Travel Planning

Cultural Etiquette in Mauritius: What to Know

Understanding and respecting Mauritian cultural etiquette enhances your travel experience, fostering positive interactions and deeper connections with locals.

3 mins

Mauritius, a melting pot of cultures, offers a rich tapestry of traditions, languages, and customs. This island nation in the Indian Ocean is a blend of Indian, African, Chinese, and European influences, creating a unique and vibrant cultural landscape. As a traveler, understanding and respecting the local customs and etiquette can enhance your experience and help you connect more deeply with the Mauritian people. Here’s a detailed guide on cultural etiquette in Mauritius, including essential tips, costs, and other relevant information.

1. Greeting and Social Etiquette


  • In Mauritius, greetings are an essential part of social interactions.
  • The most common greeting is a handshake. Among close friends and family, a kiss on both cheeks is customary.
  • When greeting elders, it is polite to address them as "Uncle" or "Auntie," even if they are not related to you.


  • While English is the official language, Creole, French, and Bhojpuri are widely spoken.
  • Learning a few basic phrases in Creole or French can go a long way in showing respect and making a positive impression.

2. Dress Code

General Attire:

  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Avoid wearing revealing clothing.
  • On the beach, swimwear is acceptable, but cover up when leaving the beach area.

Religious Sites:

  • When visiting temples, mosques, or churches, dress conservatively. Women should cover their shoulders and knees, and men should avoid wearing shorts.
  • It is customary to remove shoes before entering a temple or mosque.

3. Dining Etiquette


  • If invited to a Mauritian home, it is customary to bring a small gift, such as sweets, flowers, or a bottle of wine.
  • Always greet the elders first when entering a home.

Table Manners:

  • Wait for the host to indicate where you should sit.
  • It is polite to try a bit of everything offered and to finish your plate.
  • Use your right hand for eating or passing food, as the left hand is considered impolite in many cultures.

4. Religious and Cultural Sensitivities

Respect for Religious Practices:

  • Mauritius is home to various religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. Be respectful of religious practices and rituals.
  • During religious festivals, like Diwali, Eid, and Christmas, observe and respect local customs.


  • Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas and during religious ceremonies.
  • Avoid taking photos in places where it is explicitly prohibited, such as inside temples or during certain rituals.

5. Tipping and Service Charges


  • Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated for good service.
  • In restaurants, a 10% tip is generally acceptable.
  • For hotel staff, a small tip of around $1-$2 per day is appropriate.

Service Charges:

  • Some restaurants and hotels include a service charge in the bill. Check before adding a tip.

6. Communication and Behavior

Body Language:

  • Avoid using your left hand for gestures or giving items.
  • Direct eye contact is generally considered a sign of honesty and attentiveness.

Public Behavior:

  • Public displays of affection are frowned upon, especially in rural areas.
  • Loud or boisterous behavior is considered rude.

7. Transportation Etiquette

Taxis and Buses:

  • Greet the driver when entering a taxi or bus.
  • If you are sharing a taxi, it is polite to greet and acknowledge the other passengers.


  • Mauritians drive on the left side of the road. Be mindful of local driving customs and regulations.

8. Festivals and Celebrations


  • Mauritius is known for its vibrant festivals. If invited to participate, do so with respect and enthusiasm.
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion and follow any specific customs or traditions.


  • Entry to most religious and cultural sites is free, but donations are appreciated.
  • Costs for attending cultural events or festivals vary. For example, attending a traditional Sega dance show might cost around $20-$30 per person.

Understanding and respecting the cultural etiquette in Mauritius will not only enrich your travel experience but also foster positive interactions with the local community. From greeting practices to dining manners, each aspect of Mauritian culture offers a glimpse into the island’s rich heritage. By embracing these customs, you will contribute to a more meaningful and respectful travel experience.

Travel Costs and Budget Tips

  • Accommodation: Budget hotels range from $30-$60 per night, while mid-range hotels cost around $70-$150. Luxury resorts can range from $200 and above.
  • Food: Dining at a local restaurant costs about $5-$10 per meal. Mid-range restaurants charge $20-$40 for a three-course meal.
  • Transportation: Public buses are economical, costing about $1 per trip. Taxi fares start at $3 for short distances, with additional charges per kilometer.
  • Activities: Guided tours and activities, such as cultural tours, can range from $30-$100 depending on the duration and inclusions.

By being aware of and respecting local customs, you can enjoy a more immersive and harmonious experience in Mauritius.