It’s always good to be informed and prepared before visiting any country to ensure a good holiday. This article describes the things to know before visiting Mauritius as a tourist.
Mauritius, also known as a paradise island, is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It has a good reputation as a tourist destination. That’s why it’s worth knowing what to expect from your experience on the island regarding how to communicate, money, security, cultural diversity, and the activities that await you.
Do you need to learn a new language?
One of our first concerns when preparing to travel to a new country is how to communicate there. A holiday is indeed more enjoyable when you are well-prepared and informed. You should know that almost all the population speaks Mauritian Creole, and the other languages spoken a little are, for example, Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Urdu, and some varieties of Chinese. The variety of languages reflects the multicultural nature of Mauritius. However, there is no real need to learn a new language. Not much to worry about when visiting Mauritius. English is spoken in Mauritius, the official language of the parliament, but sometimes French is also spoken. Moreover, Mauritius is a well-known tourist destination; whether in hotels, restaurants or shops, tourists can easily understand themselves.
Which currency does Mauritius use?
When planning a trip, it is crucial to consider the importance of knowing the currency. It is best to be prepared so as not to get confused. And so, the national currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee which is different from the Indian Rupee. The currency is in the form of 5, 20 and 50-cent coins. Then there are Rs 1, Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 coins, and finally Rs 25, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500, Rs 1000 and finally, Rs 2000 notes. Having some money on you is very convenient, especially when you want to buy in small shops, with street vendors or on the beach because, you see, we don’t pass the card around. Fortunately, many ATMs are all over the island and near the shops. There are also numerous banks where you can exchange money.
Also, be careful when you are given change for purchases and ensure that the money you are given back is the correct amount. One last piece of advice—Don’t be afraid to haggle in Mauritius to get a good deal because most traders can spot a tourist a mile away and may raise their prices.
Mauritius’s multicultural facet
Mauritius is a mixture of different cultures, which makes the country so colourful and lively. It is possible to see religious temples, churches, mosques, and pagodas. Being dressed appropriately to visit these religious places is also advisable as a sign of respect. All these religious places are wonderful to look at. This reflects the different religions that are practised in Mauritius. The public holidays are days when most cultural festivals are celebrated, such as Diwali, Cavadee, Christmas, Chinese Spring Festival, and many others.
There is also a great variety of food. It is possible to taste a lot of local food, and there is no shortage of restaurants and snack bars in Mauritius. Eating at restaurants or hotels where European or Italian dishes are offered is also possible. There are also many places to eat if you like gourmet food. In any case, what is certain is that there are a lot of options that can satisfy anyone.
Activities to do in Mauritius
There is no shortage of activities to do, and finding something exciting and suitable is easy. First, there are many beautiful beaches to visit and relax on, such as Pereybere Beach, Flic en Flac, Belle-Mare Beach and many others. You can also visit small islands like Ile-aux-Cerfs, where the landscape is naturally beautiful. Let’s not forget that there are also sea activities such as swimming, swimming with dolphins, and catamaran rides.
There is no lack of activities on land. You can visit animal parks such as Casela Nature Park if you like adventure and animals. If you like hiking and walking, there are plenty of places to visit, and the scenery is beautiful. For example, you can see indigenous forests and wildlife in Black River Gorges National Park.
However, it is not only the natural beauty of Mauritius that is worth seeing but also the liveliness of the cities. More precisely, we are talking about street vendors, clothes, handicrafts, spices, and fruit and vegetable markets. The central market in Port Louis is worth a visit, as are the other markets. There is plenty to buy and see. There is no shortage of places to feast your eyes in Mauritius.
Are you safe as a tourist in Mauritius?
Safety is undoubtedly one of the essential things a tourist should consider and be vigilant about for a good tourist experience. In Mauritius, petty crime is common such as theft. Therefore, it is vital to be well-prepared and take precautions. Be extremely careful with your bags and personal belongings, especially in crowded places like Port Louis or even some beaches like Flic en Flac. You should also ensure that the accommodation or hotel where you intend to stay is safe and appropriate.
In addition, avoid walking alone at night in poorly lit or deserted areas. Even at the beach, it can be dangerous to walk alone at night. Also, be careful when withdrawing money from ATMs; it is good to be vigilant.
Security also applies to outings. Be careful when you go swimming in the sea, for example. Make sure you have a good guide for hiking, visiting waterfalls, and hiking up mountains, as these are risky activities. So, remember to take precautions and enjoy your stay in Mauritius.
Léonard Marie Mégane, BA (Hons) Politics, Human Rights and International Relations student, University of Mauritius