{slide=Country Information|closed}{slide-level2=Map|closed}Click map for larger imagemauritius map1

{slide-level2=General Information|closed}Mauritius FlagCapital: Port Louis
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MUR) - Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops
Area: total 2,040 sq km - water: 10 sq km / land: 2,030 sq km
Population: Approximately 1.3 million
Language: English (official), Creole, French (official), Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri
Religion: Hindu 52%, Christian 28.3% (Roman Catholic 26%, Protestant 2.3%), Muslim 16.6%, other 3.1%
Time zone: GMT +4 (2 hours ahead of South Africa)
National Anthem: Motherland
Internet TLD: .MU
Interational Dialling Code: 230
{slide-level2=Geography and Climate|closed}Mauritius is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, situated south of the equator and just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. It is about 800 km to the east of Madagascar. Rodrigues and Reunion are the islands which, with Mauritius are known as the Mascarenes Archipelago.

The population are of different nationalities: Indians, Africans, Europeans and Chinese. The Indo-Mauritians are divided into three groups: Hindus, Tamils and Moslems. The united people are full of charm and are very courteous and helpful.

Mauritius enjoys a tropical maritime climate which may be divided into two seasons: summer and winter. The hot summer months from November to April produce prolonged sunshine with temperatures of up to 35°C (95°F) on the coasts which may be broken by short heavy bursts of rainfall. From May to October, autumnal conditions are accompanied by temperatures of up to 25°C (77°F) with cooler nights and less humidity. The South-east trade winds blow all year keeping the south and east coasts cool during the summer months. Cyclones, known as hurricanes or typhoons in the northern hemisphere occur occasionally between December and April. Various weather stations track their route and warnings that a cyclone may develop are broadcasted days in advance. Most pass by harmlessly bringing only heavy rain and serving to clear the air after a spell of very hot humid weather. Mauritius has a good year round climate for visitors but for those who like to walk, tour and explore, the best time to visit is October and November. These are the driest months and provide less humidity than high summer.
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Mauritian cuisine reflects the multiculturalism of the island's inhabitants. The average local cook will know how to make a delicious French crab gratin, a range of spicy Indian curries, Chinese noodle and rice dishes, and the whole gamut of Creole cuisine. The latter will be the most unfamiliar to the visitor and range from perky coconut chutneys and pickles to the simple but tasty meat and fish dishes cooked with tomatos and herbs and known as 'rougailles' and 'daubes'.

The hotels will offer a full range of cuisine, from the traditional Mauritian dishes to Italian pizza. Try the street food stalls for the delicious 'dholl puri' an inexpensive and tasty treat. There are an array of restaurants in the larger towns and resorts, from Chinese to Seafood eateries. If you are not on a fully inclusive package at your hotel, then drinks prices are high! Expect to pay up to R100 (Euro 10) for a small local beer and up to R150 for a small glass of wine (Euro 15). There are plenty of supermarkets where prices are comparable to South African and European stores.
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Dental and medical facilities are very good and most practitioners speak English. The cost of treatment is high therefore comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended to cover you for private medical treatment and repatriation expenses.Visitors arriving with prescription drugs should keep them in the manufacturer's box with the pharmacy prescription label ready for inspection by Mauritian customs.

Health Alert: Avoid wading in muddy water without wearing protective shoes. This is the habitat of the laff or stone fish which if trodden upon emits a poisonous venom from its spine. Immediate removal to hospital is necessary as the would can be fatal if untreated.

Vaccination certificates are required if coming from an infected area. Cholera vaccination is no longer required for travellers to Mauritius and according to the recent epidemiological situation, there is no malaria risk.Check with a doctor or pharmacist prior to departure for the latest requirements. Regulations are strict, particularly for those arriving from some parts of Africa.
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If you have purchased a package holiday then return airport/hotel transfers will be included in your package price. You can travel around the island by bus or car. Buses are an inexpensive means of getting around the island. However, these are still largely sweaty, bone-shaking affairs, despite gradual replacement of the old Indian-made buses with more eco-friendly modern coaches. The bus service mostly ends with the sunset, so it is not an option for evenings out.

