There are numerous ways of getting around in Mauritius. Here is a list of all your options:
The majority of the local population use the bus as a daily means of transport. There are sheltered bus stops located across the island. While it can be challenging to figure out the routes with no official posters or signage you but getting around Mauritius by bus is not too difficult if you ask conductors which bus route to use. Tickets are paid for once you get onto the bus to an operator who issues you with a ticket and can run between 30 to 60 MUR.
Mauritius has a widespread bus network with around 220 bus lines and roughly 900 bus stops. They are operated by a number of major companies (National Transport Corporation, Mauritius Bus Transport, Rose Hill Transport, Triolet Bus Service, United Bus Service, Luna Transport and Perle de la savanne) and various individual operators which are organized in regional Bus Owners Co-operative Societies (BOCS). The bus prices are regulated by the Government of Mauritius. However, there is no such thing as an operator independent ticket which could be used across the island.
The conditions of the busses may not always be in tip top condition but they are generally safe to use. While there is no bus app in Mauritius, you can check mauritius-buses.com for schedules. However, the website is not entirely reliable, so locals often prefer to check the schedule directly with the station master
Metro Express Tram Line
In 2020 Mauritius introduced a light rail transit express. The 26-km route will connect Curepipe to Immigration Square in Port Louis and will feature 19 stations, 2 of which will be state-of-the-art elevated stations. For the time being it Metro runs from Rose-Hill to Port Louis. Tickets or Cards can be purchased from vending machines at the stations. They are at Rs30 per trip.
Taxis are plentiful and provide a comfortable way of getting around. Taxi owners are exempt from paying duty on cars and therefore usually have good quality vehicles. They are generally unmetered and a price should be agreed upon beforehand.
Roads in Mauritius
The island has a network of three main roads (The Motorway):
- M3, which links Terre Rouge to Verdun in the North, passing through Port-Louis, the capital
- M2, which links Port Louis to the tourist village of Grand Baie, in the North of the island
- M1, which links the airport in the South East to Port Louis. This is the most important road on the island since it also passes through the largest cities of Curepipe, Vacoas, Quatre-Bornes, Phoenix, Beau-Bassin Rose Hill and Moka
Driving is on the left. The main roads are well marked in English and easy to navigate. Google Maps will get you to all main locations. In the outskirt villages smaller unnamed roads are a bit more tricky to navigate. They are extremely narrow and offer very little markings in terms of street names, or numbers or any decipherable order. Pedestrians tend to stray into the traffic due to the lack of pavements and there is little regard for solid lines. You will also have to be vigilant for motorcycles, and stray dogs that venture onto the roads.
“Foreigners with a drivers licence issued by a competent authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in Mauritius.”
– Mauritius Traffic Branch
Mauritius is a country that recognises the Geneva Road Traffic Convention of 1949. The law stipulates that “Any person holding a valid international driving permit or driving licence issued by a competent foreign authority shall not be required to pass a test.
Your licence can be converted to a local licence by obtaining a letter from your issuing country and submitting that together with other relevant documents to the Line Barracks in Port Louis.
Traffic and parking fines
A traffic fine ( speeding, parking illegally etc) must be paid within 10 days of receiving the fine. The payment takes place at the police station assigned to receiving traffic fine payments. If you fail to pay the fine, you will receive a letter to appear in court to plead guilty to the offence. This court appearance is in Port Louis or otherwise stated on your summons letter, and it results in having to pay the fine at court.To avoid this make sure you pay your fine within the stipulated days. Failing payment and turning up at court the police officers may arrive at your door to arrest you – be warned
Renting a Car a Mauritius
It is advisable to rent a car during your first few months of living in Mauritius. This will buy you time to shop around for a brand you enjoy. There are many rental companies available for short and long term rental. The standard rates ranging from about Rs15 000 p/m for a basic car. Rentals are easily available should you plan and book in advance.
Buying a car in Mauritius
Cars are generally a lot more expensive as compared to other countries due to the 100% import duty. Taxis and some government positions allow for buying without duty. It is not advisable to bring over your own vehicle as the hassle of shipping and tax can be a long expensive process. The most popular brands being Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Kia, Honda, Suzuki, Peugeot, Renault are represented by big brands. There are many websites through which used cars can also be bought. From a cultural perspective cars are not typically seen as a status symbol many people are keen to use public transport. The following sites all sell new / used cars.
Cars need to be roadworthy. “Certificate of Fitness” is issued by the National Transport Authority after inspection for cars older than 7 years. Insurance (at the minimum third-party) is mandatory to obtain a vehicle licence and insurance is usually paid upfront per annum. Vehicle licences are issued based on the CC’s of the vehicle and range. They range between Rs3000 per annum for light motor vehicles upwards.
Parking in the capital Port Louis and Ebene is quite expensive and in high demand. A parking space goes from about Rs2500 – Rs4000 and this should always be budgeted for from an employment perspective or when budgeting on your transport spend. Besides Port Louis and Ebene parking is generally free and easily obtained as part of public infrastructure.
Parking Metres – There are no parking metres in Mauritius, although some of the newer shopping centre’s are charging for undercover parking.A system of parking vouchers is operated whereby you complete a voucher and display it in your window in areas with zoning. Vouchers can be bought at the petrol stations.
Although this is a cheap and enjoyable way of exploring the island, it can be dangerous. It is preferable to join a cycling club and ride in the safety of a group or to mountain bike off the beaten track on the sugar cane roads which are easily accessible, safe and scenic.
There are no parking metres in Mauritius. Although some of the newer shopping centre’s are charging for undercover parking. A system of parking vouchers is operated whereby you complete a voucher and display it in your window in areas with zoning. Vouchers can be bought at the petrol stations.
Traffic and parking fines
A traffic fine ( speeding, parking illegally etc) must be paid within 10 days of receiving the fine. The payment takes place at the police station assigned to receiving traffic fine payments. If you fail to pay the fine, you will receive a letter to appear in court to plead guilty to the offence. Court appearance happen in Port Louis or otherwise stated on your summons letter, and it results in having to pay the fine at court. To avoid this make sure you pay your fine within the stipulated days. Failing payment and turning up at court the police officers may arrive at your door to arrest you – be warned
Contact our Concierge team today to learn more about the services offered by our partners in renting or buying a car in Mauritius. Contact us today for a free needs analysis.