Safety and security
Although the the threat from terrorism in Mauritius is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
In May 2016 gunshots were fired in the capital, Port Louis, at the French Embassy and at a hotel that is popular with tourists, and Islamic State graffiti was also sprayed on the Embassy's wall. As a consequence security on the island has been strengthened, especially around Embassies and high Commissions.
Mauritius has generally low levels of violent crime but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
- Avoid walking alone at night on deserted/public beaches or in poorly-lit areas especially in the back streets of the business district of Port Louis
Petty crime is common, with many active pickpockets and purse snatchers in popular tourist areas including Port Louis, Grand Baie and Flic en Flac. We recommend that you keep your valuables in hotel safes, where possible, and make copies of important documents, including passports.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Mauritius, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Pretoria if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Mauritius, you should be careful. Traffic drives on the left, the standard of driving varies and there are frequent minor accidents. Be particularly careful when driving after dark as roads are often narrow and uneven with inadequate lighting.
If you are planning to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
- Be aware of Mauritius’s traffic laws, such as speed limits, which are posted in kilometres per hour. All road and traffic signs are posted in English.
- Speed limits are strictly enforced; camera speed checks are very common and speeding fines are substantial.
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
- Drivers and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
While there have been no attacks by pirates in Mauritian waters, vessels have been attacked up to 1,000 miles off the Somali coast. Sailing vessels are especially vulnerable so we advise you not to travel in yachts or pleasure craft in international waters in this part of the Indian Ocean.
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 15:23:24 BST