Mauritius is located approximately 2000 kilometres to the south eastern coast of Africa and lies east of Madagascar on 20°5, 57.5E. The country covers an area of 1865km with 330 kilometres of coastline. Mauritius is 45km in width and 65km in length. Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of Greenwich (+4 GMT).
1,240,827 (Year 2006). Ethnic groups:
Indo-Mauritians 68%, Creoles 27%, Sino-Mauritians 3%, Franco-Mauritians 2%. Religions: Hindu , Roman Catholic, other Christian, Islam.
English is the official language but most people in Mauritius are bilingual being equally fluent in English and French. Creole and French predominate everyday life and several oriental languages are also spoken.
FORMALITIES & VISAS
A valid passport or travelling document is required as the return ticket. A visitor’s visa is normally granted for a period of two weeks to one month upon arrival, to almost all holders of a valid passport, with one or two exceptions. Drug trafficking is illegal and carries very heavy penalties.
No vaccinations are required. However a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers who arrive from areas where yellow fever cases are reported.
The local currency is the Mauritian Rupee. There is no restriction regarding foreign currency, letters of credit, travellers’ cheques or bank drafts.
Major credit cards are the most commonly accepted by banks, hotels, restaurants and shops.
Take your best beach and casual wear. In the winter months (June -September), carry some light woollen clothing for the cool evenings. Please show due respect when visiting religious places. Wear appropriate clothing (and remove leather shoes and belts) when entering the premises.
Private Sector: Monday to Friday: 8.30 am-4.15 pm Saturday: 9am-noon (Some offices).
Public Sector: Monday to Friday: 9 am - 4 pm
Saturday: 9 am - noon.
Monday to Thursday : 9.15 am -3.15 pm, Friday: 9.15 am-3.30 pm, Saturday:9.15 am -11.15 am (Some banks only).
The temperature on the coastal areas varies between 22 ° C in winter and 34 ° C in summer. The sea temperature varies between 22 ° C and 27 ° C. In the central part of the island, the maximum daytime temperature varies from about 19 ° C in August to about 26 ° C in February. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the East and sunny Southeast .
The economy is based on three sectors : the export of sugar , the products of the EPZ and tourism. A fourth emerging sector is services and finances.
Mauritius became a democratic , independent and sovereign country March 12, 1968 after a referendum in 1967 to the population. The Constitution is based on the Westminster style ( Columbia ) . Members of parliament representing several political parties are elected every five years and represented.
THE CAPITAL CITY & OTHER TOWNS
Port Louis is the capital and the sea port of Mauritius , located in the west north west of the island. The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is located in the southeast , near the historic town of Mahebourg. The main towns and cities are on the interior of the island, including Beau Bassin , Rose Hill , Quatre Bornes , Vacoas and Curepipe ..
DUTY FREE SHOPPING
Duty-free goods can be bought at accredited shops and will be delivered to the customs desk at the airport or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s desk.
Visitors returning home can claim a VAT refund at the airport by showing a receipt and goods bought.
Mauritius has international direct dialling facilities to most parts of the world as well as high speed fax and internet services. Mobile cellular services are available islandwide (GSM / 3G). Satellite TV, local tv & radios are available in most of the hotels.
ATTENTION: DRIVING ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE
People in Mauritius drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right. Foreigners with a driving licence issued by a Competent Authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in Mauritius.
Local voltage is 220 volts.
FOR YOUR OWN SECURITY
A tourist police service has been set up to ensure security in tourist zones, including Flic en Flac. An anti-terrorist law has also been proclaimed. A specific law relating to all tourist activities and corrupt practices has also been voted.
Special care is advised concerning valuables, documents and personal belongings. Avoid isolated areas.