Mauritius in Brief
Visiting Mauritius for the first time is definitely a great adventure and experience. But getting there and not having basic information might make, what could have been a dream holiday, a total and useless nightmare. These useful hints will surely help you get what you came for sea, sand and sun.
The monetary unit of the country is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs).
Major Credit Cards are like American Express, Diner’s, Master Card and Visa are generally accepted around the country. You should however keep some cash with you in case of some trader do not accept card transactions. Filling Station, for example, may not accept Credit Card.
Other payment means
Traveler’s Cheques are generally accepted as means of payment in hotels mainly. You should not expect this paying method as being a common option everywhere.
Issuing Bank Cheques can be possible in some cases. It is advised, however, to check with payee and local bank regarding such possibilities.
Banks are present in almost all regions of the country and at the arrival and departure of international flights at the airport. Opening hours are between 9:15 am and 3:15 pm from Monday to Thursday and from 09:15 am to 5:00 pm on Friday. They are closed on weekends; using ATM’S are surely the best and fastest way to get cash from banks. These can be found easily around the island.
Bills and tips
Bills generally carry a 15% VAT. It is advised to always ask if price tags carry Vat or not, Tipping is not compulsory. It remains a gesture of appreciation from the customer.
General Health Information
Mauritius has proven a record of accomplishment of good food hygiene. There have been very few cases of food poisoning either in hotels, in restaurant or open food courts. We will however recommend you to prefer bottled mineral water to general tap water. Although very clean and drinkable, it has been reported to have caused minor trouble to foreigners. Do not hesitate to buying food from hawkers but we do not advise you to take a lot of these. We also recommend you to have basic tablets against intestinal trouble underhand. Foreigners might not be used to spices and other cooking techniques.
Mauritius has an excellent network of both public hospitals and private clinics. Private Doctors are easily accessible in any region of the country.
Fauna and Flora
Apart from mosquitoes and ordinary wasp, you should expect no problems we do not have any venomous scorpions, spiders or snakes. To prevent skin allergies and other trouble from mosquito’s bites, we would recommend eucalyptus-based repellent creams or lotions.
Beware of too much sun
Virtanening is a real danger to your skin and general health. It is advised that you have genuine suntan cream or lotion with protective index 20, whenever you go out during the day.
Shops are open every day from 7 am to 7 pm. On Thursdays, Sundays and public Holiday they are close at 1 pm.
The Mauritian telephone is one of the most dynamic and modern in Africa. Public phone booths are available in almost all region of the country. Some work with coins and other with either prepaid cars or credit cards.
Prepaid cards are easily available in shops anywhere in the country and they are range from Rs 55 to Rs 500. You can also get low cost long distance call cards mainly from two operators, Mauritius Telecom with Sezam and DCL with Easy call. In both case call can go as low as Rs 5.75 per minute long-distance communication.
Mauritius has two Major cell phone service providers. They are Orange and Emtel. If you plan to use your own cell phone here; we recommend that you contact either cell service for compatibility issues. You may also want to use local prepaid service SIM cards. These are easily available through the providers and some shops. Their prices fluctuate between Rs 500, and Rs 600. As for prepaid cell phone call cards, their prices range from Rs 50 to Rs 500 for Emtel and Orange.
Internet connections are billed in most hotels In fact internet connections are easily available everywhere. Some accommodations provide Wi-Fi internet access. Cybercafés charge one rupees per minute.
With such a colourful background, most Mauritians are at least trilingual. English is the official language, but French and Creole are commonly used. Among the many oriental languages, Hindi and Bhojpuri are widely used.
The population of Mauritius is approximately 1.2 million including Rodrigues and outer islands.
In the multi-ethnic culture of Mauritius, Hinduism, Christianism, Islam and Buddhism co-exist peacefully and in harmony.