17°C at night, +23°C during the day. Water temperature all year round +22..+26°C.
The weather during the day can change several times, but it is never cold. Precipitation mainly falls from December to March, the period of cyclones lasts from December to mid-April, but they usually do not have destructive power.
The best time to visit Mauritius is October-January and April-May, while the “highest” season is from November to mid-January and all of May. The coolest and most unfavorable periods for recreation are June and July, when the daytime temperature is +20..+25°C and strong winds blow. In August-September, the weather is quite acceptable for those who do not like or cannot tolerate extreme heat.
The sea and the sun
The island is surrounded by coral reefs, so there are no storms in the bays and lagoons, and the water surface on some beaches is more like a lake than an ocean. There are no strong tides on the island either. On the vast majority of beaches, the slopes are gentle, safe for children in terms of depth.
Public and hotel beaches in Mauritius are maintained in perfect condition. They are cleaned daily not only from garbage, but also from fragments of corals and algae. And in some places the sand is even sifted daily. The beaches near the village of Flic-en-Flac are especially good, and Tamarina Bay is the wildest and most pristine on the coast. Because of the strong currents, swimming here is not safe, but for surfers it is a paradise.
Foreign currency exchange is unlimited, it can be done at any bank or at a hotel exchange office (the commission in the latter is higher). The exchange of rupees for foreign currency is made only at the airport when leaving the country. American Express, Visa, Diner, Master Card and travelers checks are accepted in almost all hotels, shops and travel agencies. There are also ATMs everywhere. Banks are open from 9:15 to 15:00-15:30 on weekdays and from 9:15 to 11:15 on Saturdays.
“Tip” usually leave 10% of the total order. Tips should not be confused with the 15% government tax, which is usually included in hotel and restaurant bills, as well as in the cost of most services and is non-refundable.
What to buy
Shops are usually open from 9:00 to 17:00 (in Port Louis) or from 10:00 to 18:00 (in other cities) on weekdays, on Saturdays from 12:00 to 17:00 in capital, in other cities they usually work longer. Department stores are also open on Sundays from 9:00 to 12:00. Once a week (usually on a Thursday afternoon) Mauritian merchants take a half day off. In the capital, shops are closed on Saturdays, but all outlets on the Codan waterfront are open until 18:00–19:30.
Jewelry with precious stones is very often brought from the island of Mauritius, the prices for which are on average 40% lower here than in Europe. Other frequent purchases include earthenware, wood carvings, quilts, hand-embroidered tablecloths, macrame, and locally made accurate models of antique wooden sailboats. The island also sells quality cashmere items, which can be purchased at competitive prices.
Other souvenirs “from Mauritius”: vanilla tea and cane sugar (more than 14 types), local rum. When departing at the airport, you can buy a bouquet of tropical flowers packed in a special way, which will easily endure the flight and will delight the eye for several weeks after returning.
How to eat well
The local cuisine is a mixture of Indian, French and English, thus reflecting the history of Mauritius. In hotel restaurants, a very varied buffet is usually practiced. In addition, the island has “named” restaurants of famous chefs – Alan Ducasse and Vineta Batia.
Local culinary delights: “millionaire’s salad” from the heart of a palm tree, smoked blue marlin fillet, samussa – triangular pasties stuffed with vegetables and meat, fried in oil, Green Island Mauritian white rum and Mauritian beer (Phoenix, Blue Merlin varieties) other).
What to see
Tips for staying in the country
Rapid weather changes in Mauritius are not uncommon, so they should take not only light clothes, but also windbreakers with raincoats. The rains, although short, are strong. Also strongly recommended for use are sunglasses and creams (the level of insolation in Mauritius is very high even on cloudy days), durable shoes and beach slippers (coral fragments come across).
In hotels, it is not customary to walk in beachwear after sunset, so light trousers and shirts will be useful. Walking in a bathing suit outside the beach zone is stopped by the police (in addition, you can run into a clearly expressed condemnation from the locals). Nudism is not accepted in the country, and in many places it is officially banned.
The sanitary and epidemiological situation in Mauritius is favorable. You can also drink water from the tap (it is thoroughly purified), but bottled drinks are still recommended. Products can be bought in the markets: they are quite safe, but still it is better to have gastric remedies with you, since the mineral composition of water and food is noticeably different from the usual European stomach.
