Transportation in Mauritius: buses, mopeds, cars, taxis

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What is the best way for a tourist to travel around Mauritius? Is there public transport on the island and how is it organized? Do buses drive between the beaches? How much does a taxi cost and how to get one? I answer questions about moving around the island and renting transport – bicycles, motorbikes (scooters) and cars with a driver.

Transportation in Mauritius: taxi, bus, motorbike, car

Taxi in Mauritius

Taxi in Mauritius – a serious business. Usually, taxi drivers work for one of the local companies, and their cars are equipped with appropriate identification marks and the company’s logo. Many taxi drivers have personal business cards in case you want to use their services again, as well as price lists for major destinations. Price of a taxi drive is usually not determined according to distance but is agreed in advance depending on the route; so, you can haggle.

Uber does not operate in Mauritius, but there are several apps for hailing taxis from local offices. I installed them, tried them and it turned out that the price is 5-10 Euros more than if you just order a car by phone.

The fare is around 20 Rupees (0.44 eur.) per kilometer, but you can always haggle. As I understood in a conversation with a local, taxi drivers give an inflated price just in case.

If you need a transfer from the airport, it is better to book it in advance on the website GetTransfer, on the GetTransfer website, which offers affordable taxi options.

Here you can find a detailed article about all the ways to get from Mauritius airport to your hotel or beach villa →

Car with driver for the day

Taxi service, which is not for one trip, but for the whole day is common in Mauritius. There are two options for this service:

  • From the hotel to point A and back (private car charter) – if you need to get, for example, to the starting point of a tour, and the tour does not provide a transfer. These are usually walking tours or visits to parks. For example, climbing Le Morne Brabant mountain or hiking to Tamarin Falls, visiting Pamplemousses or Casela. You will be taken there and brought back. You can order such a transfer on this page of the Viator website →
  • From hotels all around the island (car hire for a day with driver). The driver will take you all around the island, wherever you say. You can order such a service on this page of the Viator website. There are also examples of private itineraries to different interesting places in Mauritius.

Motorcycle or scooter renting

Renting a motorcycle in Mauritius is not as common as, for example, in Thailand or India. Renting a motorcycle in Mauritius is slightly cheaper than renting a car. The price of a rental per day starts from 12 Euros.

You can rent a scooter at the hotel/on the beach, but you will have to look around first, because there is no moped rental everywhere, or you can pre-order the model you want with delivery to the hotel at bikesbooking.com.

Car renting in Mauritius

If you are over 23 years old and have an international driver’s license, you can rent a car and get complete freedom of movement around the island. I traveled far around Mauritius by car and booked a car on economybookings website directly on the airport. Detailed article on the features of car renting in Mauritius →

Car rental prices differ. International offices are slightly more expensive, while local ones a little cheaper. All local rents are displayed on localrent website.

In general, cars in Mauritius are expensive, the prices on the island start from 1500 Rupees (32.99 eur.)/day.

Yes, renting a car is more expensive than renting a scooter, but:

  1. You are safer in a car. Now I’m not even talking about accidents – many beginners simply put the bike on its side in the sand. Falling off a motorcycle on vacation is not a pleasant story, neither at the beginning nor at the end of the vacation. Therefore, I advise you to take a scooter only if you already have experience driving one.
  2. If you have a car, you can take more things with you. For example, if just 2 adults bring with them two sets of fins, masks, towels, changing clothes and water – all this will not fit in a trunk of a motorcycle. For families with children, a car is the obvious choice.
If you are renting a car from a local office, look carefully at the car numbers – the last two digits correspond to the year of manufacture. I do not recommend taking a car that was produces more than 4-5 years ago.
Car rental in Mauritius - roads and cars

Bicycle renting

You can rent a bicycle in most hotels in Mauritius. Four- and five-star hotels often provide their guests with bicycles free of charge.

If it is not possible to rent a bicycle at the hotel, you can use the services of one of the local companies. The average rental price is 30 Rupees per hour (0.66 eur.) and 150 Rupees per day (3.30 eur.).

In the past, there was a railway in Mauritius, but now only some of its sections are functioning and only for the transportation of cargo. They do not accept passengers. Another type of transport can be considered is water transport. Ferries are used to connect with the neighboring islands, and to move between parts of the coast you can use the services of locals who will take you by boat to the place you choose along the coast of Mauritius. Access to motorboats is often available from hotels, which sometimes organize free trips across the coral reef and small offshore islands.

Buses: prices, schedules, how to pay

Buses in Mauritius are the main means of transport for both tourists and many local residents. More than two hundred routes connect different parts of the island with each other, including remote resorts.

Buses - a good way to get around while on vacation in Mauritius

Bus riding is a kind of extreme fun. Why – because the local drivers push the gas pedal all the way and then brake very hard. It is better to ride sitting or to hold on to the handlebars with all parts of the body.

In Mauritius, there are almost a thousand bus stops (!), and they can be like normal stops, or consist just of a black “Bus Stop” sign on a post.

Bus stops are very conveniently located. Next to every beach there is a bus stop.

Buses in Mauritius are divided to regular and express. Express buses are less frequent and more expensive, but they are more comfortable and have air-conditioning. Bus fare depends on the bus and the route and can range from 15 to 30 and more Rupees. Tickets are bought from the driver after entering the bus. There isn’t a ticket that can be bought for multiple rides. Tickets should be kept until the end of the trip, as they are often checked by controllers.

The following photos show what the buses look like inside and how the fare is paid:

You can notify the driver that you are going to get out using a special button.

Buses drives start at 5:30 in developed areas and 6:30 in rural areas, and end at 20:00 or 18:30. In theory, they run on a schedule, but in practice this schedule is rarely followed, so it’s easier to focus on the frequency on which they pass by. For larger routes they pass by approximately every 15 minutes, but for more remote areas, you will have to wait longer.

The most convenient way to navigate Mauritius bus routes is using the site Mauritius Buses – Online Route Inquiry. From the list, you select the starting point and destination (the location of the bus stop is indicated quite accurately, and they are conveniently grouped by alphabetical order and district), then indicate which day of the week you will take the ride – weekday, weekend or a holiday. In response, you are offered several possible routes – if necessary, with layovers. Each route is accompanied by a map showing the route of the bus or buses. It also lists the bus numbers, their prices, their passing frequency and the approximate travel time. At the same time, you can also download a list of all intermediate stops with the names and travel times between them, as well as the official timetable.

There is also a handy phone application – Mauritius Bus Routes. It shows bus routes and works without internet.

There are two main bus stations in Mauritius, both located in the capital Port Louis:

They are within walking distance of each other, and there is a shuttle between them. Which of these bus stops you need depends on your destination.