Car hire is not cheap, and road signage is basic, to say the least, so even with a good map, it can be tricky for visitors to navigate themselves around the island. It is certainly a rewarding way to see Mauritius though - you drive on the left hand side and most road signs are according to the British system and in English. One of only two dual carriage motorways in the country links the airport to the popular coastal resorts of the north and east coasts, with an obligatory trek through the capital, en route, which is not much fun at peak times. There are also more scenic coastal routes, but make sure you have a good map and are a competent driver! Or for a more relaxing holiday, take an organised tour which can be arranged through the tour desk at all hotels.

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A range of sport is available in Mauritius, fishing, sailing, kite-surfing, hiking, kayaking etc. Ask Simply Mauritius for more details.
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There are Internet cafés in Port Louis and Grand Baie. Elsewhere, you're unlikely to be able to get Internet access easily, though most upmarket hotels will have wi-fi (some at a charge).
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Passengers of 16 years of age and over may import duty free: 250 grams of tobacco (including cigars and cigarettes), 2 litres of spirits, 2 litres of wine, ale or beer, one quarter litre of toilet water and a quantity of perfume not exceeding 10cl. A plant import permit may be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources. All plant material must be declared to Customs immediately on arrival and is subject to examination.
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The crime level in Mauritius remains low, although incidents of theft and assault are on the increase. Visitors staying in self-catering accommodation should be aware of the increase in reported housebreaking. Tourists staying in hotel complexes are at less risk. Care should be taken with bags and valuables when visiting the popular tourist areas of Grand Baie and Flic en Flac or crowded local markets.
{slide-level2=Electricity|closed}Outlets in Mauritius generally accept 2 types of plug: 220 volts

  • Two round pins
  • Two parallel flat pins with ground pin

If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter.
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One of the most important industries in Mauritius after sugar and tourism is textiles. The island has a large EPZ (export processing zone) sector and makes vast quantities of cotton goods for the world market. As many of these manufacturers have 'factory shops' Mauritius is a great place to pick up well-made T-shirts, dress-shirts, and some winter clothing. Look out for respectable local firms like Bon Air knitwear who produce superb, high quality sweaters in wool and cashmere.

At one time Mauritius had a franchise to produce Ralph Lauren but so many 'factory shops' sprang up and continued to sell a great range of clothing even after the franchise ended, that it took a high level delegation from the USA who arrived in 2004 to put an end to the pirating of the label. A number of enterprising storeowners, however, have simply ripped out the Ralph Lauren labels and are selling the same goods under different logos. Great beachwear and summer clothes are also available from local designers. There are good shopping centres at the waterfront in Port Louis and in the northern resort of Grand Bay, where you can buy anything from craft souvenirs to chic suits and scarves.

Handicrafts struggle to deserve a place in the traveller's suitcase, and still tend to be overpriced goods imported direct from India and South East Asia or East Africa. Avoid the Kenyan kitsch and the imported batik, and go for some of the nicer model dodos (in jewellery or as bronze/ceramic paperweights) or look for delightful prints in the several art galleries which feature the paintings of island residents, and paper goods decorated with local dried and pressed flowers. The best souvenir from Mauritius, but also the most expensive, is definitely a model boat. They are painstakingly recreated from plans of historic sailing ships and a tribute to the stirring and historic battles between French corsairs and British navy frigates around these shores.

The fruit jellies and jams on sale at La Corbeille, the Labourdonnais estate shop in the north, and at the airport, make delicious and unusual gifts. The local Bois Cheri vanilla flavoured tea, is an inexpensive and easy-to-carry souvenir.{slide-level2=Tipping|closed}This is not compulsory in Mauritius, but is gratefully accepted for good service!{/slides}{/slides}

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The capital of Mauritius lies on the west coast nestled between the Moka-Port Louis range and the Indian Ocean. Today, Port Louis is a modern island centre with an important harbour. One has but to look at the skyline with its many high rises to see that the city means business. Port Louis has a number of interesting sights including the Jummah Mosque which the Ministry of Tourism calls the most beautiful religious building in the country, the Le chateau de Reduit which was built for French governors and is now the official home of the President, the 'Le Caudan Waterfront' fairytale amusement park and the 'Blue Penny Museum' - home to every philatelists dream: genuine examples of the 'Red Penny' and the 'Blue Two Pence' stamps.

