Travel Information on Mauritius for Malaysians


This Travel Information on Mauritius for Malaysians was created as AirAsia X is now flying to Mauritius from Kuala Lumpur on a direct flight beginning 4th October 2016. The general information here is catered for tourist from Malaysia who plan to visit this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean which was discovered in the 9th century and named after the Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau and eventually in 1992, Mauritius became a republic. 

Mauritius is a tropical island located just off the coast of Madagascar, Africa and is a seven hour direct flight there. AirAsia X is also flying three times weekly to Mauritius giving Malaysians and also Southeast Asians or any traveler the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful paradise islands on earth. 

This Mauritius travel information below will highlight the many important questions and points to take note especially for Malaysian travelers based on the local traveling trends. A Halal section is also in one of the sections of this article for the Muslim travelers.

A sample of what is available in Mauritius - Images from Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority
Do Malaysians need a visa to enter Mauritius?
Well, the good news is no. Malaysians and many other countries do not require a visa to enter Mauritius. 

What do people speak in Mauritius?
Locals here speak mainly English and French but due to the multi diverse cultures and ethnic groups, other languages such as Hindi, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Tamil, Telegu, Mandarin, and Hakka are spoken by the locals. In general, English is widely spoken throughout the island and at popular tourist places.

Can I drink the local tap water in Mauritius? 
Yes you can. Since 2012 the water supplied by the Mauritius Central Water Authority or CWA is treated to meet the norms set by the World Health Organization for drinkable water. The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life conducts independent tests to ensure the CWA complies with the norms of WHO and the Ministry of Environment.

A postcard perfect photo of Mauritius
What to eat in Mauritius? 
Food and glorious food, this is one of the main questions that would concern any travelers. Every country showcases this where it is a must to try the local food when you travel. In Mauritius, you will be treated with a beautiful mixture of Creole, French, Chinese and Indian cuisines which is quite similar to Malaysian food so this should not be an issue. 

Street Food in Mauritius
For street food in Mauritius, a must try is the roti chaud (hot roti) and the local gajak (local snack),. Other street foods include samoosas, gateau aubergine (eggplant fritters), manioc goujons (cassava chips) and gateau patat (potato fritters).

Is there Halal Food in Mauritius? 
Oh yeah, there is a lot of Halal food as there is a strong Muslim community on the island so it is easy to find Halal food in Mauritius. There is a total of 17% Muslims that make up the population on the island and a majority of the Muslim people are found in Port Louis. 

Can I find a Mosque or Surau in Mauritius?
Yes, you can visit the famous Jummah Mosque (Masjid Jummah) in Port Louis which is built back in the 1850s. There is also the Al-Aqsa Mosque or Camp des Lascars Mosque which was built around 1805 and also serves a tourist site. In smaller cities or towns, there are mosques or surau's available, you just nee to ask someone where it is located.


Buying a Sim Card with Internet Data in Mauritius

This is probably the most important thing that any tourist nowadays will be looking for - Internet data for their smartphones or tablets. There are a few telco's offering internet mobile data services where all GSM operators offer 2G on 900 MHz, 3G on 2100 MHz and started 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz. 4G/LTE is available for prepaid.

For the purchase of a SIM card you need to show your passport for registration at a store where they will make a copy of it and you have to fill out some forms. Activation can take one hour or even longer, so this is the travelers call. Emtel, Orange and MTML (Chili) are the three main telco players on Mauritius. 
  • Data, Call Sim Cards Orange is owned by Mauritius Telecoms and has the best coverage around the island. Their prepaid SIM cards are sold for 100 MUR which includes 86 MUR credit and 250 MB data and 150 domestic SMS at any Orange shop. The credit is valid for 100 days, data for 7 days and SMS for 3 months while credited data and text will be available within 3 working days after activation. Mini, Micro and Nano SIM cards are also offered. Top-up vouchers are sold as scratch cards at 4000 retailers for 50 MUR, 100 MUR or 300 MUR.
  • Data-only SIM Cards Orange also sells a data-only SIM card without voice for modems or tablets called 'Internet Everywhere'. The starter pack always includes a 3G USB dongle, a data-only SIM and 1 GB of data valid for 30 days for 1299 MUR or RM 150.00.
  • Roaming Data Alternatively, you can use the Malaysian (or your own country) roaming services by your Telco company as sometimes they offer some excellent roaming packages like RM 38 per day for data internet. You need to subscribe to your own telco company for this.
  • Free Wifi The best solution for those who are not too attached to their social media platforms. Most hotels, cafes and shopping malls offer free WiFi services therefore, you can just enjoy your holiday and post your updates or check email when you are back at the hotel or at a restaurant. 

What type of electrical plugs are used for Mauritius?
There are two main types of plugs used here which are the round two pin (Type C) or the Malaysian square three pin plug point (Type G). However, it is always recommended to bring a universal adapter along, and make sure it's not a cheap China one as you do not want it to burn out on you there. Malaysia runs on a 240V while Mauritius runs on a 230V so it is all good. 

Mauritius Currency and Cost of Living
The currency used here is called the Mauritian Rupee or MUR in short form. Note that the cost of living there is slightly higher than usual due to the fact that Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean and almost everything is flown in via flight or shipped in via sea. note the prices below are also converted to Ringgit Malaysia and is a rough estimate from all over the island. 

