Content and photos courtesy of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority
- Area: 2,040 km² (787 sq mi)
- Calling Code: +230
- Currency: Mauritian rupee (MUR)
- Population (EST): 1,295,789
- Official language: Mauritian creole, French, English
- Time Zone: MUT (UTC+4)
Mauritius – Getting Around
Mauritius is served by Sir Seewoosagur International Airport (MRU) which is located in the South East of the island near Plaisance. The airport operates both international and domestic flights to many destinations including Sydney, London, Johannesburg and Hong Kong. Taxi’s can be hailed at any time from outside Arrivals, but they are usually not metered so be sure to agree a price before setting off. Alternatively the airport has a bus service that operates every 30 minutes, and takes passengers into Port Louis. Many hotels and resorts also offer private shuttle bus services.
Mauritius has a number of regional bus companies that operate cheap and reliable services to various places around the island. Port Louis has two main bus stations, Victoria Square for southern and western routes and Immigration Square for northern, eastern and short distance city travel. Visitors would be advised to travel via the express buses, as standard buses can be notoriously slow taking up to twice as long to reach destinations. Buses on major routes usually run every 15 minutes, but express buses are less frequent. Tickets can be bought from the bus conductor, or from operators at the stations but be sure to hold onto them as they are often checked. There are no published timetables available, so to obtain more information contact the National Transport Authority.
Taxi‘s with friendly drivers are plentiful and one of the best ways to get out and experience all the island has to offer. Vehicles are obliged by law to have a meter, although they are seldom used, so be prepared to negotiate a price before setting off.
Hotels often have their own taxi stand, with set prices which can be a convenient although pricier option. It is possible to hire a taxi for full day tours of the Island, which can be arranged via your hotel or by talking to drivers themselves. Prices for a day trip range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500.
There are over 1,800km of paved roads in Mauritius, so hiring a rental car or motorbike can be the quickest and easiest way to explore the island. The motorway between Port Louis and Curepipe is in excellent condition, but if you are venturing down country roads expect pot holes. Hire prices aren’t cheap, but can usually be negotiated if you want a vehicle for a week or more. Mauritius offers a number of well known rental companies with offices at the airport, hotels and city centres. Given the size of the island all will happily deliver and recover vehicles from any specified location. Drivers must be at least 20 years old or more, with a valid driving license.
Although not suited for covering long distances, the flat landscape of much of Mauritius makes it perfect for taking a gentle stroll or cycle. Bicycle’s can usually be hired from hotels by the hour, half or full day. Prices are around Rs350 for a full day