Is Mauritius a Safe Destination?
June 14 2019
June 14 2019
A stunning land of pristine golden beaches, dreamlike azure waters home to thriving reefs, luxury hotels and a dazzling cultural landscape - Mauritius is the definition of paradise. Hugely popular among honeymooners and discerning families looking for memorable holidays, Mauritius is an unrivalled holiday destination, one which caters for the often diverse needs of the travellers it attracts.
There’s no denying that this exotic idyll is beautiful, but is Mauritius a safe destination to travel to? If you are thinking of heading to the Indian Ocean nation, this is what you need to know:
Petty crime does exist in Mauritius
When trying to determine if Mauritius is a safe destination, it’s important to realise that, as is the case with any destination, some petty crime does exist. Incidents of stolen bags or valuables, specifically in known tourist hotspots (on beaches for example) or the capital city of Port Louis (Downtown Port Louis in particular), is fairly common. As is the case when travelling anywhere, be sure to look after your belongings, don’t flash cash or electronics around and be aware of your surroundings.
When it comes to accommodation, only book with reputable companies that have been registered with the Mauritius Tourism Authority and be careful when booking rented accommodation. It’s also best to make use of your hotel safe, specifically for important documents (such as passports) or large amounts of cash. Always store valuables away when you leave your hotel room and ensure your door is locked and the windows are closed.
As mentioned, the crime in Mauritius centres on petty, non-violent crimes but there have been more serious crimes reported once in a while, so again, it’s crucial to take precautions and be vigilant.
Mauritius is slightly more dangerous at night so avoid walking alone after sunset (especially in dark or secluded parts of Port Louis and on the beaches), avoid interacting with street or beach hawkers, and as per usual, be careful and cautious when withdrawing cash from ATMs.
With all this in mind, Mauritius is still considered a very safe destination with low crime rates. In fact, many regard it as one of the safest destinations in Africa. With a little common sense and vigilance, you are sure to have a totally carefree and safe holiday in paradise.
Health concerns in Mauritius
If you are up to date with the standard vaccinations and take some basic precautions, you shouldn’t have any health trouble in Mauritius, bar potentially some stomach upsets due to unfamiliar food. There is a slight risk of chikungunya, similar to dengue fever, particularly prevalent from October to May, so bring some mosquito repellent and avoid contact with mosquitos and other insects if possible.
Then, there are a few dangerous marine animals to be aware of, such as the stonefish, which gives a nasty sting that can be fatal. But as long as you get urgent medical care as soon as possible (most hotels have anti-venom), you will be fine. Also encounters with these fish are very rare. Be careful of sea urchins and rather opt for coral shoes to prevent any cuts from the reefs.
As with any type of travel, we recommend taking out travel insurance as a precautionary measure (especially if you plan on enjoying some of the more extreme activities).
The roads in Mauritius can be a little hazardous as they aren’t always well kept and are often lined by pedestrians and animals. The roads are sometimes narrow and winding (and can be congested), and some people drive somewhat fast on them. While you can drive in Mauritius with your international licence, it might be safer to stick to a trusted taxi service instead, but just check what the recommended price is for your journey, or you risk being overcharged. Public transport in Mauritius is fairly safe and reliable.
The risk level for natural disasters in Mauritius is medium, as it is possible that a cyclone could hit Mauritius during your visit. The cyclone season is typically between November and May, but that hotels and resorts are well equipped to deal with them.
Sea travel and safety
If you are planning on engaging in any sea activities, ensure that the tour operator you are using holds a valid permit from the Ministry of Tourism. It’s a good idea to check there are lifejackets on board and that the captain has a way to call for help if needs be. You should always exercise caution when swimming and keep an eye out for sea urchins, stonefish and any other poisonous fish. Before you leave on your trip, make sure that your travel insurance covers all the sea-based activities you want to participate in.
There haven’t been any terrorist attacks in Mauritius, but unfortunately, these things can’t be ruled out entirely. Once again, when travelling, always keep your wits about you, be vigilant and take stock of things happening around you.
Where there are tourists, there are those that try to rip them off, and the same applies in Mauritius. There are a few scam artists around, so always be sure to pay after services rendered, pre-agree on taxi fares or only ride metered taxis, check your change and only book accommodation and tours through reputable companies.
Overall the risk associated with travelling to Mauritius is fairly low, you just need to exercise the standard precautions you would anywhere else in the world. Keep your valuables safe, be vigilant and use your common sense to ensure you have a seamless holiday in Mauritius. In case of emergencies, contact the tourist police on +230 210 3894 OR +230 213 7878.
Get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns or if you would simply like to book your dream holiday in paradise.