All you need to know if you travel Mauritius with baby or toddler
We were traveling Mauritius for 6 weeks with our baby / toddler. At that time she was 12-13 months and was walking already.
What to expect in Mauritius?
Mauritius is a true paradise island as you imagine it. Enjoy sapphire shallow waters, powder-white beaches and tropical vegetation all around. The island is surrounded by a reef that makes waters perfectly calm and shallow. Ideal conditions for baby swimming!
It is small but big enough to be able to travel around. Yet, it is not overcrowded by tourists and not overpopulated by locals. The stable democratic government cared for a good infrastructure like streets, medical care and a clean environment. It is quite safe as long as you close your door and don’t leave your beach bag unattended. Although it is known for high end resorts, there are plenty of cheaper Airbnb options.
Mauritians loooove babies and kids! So your little ones will get all the attention. It’s a great experience for infants!
Not to forget: everyone speaks surprisingly good English. So having conversations with locals makes it easy. Even easier than in Thailand or Indonesia.
The only downside for traveling with young kids: it gets quite hot during the midday through December till April. However, as long as you have a shady area around your house or at the beach it is still pleasant.
Long haul flight with a baby or toddler
If you book a flight you should first of all get seats with extra leg room (usually behind the toilets). The advantage is that your baby can crawl / play in front of your feet. If your bub is small enough, try to book a bassinet. Some carriers have bassinets for up to 24 pound / 11kg. Others have a limitation for babies up to 6 months.
I found overnight flights to be the easiest option as your baby can sleep almost all the way.
And finally bring new exciting toys for entertainment!
When we were flying to Mauritius we had a 24-hour-journey with 3 flights from New Zealand. I thought it would be a nightmare but having all the attention from so many passengers made it not as bad 🙂
Vaccination & health precautions
First of all, there is no Malaria in Mauritius. This makes traveling Mauritius with a baby or toddler very relaxed.
You need to have the general recommended vaccination. You will find a particular list with timelines here. Other than that you don’t need any extra travel vaccination, e.g. Yellow Fever etc.
There may be a Dengue outbreak in December/January usually in Port Louis. In this case the health authorities warn the citizens to take precautions. If you are uncertain, just call one of the hospitals and ask about the current status. As long as there is no outbreak it is unlikely to get infected with Dengue.
Where to stay
First of all it depends on the season you are visiting. December till March is rain season. As it is generally raining less in the north and in the west, try to avoid the other regions. Moreover, you will have more possibilities to socialize with tourists or expats in the north and west, whereas the east and south are a bit more remote. In May to November it’s not only dry season, it also gets cooler, which is perfect for little peanuts!
In the north the best place to stay is Pointe aux Cannoniers. It has a nice and safe neighborhood of Indian Mauritians and expats. There is a hidden beautiful natural beach along the Route Coutière. You just need to take one of the walkways between the beach houses to the beach. Restaurants and Cafés are along the B13 route. The public beach Mon Choisy is also nearby, as well as one of the most beautiful palm tree beach Trou aux Biches.
In the west Flic en Flac is a good choice for several reasons. It is a very long beach with both, public areas and resort beaches with coconut palm trees at the beach. You will also meet quite a few expats with their babies at the beach. There are a lot of restaurants and bars. And finally it is a good spot for day trips to the south or the inland.
Baby / toddler friendly beaches
I am wondering if there actually is a baby non-friendly beach, as they all are great. However, here are the Top 5 (they have all shady areas, shallow water and little corals):
- Trou aux Biches: beautiful beach surrounded by palm trees. There is a resort at the front but the beach can be used by everyone.
- Ile aux Cerf: Beautiful island with perfect beaches.
- Le Morne Beach: Similar to Trou aux biches with a surreal rock at the back.
- Flic en Flac: Very long beach with public parts and resort parts. There is certainly something for everyone!
- Belle Mare: Another picture perfect beach.
Baby / toddler friendly activities
When planning your day trips, you should especially avoid too long sun exposure. It gets hot and you don’t want your bub to get sun burnt. So here are the Top 5 activities:
- Botanic Garden: It is an exotic park with shady areas everywhere. One of the highlights are the giant water lily leaves. There are also giant tortoises, deer and goos. A weird animal mix but fun to watch!
- Chamarel Waterfall: A stunning waterfall accessible by car and just a few steps to climb to the view point. On the way there you HAVE to stop at the most gorgeous restaurant in Mauritius. It is located just next to the Chamarel Viewpoint on the way to the waterfall. It has also a few couches to feel more comfy with your little one and enough space to move around.
- Château de Labourdennais: A very special place from the old colonial era. This picturesque estate is surrounded by a garden where all kinds of fruits are still grown and produced. Walk through the house, feel like being in the old days, hang around the garden and go for some rum tasting (incl. in the entry) at the end.
- Sunday brunch party: This hotel brunch is open to the public and takes place every first Sunday of the month. They also hire a DJ for some light party vibes. So a bit of beach & pool party with baby is definitely possible! Check out the C BeachClub.
- Visit Hindu Temples: Around 70% of the Mauritius populations is Hindu. Therefore, you will find various colorful Hindu Temples. They are also cool and shady to stroll around with your little one. But don’t do the mistake to take one of the unauthorized guides. Just walk around by yourself and leave a little donation in the donation box.
Watch out! If you fancy a sailing trip be cautious with your choice. Many sailors are smoking weed in Mauritius during the sailing trips. In case of dangerous situations, e.g. unexpected storm, it might get dangerous on the boat.
Despite the top notch resorts, Mauritius is not expensive.
Cost per night in medium range Airbnb is around 65 USD. If you can share a house with family or friends you can get really amazing villas for a decent price.
One month food costs are around 700 USD for a family of 3.
A taxi from the airport to the other end of the island is around 43 USD (if you organize in advance). Rental cars start from 27 USD.
Nomad List is stating monthly average expenses in the Capital Port Louis for a single: 2.127 USD per month.
Baby nutrition & diapers / nappies
Baby formula milk is available in regular supermarkets. The brands are mainly European ones, like Nestle.
Baby food is available in some supermarkets.
Diapers / nappies are widely available – either Pempers or Huggies.
Babysitter, playgroups and daycare
As the average income is low, babysitters are quite cheap. Mauritians are very baby and kids friendly people. So if you ask your host to recommend a person, you won’t be disappointed. You may also seek advice in the Mauritius Mum fb group.
When we went, there were no official mum meetups. If you go with your bub to the public beach in Flic en Flac you will most likely meet several expat mums with their babies and toddlers. They are happy to socialize 🙂
There are toddler playgroups on Mondays in the kids-friendly restaurant Funky Monkey in the north. Just call them or come around and ask if they are still ongoing.
If you would like to stay a bit longer, you might be interested in daycare. There are several international ones, such as Hampton School, Tiny Tots, Tiboulaba etc. They all don’t seem to be too bureaucratic, so you might be able to get in spontaneously.
Usually no Visa is required for the main western countries, such as the US and the EU countries. You can stay for up to 3 months. Moreover, you are allowed to stay for up to 6 months within one year. A list of countries and their Visa requirement is here.
For more information
This is a free travel guide we found useful: Conscious Mauritius.