Mauritius' location off the southeast coast of Madagascar in Africa makes it a remote yet stunning island. Landing at Mauritius can be a bit of a culture shock, and that comes with difficulty in procuring a rental car. In this article, we'll walk you through how to rent a car from Mauritius' airport, what to expect while you're driving around, and finish up by throwing you a few ideas for places to visit while you're around.
What Should I Expect When Renting A Car In Mauritius?
There are a restricted number of international car rental agencies in Mauritius. You'll still be able to find car rental agencies like Avis, National, Alamo, Sixt, Pingouin Car, and Europcar among a few others, but most of the car rental companies are native to Mauritius and located far from the airport. A few of the international car rental agencies will deliver a car to the airport for you to use if you ask them to in advance.
Port Louis has a ton of local car rental options, but it's far from the airport. If you hire a car to take you from the airport to Port Louis, you'll have access to local car rental companies like Blue Bay Car Rentals, Mahebourg Car Rentals, Palmar Car Rentals, and Curepipe Car Rentals. If you're feeling adventurous, these local options can sometimes be a better deal than the multinational chains.
As far as the type of car goes, expect to rent an older car while renting from a local company in Mauritius. If you're renting from one of the multinational companies, you'll be renting a newer car, but the type of car will be a bit limited compared to elsewhere. Rental cars in Mauritius tend to be SUVs or pickup trucks to navigate the island's areas of tough terrain.
What Are The Driving Conditions In Mauritius?
There are three highways in Mauritius: M1, M2, and M3. M1 runs from Port Louis to the airport, so you'll probably be taking it at least once. M2 goes from the north section of Port Louis and continues along the coast until it reaches Grand Baie. M3 is the least important path and serves the rural interior without accessing Port Louis.
There isn't much traffic along the three highways, but the internal city roads of Mauritius tend to get clogged to a crawl very quickly. Expect to be sitting in stop and go traffic if you're traveling within one of the cities during the daytime. In rural areas, the opposite is true: you can drive at any time of the day or night without fear of traffic, but you're advised to keep a low speed due to the quality of the roads.
Where Should I Visit In Mauritius?
Mauritius is a land of fantastic wildlife and biodiversity, and much of it is preserved throughout the island. To get a good look at unsullied wilderness, check out the Black River Gorges National Park in the southwest.
You will probably also notice the massive mountains in the center of Mauritius. Here you'll find the Trou Aux Cerfs Volcano, which is worth exploring to the extent that you can.
If city activities are more up your alley, check out the Caudan Waterfront and its casino, museum, and shopping center. You'll find a few hints of cosmopolitanism here, and have great access to local food and culture to boot.