It may come as a huge surprise, but this tiny country in the middle of the Indian ocean has been a pioneer in telecommunications! It was among the early adopters of telephone when it first appeared. It was the first African market which launched mobile networks in 1989 and the 3G Internet in 2004 among other things.
The market leader in telecommunications sector is Mauritius Telecom, which has been partially privatized by the Orange group, a 40% owner. Other two telecom companies in Mauritius are Emtel and Mahanagar. All three network operators ensured structure which supports up to date mobile data services.
Local SIM Card
Purchasing local SIM card will save you the trouble of high roaming costs. You will be asked to show your passport in the process. Please note that sometimes there is a waiting time of two or three days to activate certain services. On the bright side, finding top ups is a piece of cake.
„Wi-Fi Mauritius “is provided in more than 350 locations on Mauritius and it is free. The service is provided by Mauritius Telecom. It is allowed to use 250 MB of data on daily basis per phone number. Hotels with free Wi-Fi can be easily found, which should be enough for an average user.
If you are looking for high value for money in shopping, you have come to the right place. Mauritius offers numerous opportunities for shopping - ranging from casual shopping in malls to visiting the exciting craft markets.
There is no need to worry about finding souvenirs. There are plenty you can choose from: hand-made bags, exotic perfumes, fresh tea and coffee, ship replicas, textile, diamonds, unique jewelry. You can also demand handmade gifts from wood to be made according to your wishes. Le Craft Makret, Caudan is where you can find handcrafts and traditional herbs.
You can buy different goods in this tourist village. There are two shopping malls: Super U complex and Grand Bay Plaza. You will also find numerous street shops down the Sunset Boulevard.
Bagatelle Mall, Moka is the main shopping spot for those who are looking for designer clothes. Commercial Phoenix Mall is another place where you can find famous brands and make a break from you shopping spree in one of the restaurants.
Outlets can be found in Arsenal, Pamplemousses District. There you can also find high end tech products.
Adult literacy rate is 90,6%, which shows significant improvement in the last two decades.
Education system has always been a priority for the government. It is based on British education system. Children are enrolled in school when they turn five. After six years of primary education, they attend secondary schools for the next six years.
Tertiary educational institutions are also present in Mauritius and central figure in tertiary education is the University of Mauritius.
Vocational education is also present, aiming at increasing national labor skills.
There are public hospitals and private clinics at Mauritius. The main hospitals are: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam National Hospital, A. G. Jeetoo and Victoria Hospital. Two local companies are concerned with manufacturing pharmaceuticals in Mauritius.
The government is dedicated to keeping health care costs free at the point of delivery. Fair distribution of health services is a top priority. Good private health care is available, but costs may be too high without insurance.
If you arrive to Mauritius from regions where Malaria is present, you may be asked to provide blood sample at the airport, so do not get surprised.
Medical tourism is getting more popular in Mauritius and it became one of the top destinations for it. While some people come to enjoy white, sandy beaches, other solve their medical issues. Latest technology is being used and there are numerous medical procedures which can be done: dentistry, cosmetic surgeries and other types of surgeries. Rejuvenating procedures are mostly requested.
Private clinics have impressive diagnostic centers and labs. High standard of medical care is provided.
Standard working hours are from 09:00 to 17:00. Shops in towns are mostly open from 09:30 to 17:30 from Monday to Saturday. Some of them are open on Sundays as well. shops in Rose-Hill, Curepipe and Quatre-Bornes are closed on Thursday afternoons.
Government offices work from 09:00 to 16:00 and banks are open from 09:00 to 15:00.
Port Louis is the capital city of the Republic of Mauritius. Naturally, it is economic center of this paradise island and a host to the largest harbor in the country, which shares the name with the city. Its population counts around 200.000 people. The name of the city origins from the tribute to the King Louis XV, from the period when Mauritius was French colony.
Mauritius is one of the most prosperous economies in Africa. Good governance combined with peace and stability for a longer time period enabled its economy to develop. Its economy has constant growth of 3-4% per annum.
Nearly 50% of the land is arable and sugarcane is the most important agricultural product and major export. In addition to agriculture, manufacturing sector is also important, and the focus is on clothing and textile industries.
Country is trying to profile itself into important exporter of jewelry and watch components. Tourism is another very important contributor to the country’s GDP.
Port Louis is the Mauritius' main harbor and at the same time the only official entry for ships. In order to visits the rest of the country, ships must be cleared in the port. In one year, more than 2000 ships on average check in this port.
