Mauritius

Introduction

Mauritius could be described as a dream destination for many. With a land mass of over 1500 square miles and 200 of coastline, much of which is sheltered by coral reefs and bathed by clear azure waters, it is easy to see why. The beaches of Mauritius are amongst the finest in the World, offering pure white coral sand, fringed with cooling casuarina trees, amongst the most popular being Flic-en-Flac, on the west coast, Grand Baie in the north, Belle Mare on the west coast and Le Morne in the south. Mauritius is a melting-pot of cultures, with Indian, African, European and Chinese settlers all having brought their religions, languages, values and traditions to the island. This ethnic mix is reflected in the islands diverse cuisine which ranges from spicy to subtle, dependent upon its origins. The present population is around 1.2 million people. Most are bi-lingual being equally fluent in French and English. Creole and French predominate, however, and several oriental languages are commonly spoken .

Places to Visit

Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens - One of the finest botanical gardens in the World with many rare species and spectacular blooms. The gardens are host to over 600 different plants and palms including giant water lilies and talipot palms which bloom just once every 60 years.
 
The Colourful South - A pleasant and varied day-expidition. Visit Curepipe, Floreals, Grand Bassin, a lake surrounded by temples and Hindu houses of worship. The forests of Plaine Champagne and Macabee. Stop at Black River Gorge for a view from the highest peak on the island. Visit Chamarel Cascade and see the multi-coloured sands.
 
Domain Les Pailles - A purpose-built habitat reflecting French-colonial life with a sugar mill, rum distillery, spice garden and beautiful gardens.
 
Ile aux Cerfs - Fine golden sand, an emerald lagoon and clear turquoise waters await you. The perfect \'get away\' , to relax and enjoy the wonders of Mauritius.
 
Mahebourg and Domain de Chasseur - The site of the first Dutch settlement and the first French port, located in the southwest of the island.
 
The Tea Route - Introduced by the British, tea plays a big part in Mauritian life. Visit the tea factory at Bois Cheri, with an opportunity to sample the goods.
 

Getting to and Travelling around

British Airways and Air Mauritius fly direct from London Heathrow. Emirates flies from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle via Dubai.
 

Best Time and Weather

Mauritius has a tropical climate, with relatively small variation in temperatures and is generally pleasant and sunny on the coast all year round. The best time to go is between May and October when it is generally warm and dry whereas November to April is hot, humid and rainy. In addition, cyclones can occur between January and March. Sea breezes blow all year round, especially on the East coast during July and August. If you venture inland, expect cooler temperatures and rain.

Important Information

Language
Creole is the official language of the Mauritius.  English and French is also spoken widely .
 
Passports and Visas
UK visitors to the Mauritius require a passport valid for more than six months from the date of arrival. Visas are not required.
 
Health
Mauritius is a disease free country.  A valid yellow fever certificate is required from all travellers over 1 year who have passed through partly or wholly affected areas within the preceding 6 days.  
 
Currency
Mauritian Rupee
 
Time Difference
GMT + 4