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Mauritius

If you’re travelling to Mauritius, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to exercise caution while in Mauritius.

Latest Travel Alert

On Monday 30 May 2016 gunshots were fired in the capital, Port Louis, at the French Embassy and at the hotel Le Saint Georges, which is a popular spot for Europeans. Terrorist group Islamic State graffiti was also sprayed on the walls of the Embassy. As a consequence, security has been strengthened throughout the country, especially outside embassies and high commissions.

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Mauritius, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa or our Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Mauritius before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Mauritius, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Mauritius on:

  • Police: 999 or 112
  • Medical emergency services: 999 or 114
  • Fire service: 995 or 115

Other EU embassies

You can contact the Embassies and Consulates of other EU countries represented in Mauritius for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and security

Terrorism

Although the the threat from terrorism in Mauritius is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

In May 2016 gunshots were fired in the capital, Port Louis, at the French Embassy and at a hotel that is popular with tourists, and Islamic State graffiti was also sprayed on the Embassy's wall. As a consequence security on the island has been strengthened, especially around Embassies and high Commissions.

Crime

Mauritius has generally low levels of violent crime but you should take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
  • Avoid walking alone at night on deserted/public beaches or in poorly-lit areas especially in the back streets of the business district of Port Louis

Petty theft

Petty crime is common, with many active pickpockets and purse snatchers in popular tourist areas including Port Louis, Grand Baie and Flic en Flac. We recommend that you keep your valuables in hotel safes, where possible, and make copies of important documents, including passports.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Mauritius, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Pretoria if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Mauritius, you should be careful. Traffic drives on the left, the standard of driving varies and there are frequent minor accidents. Be particularly careful when driving after dark as roads are often narrow and uneven with inadequate lighting.

If you are planning to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
  • Be aware of Mauritius’s traffic laws, such as speed limits, which are posted in kilometres per hour. All road and traffic signs are posted in English.
  • Speed limits are strictly enforced; camera speed checks are very common and speeding fines are substantial.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
  • Drivers and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Water safety

While there have been no attacks by pirates in Mauritian waters, vessels have been attacked up to 1,000 miles off the Somali coast. Sailing vessels are especially vulnerable so we advise you not to travel in yachts or pleasure craft in international waters in this part of the Indian Ocean.

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Personal identification

The police sometimes ask foreigners to show identification. We recommend you carry photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport and driving licence and leave the original in a safe place.

Illegal drugs

The Mauritian authorities take a serious approach to drug trafficking. Attempts to import even very small amounts are punished severely. Prosecutions can take over a year to come to court, with detention the norm until the trial. Bail is not usually granted for drug-related crimes, regardless of the type of drug. It’s also illegal to possess or import cigarette papers.

LGBT

Homosexuality is not illegal in Mauritius, but it is as well to bear in mind that society in general is quite traditional in its outlook. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.

Health

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Medical facilities

Good private healthcare in Mauritius is available, although this can be costly if you aren’t insured. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and can access funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 999 or 114 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Prescription medication

If you need prescription medication, we advise you to bring copies of your prescription with you. Scheduled drugs, such as psychotropic preparations (e.g. tranquillisers, hypnotics), narcotics (e.g. morphine) and other strong painkillers must be authorised by the authorities before they can be brought into the country. If you don’t get prior authorisation, you could be arrested. 

Contact the Mauritian High Commission in London if you think your prescription medications may need prior authorisation.

Stonefish stings

Stonefish stings are uncommon but can in some cases be fatal. You should get urgent medical attention if stung. Many hotels stock anti-venom serum.

Vaccinations

Check what vaccinations you may need for your trip at least eight weeks before you travel. We can’t advise you on vaccinations, but you can get information about vaccinations from your local GP or an International Health and Travel Centre.

Evidence of vaccination (in the form of a certificate) can be a requirement for entry to some countries.

Additional information

Entry requirements

Irish passport holders don’t need to get a visa before arrival. A visa, normally valid for three months, will be issued on arrival if you hold a valid Irish passport and have a return ticket.

Passports

You need a valid passport to enter Mauritius and your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date you enter the country. You may be refused entry to Mauritius if your passport has less than six months validity remaining or if you don’t have a return ticket.

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Mauritius and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.

What we can do:

  • Issue you a replacement passport that will let you finish your trip, or;
  • Issue you with an emergency travel document to get you home.

We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you. As Ireland does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Mauritius there may be additional complications in processing and application for a new passport.

You should contact our Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa to find out what you need to do to apply for a passport. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.

Work permit

If you intend to work in Mauritius, you must arrange a work permit in advance.

Climate

Mauritius is a tropical island just above the Tropic of Capricorn in the Indian Ocean. It has good all year round temperatures. In summer (November to April) the temperature ranges between 26°C and 32°C. In winter, (May and October) the temperature ranges from 20°C to 26°C with July experiencing the lowest temperatures, on average about 21°C. The water temperature of the Indian Ocean can go up to 28°C. Mauritius can experience heavy rainfall between January and March.

Cyclone

The cyclone season in Mauritius normally runs from November to May. Cyclones can cause extensive damage to property. The authorities have a well-structured system of phased warnings and you should follow any advice issued by the local authorities. If you’re travelling to or living in Mauritius, make sure you know what to do in the event of a cyclone.

Money

The currency in Mauritius is the rupee. Bureaux de Change and ATM machines are widely available in most towns on the island and at large shopping centres. Credit cards are accepted by most hotels, restaurants and large retailers.