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GEOGRAPHY
Mauritius is located approximately 2000 kilometres to the south eastern coast of Africa and lies east of Madagascar on 20°5, 57.5E. The country covers an area of 1865km with 330 kilometres of coastline. Mauritius is 45km in width and 65km in length. Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of Greenwich (-4 GMT).

POPULATION
1,240,827 (Year 2006). Ethnic groups:
Indo-Mauritians 68%, Creoles 27%, Sino-Mauritians 3%, Franco-Mauritians 2%. Religions: Hindu , Roman Catholic, other Christian, Islam.

LANGUAGES
English is the official language but most people in Mauritius are bilingual being equally fluent in English and French. Creole and French predominate everyday life and several oriental languages are also spoken.

FORMALITIES & VISAS
A valid passport or travelling document is required as the return ticket. A visitor’s visa is normally granted for a period of two weeks to one month upon arrival, to almost all holders of a valid passport, with one or two exceptions. Drug trafficking is illegal and carries very heavy penalties.

HEALTH
No vaccinations are required. However a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers who arrive from areas where yellow fever cases are reported.

CURRENCY
The local currency is the Mauritian Rupee. There is no restriction regarding foreign currency, letters of credit, travellers’ cheques or bank drafts.

CREDIT CARDS
Major credit cards are the most commonly accepted by banks, hotels, restaurants and shops.

CLOTHING
Take your best beach and casual wear. In the winter months (June -September), carry some light woollen clothing for the cool evenings. Please show due respect when visiting religious places. Wear appropriate clothing (and remove leather shoes and belts) when entering the premises.

BUSINESS HOURS
Private Sector: Monday to Friday: 8.30 am-4.15 pm Saturday: 9am-noon (Some offices).
Public Sector: Monday to Friday: 9 am - 4 pm
Saturday: 9 am - noon.

BANK HOURS
Monday to Thursday : 9.15 am -3.15 pm, Friday: 9.15 am-3.30 pm, Saturday:9.15 am -11.15 am (Some banks only).

Accommodation information
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CLIMATE
La température sur les secteurs côtiers varie entre 22°C en hiver et 34°C en été. La température de la mer varie entre 22°C et 27°C. Dans la partie centrale de l'île, la température maximum de journée varie environ de 19°C en Août environ à 26°C en février. Les régions occidentales et nordiques sont plus chaudes et relativement plus sèches que l'est et leSud.

ECONOMY
L’économie est basée sur 3 secteurs: l’exportation du sucre, les produits de la zone franche et le tourisme. Un quatrième secteur émergeant est celui des services et finances.

GOVERNMENT
Maurice est devenue un pays démocratique, indépendant et souverain le 12 mars 1968 après un réferendum en 1967 auprès de la population. La Constitution est basée sur le style Westminster (Britannique). Les membres du parlement qui représentent plusieurs partis politiques sont élus tous les cinq ans et représentées.

THE CAPITAL CITY & OTHER TOWNS
Port Louis est la capitale et le port maritime de l'Ile Maurice, située dans l'ouest nord ouest de l'ile. L'aéroport Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport se trouve dans le sud-est, pres de la ville historique de Mahébourg. Les principaux agglomérations et villes se situent à l'interieure de l'ile, incluant Beau Bassin, Rose Hill, Quatre Bornes, Vacoas et Curepipe..

DUTY FREE SHOPPING
Duty-free goods can be bought at accredited shops and will be delivered to the customs desk at the airport or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s desk.
Visitors returning home can claim a VAT refund at the airport by showing a receipt and goods bought.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Mauritius has international direct dialling facilities to most parts of the world as well as high speed fax and internet services. Mobile cellular services are available islandwide (GSM / 3G). Satellite TV, local tv & radios are available in most of the hotels.

ATTENTION: DRIVING ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE
People in Mauritius drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right. Foreigners with a driving licence issued by a Competent Authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in Mauritius.

ELECTRICITY
Local voltage is 220 volts.

FOR YOUR OWN SECURITY
A tourist police service has been set up to ensure security in tourist zones, including Flic en Flac. An anti-terrorist law has also been proclaimed. A specific law relating to all tourist activities and corrupt practices has also been voted.

Special care is advised concerning valuables, documents and personal belongings. Avoid isolated areas.