1,000 km to the east of Madagascar is the island of Mauritius. The people of this sub-tropical island in the Indian Ocean are multicultural, multi-ethnic, multilingual and multireligious as a consequence of centuries of occupation, colonisation and immigration. Mauritius was also the only known home of the now extinct dodo, a flightless bird famous for its size and unfortunate fate after the arrival of the Europeans.
The island boasts a tropical climate and is warm 12 months of the year. There are two seasons here; summer and winter with the peak tourist season being from September to November and March and May. January to March can be hot and humid and there is a likelihood of tropical cyclones during this period. The east coast can be very windy and the west coast is generally hotter. Being a multi-faith country, Mauritius observes a range of religious festivals. Cavadee, in January and February, is a Tamil celebration in honour of the god Muruga complete with processions, fire walking, body piercing and trances. Mauritius also celebrates the Chinese New Year, the date of which varies, Eid at the end of Ramadan, Diwali, the Hindu festival of light in November and every September there is a pilgrimage to Père Laval shrine in Port Louis, an event in which participants of all faiths take part.
Mauritius: Before You Go
UK passport holders require no visa to travel to Mauritius and may stay for 60 days from their date of entry. Return or onward travel documents are required, however. Consult your GP before travelling regarding vaccines. It's recommended to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Typhus, Diphtheria and Tetanus. Make sure to bring mosquito repellent to avoid being bitten as there is some risk of Dengue and Chikungunya fever. Also, take care when swimming or bathing in the sea as there can be strong undercurrents.
Taxis from the airport are best booked in advance with Taxi Mauritius. Prices and times vary depending on the destination. Public transport is cheap. A short bus ride is around 15 MUR, a longer one around 30 MUR. Taxi rides are best negotiated beforehand though a day tour in a taxi should be around 2000-2600 MUR. A night in a guesthouse costs around 800 MUR per person and a 3 star hotel is approximately 3600 MUR. A holiday rental is around 1200 per night though it depends on the season.