Have we not all been travelling abroad grabbing a taxi, buying at the local market and then figuring out that you have been caught in one of the many tourists traps paying way too much or even get scammed? Well we have, therefore we have made a little guide on how to avoid these traps in Mauritius, even though the population of Mauritius are friendly and genuine you may from time to time meet a scammer and a tourist trap.
Taxi rip off
Taxis are to be found everywhere on the roads in Mauritius however, don’t just jump the first but choose the best and the only way to choose the best is to first of all choose the taxi services that have a yellow taxi mark on the side of the car stating a number and an area in which the operate, next step is to negotiate the price before entering the taxi, if you enter the taxi without discussing the price you have immediately caught yourself in a tourist trap as many taxis is not operating with a taxi meter and they will claim you high prices.
Most taxi drivers will charge you 200-400 rupees to take you from one point to another in towns, for a full day trip you should expect to pay around 2000 rupees. If the taxi driver wants to charge per person, you are dealing with a tourist trap, the price should not be calculated per person! It should be 2000 rupees for a full day no matter if you are two or four people in a taxi. Cheeky taxi drivers will add on extra fees for you to be able to enjoy air-conditioning and for waiting time if you have to go sightseeing on foot, they will often tell you this once you have been seated and the car is moving, this is a tourist trap and you should make sure that your price is all inclusive beforehand.
Beware of taxi scams! Some taxi drivers may try to con you by trying to tell you that the attraction you want to visit is too far away and not worth the drive or your money and instead try to steer you to shop owners or people who owns other attractions where the taxi driver gets a commission and you pay way more for the attraction than you should. Stick to your original plan and in case you find the taxi driver’s proposal interesting, we recommend that you wait until you have researched the attraction and its prices!
Visiting the market places around Mauritius is a true local experience, but you can end up paying way more than you should if you are not a hard-core barging person. The trick is simply to barging the prices down and don’t get tricked by the famous sentence “I’ll give you a good price.” Another way of avoiding to pay more is to not buy the thing you like at the first stand you meet, start by barging the price and see how far the seller is willing to go down, locate the stand and tell him that you will come back later and leave, you are most likely to find the same thing in other stands around the market, therefore try and get an overall feeling of the price, unless you find the thing you want cheaper somewhere else, we recommend that you go back to the first seller who will be happy that you actually came back and sometimes even cuts off some extra rupees on the price.
While sunbathing on the many beautiful beaches you will find beach sellers walking around wanting to sell different items such as sarongs, bags and jewels. While many of them are very friendly and harmless you should notice that their items can be overprized, therefore we recommend to barging the price before buying from them. You will also find fruit sellers whose prices are also very overprized, if you wish to enjoy fruits while spending time at the beach we recommend to buy it beforehand at a normal vegetable seller stand which is found everywhere alongside the roads of Mauritius. You will also meet tour guide sellers who tries to sell their tours, some of them are genuine and some of them are not, in order to figure out whether they are genuine you should ask questions such as the name of the company, where to find their office and actually go there before booking, a pricelist that states the public prices and how payment is being made, if he wants money on the spot, do not accept that and only pay at their office where you can get a receipt. If it is diving tours we recommend to always go with PADI or CMAS certified Diving Centres and again before booking visit their Diving Centres to confirm the standard.
Mauritius is generally a genuine society but you will always find some black sheep amongst the crowd, we hope that this will make you aware of the scammer and tourist traps in Mauritius so that you can enjoy you vacation to the fullest. If ever something happens, call the police on 999 or 112.