Mauritius - Profile
- Update August 2016: An outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Reunion and Rodrigues has resulted in strict food import restrictions. See this Noonsite report.
- A volcanic outcrop of the land bridge that once connected Africa and Asia, Mauritius lies about 500 miles east of Madagascar. Part of the Mascarene archipelago, Mauritius also includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega, and the Cargados Carajos archipelago.
- Yachts calling in Mauritius are usually on passage westwards across the Indian Ocean and in a hurry to leave before mid-November due to the number of early cyclones that have hit the island in the past. Yet a few who have spent time cruising the Indian Ocean have enjoyed the beauty of this high island and the exotic mixture of its culture and peoples.
- The waterfront in Port Louis has been dramatically transformed in recent years by Caudan Development, who turned the once dirty harbour into an attractive complex, with shopping centres, restaurants, hotel and docking facilities for yachts.
- Grand Baie on the north-west coast is the favourite anchorage with a friendly yacht club and good basic facilities.
- Some cruisers also break their passage at the smaller island of Rodrigues, which is a pleasant stop due to easier formalities and friendly islanders. The inner harbour in Mathurin Bay is very well protected and the yacht can be left there while exploring the interior, particularly the caves on the windward side of the island.
- Occasionally yachts stop at the Cargados Carajos Shoals, a large reef area lying some 200 miles north-east of Mauritius. Although one is supposed to obtain prior permission to stop, this rule does not seem to be strictly enforced. However, one should ask permission from local fishermen to anchor off one of the four islands they occasionally inhabit. Over fifty islets and cays make up this small archipelago which abounds in marine life. The chart of this area is badly out of date and it is reported that the lighthouse marked as on Ile du Sud, is very rarely operational. Eyeball navigation is essential throughout this reef-infested area.
- Getting work done: Mauritius has a choice of reasonable quality contractors. There are chandleries, a good sailmaker as well as a good rigger.
- Fuel: If headed to Reunion be sure to fuel up in Mauritius before leaving. Prices in Reunion are approx. 0,75 USD per litre more (2012 prices).
- Provisioning: Several large hypermarkets with international brands. Prices are reasonable.
- With effect from 1st September 2013, Mauritius mobile phone numbers became 8 digit, i.e.+230 5XXXXXXX.
Mauritius has a subtropical climate with a high humidity and temperatures of up to 91°F (33°C). December to April has heavier rainfall, while September, October and November are the most pleasant months. The cyclone season is from mid-November to April.
The Mauritius Meteorological Service prepares a very detailed short term forecast.
Tel. 302 6071, 686 1031.
It covers the complete GMDSS Area VIII, including relevant storm warnings and valuable weather interpretations. However, the forecasting is segmented into sub-regions, 1 thru 7, that are not identified in terms of latitude and longitude. To actually use the forecast you need to be able to identify the sub-region locations.
To download a pdf copy of the map (courtesy of SY Crystal Blues June 2015), click here.