Foreign travel advice


Safety and security


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.    

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in Mauritius

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Mauritius, attacks cannot be ruled out.


Most crime is non-violent such as burglaries from tourist villas or theft of unattended bags. Petty crime is common, particularly in tourist areas such as Port Louis, Grand Baie and Flic en Flac. There have been some reports of sexual assaults on tourists.    

Protecting yourself and your belongings

You can take steps to reduce your personal risk by:

  • making sure your hotel room or accommodation is secure
  • keeping important documents such as your passport in a hotel safe
  • not walking alone at night on beaches or in poorly lit areas of town, particularly in the backstreets of the business district of Port Louis
  • only renting accommodation that is registered with the Mauritius Tourism Authority
  • not doing business with street or beach vendors

Report any incidents to the Mauritius tourist police by calling 999.

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID

Police may occasionally ask to see your ID, such as your passport or driving licence.

Cigarette paper

It’s illegal to possess or import cigarette papers.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

If you are found with any drugs, it’s unlikely you’ll be bailed, regardless of the type of drug. Prosecutions take a year or more to come to court, and you’ll be detained until your trial.

Police investigations

If you’re under police investigation, you’ll be provisionally charged and not allowed to leave the country without consent from a judge. It can take up to 2 years for the authorities to decide whether to issue a formal charge. You’re not allowed to renew your occupation or resident’s permit if you’re provisionally charged with a crime. If you cannot support yourself financially you’ll be kept in prison while the police finish their investigation.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in October 2023. Mauritius is a relatively conservative society and local attitudes to the LGBT+ community vary across the country. LGBT+ people still face discrimination, and verbal and physical confrontation cannot be ruled out. 

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Water sports

If you’re taking part in any kind of water sports, make sure the:

  • operator holds a valid permit issued by the Ministry of Tourism
  • boat has enough life jackets on board
  • captain can contact the coastguard if needed

Transport risks

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Mauritius, see information on driving abroad.

You can use a UK photocard driving licence to drive in Mauritius. Carry your licence with you when driving. If you still have a paper driving licence, you may need to update it to a photocard licence

Hire car companies often have stricter requirements for their customers, such as a year of driving experience, a higher minimum age and holding an IDP.

Drink-driving is a serious offence in Mauritius. If you’re tested and found to have a quarter of England’s legal limit of alcohol in your system, you may get a fine and possible imprisonment. 

Driving conditions 

Accidents are common in Mauritius. Motorbikes are slow and often do not use headlights at night.

Some roads are narrow and do not have pavements. Pedestrians and cyclists often use main roads, including motorways, during the day and at night.

Sea travel

There is still a significant risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, where piracy has been reduced but not prevented. Pirates can attack up to 1,000 nautical miles from the Somali coast or more. The threat assessment of the combined international naval counter-piracy forces is that sailing yachts should not enter the designated high-risk area, due to the risk of hijacking.   

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards.

Tropical cyclones

The tropical cyclone season in Mauritius usually runs from November to May.

If a tropical cyclone happens, follow the advice of the Mauritian government information serviceMauritius Meteorological Services has a well-structured system of phased warnings.

Cyclones can cause extensive damage to property. During a cyclone you’re not allowed to leave your accommodation, and car insurance policies often become invalid.


Some areas are prone to landslides, especially during cyclones and torrential rains. Mauritius Meteorological Services has 5-stage landslide warnings. Local authorities may organise evacuations of threatened areas.