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Mauritius - Getting there & away, getting around

Mauritius - Getting there & away

Apart from a handful of people who arrive by yacht or cruise ship, visitors to Mauritius fly into the country. Many flights originate in France, but there are also flights from several African, Asian and European capitals as well as from the US (via Europe) and Australia. You must have a return or onward ticket before arriving in Mauritius. The departure tax is roughly US$10.

Cargo ships ply the Indian Ocean regularly, though few take passengers. You're more likely to find passage on the private yachts that call in at Mauritius outside of cyclone season, berthing at Grand Baie or Port Louis. Still, opportunities are rare. About the only guaranteed way to come or go by sea is to book fare on the MV Mauritius Pride, which cruises several times a month between Mauritius and Réunion, or to board one of the cruise liners that periodically drops anchor in Port Louis.

Getting around Mauritius

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is near Mahébourg in south-eastern Mauritius, at the opposite end of the island from Port Louis. While there are no direct airport buses, express buses travel between the capital and Mahébourg several times a day, stopping at the airport. Allow yourself at least two hours from Port Louis. Air Mauritius flies to Rodrigues Island (about 90 minutes) daily; the company also offer 15-20 minute helicopter tours of Mauritius. For those with money to burn, the helicopters can be hired by the hour. The MV Mauritius Pride plies the waters between Mauritius and Rodrigues several times per month.

Mauritian buses are generally good - albeit a bit slow - and can take you to (or near) just about any place on the island. There are several different operators, none of which cover the entire island. Port Louis and Curepipe are the main hubs. Tickets are cheap and should be kept handy, as inspectors check them frequently. Mauritian roads range from smooth to potholed and pavement-free. Driving is sketchy at best on Mauritius, with speed limits often ignored, headlights a rarity and weaving pedestrians all too common. If you think you're up to it, you can rent a car in one of the major towns or at the airport. Smallish motorbikes can be rented around Grand Baie. All drivers should have an international drivers' licence, and most rental agencies require drivers to be over 23. Driving is on the left. Bicycles and boats can be rented wherever tourists congregate.

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