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The road with the most curves on the island - 70 according to local sources - winds its way from Grande Case Noyale along the coast to the hilly heights of the Black River Gorges National Park and onto the Plaine Champagne. At 127 metres high (around 400 ft), the Cascade Chamarel is the island's highest waterfall. The Rivière St. Denis flows over the edge and into a jungle basin - a truly magnificent natural spectacle. The Terres des Couleurs - or coloured earth - is another. Depending on the light, the ground can be ochre or yellow, red, brown and even shades of blue and purple. Scientists say the phenomenon traces its roots back the volcanic source of the earth and the lava/mineral content within. The best time to visit the Terres des Couleurs is in the morning on a sunny day. Opening times: daily from 7 am to 5.30 pm.

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Originally a primeval forest with deep gorges and rushing waterfalls, the national park has been likened to the Garden of Eden. The park has a number of picnic areas and over 60 kilometres of trails - some of which can be quite exhausting for those not used to hiking. At a height of around 740 metres above sea level lies the Plaine Champagne - a landscape formed by a long extinct volcano. The best time to visit is during the anthesis which takes place between September and January. Because it often rains in the south - mostly in the afternoons - visitors are advised to wear suitable shoes and take a poncho with them.

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Grand Bay - the shopping and entertainment paradise. Numerous shopping and leisure facilities, as well as an exciting night life with bars, restaurants and discotheques.
Blue Bay, Ile des Deux Cocos

A little private island with one of the most beautiful beaches of the south, which arises only a few meters from the cristal clear water of Blue Bay Marine Park. It is the most beautiful marine park of the island and is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

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Île aux Cerfs is one of the most breathteaking lagunes in the Indian Ocean. Cristal clear water, wonderful white beaches, ideal for swimming and for watersports like Parasailing, canoe, catamaran, speed boat and many more.

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Around 12 km north-east of the capital lies what is commonly called the 'Pamplemousses Botanical Garden'. Considered a must for anyone visiting the island, the botanical garden has earned a worldwide reputation for its incredible number of plant species and exotic flowers. 600 plant types from around the world flourish within the 37 hectare property and one fifth of them can only be found on Mauritius. The gardens are also home to a colonial villa with shady ground floor and first floor verandas adorned with decorative balusters and eaves. A reproduction of the original Labourdonnais estate manor built in 1850, the villa is home to the park's director. Its chambers are used to receive important guests of state. The best time to visit the botanical gardens is between December and April. Opening times: daily from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.

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Discover a park of 14 hectares which opened its doors in 1979 and today offers a home to 1,500 birds, lions, zebras, giant tortoises, monkeys, a tiger, and many other animals. Visit the endemic dry forest with old trees like the Black Ebony and let your children have fun at the petting farm or at our fishing ponds.

Enjoy the natural beauty of Mauritius by Quad, Buggy, Segway or by going on an adventurous hiking tour with several ziplines including the longest zipline in the Indian Ocean, hanging bridges and many other surprises, or go for a walk with real lions.

For younger guests, for those who are young at heart, for those who need time to switch off from hectic life in the city and for those who want to spice up their holiday with some action, the Casela Nature & Leisure Park offers something for everybody!

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For the hindu people in Mauritius the water of the lake „Grand Bassin" is as sacred as the water of the river "Ganges" in India. According to a legend, the hindu God 'Lord Shiva' happened to visit Mauritius island. With him he took the holy water of the river "Ganges", to prevent India from floods and lost some drops of this holy water, which landed in an extinct volcano which is called "Grand Bassin. There is a temple dedicated to 'Lord Shiva' and other Gods incuding Hanuman, Lakshim and others along the Gradn Bassin. During Shivaratri, many pilgrims in Mauritius walk bare feet from their home to the lake to scoop the sacred ater of the lake for ritual washings. As a gift for their god they bring food and fruits.

