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Mauritius beaches"You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius." Mark Twain (1896)

Mauritius is a volcanic island nation off the coast of Africa, measuring 58km (36m) from north to south and 47km (29m) from east to west.  It lies in the Indian Ocean, roughly 800km (500m) east of Madagascar. As a country, it includes the inhabited island of Rodrigues, some 560km (350m) to the north-east, and other scattered coral atolls such as Cargados Carajos and Agalega.

Mauritius has no active volcanoes, although remnants of volcanic activity - such as Trou aux Cerfs crater in Curepipe and millions of lava boulders - pepper the island. The island of Mauritius is renowned for having been the only known home of the dodo.

Mauritius is surrounded by a coral reef and lined with long stretches of white sandy beaches. The reef is broken in several places, with the largest break evident in the pounding surf along the black cliffs between Souillac and Le Bouchon on the southern coast. A smaller, less spectacular break occurs at Flic en Flac on the west coast.

Mauritius coral reef Mauritius is an all-year-round holiday resort. In the Mauritian summer months - from November to April - the temperature varies from 20°C to 28°C on the Central Plateau and from 25°C to 33°C on the coast. From May to October, the average temperature is 19°C in the centre of the island and 24°C on the coast.

The sea temperature is 27°C in summer and 22°C in winter.

Although lying alongside eastern Africa, Mauritius is more influenced by its British, French and Indian ties than by the African mainland.

English is the official language of the island, although you will also hear French, Créole and a smattering of Indian languages.

Mauritius offers a magnificent mixture of cuisines. The most common varieties are Créole, European, Chinese and Indian, with seafood almost always the speciality.

Favourite local beverages includes lassi, a refreshing yoghurt and ice-water drink, and alouda, a syrupy brew of agar, milk and flavourings. Locally produced beer and rum are potent, plentiful and cheap; wines are expensive and usually imported from France or South Africa.  An excellent local beer called 'Phoenix' has proved very popular with our guests.

Mauritius Island holiday resortTea and an excellent ground coffee drink called coffee chamarel is grown on the island.

Mauritius has a thriving textile industry so you might consider leaving some space in your suitcase for locally-produced clothes. Talking of clothes, some restaurants may expect men to wear long trousers to evening meals.

The local currency is the Mauritian rupee (£1 = 50 rupees; October 09), which does not circulate outside Mauritius so change money on the island. GBP, EURO or US travelers cheques get a much better exchange rate than their cash equivalent.

There are 3 banks in the airport, 3 in Grand Bay and many more in other major towns on the island. Major credit cards are widely accepted.

Visas are not required for people with EEC or American passports.

Medical standards on Mauritius are high and hospitals are free for visitors. There are also many highly modern private clinics on the island, though these are not free and so health insurance is recommended.

The local water is clean and the Mauritians drink it. You can use it for cleaning your teeth etc. However, it is better you boil the water before drinking it or buy bottled water. Mauritius has a mobile telephone network with roaming contracts. Check with your mobile company.

The Mauritian sun is exceptionally strong  – even on cloudy days – so please make sure that you use a good sun cream. The power supply is 240 volts and the power sockets use the British 3 pin standard. 

As in all tropical countries (even Europe in the summer) mosquitoes do exist. We recommend using a mosquito repellent cream to keep them away. Mauritius uses the British driving system (driving on the left).

If you need more specific information about Mauritius please feel free to get in touch...

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