COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Republic of Mauritius is a small island nation consisting of four inhabited and several other islands in the southwestern
Indian Ocean. Mauritius has a stable government and a diverse economy. Its 2012 per capita GDP of US $8,850 is one of the
highest in Africa. Facilities for tourism are well-developed. Although English is the administrative language, Creole and
French are the languages used in daily life. English may not be understood outside of main towns and tourist areas. The capital
city is Port Louis. Read the Department of State’s information on relations with Mauritiusfor additional information.
SMARTTRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM(STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Mauritius, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll your trip with us through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.
U.S. Embassy Mauritius
4th floor of the Rogers House on John F. Kennedy Street
Port Louis, Mauritius
Emergency after-hours telephone: ( 230) 5 253-3641
Telephone: ( 230) 202-4400
Facsimile: ( 230) 208-9534
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: A valid passport, onward/return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds are required. The passport should be valid for the
duration of stay, and have at least one blank visa page. Travelers must provide a local address where they will be staying
in Mauritius. Visas are issued at the point of entry. Travelers coming from yellow fever-infected areas may be asked to present
a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Visit the website of the Mauritius Ministry of Health for a list of countries considered as infected. The U.S. Embassy is unaware of any currency restrictions for entry or exit.
Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Mauritius, 1709 N St. NW, Washington,
D.C. 20036, telephone (202) 244-1491/2. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Mauritian embassy or consulate. Visit
the website of the Embassy of Mauritius in the United Statesfor the most current visa information.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Mauritius. While no entry restrictions exist for temporary visitors with HIV/AIDS, those seeking residency or work permits face restrictions. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Mauritius in the United States before you travel.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: U.S. citizens should avoid crowds and street demonstrations, and maintain a low profile. Women should avoid walking alone, particularly on public beaches and at night. There have been occasional reports of robberies, sexual assault, and harassment of foreign travelers.
Stay up to date by:
CRIME: Violent and petty crime is increasingly common in tourist areas throughout Mauritius. Visitors should keep track of their belongings at all times due to thepotential for pick-pocketing and purse-snatching, especially in crowded areas.Residential break-ins are reported frequently on the island. It is unwise to walk alone at night outside the immediate grounds of hotels. Foreigners should exercise caution on beaches and poorly-lit or deserted areas at night.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Bootlegs are illegal in the United States, and their purchase may also violate local laws in Mauritius.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Mauritius is: 999 for police, 114 for emergency medical assistance, and 115 for the fire service.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Mauritius, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. Certain actions might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. Driving under the influence of alcohol in Mauritius could land you immediately in jail. If you break local laws in Mauritius, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go. Persons violating Mauritian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines in Mauritius.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Spear fishing equipment may not be imported into Mauritius. Animals may be required to undergo a quarantine period of up to six months, depending on the country of origin and residence history. Animals originating in Europe or the United States may only require one month of quarantine in many cases. Please contact the Mauritian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at ( 230) 464-5084 or ( 230) 454-1016/7 for specific information related to pet importation.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips on the Women Travelers page on Travel.State.gov.
LGBT RIGHTS: The law does not specifically criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity. It does criminalize the act of sodomy, and this prohibition is equally applied to same-sex and heterosexual couples, with a penalty of up to five years imprisonment. The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any arrests or prosecutions for such activities. Hotels and restaurants do not discriminate against LGBT travelers. However, travelers should exercise caution, especially with regard to public displays of affection. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Mauritius, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from that which is commonly provided in the United States. The Mauritian government partially implemented a law mandating access to buildings for persons with disabilities; however, many older buildings remain difficult to access. Elevators are common in newer high-rise buildings. Sidewalks are often uneven and have high curbs. The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any reports of discrimination on the basis of disability or handicap.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical facilities are available, but are more limited than in the United States. Emergency assistance is also limited. While public hospitals provide free care, visitors may choose to be treated by private doctors and clinics. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are generally available, though they may not be specific U.S. brand names. Service Aide Medicale Urgence (SAMU) is a government-run medical assistance service that provides free ambulance and emergency assistance in response to calls to 114 (Address: Volcy Pougnet Street, Port Louis). MegaCare is a private organization that provides assistance to subscribers only (Address: 99 Draper Avenue, Quatre Bornes; phone: 116; 464-6116). Point aux Canonnier Medical Center tel: 263-1010, Private Clinic Fortis Darne tel: 118, and Private Clinic Apollo Bramwell tel: 132 also provide paid Ambulance Service.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will cover you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas.
You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctor and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t cover you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out additional coverage for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Mauritius, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Driving is on the left side of the road. Many roads are narrow and uneven with inadequate lighting, making night driving hazardous. Speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour and all road and traffic signs are posted in English. Drivers and all passengers are required to wear seat belts. Drivers and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets. Babies and toddlers should be placed in child seats. Many accidents occur due to excessive speed and violations of road regulations.
Drivers involved in an accident are required by law to remain at the scene until the police arrive. However, if an angry crowd gathers and those involved in the accident feel threatened, police and judicial authorities have in the past not taken action against drivers who leave the scene if they have proceeded directly to a police station. In cases of accidents involving two parties but which involve no injuries and where drivers are not under the influence of alcohol/drugs, drivers may fill out and sign an “Agreed Statement of Facts.” Police presence is not required for this action. Each party should retain one copy of the statement to claim auto insurance reimbursement.
While there are organizations that provide emergency or roadside assistance, their resources and capabilities are limited; on occasion, they are unable to respond to non-life threatening situations.
Public transportation by bus is available between the main towns until 9:00 p.m. and in remote areas until 6:00 p.m. Taxis are also available.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mauritius, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Mauritius’ Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Mauritius dated April 19, 2013 with changes to the Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens, Threats to Safety and Security, Crime, and LGBT Rights sections.