I often get asked the question when is the best time to travel to Mauritius or what winter is like? Well, the best time one is a tricky answer, I guess it all depends what kind of holidays you are after. It’s like when I get asked how much it will rain in March?
The winter months (so June, July, August and September) are amazing if you don’t really enjoy heat, but still like the sun and definitely want to enjoy nature! I have to be honest and say that I think it’s cold. I have started wearing jeans already and we all moan that the weather is freeezing. But this morning the thermometer in the car was saying …18c – this is as cold as it really gets where we are!
Weather in Mauritius in winter
The climate of Mauritius is sub-tropical, with only have a small temperature difference between the seasons. There are generally speaking 2 seasons in Mauritius: the warm & humid months that run from mid November to mid April and a cooler & drier season that runs from June to late September. The months of May and October are transition months: the temperatures and humidity are slowly changing, introducing the next season.
As you can see we have really nice temperatures all year around, but the humidity is what makes the big difference – it is dropping now already being around 60% instead of 90% during the summer months.
Weather in Mauritius from June to September
In a couple of weeks it will be ‘winter’ – we are not talking minus degrees and snow of course, but temperatures do drop, more noticeably as soon as the sun sets. It doesn’t mean you don’t get beautiful and sunny days at all – but you won’t get this humid hot feeling, more of something that resembles a fab summer day in northern Europe. When it rains the days are cooler, but when the sun is out it is great.
The mean temperature for winter in Mauritius is 20.4 degrees, with only approx 4.3 c degrees difference with summer.
I suggest you use this app: my.t weather to check out the weather in Mauritius – it will keep you up to date for weather warnings. It is available on both the IOS and Android. Also, here is a link to the weather forecast for the winter months in Mauritius: Winter in Mauritius – Weather Forecast.
Things to do in Mauritius in winter
Enjoy the nature: on land
Everybody agrees, it is the perfect time to enjoy more inland activities.
These 3-4 months are the absolute best to hike in! Obvisouly less hot, but a part from that, it is not raining as much so less chance of having your shoes completely mudded in and the weather is much clearer, as there is less humidity in air, making the views and the visibility greater! You can do some of the hikes by yourself, others you definitely need a guide. Explore Mauritius is a great site for hiking information in Mauritius.
Related article: Hiking Le Pouce
The Moka range for example offers lots of hikes: Le Pouce to the left is a great family hike, pretty straight forward and can easily be done. To the complete right of the picture you have Pieter Both, one of the most challenging ones.
Many trails and races are organised during the winter months around Mauritius – and everyone can join! The distances go from 4km to 120km relay – so there is something for everyone – young and not so young, very fit and just normal people who like the nature. We participated in the Ferney Trail last year and the kiddos loved it. You can have a look at Rando Trail to get an idea of dates, distances and rates to participate! There are trails all year round of course, but as for the hiking, the weather is just easier to cope with. Ferney Trail is in end of September, and already it is starting to get more humid again (and we felt it!).
Related article: Ferney Trail
- Quad Biking
Many nature domaines are offering quad biking and it is a super fun activity, the plus side is that you get to learn a lot about the fauna and flora of Mauritius. Some of the nature reserves you can go are: Heritage Nature Reserve (in the South), Domaine de l’Etoile (in the East) or Rambouillet (in the North) – and there are many others.
Enjoy the nature: on water
- Whale Watching
Something we haven’t done yet, but is high on my to-do-list is whale watching. There are 2 types of whales that can be seen in Mauritius: sperm whales and humpback whales. Last month, there were killer whales in Flic en Flac – but that is extremely rare. The best months for this activity are the winter months during migration, when the whales leave the south pole to come to warmer areas to give birth. It mostly happens from July to October, though Sperm Whales are considered residents of Mauritius. The sightings occur mostly on the west coast – all excursions depart from the Black River region. However, I know from friends that the whales can also be seen on the north coast outside Gunners Point for example. I cannot really recommend any tour operators as I have never tried – but I would ask you to try to find the most respectful for the environment! – It is a privilege to be able to enjoy the nature this way and we have to look after it…
- Water Sports
The winds are different during the winter month and it makes it the perfect months to practice wind sports as kite surfing and wind surfing for example! Here on the east coast we have several excellent kiting points and others are at Le Morne and in the North. The lagoons around Mauritius offer the perfect wind surfing opportunities and surfing is also big in June and August – the perfect place is Tamarin (also Le Morne or Riviere des Galets – the last one is much less known and hosts local surf competitions). Tamarin became super famous in 1974 with the release of The Forgotten Island of Santosha, a cult surf documentary. Don’t forget your wetsuits!
Of course the water is there just to swim in to! A bit too cold for my liking, but the lagoons are perfect and when the sun is shining all day the shallows waters are beautiful!
For the first time this season, on September 8th 2018, there will be a big water-sports festival organised on the east coast at the LongBeach Hotel – The Ocean Active Festival is going to be an incredible event – with things to do for grown ups and little one.
Sightseeing and Travel tips for winter in Mauritius
- June to September are considered low season in Mauritius, during these months the very popular sights will be less crowded, the beach are also less busy: not only because there are less tourists but also as a lot of the European expats and Mauritians leave the island during these month to enjoy summer in Europe. Hotels are generally less busy so it is easier to get good deals – even in the best hotels!
- Evenings are definitely on the cooler side – shawls to cover the shoulder, cardigans and even trousers should be packed.
- The sun: don’t believe that because it’s winter the sun is not strong. Even during winter months, you will get a beautiful tan and have to bring the sun cream: sun-burn accidents are still very likely to happen.
- The days are much shorter: sunrise happens well after 6am and sunset is at 5:40pm (nice and early for that sunset drink!). It is the perfect time to be on the East Coast and enjoy the sunrise yoga classes offered by the hotels! or just for a beautiful stroll. The light is crisp and just irresistible.
If you are not after these really hot and humid days – off season is really a great time in Mauritius. There is not an activity not available, it rains much less and the weather is probably more stable.