Safety in Mauritius - Safety Tips Before Visiting This Island Paradise
If stunning beaches, diverse culture and rich cuisine are what you have been aspiring for in a vacation, then Mauritius is the perfect destination for you. Mark Twain once wrote: “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius”. While there has been absolutely no doubt regarding the scenic beauty and hospitality of Mauritius, some tips regarding the safety in Mauritius should be ensured to have a smooth yet happening holiday. Given below are a few points that should be kept in mind for a hassle-free holiday in Mauritius.
1. Safety in Public Places
In general, Mauritius is a safe place for a holiday. It is probably one of the safest countries to travel to Africa. Just as your hometown, you need to be cautious of your surroundings here at Mauritius, too. Needless to mention, leaving personal belongings unattended in public places, carrying a large sum of money or displaying expensive jewellery and valuables during sightseeing can be an invitation to risks.
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.
There have also been cases, though pretty less, of sexual harassment of tourists. It is therefore highly recommended to avoid walking alone on beaches at night as well as to avoid poorly lit areas especially in the back streets of the business districts of Port Louis.
Keep copies of important documents, including passports separately and not in your wallet. So in case you get mugged or robbed, your identification documents and passport are safe.
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.
Most of the streets of Mauritius is infested with many stray dogs which may turn out to be a haunting experience if you are not a dog lover.
If you are visiting places like the Alexandra Falls lookout or the Grand Bassin Sacred lake, watch out for the angry ‘mugger monkeys’ which try to intimidate the passengers by charging towards them.
2. Accommodation Precautions
Cases relating to burglary and theft have emerged off late. The numbers have increased to a dissatisfactory limit. So for your safety in Mauritius, it is better that you note these down
It is thus recommended to make sure that the accommodation and hotel rooms are safe and secure.
One should refrain from renting accommodation that is not registered with the Mauritius Tourism Authority.
Upon check-in, one should examine whether all the doors in the room are secured properly.
Valuables, money and passport should be stored in the digital safe provided by the hotel. Leave behind the items such as laptops which do not need to be carried around.
Before opening the door, look through the peephole to check if the person is safe to be late in.
Balcony and terraces of the rooms are to be doubled checked for a safe lock before leaving or going to bed.
3. Social Precautions
Although the local mass may appear to be more modern, their culture remains to be conservative. There exists a lot of different cultures in Mauritius including Hindus, Creole, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans which makes the locals tolerant to 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 homeground 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 artifacts in the place of worship as that may not be thoroughly entertained.
Smoking is strictly prohibited in public places of Mauritius. Anyone found smoking in public places could face severe charges of fine and even imprisonment.
In case of a stranger offering a lift when you are walking alone, smile and politely decline the request.
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.
4. Offensive Attire
Being in a conservative country like Mauritius, one needs to be concerned and careful about their attire. Women in Mauritius especially carry a lot of dignity and are very particular about their dressing sense. Some local women still take a bath in their saris in beaches.
A woman is allowed to wear shorts or any outfit that is not too revealing or provoking.
She must not be partially or fully nude as that is a strict no-no.
Topless sunbathing, too, is prohibited. Nudism and topless sunbathing are frowned upon by the public.
Some hotels also forbid their guests from nude sunbathing on beaches. Many hotels also restrain on wearing jeans too.
They allow men to wear smart trousers while women are asked to put on slacks or dresses. So before you travel, go through the online website of the hotels and pack accordingly.
5. Road Safety in Mauritius
General Condition: The number of road traffic accidents had soared up to almost 30,000 at the end of 2017, with the number of fatalities due to road accidents has increased by 8.7%. As can be understood from the figures, road safety is of utmost importance for a smooth holiday in Mauritius. Roads are generally in pretty good condition equipped with safety signs and a network which makes travelling easy without a GPS.
Rules and regulations: Many of the tourists prefer hiring a car and venturing around the city. It should be kept in mind that Mauritius is a British colony once, have developed the rule of driving on the left side of the road. Speed limits should be abided by as you would certainly not be pleased if caught by a hidden camera or a radar. As in all other places, seat belts are a must for drivers as well as for passengers. Speaking on mobile or drinking while driving is strictly banned.
Alcohol Benchmark: To be precise, the Mauritian law has set the benchmark of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream to be less than 50mg(100ml). Driving during the peak hours(7:30 am-9:30 am; 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) can be a little hectic and risky.
6. Couples Safety in Mauritius
Being a destination famous mostly for a honeymoon, Mauritius is a paradise for couples. As mentioned before, mild public display of affection is alright as long as it's not indecent. The place also welcomes unmarried couples. The lovely 4 kilometres stretch of beach in the Trou-Aux-Biches/ Mont Choisy area is characterised by a number of good hotels that are thoroughly couple friendly.
7. LGBTQ Safety in Mauritius
In recent years, there has been a growing acceptance for the LGBTQ couples with Mauritius being one of the 96 countries to have signed the “joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity” at the United Nations. Mauritius is one of Africa’s most LGBT friendly countries. However, conservative behaviour regarding LGBT still continues to operate in this region. So as a safety measure, do not indulge in displays of affection in public places. Holding hands can be accepted, however, one should restrict them solely up to this.
Police: 999 or 112
Fire Services: 995 or 115
SAMU Ambulances: 114
National Directory: 150
Tourist Info: 152
Weather: 171 and 96 for cyclone reports
Airline Data: 6033030
So without much thought, pack your bags and head straight to the ‘Heaven on Earth’. Do not worry much about safety in Mauritius for the stunning beauty of the place is sure to mesmerize your soul, making you forget about the most unlikely occurrences. Do remember to abide by the mentioned tips and you are surely going to have one of the best experiences of your lifetime.