Fast Facts - Mauritius
The name itself is an invitation to sea, sand and sun, offering an exclusive retreat to all those seeking peace and tranquility.
In the heart of the Indian Ocean, 500 miles East of Madagascar, lies your perfect tropical getaway, Mauritius. Access to Mauritius is easy as the island is served by regular flights from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
History and population
The strategic position of Mauritius on the former "Spice route", earned it the title of "Star and Key of the Indian Ocean".
The island has been successively colonised by the Arabs, the Dutch, the French and the British.
Today the island is an example to the world. Its population is a true melting pot, which blends Indian, Chinese, African and European lifestyles and traditions.
The legendary Mauritian hospitality and the excellence of the hotel industry have propelled Mauritius to being one of the world's most sought-after holiday destinations.
Mauritius celebrates its Independence Day on the 12th of March every year. Independence was granted in 1968 and the island obtained the status of Republic in 1992, on the same date.
The island's political infrastructure is based on the British model. Democratic elections conducted every five years appoint 70 members to the National Assembly. The Prime Minister is the Head of the Government and holds the executive power, while the President acts as the Head of State. Mauritius is a proud member of the Commonwealth and of the eminent French-speaking organisations.
Until the 1980's, agriculture - particularly the cultivation of the sugar cane - was the mainstay of the Mauritian economy. The country has since diversified its economy and can rely today on three other main pillars: textiles, tourism and the financial sector.
A safe island
There are strict rules about the importation and exportation of plants, fruits and animals. Strict sanitary regulations are applied and no vaccines are required to enter the country.
The island is free of endemic diseases and poisonous animals. The island also enjoys political stability and press freedom.
An ideal geographical location virtually in the centre of the Southern Indian Ocean (GMT +4) reduces the time difference between its main markets. Mauritius is two hours ahead of South African time April through to October and three hours ahead of South Africa end October to end March when they change their clocks to allow for daylight saving time.
Mauritius is a year-round destination.
The island enjoys a mild tropical climate with average temperatures varying between 20°C and 32°C.
Visa and Health Requirements
South African passport holders do not require visas or inoculations for travel to Mauritius.
Passports need to be valid for a minimum of six months after return date back to South Africa.
The local currency is the Mauritian rupee. You can exchange your foreign currency at all Mauritian banks, at hotels, as well as at the airport.
Shopping hours | Official banking hours
Monday to Friday 09h00 to 17h00
Saturday 09h00 to 13h00
Sunday 09h00 to 12h00
Monday to Thursday 09h15 to 15h15
Friday 09h15 to 17h15
Saturday 09h30 to 11h30
(Commercial banks are closed on Saturdays)
Curepipe & Rose Hill:
Monday to Friday 09h00 to 17h00 09h00 to 17h00
Saturday 09h00 to 13h00 09h00 to 13h00
Sunday 09h00 to 12h00 09h00 to 12h00
A government tax is included in your hotel bill. The tip is thus left to the discretion of the guest depending upon appreciation of the service offered, and is by no means compulsory.
West is Best
The most equable climate is to be found on the west coast of Mauritius. Seven of Beachcomber's eight properties are located along this coast, with the eighth hotel occupying a prime location near the airport. The western part of the island is generally warm, sunny and sheltered during all seasons, ensuring year-round holiday enjoyment.
English is the official language in Mauritius and is widely understood and spoken. French and Creole are used in everyday life.
Apart from typical dancing and music in discothèques, there is the unique music, song and dance of the Sega. Derived mostly from African music dating from the early days, the Sega is now performed with sophisticated Latin American influences and instruments, as well as the traditional 'ravannes' (drums) and percussion. The shuffling, hip-swaying dance and Creole patois lyrics are an integral part of the music.
Travel insurance is essential and must be purchased prior to departure, covering personal accident, medical expenses and baggage.
Once full payment has been received by Beachcomber Tours, the price of the package is guaranteed.