Mauritius Travel Information
Local time is GMT +4.
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs and round two-pin plugs are commonly used.
English is the official language of Mauritius, but the most widely used language is French and the local dialect, Creole. Hindi, Urdu, and Chinese are also spoken.
Tipping in Mauritius is discretionary. However, some extra money paid for services, such as a taxi ride, waitering or cleaning, is appreciated. In the hotels travellers can add around five percent of their incidental expenses when paying the bill on departure, if service has been good. Government tax is added to all hotel and restaurant bills and this is included in the basic price. However, all incidental hotel expenses will incur tax, which is generally included in the price quoted.
Mauritus is generally regarded as a safe country but visitors should take regular precautions against petty crime. Avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night and keep valuables out of sight at all times. Visitors should be aware of pick pocketing in the central market in Port Louis. Care should be taken of bags and valuables when visiting popular tourist areas such as Pereybere, Grand Baie, Flic en Flac, and Tamarin.
Homosexuality is not technically illegal in Mauritius, but sodomy is and it is best to exercise discretion as the locals are sometimes conservative. Penalties for drug trafficking and use are severe, and any personal medicinal drugs should be covered by a prescription. Scheduled drugs, such as tranquillisers, morphine, and other strong painkillers require by law authorisation before import.
Port Louis is the main business hub of Mauritius. Standard business practice applies to the island: punctuality and politeness is important, handshakes and the exchanging of business cards takes place at meetings, and business attire is worn.
It is, however, possible to be somewhat more casual in terms of dress and visitors can take the cue from their hosts. Lightweight materials are recommended due to the tropical climate. Business hours vary, but most businesses are open at least from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, with some businesses open for a half-day on Saturdays.
The international access code for Mauritius is +230. The whole island is covered by the mobile network; the local mobile phone operators use GSM and 3G networks, which are compatible with most international operators.
Travellers to Mauritius over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre spirits and 2 litres of wine, ale or beer; perfume and eau de toilette for personal use. Prohibited items include sugarcane and fresh fruit from parts of Asia. Other prohibited items include dangerous drugs, obscene literature, and pornographic materials.