Remember the dodo? Mauritius was the only known habitat of the curious-looking flightless bird that has sadly been extinct since 1681 and is now a ubiquitous icon of the island. Here are some more essential facts to know before you go to Mauritius.
Australians travelling to Mauritius on holiday with a valid passport and a return or onward ticket do not require a visa for entry. Initial entry is granted on arrival for a maximum of one month. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Mauritius.
The currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and Mauritian Rupee fluctuates constantly, so it’s a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
Over generations, the eclectic mix of cultures in Mauritius has infused into the local cuisine to great effect. The Indian influence can be seen in curries paired with parathas and roti breads, street snacks such as dholl puris, samosas and gateaux piments – fried split-pea and chilli cakes, and sweet treats like gulab jamun and rasgulla. Arab-style biryani rice dishes are also common, as are African staples and Chinese cuisine with a spicy Mauritian flavour and even good old British fry-ups. You can thank the French for the plethora of tarts and pastries as well as their influence on local Creole dishes such as rougaille, a spicy tomato and onion-based sauce with meat, seafood and vegies.
Outside of the uber-glam resorts, the main after-hours scene is concentrated on the north and west coasts of Mauritius. Locals and visitors adore the ambience of Grand Baie’s Banana Café with live music and DJs, while beer lovers will love the ale smorgasbord on offer at Lambic in Port Louis. The European-style beach parties at C Beach Club at Domaine de Bel Ombre attract international DJs and continue into the early hours. Big Willy’s and Shotz in West Mauritius are the local places to be seen, and don’t miss the Full Moon Party at Le Touessrok hotel on Ile aux Cerfs on the east coast.