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Car Rental in Mauritius: Advantages of Traveling around the Paradise Island by Car
With its awe-dropping biodiversity and stunningly vibrant beaches, Mauritius is quickly becoming one of the best travel destinations in the world. Located along the Mascarene Island chain in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is home to just over 1 million people, as well as numerous near-extinct bird species, giant tortoises, dolphins, whales and sharks. Make the most of your visit by hiring a car to navigate this little island’s many highways, from Port Louis to the island’s turquoise shores to the Black River Gorges National Park.
The best time to visit Mauritius is during its dry season, from May to December, after its January-to-March cyclone season has come to an end. You may want to avoid the east coast on its windiest days in July and August as well.
Due to its complex history as a site of numerous colonial powers, the major languages of Mauritius range from English to French to Mauritian Creole, a French-based language that incorporates English, Dutch, and Portuguese, among other languages.
The currency in Mauritius is the Mauritius Rupee, and the island is located in the East African Time Zone, UTC+4.
Whether you’re headed to Mauritius to lounge on the beach or swim with dolphins, there are plenty of other outdoor and urban experiences you won’t want to miss! You will likely arrive by air to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in the southeast. Rent a car directly at the airport to travel north along the M2 Motorway to Grand Baie. Known for great shopping, nightlife, and restaurants, Mauritius’s northernmost cosmopolitan area promises a wide range of sea-, beach-, and street- adventures. Although you’ll be traversing the island almost completely from south to north, this drive is only about 70 km long and takes just over an hour.
The Black River Gorges National Park is also not to be missed! Spend at least one day away from Mauritius’s magical coastline – if not more – to thoroughly explore the incredible forest life, rainbow sand dunes, and jaw-dropping waterfalls of the park. Though just 45 kilometers from the airport, the Chamarel Waterfall in the park is also about an hour-long drive along slow-moving scenic roads.
One-way car hire in Mauritius is also a possibility, if you’re interested in driving from the airport to Grand Baie, Port Louis, Quatre Borne, or Beau Champ.
Driving in Mauritius
While bus and train infrastructure has been improving for many years in Mauritius, renting a car is still the most effective way to navigate the island and take advantage of its most stunning sights. Find the cheapest rental options through our website!
Here are some basic tips and regulations to consider as you plan your trip:
- Be prepared to drive on the left-hand side of the road.
- Be aware that traffic will also circle to the left in roundabouts or traffic circles.
- The island is intersected by one major motorway, the M2, which links Grand Baie in the north via Port Louis to the airport in Plaine Magnien in the south. The speed limit is 110 km/h on the motorway.
- Other highways will typically have a speed limit of 60 km/h.
- The speed limit within town or city limits is 40 km/h.
- The locals are friendly and easy-going. Feel comfortable asking directions, but also be aware that this relaxed life style means slow traffic, too! Even though the roads are in pretty great condition, be wary of other drivers on the roads, especially on the highways: they’re likely to be moving more slowly than you expect!
- Outside of major cities, parking is typically free, though roads are quite narrow. If you’re planning on parking in Port Louis, Rose Hill, Curepipe and Quatre Bornes, you can buy a parking ticket at any gas or petrol station.
- You can drive in Mauritius on your domestic driver’s license for up to four weeks. You’ll need an international driver’s license if you’re planning to stay any longer.
- Wearing seatbelts is mandatory and using a mobile phone is strictly prohibited while driving on the island.
- Have your rental car contract as well as your driver’s license on hand, should you go through a police check.
- While the minimum driving age in Mauritius is 18 years old, in order to rent a car, you will likely have to be at least 21 years of age and a licensed driver for at least one calendar year. Drivers under the age of 24 may be issued a young-driver fee.
- If you are arriving from countries in the Middle East or Asia, you may be required to apply for a visa; double check regulations before you begin your travels.
- Gas or petrol stations are rarely open at all hours, so fill your tank during regular business hours if you’re planning any evening or weekend travel.