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Holiday tips to Mauritius

Recipes for a better stay in Mauritius

Massage by the villa pool in Mauritius
Some tourist destinations require forward planning to avoid “biting the dust”, which can be more fun than to “miss the train”; it all depends on the type of dust. Other destinations are so chaotic anyway that it is better not to plan too much, ride on the back of opportunism and seize occasions as they emerge. Mauritius is somewhere in between and it suits us all.

Of course, stays in high and peak seasons (see When is best to travel to Mauritius) require better planning but the only thing that you ought to finalise prior to your departure is your accommodation.

If you intend to stay in a hotel, a flight + hotel package may be the best deal. Sometimes, the package is cheaper than the airfare alone… not worth trying to understand, economics has its own logic. In case you intend to stay in more than one place during your stay, (which is a good idea for stays of 2 weeks or more,) have your accommodation set for the first 4 to 5 nights and once landed, do not take long to book your next place. For stays in villas, it is essential to book well in advance to have more choice and flexibility.

Villa Morine, Belle-Mare, Mauritius


It is also more relaxing to have your airport transfer and / or your car rental booked in advance; your landing will be softer and you will avoid being ripped-off.

As regards to activities, unless you travel to Mauritius for a specific activity or intend to carry-out activities, excursions or visits, every day, you may book and organise them once on the spot as they are subject to weather conditions and especially… to how you feel once arrived. Many do far less than initially planned; it's not exactly the effect of the Tsetse fly but the relaxed environment and prevailing torpor. It may be sad to leave without having seen the country but taking time and enjoying the moment are also an achievement. (See blog "Mauritius – So Mauritius").

Be careful on some timings like the time between your last scuba dive and your flight. Other activities such as kiteboarding lessons or Yoga lessons and even massages or anything within a wellness programme must also be booked in advance.

Massage by the villa pool in Mauritius


If the “Yes Sir” has replaced the “No problem in Mauritius” in the formal contexts of hotels and agencies, the latter is still valid. The pleasure to please is still a reality of Mauritius conditionally that you do not look for it… (Indeed, it is a paradox but we are in the southern hemisphere). Here, spontaneity prevails. How many have been surprised seeing people driving or walking out of their way just to guide and help tourists asking for directions. Some may get emotional when experiencing so much kindness, others doubt and fear. The point here is not to judge the reaction but to know that many Mauritians have kindness as their fuel.

Some will have the impression that everything is possible in Mauritius, while others will make experiences that will lead them to believe that all is quite complicated down here. It of course depends upon the people encountered but more upon the attitude of the visitor.

The worse attitude to have is definitely the one of a neo-colonial, of a conqueror or the “I know it all”. One obtains more from asking rather than from demanding, it is better to wish than to want. By the way, if most things finally get done, there is little control on the time it takes to get done. Buses do pass-by but rarely at scheduled times. When in a restaurant a person enquiring about an overdue dish will get for reply a vague “in a moment” that can mean seconds or up to 20 minutes.

Lack of precision is in fact the trade mark of Mauritius. To find this out, it suffices to look at anything; a building, a road or to listen to the weather forecast that, since the introduction of the radio, invariably goes: “partly cloudy” with isolated showers”.

So, to remain Zen during your stay in Mauritius, a minimum of planning is necessary and ideally, learn to expect the unexpected.

author
Bernard Cayeux
+230 412 5615
bernard@bookmauritius-villas.com

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