How to get around Mauritius

The easiest way to get around Mauritius is to hire a car or take a bus tour. One major highway runs north to south and a good network of paved, if sometimes narrow, roads cover the entire island.

Taxis, motorbikes and bicycles are also available for hire.

Mauritius also includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon. The capital and largest city, Port Louis, is located on the main island of Mauritius.

In general the roads are well maintained, but be wary of potholes and Mauritian drivers, who tend to have little consideration for each other, let alone for two-wheeled traffic.

Buses are notorious for overtaking and then pulling in immediately ahead of other vehicles to pick up or drop off passengers.

Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. Speed limits are 110kph (68mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on other non-urban roads and 40kph (25mph) in built-up areas. Seatbelts must be worn.

Transport options in Mauritius

Air: Air Mauritius ( operates daily flights from Mauritius to Rodrigues, a small island to the east of the mainland. Flight time is 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Air Mauritius also offers helicopter tours and charters from the international airport to several major hotels.

Sea: Mauritius Shipping Corporation (tel: +230 217 2284; offers sailings between Port Mathurin (Rodrigues) and Port Louis (Mauritius).

The journey takes around 36 hours. On board you'll find four classes ranging from 2nd class up to deluxe cabins.

Several private operators offer cruises to offshore islands, as well as snorkelling and fishing excursions. A limited water-taxi service takes passengers from the Cauden Waterfront in Port Louis to various hotels.

On land

Car hire: Numerous local and international car hire companies are available in Mauritius, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

To hire a car, drivers must usually be over the age of 23 and have held a driving licence for at least one year.

All foreigner visitors are technically required to have an International Driving Licence. Few rental agencies enforce this, but it's best to carry one as police may demand to see it.

It's recommended to take out comprehensive insurance despite the extra cost.

Motorcycle hire is available in Grand Baie, Flic en Flac, Mahébourg and Port Mathurin. You should be aware that most motorcycle hire is 'unofficial', so you may not be covered by insurance in event of an accident.

Taxi: Taxis are a good way to get around Mauritius. Operators such as Taxi (+230-493-4065) also offer private tours. Visitors are advised only to take official registered taxis.

Taxis are regulated and metered. However, check that the meter is working – it’s often best to negotiate the fare before getting inside the car.

If you plan any sightseeing remember to also negotiate a set fare that includes waiting time. Tips are not customary for taxi drivers, but appreciated.

Bicycle: Cycling isn't really a practical means of transport in Mauritius given the heavy traffic, narrow roads and often inconsiderate drivers – but bikes are fine for cycling short distances along the coast.

The coast roads are pleasantly flat and also generally (though not always) less busy than those in the interior.

Most hotels and guesthouses can help you arrange bike hire (usually mountain bikes). Many offer this as a complimentary service for guests.

Most bikes are in reasonable condition, but be sure to check the brakes, gears and saddle before setting off. The bike should have a lock; use it, especially if you leave your bike at the beach or outside shops.

Avoid cycling anywhere at night, as most roads are poorly lit.

Bus: Buses are an inexpensive and reasonably comfortable way to get around Mauritius.

The three main government-run companies are National Transport, United Bus Services and Mauritius Bus Transport, each focusing on different parts of the island. There are also several large regional bus companies and scores of individual operators.

Tickets can be bought on the bus from the conductor. It's a good idea to keep small change handy as you probably won't get change.

It takes approximately an hour from Mahébourg to Curepipe, an hour from Curepipe to Port Louis, and an hour from Port Louis to Grand Baie.

There are no published timetables. Locals are the best source of information and can help you work out the best way to get from A to B. Bus stops tend to be marked with a white pole.

Long-distance buses run from around 6am to 6.30pm, though there is a late service between Port Louis and Curepipe until 11pm. Generally there are buses every 15 minutes or so on the major routes.

Latest update: How to get around Mauritius: 30 December, 2022