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One of Mauritius' 125 Hindu temples, Maheswarnath Shiv Mandir was built in 1891 and represents the island's largest Hindu place of worship. Its gleaming white façade is accented by ornamental decorations that include various flowers, symbols and Hindu gods.

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Souillac is a picturesque port village in the island's south that is home to a number of historic colonial buildings. Around two centuries ago, the town was the south's main port and an important centre of trade. Today, the freight ships laden with wood, arrack, indigo and sugar cane have been replaced by fishing boats and pleasure yachts. 3 km north of Souillac are the famous Rochester Falls. The waters of the 'Rivière Savanne' wind their way through forests and cane fields before racing through volcanic stone and plunging around 10 metres (approx 35 feet) into a natural pool below. Pretty to say the least, the spot is also a popular place to cool off.

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5 km south of the capital is the 'Domaine Les Pailles' open-air museum. A reconstruction of an 18th century sugar estate, examples of Mauritian culture and historical artefacts take visitors on an informative journey through the island's past. While many of the attractions can be reached by walking, the museum covers an incredible 1,500 hectares so many opt for one of the many horse-drawn carriages or the sightseeing trains. One of the main attractions is the 18th century sugar mill where visitors can experience the zebu-powered extraction process. This is only possible during the harvest season that lasts from the middle of June till the middle of December. The property also boasts beautiful gardens that are home to various types of hibiscus, royal poinciana (flame trees that blossom between November and May) and spices. Opening times: daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm.

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golf courses in mauritius 1There's no more idyllic climate, no more breathtaking scenery, than that on the golf courses of Mauritius.

Click the picture alongside for a larger image.

 

 

 


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anahita golf course 1Designed by Ernie Els, Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita is a 7,500-yard, 18-hole, par-72 championship course with large fairways and five sets of tees. Six stunning oceanfront holes culminate in a final shot that is among the most spectacular in the world. Built to USGA standards, it is the first of its kind in Mauritius. Carefully woven into the tropical sanctuary, the course is set against lush mountains and fringed by the vast crystal-clear lagoon.
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belle mare plage golf course 1This 6018m long par 72 course was designed by South African Hugh Baiocchi in 1994 and is located on the east coast of Mauritius. This is a championship layout being technical with numerous water hazards. Players will enjoy the wide fairways through indigenous forest whilst the wide greens ensure challenging putting areas. Despite being on the coast the sea is only visible fom the signature hole, the 17th, which overlooks the bay of Bras Requin.
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belle mare plage links 1This course opened in 2002 and was designed by Rodney Wright and Peter Allis. It is 5942m in length and a par 71. Featuring gentle slopes and wide fairways it is slightly less demanding than the Legend. The course offers superb mountain views whilst the strategic slopes and greens will be enjoyed by all. Water features abound particularly on holes 13 and 14, Facilities include Clubhouse with bar and restaurant, pro shop, driving range and putting green, equipment hire, golf carts with GPS are compulsory.
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gary player golf course 1This 9 hole par 33 course meanders through palm forests and alongside the glorious beach of One&Only Le Saint Geran. Against a backdrop of a glittering blue ocean, its trained instructors dissiminate superb techniques. The course comprises 2 312 metres of golfing bliss and features a state-of-the-art clubhouse, fully equipped with changing room, bar and terrace.
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golf du chateau 1The course is situated among sugar cane plantations in the Domaine de Bel Ombre in the south of the island. Designed by Peter Matkovich it opened in 2004 with a length of 6498m, par being 72. It is an extremely challenging layout with a wide variety of holes and tee options. It has a links feel whilst other holes are more parkland. There are also numerous water hazards. Overlooking the ocean and featuring a colonial chateau, the course offers compelling views in all directions.
Facilities include the Clubhouse with bar and restaurant, pro shop, driving range with putting green, equipment hire, golf carts with GPS.
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le-touessrok-golf-course 1The 18 hole par 72 course stretches over its own tropical island, Ile aux Cerfs. Designed by golf pro Bernard Langer and accessible by boat from Le Tousserok, the 6746 metre courise is one of the wonders of the game. It has a spectacularly situated clubhouse, world-renowned David Leadbetter Golf Academy, restaurant, bar and beautifully appointed male and femail locker rooms.
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Paradis golf course 1Situated on the south west tip of the island the course was originally designed by David Dutton and Les Adams and was modified in 1992 by Tony Johnstone. Being 5924m in length the par 72 layout is a technical course offering beautiful lagoon and beach views under the backdrop of the Morne Brabant mountain. Signature holes 16 and 17 wrap themselves around the lagoon and beach offering compelling and distracting views! FACILITIES Clubhouse with bar and restaurant, pro shop, driving range and putting green, equipment hire, golf carts with GPS.
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tamarina-golf-club 1This Club features an 18 hole par 72 course developed by international course designer, Rodney Wright. The course crosses the Rempart River, offering magnificent views of Mount Rempart and resembling a wide-open African savannah. Tamarin Golf Club has a comprehensively equippped clubhouse, restaurant, practice range, putting reen, chipping area and PGA Professional Lessons.
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Gymkhana-golf-course 1This is the oldest golf course in Mauritius started as a 9-holer and was created by the British military, in the 1950's it was increased to 18 holes. The course is a par 68 of 4,870 meters long. Lessons can be booked. Its only drawbacks remain its situation and the weather conditions.

