What time of year is best to visit Mauritius?
With sun-drenched sandy beaches, and turquoise waters teeming with an exquisite collection of marine life, Mauritius is the postcard-perfect tropical destination. Popular for its 5-star resorts and restaurants, luxurious golf courses and a unique multicultural history, there is plenty to do here aside from basking under a Filao tree.
But what is the best time of year to visit this jewel of the Indian Ocean? Although most of the year is very welcoming, the climate can be distinctly preferable depending on your intended activities. Whether you’re looking for optimal diving conditions or to get involved with world-famous festivals, here we investigate which months would suit you best.
Mauritius enjoys plenty of sunlight daily, so it’s a safe bet at any time of the year for sun seekers. Though if you like it hot, the highest temperatures are found between December and February, where they reach up to 29°C. This period is also the most humid and there’s likely to be heavy rainfall in the late afternoon, although it passes quickly and soon returns to sunshine.
If you’re looking to soak up the sun on some of Africa’s best beaches, aim for Le Morne around November. This stunning peninsula is located on the south-western extreme of the island, and is a UNESCO heritage site famous for its unique historical story. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take to the skies in a helicopter ride to see the spectacular optical illusion of an underwater waterfall, created by the unique way in which the seabed appears from above, just off the coast of Le Morne.
For families or those who enjoy a drier type of heat, August may be the best time for you to visit Mauritius. With milder temperatures and less rain, the heat feels less intense. Beaches along the west or north coast are the most sheltered from the wind during August, though it can be a popular month due to school holidays.
As an island surrounded by barrier reefs, Mauritius is an absolute haven for ocean enthusiasts. In the turquoise lagoon of Belle Mare, you can partake in a wide variety of water sports from surfing to snorkelling, parasailing to scuba-diving, and more. The island has no shortage of popular diving spots, featuring wrecks, multiple species of sharks, colourful shoals of tropical fish, rays and sea turtles.
With water temperatures warm for most of the year, the crystal blue Indian Ocean is inviting much of the time. However, it’s best to avoid the wet cyclone season from January to March, where torrential storms are likely.
Festivals and events
As a country rich with cultural diversity, Mauritius hosts some incredibly vibrant and fun-filled festivals throughout the year. In March, the Holi Festival sees people lining the streets and covering themselves with brightly-coloured powders, paying tribute to the Hindu deity Lord Krishna.
August is another festival month on the island, where people celebrate Ganesh, the Elephant God. Possibly the most well-known Indian festival, Diwali, takes place in October – where the island becomes illuminated with beautiful candles, lanterns and lights to embrace the power of light over darkness and good over evil.
Ultimately, Mauritius is a great destination for some winter sun. With the seasons largely reversed to those of Europe, peak season runs from October – April and the island becomes quieter, less humid and slightly cooler from May – September. However, with temperatures only varying slightly all year round, it’s very much a tropical paradise whenever you choose to visit.