Mauritius

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Geography

Mauritius is an island of approximately 1865 km2, completely surrounded by coral reefs with a wide and green Central Plateau and impressive mountain ranges. It is situated in the south western part of the Indian Ocean, in between Africa and India, approximately 2000 Km from Durban, 1800 Km from Mombassa, 6000 Km from Perth, 4700 Km from Bombay and 10000 to 12000 km from the main European countries.

 

Population

The cosmopolitan Mauritian population (including Rodrigues island) is estimated at 1,200,000 inhabitants. It includes different ethnics, namely Indian, people of European, Malagasy and African origin, Muslims and Chinese.

 

Climate

It is pleasant all year round and the heat is never uncomfortable. The seasons are as follows: Summer from October to May with the temperature up to 33oc in December and January. The winter season is from June to September and the temperature can go down to 13oc in August, on the Central Plateau.

 

Economy

Our economy is mainly based on export of sugar, manufacturing (textile) industry, and tourism. Mauritius is a tourist destination with airline links to all the main towns of Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the islands of the Indian Ocean.

 

Currency

The local monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee. There is no exchange control system and therefore no restrictions regarding foreign currency, bank drafts, traveller’s cheques etc.

 

Banks

Banks are opened from Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 15.00. Moneychangers and ATM’s can be found all over the island. At the airport, in the arrival and departure halls, banks are also available whenever flights are scheduled.

 

Credit cards

Hotels, most shops and restaurants accept all major credit cards. (American Express, Diners, Master Card and Visa).

 

Driving

Driving in Mauritius is on the left-hand side, and a valid international driving license is compulsory.

 

Electricity

220 volts AC

 

Languages

English is the official language, but the most understood and spoken language after Creole (Mauritian dialect) is French. Amongst the other languages of Mauritius, Hindi is quite important.

 

Medical Service

There is a qualified nurse in most hotels. Hospitals, clinics, private medical surgeries and chemists are available throughout the island.

 

Ship Models

Ship models that are too large to be carried as hand luggage can be packed and sent directly to the airport by the factory. The air-carrier will charge an additional fee to send it to the hold, in case of overweight. This fee should be paid at the check in counter at the airport.

 

Visa

Please ensure that all passengers have valid passports and are aware of all visa formalities prior to their arrival in Mauritius.

 

Shopping

General shopping hours are from 09:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Saturday and from 09:00 to 12:00 on Sunday. Most shops, except for Port Louis, close half day on Thursday afternoon.