No special vaccinations are required. There are no poisonous animals and insects on the island, however, the bites of some representatives of the local fauna are painful and can cause allergic reactions.
Perhaps the only unpleasant moment that can spoil the local vacation for tourists is an unplanned meeting with some local marine life, whose thorns and thorns leave painful wounds. Advise your travelers to be more careful in the water and not to touch unknown fish and other living creatures with unprotected hands. In addition, there are strong currents behind the outer contours of the reefs, so diving outside the lagoons can only be done with local instructors.
To visit mosques and Hindu temples, dress modestly and be sure to take off your shoes before entering the temple. You can not talk loudly or laugh near places of worship. It is not officially forbidden to take pictures of temples, but it is better to ask permission from the ministers before shooting. You should also be careful about photographing local residents – not all of them will take this attempt calmly.
There are few police officers on the streets, but the crime rate is very low. Pickpocketing and petty theft are found only in major tourist areas, and even then infrequently.
Mains voltage 220 V, 50 Hz, three-pin sockets.
“The Subtleties of Sales”
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES – MAURITIUS
The cost of most group excursions is from 40 EUR per person. It is also possible to order “exclusive” trips by personal mini-bus or car, with a personal Russian-speaking guide.
“Charm of the Tropics” – a full day excursion to Port Louis ~ 47 EUR, “Little Paradise” – a full day excursion to Deer Island ~ 50 EUR. “Colonial Adventure” ~36 EUR, “Tea Route” ~65 EUR, “Ali Baba’s Cave” – shopping tour ~19 EUR, “Island of Two Coconuts” – snorkeling or glass bottom boat ride ~70 EUR, “Visit to the Past” – a full day trip to the estate “Les Domaines de Pais” ~ 65 EUR. Pirate schooner cruise, Blue Safari submarine ride, trip to La Vanille crocodile hatchery, walk under water with a glass ball on your head and the opportunity to feed the fish from your hands (25-30 minutes, 45 EUR per person.
- Miracle diving
- Rodrigues Island
- Helicopter tour
- Deep sea fishing (fishing for big fish)
- Submarine Blue Safari (North Coast (Mont Choisy)
- Cruise in the East
- Crocodile farm
- Cruise along the east and southeast coast
- Deer Island (for the whole day)
10 Casela Bird Park
- Domaine du Chasseur National Park
- Domain Le Paille National Park and Creole Mansion
- Picturesque Maheburg
- Curipip and Chamarel
- Port Louis Capital and Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
16.Sights of Mauritius
Most of the entertainment on the island is of a sporting nature: golf, tennis, horseback riding, water skiing, surfing, kayaks and kayaks, parachuting. In addition, the Belle Mare water amusement park is open on the island.
For lovers of outdoor activities there are several routes for mountain biking, sea kayaking and walking tours for the whole day. Adepts of nightlife will appreciate the abundance of discos and night bars.
Mauritius is well suited for beginner divers. Conditions for diving are better in the north, in the lagoons of the group of islands Couen de Mir, Ile Rond, Me aux Serpents, Gabriel, Ile Plat and Ile d’Ambre – the reefs are richer there, the landscape is more diverse, the water is clearer.
Blue Bay has earned the fame of the first marine park in Mauritius. It is an ideal place for diving, sailing, parasailing and water skiing. The bay is protected from ocean waves by a barrier reef and is connected to the open sea only through a narrow channel. Here, among the corals, an unthinkable number of fish of various colors and sizes has found a haven: parrot fish, surgeonfish and even small barracudas.
Although scuba diving is possible here all year round, the best seasons are April-June and September-February. Visibility at this time reaches 15–20 m. Tropical storms and cyclones are possible from December to March.
There are many dive centers in the prestigious resort of Pointe de Flac, which was once a quiet fishing village. In addition, almost all “five” and many “four-star” hotels have their own centers.
Dive centers are usually open until 15:00, dives are held at 9:00 and at 13:00.
“The Subtleties of Sales”
VISA INFORMATION – MAURITIUS
Citizens of Belarus apply for a visa directly at the airport of arrival, if the period of stay in the country does not exceed one month. At the airport, you must present your passport (it must be valid for 6 months after the end of your stay in Mauritius), a return ticket, an invitation from the host country or a tourist voucher, insurance, and fill out a special entry form. The tourist must be ready to provide proof of their solvency at the rate of at least 100 USD (or equivalent in another currency) per day.