Being frequented by tourists very often, opportunistic crimes have increased in the recent past due to the huge incentives involved. Most of the crimes are non-violent, although instances of the use of weapons during burglary cannot be ruled out. Given below are a few points that should be kept in mind for a hassle-free holiday in Mauritius.
Safety on the Road
- Abstain from hitch-hiking or asking for rides from strangers. Also, if you are driving a rented vehicle, it's best to ignore requests of strangers for lifts and rides.
- Always carry photocopies of your essential documents such as passports and driving licenses (driving license of the native country is acceptable) while travelling. These may be checked by security personnel.
- Avoid driving at night on unlit roads and roads in need of repair.
- Mauritian law prohibits children under the age of 10 to occupy the front passenger seat.
- Due to a shortage of sidewalks and pavements, you'll share the road with pedestrians, jaywalkers and invariably, animals. Watch out for these.
- The universal driving etiquettes such as respecting speed limits, wearing the seatbelt, refraining from using phones while driving and not driving under the influence of alcohol or other narcotics apply here as well and are strictly enforced.
- Ensure that you obtain comprehensive vehicle insurance before you sign up for hiring a self-driven car in Mauritius.
- Leaving things of value visible in plain sight inside a car can cause attempts of theft. Do not leave behind valuables or if necessary, consider hiding them beneath the seats or inside the boot.
- Do not park on double yellow lines as this is prohibited and can invite unwanted fines and penalties.
Safety at your Accommodation
- While Mauritius has a well-developed tourism industry, it is a good practice to ensure that the Tourism Authority of Mauritius licenses your place of accommodation. This will guarantee a peaceful and safe stay while you are on the island.
- To ensure the safety of your valuables such as passports, cash and jewellery, lock them inside the safes provided to you by your hotels or resorts. Also, the pin codes to these safes should be changed to codes which aren't easily crackable such as '0000' or '1234'.
- While carrying regular prescription drugs is allowed, you are required to carry a copy of the prescription.
Safety While Sightseeing
- While visiting the island's hallowed beaches, it is important to ensure that your valuables do not remain unattended while you are enjoying in the water.
- If you are visiting places like the Alexandra Falls lookout or the Grand Bassin Sacred lake, watch out for the angry ‘mugger monkeys’ who try to intimidate the passengers by charging toward them.
- Travel with modest amounts of cash while visiting places of attraction.
- It is advisable to stay clear of beaches where lifeguards and appropriate security personnel are not on duty.
- While travelling aboard ferries and boats, ensure the presence of life-jackets on board for your safety.
- Mauritius experiences its cyclone season from November to May each year. Observe caution if visiting during this period. Obey warnings and guidelines issued by the relevant local authorities.
- Keep a hand-sanitiser handy and use it before consuming edibles. Diarrhoeal illnesses are common among tourists.
Social PrecautionsAlthough the local mass may appear to be more modern, their culture remains to be conservative. There exist a lot of different cultures in Mauritius including Hindus, Creole, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans which makes the locals tolerant of a wide range of beliefs and behaviours. Mauritians value ethics highly and appreciate being greeted politely with a Bonjour or Namaste. The place is a home ground of several temples and religious places. For your safety in Mauritius at various religious places, here are a few pointers,
While visiting these places, one should not be showing off too much of their skin and shoes must be removed.
Women must carry a scarf if planning to enter a mosque.
Avoid touching the statues, carvings and artefacts in the place of worship as that may not be thoroughly entertained.
Smoking is strictly prohibited in public places in Mauritius. Anyone found smoking in public places could face severe charges of fines and even imprisonment.
Making jokes regarding bombs and security threats are a punishable offence in Mauritius.
Restrict yourself from talking about sex or pornography in public. Mauritius is intolerant to pornography of any type.
- Mauritius adopts a conservative outlook towards the LGBTQ community. While the law does not criminalise homosexuality, the level of acceptance of people from the LGBTQ community varies across the island. Thus you are advised to exercise discretion during your visit.
- Mauritius' religious landscape is diverse and tolerant. While the nation doesn't possess any national or official religion, Hinduism is the dominant religion practised by Mauritians, followed by Christianity, Islam and Buddhism respectively.
- While modest swimwear is accepted and widespread across the island, nudity in any form is not accepted. It's best to stay conservative in this regard to avoid offending anyone.
- Care concerning your attire should also be observed during your visit to places of religious significance. It's best to cover up and remove any clothing made of leather.
- Mauritians are proud citizens, and it's best not to offend them by insulting their religious or patriotic sentiments.
- Travellers are required to carry a minimum of USD 600 or a credit card with a limit of minimum INR 75000 spending limit when travelling as a couple.
- Carrying more than 250g of tobacco products, 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes is not allowed and can lead to confiscation of assets.
- Keep the emergency contact numbers mentioned below handy. Save them in your cell-phone to be on the safe side.
- There have been incidents of robberies near or at ATMs. So one should be a little bit more careful while withdrawing cash and carrying them back safely.
- Police - 999 or 112
- Fire Services - 995 or 115
- SAMU Ambulances - 114
- Tourist Information - 152
- Airline Data - 6033030
- National Directory - 150
- Tourist Police - 230 210 3894, 230 213 7878