Surfing in Mauritius
Mauritius is an island situated in the Indian Ocean, 1100 km east of Madagascar. The island features amazing beaches, beautiful lagoons, and colourful reef formations. All these remarkable settings are ideal for many adventurous activities such as surfing, kite surfing and snorkeling. The island got famous among the surf community after a Californian surfer, Larry Yates, released a surf movie called Forgotten Island of Santosha. The film showed a sequence of epic surf sessions at Tamarin Bay, with 8-10 ft perfect waves breaking on top of reef. This was enough to attract the attention of many surfers who traveled to the island in search of the world class waves they watched on the legendary movie from 1974. With 330 km of coastline the island has many other surf spots to offer especially on the south coast where a few reef formations offer some protection from the trade winds.
Climate in Mauritius
Mauritius enjoys a light tropical maritime climate. There are two seasons: a relatively cool dry winter from June to September and a warm humid summer from November to April. The best time to surf is from June to November. This is when the strong groundswell from the southern ocean is regular and reliable. The average water temperature is 26-29° C in summer to 23-25° C in winter so no need to bring your wetsuit on this trip.
Best surf spots in Mauritius
The most famous surf spot in Mauritius is definitely Tamarin Bay. Unfortunately this surf break is quite fickle and when it works it can get pretty crowded thanks to the popularity the spot gained after the surf movie Forgotten Island Of Santosha. But don’t worry, the island has many other surf spots to be explored. Here are some of the registered surf spots in Mauritius:
Black Rocks: this is a fast and powerful right-hander wave that folds in the reef creating a nice wall. The break works better with higher tides and more NE than SE wind to hold up the sections. This surf spot is located just in front of Taj Exotica.
Ilôt Sancho: one of the most reliable spots on the south coast. There are left and rights breaking on top of a reef bottom. Usually it's not crowded so it’s a good place to go if you want to have a break from the crowds.
Maconde: this surf spot can handle pretty much any size. It works better when the N or E wind is blowing. Prepare yourself for a ten minute paddle to get to the line up.
Tamarin Bay: this is without a doubt the most famous spot of the island. It needs a proper sized SW swell to wrap around the bay and break on the reef located on the left corner. When it's pumping there will definitely be a crowd of tourists plus the local surfers that dominate the take off zone. Be patient and wait for your turn. The wave is long and absolutely perfect with multiple barrel sections. Be careful when the tide starts to drop because it gets ultra shallow especially at the end section.
Darne: this surf spot is located just behind I’lle des Deux Cocos. It’s a remote and gorgeous site with a jaw dropping landscape. N wind is offshore and can produce some barrel sections. Best swell direction is from SE and E. It gets shallow on the low tide so better to go on high tides.
Meal price range
Street food costs around $6 USD. Midrange meals in restaurants range from $20-30 USD with beers. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $50-100 USD.
You can find board rental shops on the west coast. Boards for a half day are around $27 USD half and $42 USD for full day.
Prepaid SIM cards
There are three major companies Orange, Emtel and Chili. Orange offers the best coverage.
SIM cards can be purchased at many phone shops. Warning, there can be a long wait (days) for activation, do some research before you go. Plans are anywhere from $2.50-18 USD for 400MB-3Gb.
Tourist taxis are regulated by the hotel or province they’re linked to. They can be found outside hotels, shopping centres or bus stations. Short rides start at $2 USD.
Buses are a cheap way to explore the island and travel pretty much everywhere.
You can rent a car from any of the leading international companies. However, local companies tend to be 25–30% cheaper.
$1.11 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Localism, urchins, sharp reef, strong currents and sharks. Cyclones season is between November and April.
How to prepare
Mauritius offers visa-exempt status to many nationalities. Your stay cannot exceed 90 days. If you are not on the visa-exempt list you can get a visa on arrival at the airport, unless you're from a country that needs a visa.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella. You’ll be asked to show proof of your yellow fever vaccination if you come from a country with a risk of yellow fever.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Mauritius does not have an official language. However, French is the most spoken language, followed by English.
The currency is Mauritian rupee (Rs).
Best time to go
The best months for surfing are between June and November.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, imodium- for rehydrating, ear plugs to avoid ear infections, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Dial 114 for an ambulance and 999 for the police.
Check out pictures of the surf in Madagascar at #surfingmauritius.