The Gymkhana Club is situated in Vacoas, roughly in the middle of the country where the rainfall is highest; it implies a fairly long drive from any coast.

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Comprehensive cover is essential for your trip. In South Africa we can offer excellent and inexpensive cover through TIC or Chartis.If you purchase your holiday using your South African Credit Card, we can advise you of the options offered to you, by your bank. Other nationalities can enquire with their banks or travel insurance partners in country of residence. Do not leave home without adequate cover! Please request a quote from Simply Mauritius.
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{slide=Visas|closed}South African passport holders do not require a visa to visit Mauritius.

For other nationalities, please check with Simply Mauritius before planning your trip.{/slides}

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Whether you plan an intimate ceremony with close friends or a lavish celebration on a grand scale, Simply Mauritius can help you make the perfect choice for your dream wedding. All you have to do is look beautiful! We will advise you on everything from the legal requirements to ceremony venue options.

Before jetting off, you will need to send us your original unabridged birth certificates which we will forward to the Mauritian Home Affairs Department eight weeks in advance. A certificate from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, stating that you are neither a Mauritian citizen, nor residents will be obtained for you. On your first working day in Mauritius we arrange for you to be taken to the Supreme Court In Port Louis where you will appear before a magistrate who checks your birth certificates and passports, asks you to declare that you are not already married, and then lodges your name in the marriage registry.

There are many ways in which Simply Mauritius can help with the greatest day of your life...
*A regional commissioner, civil officer and/or pastor * your wedding certificate * official wedding photographer * videographer * wedding cake * make-up artist * flower arrangements * music for the ceremony * hairstylist * pre or post ceremony cocktails/champagne * the reception, with full catering and decorr * various options for the bride to arrive at the ceremony * local Mauritian dancers and singers * next day special breakfasts, sunset cruises etc....{slide-level2=Renewal of Vows|closed}

Relive the magic of your wedding day with a Renewal of Vows ceremony at any of the lovely resorts recommended by Simply Mauritius. Many resorts also offer specials for those of you celebrating your wedding anniversary.
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The most memorable holiday of your life. After the excitement of your wedding day, Mauritius is the perfect destination to unwind, relax and enjoy eachother's company. Simply Mauritius will help you choose a resort which meets your dreams. Romantic candle-lit evenings, spa treatments, stunning sunsets, tranquil lagoons and miles of unspoilt beaches, the perfect way to start your new life together.{/slides}{/slides}

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