1 MUR = RM 0.12
100 MUR = RM 11.60
100 MUR = USD 2.83
  • Where to change money in Mauritius?According to many websites, everyone recommends you bring USD and change it at the airport when you arrive in Mauritius. Also look for Shibani Finance as they give the best rates. They seem to give the best rates. A number of countries do not stock MUR so it is recommended to change your local currency to USD and then change it when you arrive. Also, best to use the local MUR for buying anything as if you use USD, they will accept it but give you a really bad exchange rate.
  • Food and Drinks in MauritiusFor example, a combo meal for one at McDonald's will cost around Rs 200 (RM 23.00). To eat in a simple restaurant, it will cost Rs 300 (RM 35) per person and a mug of beer will cost you Rs 75 (RM 8.70). A cup of Cappuccino will cost you Rs 70 (RM 8.00) and a 330ml bottle of mineral water will cost you Rs 20 (RM 2.30).
  • Can I use my Credit or Debit Card in Mauritius?Of course you can. It is widely accepted too. But for Malaysians, you may need to inform your bank that you will do overseas transactions as sometimes, the anti-fraud feature does not let you use the card overseas and this will frustrate many travelers. So best to contact your local bank to double check this. 
Transportation in Mauritius
For transportation in Mauritius, the island is well connected with roads and there are bus and taxi services available. A taxi start fare will be Rs 100 (RM 11.60) and each kilometer will be Rs 87.50 (RM 10.00). Many advise to take the local bus service where fares range from Rs 12 (RM 1.40) for short trips up to a maximum of Rs 30 (RM 3.50) for longer trips. 

SSR Airport in Mauritius Map
  • Transport from Mauritius Airport to Port Louis City - The airport that you will arrive in is called the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport or SSR Airport in short. It is located about 48km to Port Louis which is the capital of Mauritius and is a very modern airport.
  • Taking a taxi to Port Louis - There are a few taxi companies that offer this service and some you can book online. Prices are around RM 160 for 1-3 persons one way from the airport to Port Louise.
  • Taking a bus to Port Louis - The local bus is number 198 and cost Rs 20 per person. This is a direct bus to the city where the bus stop (3A) is located by the car park. The journey will take around 90 minutes. There is also Bus No.9 (70 minutes) and Bus No.10 (100 minutes).
  • Taking a bus around Mauritius - Most people recommend exploring Mauritius via bus as it is a much cheaper alternative than taking a tour or taxi service. There are two types of buses in Mauritius, standard and express. It is also recommended to use the express buses as they are air conditioned and much faster since they do not stop every few meters like the standard ones do. Buses operate from 5.30 am - 8.00 pm
Beautiful beaches in Mauritius
Renting a car in Mauritius
This would be one of the better options if you are traveling in a group or family as the prices are quite reasonable. They offer compact or small cars right to sedans and even pick up trucks. and the best part, they even have Perodua Viva and Proton Pesona cars for rent! Oh, they drive on the left hand side of the road which is similar to Malaysia so it should be easy for Malaysians to drive in Mauritius. 

Most of the car rentals include all-in packages like insurance, airport delivery and pick up, additional driver, GPS device and unlimited mileage. I would recommend this to avoid any hassle. 

*Please Note: Some cheaper car rental companies offer very cheap car rates but you have to purchase the optional items mentioned above. The price range is based on a five day car rental in Mauritius. 
  • Compact Budget Car: Peugeot 107, Hyundai i10, Perodua Viva, Nissan Micra - RM 550 - 700
  • Compact/Small Cars: Citroen C1, Suzuki Alto - RM 700 - 800
  • Sedan Car: Toyota Corolla, Honda City, Toyota Avanza - RM 900 - 1000
  • Sedan Car: Peugeot 308, Nissan Almera, Hyundai Elentra, Nissan Juke - RM 1100 - 1400
  • Pick Up Truck: Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200, Nissan NP300 - RM 1200 - 1500
  • Luxury Car: Mini Cooper Cabrio, BMX 1, 3 Series and X3 - RM 3000 - 3500
  • Luxury Car: Jaguar XF - RM 5000 - 6000 
Ecotourism in Mauritius via Quad biking
Is Mauritius Safe? 
In general, Mauritius is an overall save island. Petty crimes do exist but again, just like any other country, you will find pickpockets in busy places like markets, bazaars and so on. It is always wise to be extra careful when you visit these busy places and keep your belongings close to you. Never attract attention with smartphones sticking out of your back pocket or unzipped handbags and flashy jewelry. In the event you need assistance, do contact the local police.

Map of Mauritius
Best time to visit Mauritius?
The island is located in the tropics therefore anytime is a good time to visit Mauritius. However there are two main seasons here which is Summer from November to April (23ºc to 33ºc) and Winter from May to October (17ºc to 23ºc). The wettest months are from December to March.

With the availability of AirAsia X flights to Mauritius three times weekly, you can easily plan your trip to this beautiful tropical island for various lengths of stay. Also, stay tuned for some interesting travel packages to Mauritius during the Matt Fair 2016 and also 2017 where many travel agents will be offering all kinds of travel deals for Malaysians to visit Mauritius. 

What else can I do in Mauritius? 
The options are quite endless as there is so much being offered here. From beaches, diving, snorkeling, golfing, trekking, lakes, sport fishing, waterfalls to botanical garden visits, you can read my upcoming article on things to do in Mauritius. 

You can also visit Tourism Mauritius or the Mauritius Tourism Authority official website for some additional information. All the images in this article are from the MTPA or Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. 

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please do post them below and I will try my best to answer them for you. Meanwhile, as this destination is seven hours away, Malaysians should consider staying a minimum of four to five days to fully experience this paradise island. If you try to squeeze in a three day two night trip, it may not be recommended as it would be too rush.

For those planning to go, you should be pleased to know that there will be many Mauritius Travel Packages sold at the Matta Fair and for the next Matta Fair 2016, many travel agents will surely take advantage of the cheap flights to Mauritius and you will see a number of ground only packages being sold. I hope you found this travel information on Mauritius for Malaysians helpful and have a great holiday there! 

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