Kirsten Woolley recommends Mauritius as the perfect compliment to an African safari and for an easy beach break. Here she answers frequently asked questions about this popular Indian Ocean island, once the home of the dodo.
What’s so great about Mauritius?
The beautiful sandy beaches, crystal blue seas and tall palm trees, make Mauritius a paradise for holiday makers of all ages. Families love it, as do honeymooners and pretty much everyone who wants an easy beach holiday. With several national parks for walking and even quad biking available, day visits to the capital for shopping and a bit of history and culture and lots of water sports, it’s a great destination for those who love to be active or just enjoy relaxing around the pool.
How do we get there?
With regular direct flights from London and regional add-ons available, Mauritius is easily reached. Air Mauritius have flights from London Heathrow every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and returns every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. British Airways depart London Gatwick every Monday, Thursday and Saturday and returns every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Alternatively if you are already in South Africa there are daily flights from Johannesburg to Mauritius; from Cape Town to Mauritius flights are on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - we can advise you on the best deals. There are also excellent connections onto Rodrigues, Reunion and Madagascar. Options also exist for flights via Europe and the Middle East from the UK. So one way and another Mauritius is pretty well served!
How do we travel around the country?
Most people are transferred on arrival to their hotel and then take the odd day trip which can be booked locally. We will gladly pre-book these for you. Mauritius is the perfect size for exploring by car and visitors can hire a car for a day or two if they fancy self-driving. You drive on the left just like at home.
If there was one thing I shouldn’t miss, what would you recommend?
Mauritius is all about the beach, but as one of the best known villages in Mauritius, a visit to Grand Baie is something I’d recommended. Its picturesque sea views and lively atmosphere make the village a popular tourist destination.
Is Mauritius safe?
Yes, however, like in all countries, there is a slight risk of petty theft and crime.
Can I drink the tap water?
Yes you can.
Is English widely spoken?
Yes. While French and Creole are the most commonly spoken languages in Mauritius, English is still widely spoken and understood.
What is the local cuisine like?
The traditional Mauritian cuisine is a blend of many cultures including Creole, Indian, French etc. Fresh fruit like mangoes and coconuts are regularly available, a lot of dishes include fish and sea food and rice is a staple in many Mauritian meals.
How can I contribute to the local economy and conservation programs?
Purchasing local goods or dining outside of your hotel on a couple of occasions does contribute towards the local economy. Responsible tourism projects are available to visit and/or contribute towards and we will gladly help you find a suitable project where it be marine, fauna and flora or community projects.
Do I need to get any vaccinations ahead of travel and/or malaria tablets?
One of the great things about a holiday in Mauritius is that you don’t need any vaccinations or malaria medication.
I am pregnant, can I travel to Mauritius?
Absolutely. Mauritius is a great destination to visit during your pregnancy. With great food, spa facilities and its easy going atmosphere, it’s a very relaxing island.
How has the recent Ebola outbreak affected Maurituis?
Mauritius has reconsidered its policy with regards to foreign nationals arriving who have previously visited countries currently affected by the Ebola outbreak. It is understood that this policy came into force on 27th September 2014.
1. All foreign nationals who have visited one or more of the six countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease during the last two months as from the date of their travel to Mauritius will temporarily not be allowed entry to Mauritius; and
2. As from 10th October 2014, the Republic of Senegal will be removed from the list of affected countries providing there is no new case of Ebola Virus Disease within that period.
For reference, the six countries are: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo.