The high season for tourism, when holiday packages cost more, is November to early January. Hefty peak-season supplements are charged over Christmas and Easter. Flights should be less crowded outside European school holiday periods and hotels are noticeably so.
Mauritius’s tropical climate means it offers warmth all year round; summer is hot and wet (November to April), winter is warm and dry (May to October).
The one time when it is not ideal to visit is January to March, when cyclones are most likely to occur. They don’t happen every year but the cyclonic rains, which can last for several days, are an annual event and you could find yourself confined to the indoors for a portion of your stay.
The weather is cooler from June to September with the temperature at sea level being about 22°C, and it can be windy at this time, more so on the east coast than the west. Package holiday prices are lower and hotels tend to host conference and incentive groups. September to October is perhaps one of the best times to travel as the weather is good but peak-season prices and crowds have not yet set in.
Festivals and public holidays
If climate is not the governing factor, choose when to visit according to your interests. For instance, the horse-racing season is from May to late November and the best deep-sea fishing and diving lasts from November to May. Also in November, the island’s colourful flame trees wear the red/orange flowers that give them their name, and December is when local tropical fruits such as lychees are in abundance.
You may also like to time your visit to coincide with one or more of the island’s many colourful festivals:
Chinese Spring Festival – variable (January/February)
Thaipoosam Cavadee – variable (January/February)
Abolition of Slavery – 1 February
Maha Shivaratree – variable (February/March)
National Day – 12 March
Ougadi – variable (March/April)