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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Mauritius

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Mauritius each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

January/February: Spring Festival (Chinese New Year, national holiday)

The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the island by Sino-Mauritians, a small but vibrant community of Mauritians with Chinese origins forming about 3 percent of the population, many of whom are retailers or traders. For two days, the island's main municipalities, and Port Louis in particular, usher in the year with great panache. Highlights include Chinese dragons, lion dancers, and special events in front of shops, where firecrackers are lit to chase away evil spirits.

January/February: Thaipoosam Cavadee (national holiday)

Tamils in Mauritius celebrate this 10-day festival, which symbolizes the struggle against ignorance and evil, in honour of the deity Muruga. The faithful take part in colourful, spectacular and awe-inspiring processions to their temple carrying the cavadee, a wooden yoke decorated with flowers and palm leaves and with a pot of milk suspended from each end, across their shoulders. In addition to the weight carried, the participants undergo further penance, walking in a virtual trance state, their bodies pierced by needles and hooks, and with skewers threaded through their tongues and cheeks.

March 12: National Day (national holiday)

All Mauritians celebrate the anniversary of the island's independence, proclaimed on this day in 1968. Commemorative events include speeches, music and dance performances, a parade by security and paramilitary forces and a fireworks display.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

February/March: Maha Shivaratri (national holiday)

Reminiscent of the great rituals on the banks of the holy Ganges, this is the largest Hindu festival celebrated outside India. It begins with a night-long vigil in worship of the god Shiva. The following day, some 500,000 devotees dressed in pure white take part in a procession to the sacred lake, Grand Bassin. Food offerings are made at the temples dotting the banks of the lake, the air is filled with the heavy scent of incense, and prayers ring out from loudspeakers.

November 1: All Saints' Day (celebrated nationwide)

On this day, Roman Catholic families in Mauritius visit the graves of their loved ones, to clean the tombs and place flowers. They also light candles, pray together, and share fond memories of the departed.

Mid–late November: Festival International Kreol (local event)

With events held at a number of venues across the island, this annual 10-day celebration of Creole culture features exhibitions, conferences, food and craft stalls, traditional music, sega dance performances and a dance competition, film screenings, theatre, a fashion show, and a competition for young artists, among other highlights.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Mauritius

Mauritius has a typically tropical climate and enjoys warm temperatures year-round. Summer, which extends from November to April, is hot and wet, whereas winter (from May to October) is warm and dry, with temperatures from June to August cooled by the trade winds.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 16/61 28/82 292/11.5 Not the best period to go
February 14/57 27/81 400/15.7 Not the best period to go
March 14/57 27/81 247/9.7 Not the best period to go
April 14/57 26/79 210/8.3 Not the best period to go
May 12/54 25/77 120/4.7 Not the best period to go
June 9/48 23/73 96/3.8 Good period to go Good period to go
July 7/45 22/72 114/4.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 9/48 22/72 119/4.7 Good period to go Good period to go
September 9/48 23/73 73/2.9 Good period to go Good period to go
October 12/54 24/75 63/2.5 Not the best period to go
November 12/54 26/79 68/2.7 Not the best period to go
December 14/57 27/81 198/7.8 Not the best period to go
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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport

Mauritius' Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is located about 48 kilometres (30 miles) south-east of the capital Port Louis.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Port Louis and back :
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A10 (Royal Road).
    • A free drop-off and pick-up zone is located in front of the terminal. There are a total of 1,000 parking spaces in proximity to the terminal for both short- and long-term parking (free for the first 20 minutes, MUR 30 for up to 1 hour, MUR 180 for 24 hours, MUR 90 for each additional day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the car rental facility just outside the Tour Operators hall.
  • By bus
    • Bus 198 connects the airport with Victoria Square Bus Station in Port Louis about every 15 minutes. The trip takes about 85 minutes and the fare is MUR 34 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the terminal and the trip to Port Louis costs around MUR 1,500.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +230 203 9054
  • Website: http://mauritius-airport.atol.aero

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GETTING AROUND Mauritius

Owing to its small size and the fact that most of its roads are in good condition, Mauritius is not at all difficult to explore by car. In addition, public transport on the island is efficient and reliable, making it relatively easy and quick to get from place to place.

By bus

Mauritius has a network of bus routes covering the entire island. There is a choice between “ordinary” buses and “express” buses, which are bit more expensive. The island's three main regions (North, Centre and South) are served by buses whose routes radiate out from the central bus station in Port Louis. Buses run about every 10 minutes in the city, and every half hour in the more remote areas. A single ticket costs between MUR 15 and MUR 25 for shorter trips.

By taxi

There are nearly 6,000 taxis circulating in Mauritius. This can be an interesting option, both in the city and for getting around the island, as they can be booked on a daily basis. The rate to reserve a taxi for an entire day is between MUR 2,000 and MUR 3,000 . For a short trip within Port Louis, expect to pay between MUR 50 and MUR 100.

By car

Renting a car in Mauritius is a convenient and relatively inexpensive solution, ideal if you prefer to get around on your own and at your own pace. There are more than 1,600 kilometres (994 miles) of well-paved roads on the island, including a motorway in excellent condition.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Mauritius, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in is the mauritian rupee (Rs).

1 CHF = 35,78 MUR

1 MUR = 0,03 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel.

Vaccinations

Visitors arriving from countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission must show proof of vaccination, usually documented on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP).

In addition, the following vaccines are recommended for all visitors:

  • typhoid
  • hepatitis A and B
  • booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

In Mauritius, tap water is safe to drink in hotels, but it is best to drink bottled mineral water provided in sealed, tamper-proof containers.

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Administrative formalities

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter Mauritius. However, Mauritius has entered into visa exemption agreements with a number of countries.

For further information, visit the website of the Mauritius Passport and Immigration Office: http://passport.govmu.org/English/Passport%20and%20Visa%20Requirement%20in%20Mauritius/Pages/Visa-Requirements-in-Mauritius.aspx

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Good to know

00 230
+ phone number (calls to Mauritius)
3 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva

Banks

Usually open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Mauritius, tipping is not necessarily required, although always appreciated if you are satisfied with the service. It is customary to tip 10 percent of the bill in restaurants, bars and cafés.