Jetty at Maritim Hotel, Mauritius
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Jetty at Maritim Hotel, Mauritius

© Creative Commons / timparkinson

Mauritius Travel Guide

Key Facts

2,030 sq km (783 sq miles).


1,265,946 (2017).

Population density

623 per sq km.


Port Louis.



Head of state

President Pradeep Roopun since Dezember 2019.

Head of government

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth since January 2017.


240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are commonly used in hotels; you can often find European-style sockets (two round pins) as well.

A hypnotic blend of Indian, African and European influences, Mauritius might be synonymous with luxury beach breaks, but this destination will dazzle even the most discerning traveller, with its superb hiking, excellent mountain climbing and world-class diving.

The beaches are, indeed, noteworthy of praise. Encircling the island, they are exactly what the holiday brochures promise. But beyond its celebrated sands, native forests grow over the cooler central plateau, providing a home to rare plants and animals such as the Mauritius flying fox, which can be found nowhere else on Earth.

Back on the coast, a massive coral reef surrounds almost the entire island and has become a Mecca for divers thanks to its bountiful marine life. Hop out of the water and into local culture along the east coast, which is home to fine beaches and sleepy fishing communities. Village such as Petite Julie and Queen Victoria demonstrate the mixed Anglo-French heritage of the country, and it is in these sleepy outposts that you can hear sega music played in its most traditional form.

The northern regions offer the best combination of beaches, cuisine and nightlife. Further west, the capital, Port Louis, is famed for its Caudan Waterfront complex of restaurants, shops and casinos, as well as the colonial-era central market and Places D’Armes.

Dolphin safaris, rum distilleries and sand dunes add to the west’s appeal, though for many visitors the star attraction here is Le Morne mountain, which was used as a hideout by runaway slaves. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this rugged outcrop has become synonymous with the struggle for freedom.

Friendly, welcoming and unremittingly beautiful, Mauritius offers not only fantastic weather and exquisite beaches, but also a distinct cultural identity that is well worth exploring.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice

Before you travel 

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you: 

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated. 

Travel insurance 

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency. 

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel. 

The authorities in Mauritius set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Mauritius High Commission in the UK.   

COVID-19 rules 

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Mauritius. 

Passport validity requirements 

Your passport must:  

  • be valid for the duration of your stay 
  • have one blank page 

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.  

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen. 

Visa requirements 

You can visit Mauritius without a visa for up to 60 days. When you arrive, a border official will stamp your passport to show the end-date for your permitted stay.  

You must be able to show proof of onward or return travel.  

To stay longer (to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons), you must meet the Mauritian government’s entry requirements

Digital travel form 

You must fill in the Mauritius All in One travel form online before you arrive. Print out a copy of your completed form with a QR code on it. You’ll need to show the form to officials when you arrive at the airport. If you do not fill in the form before you arrive, you’ll be asked to fill in an immigration disembarkation card at the airport.  

Vaccine requirements 

For details about health entry requirements and recommended vaccinations see TravelHealthPro’s Mauritius guide.  

Health screening

If you travel to Mauritius from a country where malaria is common, border officials may ask you for a blood sample to meet Ministry of Health requirements. If you are not tested at the airport, officials may contact you later during your visit. 

Customs rules 

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Mauritius. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty. 


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.    

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in Mauritius

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Mauritius, attacks cannot be ruled out.


Most crime is non-violent such as burglaries from tourist villas or theft of unattended bags. Petty crime is common, particularly in tourist areas such as Port Louis, Grand Baie and Flic en Flac. There have been some reports of sexual assaults on tourists.    

Protecting yourself and your belongings

You can take steps to reduce your personal risk by:

  • making sure your hotel room or accommodation is secure
  • keeping important documents such as your passport in a hotel safe
  • not walking alone at night on beaches or in poorly lit areas of town, particularly in the backstreets of the business district of Port Louis
  • only renting accommodation that is registered with the Mauritius Tourism Authority
  • not doing business with street or beach vendors

Report any incidents to the Mauritius tourist police by calling 999.

