The Indian Ocean country of Mauritius is a popular destination for honeymoon travelers, people in search of relaxation, and anyone that loves the beautiful ocean.
Every year, about 1.3 million people visit the East African island country. The most popular thing to do in Mauritius is certainly lay on the beach. Popular beaches include Le Morne beach, Ile Aux Cerfs, and the resorts of Grand Baie.
The inland area of Mauritius, around Chamarel, is full of striking mountainous landscapes, waterfalls, and parks such as Black River Gorges National Park.
Finally, no trip to Mauritius is complete without a stop in the capital Port Louis, with its lively multicultural atmosphere. You probably don’t need more incentives to visit Mauritius — a quick look at pictures of the pristine beaches is enough to fuel your wanderlust.
However, you might need some guidance on practical concerns, such as safety.
But don’t worry — our travel experts put together this detailed travel guide to help you evaluate if a trip to Mauritius is safe or not. Keep reading for detailed safety information, including crime. Let us be your guide!
Is Mauritius Safe to Visit in 2023?
Yes. Mauritius is very safe to visit, so you can plan your trip without any concerns! Mauritius has a low crime rate, and violence against tourists is rare.
Petty crime might happen, but a few basic precautions are usually enough to keep you safe. A good place to start researching the safety of Mauritius is different travel advisories that world governments issue for the country.
For example, the United States just tells its citizens to exercise normal precautions for Mauritius. It put out a Level One travel advisory for the country, the lowest possible level.
Other countries have similarly mild travel advisories for Mauritius but issue a few additional warnings. For example, Canada also gives its citizens the green light to travel to Mauritius.
However, it also lists common dangers they might encounter when they visit the country, showing that not all is paradise, no matter how beautiful the pictures may be.
Common concerns for visitors to Mauritius include:
- Bag snatching
- Tourist scams
- Sexual harassment
Rates of crime are generally low, but crime does occur. The most common crimes that affect tourists are petty in nature, such as petty theft and scams.
Violent crime is rare, but there have been violent incidents that affected travelers in the past. Besides crime, you should be careful of natural disasters when planning your trip to Mauritius.
The Mauritius government acknowledges that the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, which are increasing in frequency and strength due to climate change.
The most common natural disasters Mauritius might experience are cyclones, storm surges, heavy rains, and floods. Cyclones in Mauritius occur either before or after the monsoon season, so May to June and October to November.
The country is usually hit by the foothills of cyclones instead of directly, but these storms are still strong enough to cause considerable damage. Avoid traveling to Mauritius during cyclone season due to this danger.
Crime in Mauritius
When traveling abroad, crime is likely to be one of your main concerns. Nobody wants to be the victim of a crime when they don’t know how to navigate law enforcement procedures or when they can’t get back-up money to go home.
Although the crime rate in Mauritius is fairly low, you should still be aware of potential dangers before you plan your trip. The violent crime rate is particularly low.
In 2020, the homicide rate was just 2.75 incidents per 100,000 people. This is well below the global average. Violent crimes such as homicide rarely affect foreigners, they mostly affect locals.
The Mauritius government offers some additional crime statistics on its website. The overall offense rate in Mauritius is 57.6 criminal incidents per 1,000 people. That is a fairly low incidence number and reflects the overall low crime rate.
The most common crime in Mauritius is road traffic violations. According to the Mauritius government, the road traffic contravention rate is 88.8 incidents per 1,000 people. This category includes violations such as exceeding the speed limit.
72.3% of official incidents reported to Mauritius police are contraventions such as road violations. 24.3% are misdemeanors and only 3.4% are crimes.
The vast majority of crimes reported in Mauritius are petty in nature. According to Numbeo’s survey data, most respondents worry about property crimes such as break-ins, vehicle thefts, vandalism, and theft.
The violent crimes people worry about the most are property-related, such as muggings and armed robbery. Mauritius’s overall crime index score is 48.21 out of 100. There are some concerning news about crime in Mauritius.
Anecdotally, many visitors complain that crime has increased. Local news reports going as far back as 2017 complain about the increase in violent crime incidents, including incidents targeting tourists.
There have been cases of assault, armed robbery, and even rape affecting foreigners in Mauritius in the recent past.
However, a lot of reports on Mauritius’s increasing crime are not based on crime statistics and exaggerate normal dips and rises in crime numbers. Plus, keep in mind that any increase in crime in Mauritius will not bring the crime rate up by a lot since the rate was already low to begin with.
Don’t let the island’s reputation as a paradise lull you into a false sense of security, but don’t let your fear ruin your vacation either.
The crime you are most likely to encounter when you visit Mauritius is petty theft. This type of crime is common in tourist destinations throughout the world, and Mauritius is no different.
The UK government warns that petty crime can happen throughout Mauritius in its travel advisory. Hotspots for theft include the capital Port Louis, the popular resort area of Grand Baie, and the popular beach town Flic en Flac.
They usually operate in crowded streets, markets, and on beaches. Common types of petty theft in Mauritius include pickpocketing and bag snatching. Usually, these thefts are non-violent.
