10 tips for tourists before a holiday in Mauritius: features and dangers of the island

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Mauritius is considered one of the safest places to relax. The likelihood that something will go wrong and ruin your holiday, or even endanger your health, is not big. As elsewhere, holidays in Mauritius have their own characteristics, which you should know about in advance. I talk about the nuances associated with local food, plants, animals, the underwater world and the weather in 10 tips for relaxing on the island.

I hope that this knowledge and our Mauritius holiday tips will help you return from your trip with an unforgettable experience!

Peculiarities of holidays in Mauritius. Dangers and Travel Tips

10 Tourist Tips for Mauritius Holidays

To make your holiday in Mauritius safe and comfortable, you should take into account the advice of tourists who have already visited the island. Among these tips are the following:

  1. The weather in Mauritius is quite changeable, so it is worth bringing an umbrella and a light jacket (or other similar long-sleeve clothing) with you.
  2. The sun in Mauritius feels very gentle, but it’s actually easy to get burned. On the beach, it’s best to stay in the shade and apply a thick layer of sunscreen.
  3. You should always have clean drinking water: In the heat, the body loses a lot of moisture. You can drink tap water, but still it is better to quench your thirst with bottled water.
  4. Take care of your shoes. It is especially important to stock up on reliable sneakers or sneakers for hiking excursions and beach slippers for swimming. Stepping barefoot on a piece of coral, sea urchin, or wart can be not only painful, but also life-threatening. Rubberized beach slippers can be bought already in Mauritius, as they are sold in all supermarkets.
  5. Sun protection T-shirts for swimming, or even just regular T-shirts, are a must when snorkeling if you don’t want to get sunburned. I always snorkel in a T-shirt. So less damage is done to the coral reef from sunscreen, and my back is more protected from burning: the cream still does get washed off with water.
  6. There are pharmacies, but most medicines, especially prescription drugs or those for which it is difficult to find analogues, are best taken with you.
  7. If you are not going to eat exclusively at the hotel, but also buy groceries on your own, then there are several large supermarkets and many small shops on the island. There are also stalls with fruits and vegetables. It is better to compare prices, because in trays, vegetables are sometimes cheaper than in supermarkets. Save the list of 10 Mauritian dishes worth trying.
  8. Mauritius has a very low crime rate, but in busy tourist areas, especially in Port Louis, pickpockets can be found to operate. You can also run into a scammer, so be very careful with money and do not pay for services and goods in advance.
  9. Don’t walk under coconut trees if they have coconuts on them. No matter how unlikely or ridiculous it may sound, if a coconut falls on your head, it will no longer be a laughing matter. Hotels cut coconuts on the palm trees that are located on their territory. But still, there are enough places on the island where coconuts are not cut.
  10. In addition to casual clothes, it is worth taking a semi-dress with you. Not only restaurants, but also some hotels require that guests do not wear jeans and other casual clothes.

What else do you need to know about holidays in Mauritius in 2022?

If you are going to Mauritius, you need to take into account several features of the holiday on the island. Below I will give answers to the most common questions: is it safe in Mauritius? Are there sharks and other dangerous animals in Mauritius? Do I need to be vaccinated before traveling to the island? Is it necessary to take out medical insurance?

  • Mauritius Customs prohibits the importation of food and live plants in any form from Africa and much of Asia. Remember that coral products and any items found at the bottom of the sea cannot be exported from Mauritius.
  • When entering Mauritius, health insurance with covid coverage is required. I bought myself such travel insurance on EKTA company. You can read more about the documents and the rules for entering the island in in this article →.
  • Vaccinations for holidays in Mauritius are not required, but are encouraged. An approximate set of vaccinations: from hepatitis A and B, from typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, chicken pox, pneumonia, influenza, meningitis and polio, as well as MMR and Tdap vaccines. Ten years ago, I only got a yellow fever vaccination (the vaccine lasts for 10 years) for traveling around the countries of Southeast Asia.
  • From November to May in Mauritius is the cyclone season, and the weather can be surprising. Although in my experience, heavy rains fall mainly in the center of the island. You can read more about the weather in Mauritius in the article “When to relax in Mauritius“.
Weather in Mauritius. When is it better to relax on the island

According to statistics, Mauritius is in the center of a cyclone only once every 5 years. However, the remnants of 3 to 5 storms hit the island each year. In 2022, during my vacation in Mauritius, a class 2 cyclone Emnati came, the strongest in the last 15 years.

  • The currency used in Mauritius is Mauritian rupee, and almost everywhere you can only use this as a source of payment. It is unprofitable to change money at the hotel or by hand, it is better still to use official banks or counters at the airport.
  • In some places they accept payment in euros or dollars, but at their own, understated rate.
  • Banks and shops in Mauritius are not open every day and close early. Banks close around 3:00 pm on weekdays and are only open until 11:15 am on weekends. Many shops and shopping centers do not work on Sundays, and if they work on Saturdays, then only do so in the first half of the day. Thursday is for merchants also a “short day”.
  • No high waves on the island – they break on the coral reef surrounding the island. However, you should be wary of currents and tides that are too strong. The former can capture a strip of sand on the beach, while the latter can shred the coastal waters, so that they become unattractive for swimming. You can view the tide schedule on the dedicated page of the Mauritian meteorological website. Another way is to ask for advice from kite or wind surfers who keep a close eye on tidal activity.
  • Driving in Mauritius is on the left. If you plan to rent a car, it is advisable to “rehearse” in advance in your mind or on paper how you will perform road maneuvers. I talked about the nuances of car rental on the island in this article, and more about transport in Mauritius in the article at this link.
The roads in Mauritius are mostly straight, but there are a lot of serpentines in the mountains

You get used to driving on the left side of the island quickly. But all the same, from time to time, you turn on the wipers instead of the turn signal 🙂

Dangerous animals of Mauritius

Many tourists who go to Mauritius are worried whether there are dangerous and poisonous animals in Mauritius. There is good news for them: there are no sharks, poisonous snakes and spiders, as well as large predatory animals in Mauritius that could harm tourists. However, there are a few inhabitants of the island that can be harmful to your health if you do encounter them.

  1. Mosquitoes. There are no infamous malarial mosquitoes in Mauritius, but carriers of such dangerous diseases as the Chikungunya virus and Dengue fever can be found. It is very unlikely to stumble upon an infected mosquito, but it is still better to use repellents (mosquito repellents) and mosquito nets.
  2. Sea urchin. On some coasts of the island, they are found in large numbers and are dangerous with their poisonous spikes. A sea urchin sting is not fatal, but very unpleasant. The spines tend to break off and remain in the wound, from where they can be difficult to remove. If you step on a sea urchin, pull out the needles with tweezers or hot wax (as you would when epilating) and clean the wound thoroughly. You can lower the damaged area on the floor for an hour in hot water with vinegar or Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate).
  3. Wart or stone fish. It is far from being as common as sea urchins, but its sting is many times more dangerous. The poison of the wart immediately causes severe pain and can lead to the loss of consciousness, hallucinations and partial paralysis. If a person does not urgently seek medical help, then a fatal outcome is quite likely. You can call an ambulance in Mauritius by dialing 114.

A fish stone with sea urchins below it:

Dangerous marine life in Mauritius

I took this photo near Pereybere Beach in Mauritius. Although some of my acquaintances claim that this is not a dangerous fish, I still swim around it.

Giant tortoises of Mauritius. Turtles are not that dangerous, but they can bite, and cause a lot of pain, if hand-fed. This is especially true for children, who may gape and not notice that the turtle has already gnawed off a branch.

Giant tortoises of Mauritius

You can feed the turtles in La Vanille Park