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID

Police may occasionally ask to see your ID, such as your passport or driving licence.

Cigarette paper

It’s illegal to possess or import cigarette papers.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

If you are found with any drugs, it’s unlikely you’ll be bailed, regardless of the type of drug. Prosecutions take a year or more to come to court, and you’ll be detained until your trial.

Police investigations

If you’re under police investigation, you’ll be provisionally charged and not allowed to leave the country without consent from a judge. It can take up to 2 years for the authorities to decide whether to issue a formal charge. You’re not allowed to renew your occupation or resident’s permit if you’re provisionally charged with a crime. If you cannot support yourself financially you’ll be kept in prison while the police finish their investigation.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in October 2023. Mauritius is a relatively conservative society and local attitudes to the LGBT+ community vary across the country. LGBT+ people still face discrimination, and verbal and physical confrontation cannot be ruled out. 

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Water sports

If you’re taking part in any kind of water sports, make sure the:

  • operator holds a valid permit issued by the Ministry of Tourism
  • boat has enough life jackets on board
  • captain can contact the coastguard if needed

Transport risks

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Mauritius, see information on driving abroad.

You can use a UK photocard driving licence to drive in Mauritius. Carry your licence with you when driving. If you still have a paper driving licence, you may need to update it to a photocard licence

Hire car companies often have stricter requirements for their customers, such as a year of driving experience, a higher minimum age and holding an IDP.

Drink-driving is a serious offence in Mauritius. If you’re tested and found to have a quarter of England’s legal limit of alcohol in your system, you may get a fine and possible imprisonment. 

Driving conditions 

Accidents are common in Mauritius. Motorbikes are slow and often do not use headlights at night.

Some roads are narrow and do not have pavements. Pedestrians and cyclists often use main roads, including motorways, during the day and at night.

Sea travel

There is still a significant risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, where piracy has been reduced but not prevented. Pirates can attack up to 1,000 nautical miles from the Somali coast or more. The threat assessment of the combined international naval counter-piracy forces is that sailing yachts should not enter the designated high-risk area, due to the risk of hijacking.   

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards.

Tropical cyclones

The tropical cyclone season in Mauritius usually runs from November to May.

If a tropical cyclone happens, follow the advice of the Mauritian government information serviceMauritius Meteorological Services has a well-structured system of phased warnings.

Cyclones can cause extensive damage to property. During a cyclone you’re not allowed to leave your accommodation, and car insurance policies often become invalid.


Some areas are prone to landslides, especially during cyclones and torrential rains. Mauritius Meteorological Services has 5-stage landslide warnings. Local authorities may organise evacuations of threatened areas.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Call 999 or 114 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Check TravelHealthPro’s current advice on Mauritius to find out how to reduce the health risks you’ll face there.

TravelHealthPro also lists the recommended vaccines that could apply to you. At least 8 weeks before you travel, check how to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page.

Other health risks

Stonefish stings are rare but can be fatal. Get urgent medical attention if you are stung. Many hotels stock anti-venom serum.


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

You can bring common medicines for your own use but you must carry a copy of the prescription. Tranquillisers, hypnotics, narcotics and other strong painkillers will require prior authorisation. You can check details with the Mauritius Ministry of Health and Wellness. If in any doubt, get advice from the Mauritius High Commission in the UK .

Healthcare facilities in Mauritius

Good private healthcare is available but can be expensive. More complex cases may require evacuation to Réunion or South Africa. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Private and state ambulance services are available, but the quality and response speed can vary. If you can, go directly to the hospital.

FCDO has a list of medical providers in Mauritius where most staff will speak English.  

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Mauritius

Ambulance: 999 or 114

Fire: 999 or 115

Police: 999 or 112 

Tourist police

Telephone: 999 or 112  

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in Mauritius and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British High Commission in Port Louis.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating in Mauritius on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.