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How to get around Mauritius
Mauritius is an Island that is located on the Indian Ocean and a destination for every kind of tourist that is honeymooners, those who want family vacations and many more other family destinations. There are many ways in which you can get around the Island that is self-drives, travelling the Mauritian way of using buses and cycling around especially if you are in the country side. Getting around the Island of Mauritius has never been a hurdle due to its small nature which makes travelling from one part of the country to the next extremely easy due to the good and wide roads on the Island. The most commonly used mode in Mauritius is road transportation and since the country is not that large, they do not have the railway transportation facilities leaving people to use buses, taxis, personal cars and bicycles. Air transport is also used to get around the Island although it is a bit rare and so is water transport.
The modes of transport in Mauritius
The best time to drive on the roads in Mauritius is after the morning and evening rush hour that is between 8:00am to 9:00am and 4:00pm to 5:00pm. This applies to most of the big cities in the country especially the capital city of Port Louis. And even though the roads on the Mauritius Island are wide and almost traffic free most of the time, it is better you avoid the mentioned hours especially if you are in a hurry.
The Island has three main roads that are used which lead from one corner of the Island to the other and these include:
The M1 main road, this goes through most of the large cities in the country and starts from the South Eastern part of the Island to the capital city Port Louis. Some of the cities where it passes include Phoenix, Mika, Beau-Bassin rose hill, Curepipe, Quatre-Bornes and Vacoas.
The M2 main road, this starts from Port Louis and leads mainly to the Northern Part of the Island to be more specific to the Grand Baie village.
The M3 main road, this starts from the Northern Part of the country and links some of the cities there to the capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis.
The best mode of transport that can be used in Mauritius is road transport and it is not because every household has a car but because the roads that are located within the country make it easy for tourists to easily get around and across the country that it might actually take you less than four hours to get to the other end of the Island and some of the commonly used means of road transport include:
It is not uncommon to see locals riding bicycles especially in the villages as it is easier to get around but it has also become a good way for tourists to explore Mauritius. Most of the accommodations in the country offer the bicycle rides to their guests with the bikes themselves on rent for a small fee depending on the accommodation that you are using. It is hard to ride through the larger cities on a bike but when you get to the villages and most of the tourist destinations, a bicycle will come in handy and there is no better way of enjoying nature in Mauritius other than by riding through the country.
Taxis are hard to miss for anyone who goes to Mauritius as they can be found in almost every corner of the Island making it easy for one to get them. The only problem that comes with taxis is that all the taxis that are located within Mauritius are not metered meaning that you will need to haggle the prices with the driver of the taxi. There are two forms of taxis that can be used in Mauritius and these are:
Shared taxis, these are a bit cheap and operate almost 24/7 that is they can be got at any time of the day and the prices are negotiated once you stop it. If you are not so sure of where to get a shared taxi, then you can ask the staff of the accommodation facilities where you are staying and they will point you to the right direction.
Tourist taxis, these only operate in the cities that they are linked to and can easily be got by booking one. They are also yellow in color which makes it easy for them to be spotted and some of these can be found outside hotels but note that although some of them are metered, it is still better if you first bargain for the fair with the driver so that you are not cheated. To be on a safe side when getting a taxi, make sure that the taxis you use have their destination printed on them.
Buses are the commonly used mode of transport in Mauritius because they are cheap and easily available. There are several bus stops that are found in the country and the buses can be seen moving at an interval of 30 minutes apart making it easy for you to grab a bus even though you are late. The buses start working at 5:30 am to 8:00pm and 6:30am to 6:30pm in both urban Centres and rural areas respectively.
There are two bus types in Mauritia that is standard buses and express buses. The Express buses have a specific destination that they go to and they do not make detours or stopovers whereas the standard buses make different stopovers as they do not drive on a direct route. Both buses are good but the best buses for one to use while touring Mauritius are however the express buses because you will not waste time making detours, they are much faster and also have air conditioning.
The mini buses are mainly used by the accommodation facilities and they are used on hire for either a full day or half day. They will take you to most of the destinations within the country but note that these are mainly used on trips that are themed to specific destinations.
Renting a car
Besides the usual taxis and buses that can be used for transport within the Island, you can also hire out a car and self-drive yourself around the Island but you will need to make sure that you have yourself a map so that you do not get lost but even if you do get lost, the locals are nice people and you can always ask for directions. For all those that use tour cars, your transportation is always catered for as long as you book early and get a good itinerary.
Air transportation is rarely used in Mauritius due to its costly nature but for all those that ca afford it, it becomes a faster way to get to the different destinations although it is mostly used on the Island of Rodrigues one of the many Islands in Mauritius. The Helicopter rides are used as transfer rides in most cases but they can still take you wherever you want.
Although these are rarely used because they are expensive, a helicopter is a good way to travel within Mauritius especially those that are in a hurry. You will need to however book in advance so that you make sure that the helicopter is available on the day that you need it and enjoy a ride over the Mauritius Island.
This is rarely used but it is the fastest and easiest way to get to the different Islands that are located on the Mauritian Island. May people use speedboats or normal boats to sail to the different destinations however this is extremely rare and a bit expensive as compared to the road transportation that is now fully developed in the country.
Some of the means of transport that are used to get you around the Mauritian Island are more comfortable whereas others are just a means of getting around the Island. A car rental is an extremely comfortable way because you get to drive at your ow pace, buses are a cheap way to get around the Island, taxis are accommodative and helicopters are easy and fast to use.
It is however also advisable to first ask around about the best transport means for you to go around the Island from your tour operator before deciding on which one you should use and make sure that you use whatever fits into your budget. With all the above you will be able to enjoy your stay in the Mauritius Island.