Thieves take advantage of tourists’ distraction to take their valuables, and the only damage comes to the wallet and the ego, not to your physical person. Some more aggressive forms of theft can happen in Mauritius.
For example, thieves sometimes snatch bags from the backs of motorcycles, potentially injuring victims.
To prevent this form of theft, make sure that you carry your bag on the side of your body that is further away from traffic. Outside of busy towns such as Port Louis, you are unlikely to encounter this type of crime.
To prevent petty theft, just make sure that your delight at being at the beach does not outweigh your situational awareness. Never leave your valuables unattended.
For example, when going to the beach, don’t bring your phone and wallet with you, or designate one person in your group to stay with your things while everyone else swims.
Pickpockets will sometimes go through people’s bags when they are left unattended at the beach. Another good precaution to take is not to bring anything with you that you can’t afford to lose.
Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home. When you’re out and about, only take with you enough cash for the day and leave the rest, including bank cards, in your hotel safe.
By minimizing the opportunity thieves have to take from you, you will minimize the likelihood that you will become the victim of a crime in Mauritius.
Occasionally, visitors to Mauritius are victims of more violent forms of property crime. Armed robbery and armed break-ins occasionally happen on the island.
The UK government warns about this possibility as well in its travel advisory. Street robberies have happened in Port Louis. Criminals often target people coming back from ATMs as they know that tourists will have more cash on them then.
Be careful when withdrawing money and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night. Break-ins targeting tourist accommodations are becoming a more and more frequent form of robbery.
The Australian government warns its citizens that they should choose their accommodations carefully. Travelers staying in beachfront bungalows are often assaulted and robbed. Sometimes, villas are affected as well.
The best way to protect against break-ins is to only stay in accommodation that is registered with the Mauritius Tourism Authority.
The Mauritius government offers additional safety tips for securing your accommodation, such as testing the windows and doors when you check in, locking balcony and terrace doors while you sleep, and being careful when you open the door.
In rare occasions, burglaries have escalated into more violent crimes such as assault. Female travelers have been raped before during break-ins gone wrong, and an Irish tourist in Mauritius was murdered in her hotel room in 2011.
Although these incidents are rare, they show that if you are a woman traveling to Mauritius, it is even more important that you choose your accommodation carefully.
Avoiding Bad Areas
Avoiding bad areas can help you stay safe when you travel to Mauritius. Luckily, the island country has few areas that are necessarily dangerous. The crime rate is higher in Port Louis and popular tourist towns such as Grand Bay, Pereybere, and Flic en Flac.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid those areas — in fact, they are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Mauritius! Instead, take some extra precautions when you visit and keep an eye on your valuables.
Avoid walking in isolated places such as beaches at night, especially if you are a woman. Violent crimes such as muggings and assaults are more common then.
Things to Consider
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind while visiting Mauritius:
- Research tour operators carefully. Not all adventure tour operators follow international safety standards. Read reviews to ensure that you choose the right tour operator. The consequences of going rafting or sailing with an operator that has bad safety practices can be dangerous.
- Mauritius has a conservative Hindu culture. Respect local norms by dressing conservatively when you are not at the beach, your hotel, or resort. Cover legs, shoulders, and your chest. This applies to men as well as women.
- LGBT travelers will probably not feel welcome in Mauritius. Local conservative attitudes extend to same-gender relationships as well. Although some resorts are now making an effort to attract gay couples, keep in mind that outside of the resort you might meet less welcoming attitudes, and anti-sodomy laws are still on the books.
- Wear water shoes to public beaches. Broken glass is common, as are sea urchins. Resort beaches are usually cleaned regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other common questions you might want to know about Mauritius:
Is Mauritius good for tourists?
Yes, Mauritius is very good for tourists. It is a beautiful destination with pristine nature. Plus, it is very safe for tourists with a low crime rate.
Is Mauritius very expensive?
Mauritius is a fairly expensive destination. Just getting to the country from most other places costs a lot of money as flights are expensive, and most resorts are expensive as well.
It is possible to find more affordable accommodation such as bungalows, but for the full Mauritius experience, be prepared to spend some money.
What is the safest part of Mauritius?
Most of Mauritius is very safe. If you are concerned about safety, stay in mid-sized or small towns with a well-developed tourist industry such as Trou d’Eau Douce and Curepipe.
Is it safe to swim in the sea in Mauritius?
Most Mauritius beaches are safe. However, be careful not to swim too far past the reefs as that will take you deep into the Indian Ocean, where currents are strong and unpredictable.
Is it safe to walk at night in Mauritius?
In most of Mauritius, it is alright to walk at night. However, don’t walk alone, stick to well-lit streets that you know well, and don’t carry a lot of cash on you that might make you a target. Make sure you take extra precautions when you walk at night.
So, Is It Safe to Visit Mauritius?
Mauritius is one of the safest countries in Africa to visit. It has a low crime rate and an exceptionally low violent crime rate.
While you should still take some precautions as being a tourist makes you stand out, as long as you are not careless with your valuables, you should have a great time. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!