Mauritius has its own currency called Mauritian Rupee. It is distributed in banknotes and coins. Banknotes come in denominations of: 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000. Finding a 2000 Rupee banknote is nearly equal to winning a lottery. Coins come in denominations of: 5, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 5, 10 and 20 Rupee.Old 10 Rupee banknote is changed to 10 Rupee coin.
Payments & ATMs
Credit cards are accepted and by using the international credit card you can use ATMs to withdraw money. For banking services, you will need to show your passport and it needs to be valid.
If you decide to skip the day at the beach, you will discover beautiful blend of different influences which formed the culture of Mauritius: Chinese, Creole, European and Indian. This island was inspiration to many notable authors, who described its incredible beauty in their poems and novels. The island is popular among newlyweds as one of top picks for honeymoon destinations. By exploring its fusion of cultures, you can learn something about some of the most fascinating and the oldest ancestral traditions. Diversity of different cultural impacts can be observed in every aspect: from cuisine, dance and music to religion.
Mauritians will definitely amaze you. They are polyglot nation and most of them are at least bilingual. Interestingly, Constitution of the country does not recognize an official language.
Due to colonial heritage, English and French are used for educational and business purposes, while some other languages are commonly used by the population: Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi Tamil, Urdu, Tamil and Mandarin.
Mauritian Créole, is mostly used in informal settings and there is no standard. It was developed during the slavery period, and slaves used it to their advantage to make it harder for their French masters to understand them. It is considered native language.
Nearly half the Mauritians are Hinduists and Hindu influenced came with the arrival of Indians. Due to religious diversity, there are also followers of Islam and Christianity. There are also minorities who follow Buddhism and related religions.
Constitution forbids discrimination and all people are allowed to freely adhere to their religious beliefs.
Mauritius has very turbulent and rich history and learning about it if beyond interesting. It is known that Arabs were the first to discover the island around 10th century and they named it Dina Airobi, which means desert island, because it was not inhabited. Malays were the next to explore the island.
Portuguese also discovered the island. However, they never hand and intention to make it a place for living. It served as a port where they procure fresh food and some commodities.
French and British Occupation
The most important foreign influence on Mauritius was French and British. Under French governance first factories emerged and most popular product were sugar cane, indigo, coffee, rice, cotton and wheat. British took over Mauritius in 1810, during Napoleonic wars.
In order to gain the necessary support from the local residents, British guaranteed to total respect of local laws, customs and language.
Independence was finally obtained in March 1968.
Mauritius has a climate perfect for your dream vacation, regardless of the time of the year you decide to come. There are two seasons: summer from November to April and winter from May to October and there is almost unnoticeable change of temperatures between the seasons.
July is the coolest month with temperatures ranging from 20-21 degrees Celsius. Time period from December to January is the hottest and temperatures go up to 28 degrees Celsius.
Mauritius is specific because of microclimate. It is not unusual to see sunshine in one area and few kilometers away rain. If you wake up to the rain, you can count it will end by the time you are ready for the beach.
The population of Mauritius is estimated to 1.2 million, which is approximately 0,02% of the world population. The population density is 625/Km2. Nearly 40% of population lives in urban area. Total land area includes 2.030 Km2.
Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, settled to the East of the African island Madagascar. Its coastline is almost entirely covered with corals. There are numerous mountains on the island, which are not very high and the highest peak on the island is 282m. Volcanic craters, streams and waterfalls can be commonly found.
Island of the Republic of Mauritius
In addition to the main called Mauritius, The Republic of Mauritius also includes the following islands: Rogrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon. There are two other islands as well, which are being disputed over.
Endless white-sand beaches surrounded with coconut trees and blue and crystal-clear waters are making Mauritius a true heaven on Earth. One of the most magical things is experiencing sunset on Mauritius beaches, where you can see how shades of red, blue, gold and purple perfectly blend into a magnificent symphony of colors right in front of you!
All beaches are public, and you are allowed to use any beach you like, and hotels cannot prevent you from doing so. Nudism on this island is forbidden and you will not find nudist beaches.
Some beaches provide access to very deep waters and parents with small children should be pay special attention to signs of warning on the beaches.
Flora & Fauna
Because of its isolation from the rest of the world, flora and fauna are not so diverse. However, Mauritius is the home of some endemic species, and some of them are at the edge of extinction or are already extinct.