Driving and travelling in Mauritius

Probably the best way to discover Mauritius is by car. In Mauritius you drive on the left hand side of the road and give way to the right.

This is a big change for some, but what is even more striking is the difference in the way of driving.

On your way you will see traffic control for road works who are turning stop and go signs instead of traffic lights, you will see scooters loaded with weird things, people walking on the motorway and so on.

The easy-going way of life and the friendliness of the Mauritians can also be seen when they drive. When asking for the way they may just drive in front of you to make sure you do not get lost.

Even though everything is easy, there are some traffic rules which should be observed.

Speed limits in Mauritius

In town you are only allowed to drive 40 km/h . The "Speed Zone – 40 km/h signs show that speed limitation. On country roads the speed limit is 80 km/h and on the dual carriage way  (motorway) it is 110 km/h ( Taxis? ) .

Roundabouts

mauritius-roundabout

When driving on the dual carriage way (motorway)  there are many roundabouts. Drivers approaching a roundabout give way to those who are driving in it. As long as you would like to stay at the dual carriage way  (motorway) you can choose both lanes. If you would like to leave the motorway to turn to the left you should change to the left lane and if you wish to leave the roundabout at the third exit just take the right lane.

It sounds a bit complicated, but most of the time there are street signs which show which lane to choose and during rush hour the police will control the traffic.

Parking

parking-mauritius

Except for the cities Port Louis, Rose Hill, Curepipe and Quatre Bornes public parking is free of charge and easy accessible, but in those cities parking is only possible with a parking ticket. Those tickets can be bought at petrol stations. They are valid for either an half-hour or one hour and will be filled by the driver when he parks the car. There are two different zones and depending on the zone parking is either 10 or 20 Rupees an hour.

In Port Louis I would advise you to park your car in Caudan Waterfront. It costs 85 Rupees for the first 2 hours , but it is much more relaxed. The parking lot can easily be found and you won’t have to go into the city with all the traffic. Another opportunity for people who know Port Louis a bit would be parking at the racecourse ( hippodrome ) , which is only available when no race takes place.

Refuelling

Petrol stations are usually easy to find. Nevertheless there are almost no 24/7 stations so you better refill the tank before going on a trip at night. There is one in Tamarin since 2015 .

Car Rentals

If you want to rent a car in Mauritius, you should know that all official rental cars have a yellow licence plate (no longer the case 2016) . If someone wants to give you a car with a normal black plate, you should ask for a huge discount. 

Unofficial traffic rules

There are some traffic rules which are matter of common knowledge:

Outstreched hand

while driving

I am turning!

in a traffic jam

Caution I am changing lane! You let me in, do you?

Car which is driving very much on the left side

I don’t really want to drive faster today. Plese just overtake me.

waving

Overtake!! Now! You can!

Honking shortly

while driving

Caution! I am coming! Please stay at your lane because I am overtaking!

at traffic lights

Go! It is gone green! Probably you know it, but just to make it a bit faster.

Honking

I had right of way!!

Policeman who waves during rush hour

Faster please! How else should this traffic jam ever end?

Travelling by bus

Mauritius has a good bus network, which is spread throughout the country. So most of the locals are using the bus to get around the island. Taking the bus is not very comfortable, but it is a special adventure which everybody should experience. Furthermore, it is the cheapest way of travelling. If you have a long distance to go, you should arrange enough time. Taking the bus has one big disadvantage: depending on the region the last buses are leaving between 6 and 8 pm. The price for one bus ride is 18 to 32 Rs . If you have to change bus you need a new ticket. The ticket can be purchased with the bus controller. Signs on the front side of the bus are showing the last stop. There are timetables for buses, but usually you can not rely on them.

Here you can find some information about the local public transport which might help you to find the right bus:

On the homepage www.govmu.org you can click on “Bus Timetable”. There you can download various bus plans as Word or PDF file.
We found this website: Mauritius Buses .

First and last stop and stopovers of different bus companies can be looked up  here .

Information about the routes and timetables of Rose Hill Transport Service can be found  here .

The major bus companies in Mauritius are:

· National Transport Corporation (NTC): (+230) 426 29 38.
· United Bus Service (UBS):  (+230) 212 20 26.
· Mauritius Bus Transport (MTB), Long Mountain (Mr. Dhiraj Dosieah): (+230) 245 25 39.
· Triolet Bus Service (TBS): (+230) 261 67 25
· Rose Hill Transport (RHT):  (+230) 464 12 21

We found this article on the web and have edited (bold) some of the article. Source

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