Driving in Mauritius
Driving in Mauritius by car is the best way to explore the islands’ outback and to drive along the beautiful Mauritian coastlines. You can escape from the tourism and you can take your time and go off the beaten track. You get to see so much of the island if you have a car and for the ones who think they can drive around the island in one day.. don’t underestimate it. Mauritius might be a small country, and so are the roads. Read here about driving in Mauritius.
Generally the roads in Mauritius are good. You won’t find a lot of holes in the road and almost all tourist attractions are accessible by a paved road.. Some still are not though!
The economy in Mauritius is improving. Therefore, more people are able to buy a car and on some places on the island the infrastructure is not prepared for that yet. From Monday till Friday from 7AM to 10AM and in the afternoon from 4PM till 7PM you will always have a traffic jam at Port Louis, Vacaos and Phoenix. However, outside the urban areas there are very little cars and chances of getting stuck in traffic are zero.
The Mauritian driving style might be best described as impatient. When the opportunity is there, it is very normal to pass the car in front of you. Therefore, check your mirrors almost constantly. Parked cars on the road and oncoming cars driving in the middle of the road can not only be a bit nerve-racking, but also dangerous. Oncoming vehicles can take advantage as well on your side of the road if their side of the road is blocked by a parked car. Therefore, always keep you focus. Also be aware of the dogs passing the road.
Driving on the left
In Mauritius people drive on the left hand side of the road. If you’re not used to this in your country it feels a bit strange to drive on the other side of the road, but with a little bit of practice you will manage to do it. Be extra careful in the beginning with roundabouts and entering a new road.
Renting a car
At all tourist places or airports you are able to rent a car. Prices may vary between 800 MUR and 4.000 MUR per day, depending on the car and the season. The longer you rent a car, the better price you will get. Like in every country make sure you check the car well together with the renter and also check the insurance.
If you are planning to rent a car in Mauritius it is recommended to check in before in your own country if you need an international drivers license for Mauritius. If it is not needed, make sure you bring your own license (and not a copy).
You will find petrol stations all over the island, mostly in the bigger villages or towns. Just stop your car at the petrol station and an attendant will help you. You can ask to fill up the fuel by saying it in litres or in price. If you are planning to go to drive to the inland where there are not so many villages and towns, make sure you check that you’re not leaving with an almost empty tank. The price per litre is around 39 MUR.
Mauritius has several beautiful driving routes. Some are a pleasure to drive through. My favourites are:
We strongly advise you to be constantly focused while driving in Mauritius, but also enjoy the drive. Oncoming vehicles sometimes drive on your side of the road and they can do so in corners. However, if you pay attention, you’ll be fine. The beauty of the country, the freedom and the quietness on some roads make it well worth to take the steer and drive!