Driving in a foreign country can often evoke a sense of slight anxiety for most of us. To help navigate the roads here in our country, here’s a comprehensive guide.
The road infrastructure is generally in good condition, adorned with safety signs and a network that spans the island. However, anticipate getting lost occasionally, even with a map. Using GPS isn’t foolproof due to the constant changes in our roadways.
Our warm hospitality extends to our bustling city streets, welcoming everyone and everything—from trucks, cars, and buses to motorbikes, bicycles, snack vendors, portable shops, pedestrians, the occasional cart, dogs, and goats.
- We boast two highways, with some sections permitting speeds of up to 110km/hr. One spans from the airport in the Southeast to the North, passing through our capital, Port Louis. There’s also a new link freeway that circumvents the busy Port Louis. These highways are well-marked with clear signage.
- Primary Roads
- These single-lane roads typically have speed limits ranging from 60 to 80 km/hour. Footpaths are sometimes absent, so expect to share the road space.
- Secondary Roads
- Some secondary roads might be a bit uneven, with occasional potholes. Nevertheless, they offer picturesque views worth enjoying.
- City and Village Roads
- Speed limits in residential areas and villages are capped at 40 km/hour.
- Pavements are sometimes absent, so be cautious of pedestrians walking close to the roadside.
Remember, we drive on the left side of the road—a practice dating back to Mauritius’ colonial days under British rule.
Like anywhere else, adhere to speed limits, as there are hidden cameras and radars monitoring the roads.
Seat belts are mandatory for drivers and passengers. Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited. Zebra crossings must be respected to allow pedestrians to safely cross the road.
Drinking and driving laws stipulate an alcohol limit of less than 50mg/100ml (or 0.05%) in your bloodstream, roughly equivalent to a small glass of wine.
Avoid driving through towns during peak hours from 07:30 am to 09:30 am and 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm, especially if planning to traverse the island for an excursion.
Driving Regulations for Tourists
International tourists can drive in Mauritius using their domestic licence for up to four weeks. The country recognizes the Geneva Road Traffic Convention of 1949. Beyond four weeks, an International Driving Permit or extension from Mauritian authorities is required.
- Vehicles drive on the left side, prioritizing vehicles from the right.
- Mauritius has a single motorway stretching from the airport in the Southeast to Grand Bay in the North.
- Road signposts meet international standards.
- Expect heavy traffic during peak hours, particularly in Port Louis and major city entrances/exits.
- Zero tolerance for drinking and driving is enforced.
- Using handheld mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited.
- Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers.
- Police checks may require presenting your car rental contract alongside your driver’s licence.
- Some traffic offences carry penalty points and fines.
- GPS devices often indicate known speed camera spots.
Self-driving in Mauritius allows you to explore the beautiful island, its stunning beaches, and rich history. Renting a car provides the flexibility to discover all that the island offers, enhancing your holiday experience.