Climate of Mauritius
Where is the country of Mauritius located? Mauritius is a tropical island about 855 kilometers east of Madagascar, 1800 kilometers east of mainland Africa. The famous writer Mark Twain wrote about the island “From one citizen you gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius. Another one tells you that this is an exaggeration…” this writer has been so impressed by the beautiful Mauritius, because the writer of the text on this page was also quite impressed by the beautiful island. Overwhelming tropical beaches alternate with deep green nature. When you walk out of your luxury hotel, there is a good chance that you will have a nice view of the higher central plateau. The combination of beautiful nature, romantic white beaches, luxury hotels and an excellent climate makes Mauritius an excellent holiday destination. It is not for nothing that Mauritius is a dream destination for honeymooners for newlyweds. If you don’t mind a journey that takes at least sixteen hours from the Netherlands, you will certainly not be disappointed. The Republic of Mauritius also includes the island of Rodrigues, the Agalega Islands and the Cargados Carajos (St. Brandon).
Tropical monsoon climate
Mauritius has a tropical monsoon climate, type Am according to the Köppen-Geiger classification. On an annual basis, there is an average of about 1300 millimeters of rainfall, while the driest months (July to November) remain below 60 mm per month. So there is clearly a dry period and a rainy season (monsoon), with average 24-hour temperatures that remain above the 18 degrees Celsius required for this climate type throughout the year.
Summer in Mauritius
Summer in Mauritius falls from December to March. This is opposite to our summer, as Mauritius is in the southern hemisphere. The summers are considerably wetter than the winter months. In summer there is about 200 millimeters of rain per month. Locally, there can be fairly large differences, because the rain is often very local, so that the total precipitation sum at the end of the month can show clear differences per place or area in Mauritius. In the longer term, the differences are negligible, although it generally rains a little more inland and along the east coast than in the north and west coast. During the summer months the average daytime temperature is around 30-31 degrees. The mercury then drops to 21 to 23 degrees at night, values that are usually only reached just before sunrise. The greater amounts of precipitation in combination with the higher temperatures also result in a higher relative humidity in summer. It is around 80-81% in the summer, before falling to 77 to 78% in July and August.
Mauritius is on the supply route of hurricanesand tropical depressions that form over the relatively warm seawater of the Indian Ocean from December to May. These depressions are the main reason that there is more rainfall in summer than in winter. Fairly large amounts of rain can fall within 24 hours if indeed a hurricane or tropical depression passes over Mauritius or close to Mauritius. Although hurricane season officially runs from December through April, the chances of severe tropical storms are highest in February and March. Mauritius is rarely hit full. This occurs on average six to eight times a century. Thanks to modern techniques, hurricanes can be predicted in good time and the necessary measures can be taken to limit damage and casualties.
On an annual basis, there is an average of 1300 millimeters of precipitation, exclusively in the form of rain. There is no snow here, it is simply too hot for that. You have a chance of rain or thunderstorms all year round. In the period September to November the chance of this is relatively smallest. A striking detail in Mauritius is that it rarely rains on the entire island at once. You often see that the interior has rain, while the coastal areas are dry or vice versa.
Mauritius has an average of almost 2900 hours of sunshine per year. That works out to an average of just under 8 hours a day. In absolute hours, the summer with an average of 8 to 9 hours is sunnier than the winter, in which the sun comes out between 7 and 8 hours. Relatively speaking, however, the number of hours of sunshine is almost the same throughout the year, because during the summer months the daylight period is one and a half to two hours longer than in winter. Days without sun are rare in Mauritius. If it does, there is often a hurricane or major depression slowly moving across the island.
Although there is a fairly high number of sunshine hours by tropical standards, you often see clouds above the sky. These contrast beautifully against the blue sky, the bright sea, the white beaches and the green palm trees and other nature. Photographers are happy with the often present clouds, because the white balance in photos is not disturbed by a too bright sky and the colors in the photo are often just a bit more intense, without having to use a filter.
If you like swimming, you don’t have to be afraid to go into the sea in Mauritius. The seawater has wonderful temperatures that are at their lowest around 24 degrees in winter and rise to about 28 degrees in the months of January to April. The sea temperature is also high enough for a large population of tropical fish to be spotted in the large areas of coral reef that dot large parts of the coast. It is not for nothing that Mauritius is high on the list of divers and snorkelers.
The power of the sun is great in Mauritius. For a large part of the year there is the highest solar power (UV index 11), whereby going unprotected in the sun is actually not justified, unless it concerns a very short period (10-15 minutes). Throughout the year, the use of a sunscreen with a high protection factor (minimum 30) is recommended, even for people who do not burn so easily. From our own experience it can be reported that even a walk in the morning in May with a completely cloudy sky can already cause burnt skin if you have not lubricated.
In the winter months, the UV index is between 6 and 9: still high and enough to burn badly if you go out into the sun unprotected for too long.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Mauritius
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Mauritius? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Mauritius is a country located in the Indian Ocean, which consists of several islands. the largest island, where more than 95% of all inhabitants are located, is the island of the same name, Mauritius. Rodrigues, located about six hundred kilometers east of the island of Mauritius, is the country’s number two island. In terms of area, Rodrigues is about 19x smaller than Mauritius. The tropical monsoon climate of Mauritius ensures fairly high temperatures, a fair amount of precipitation and more than enough sunny periods.
There is no travel period that really stands out. That is because there is a chance of a shower every month. In the driest period it is slightly cooler and more often cloudy, so this should not be seen as an ideal travel time. If we choose a general best travel time for the island of Mauritius, it is from mid-August to mid-November. This is mainly based on precipitation. The temperatures are most pleasant in April and November (about 27 to 30 degrees during the day). There is then a greater chance of heavier rainfall.
Beach holiday in Mauritius
For many, Mauritius is primarily a beach destination. The island is very popular for a romantic holiday for two. It is especially popular as a honeymoon destination. Most beach hotels are fully equipped for this. Think of romantic rooms, the possibility of a candlelit dinner on the beach and the extensive spa options that are mainly offered by the luxury hotels. The best travel time for a beach holiday in Mauritius is mid-May to mid-June and mid-September to the end of October. The intervening period is one where you can be lucky with good weather, but you can also be unlucky that the weather is ‘just not’ for a sun holiday.
Active holidays and tours in Mauritius
If the beach is not the main goal, but the focus is mainly on nature, sightseeing and being active, we would dare to recommend the period from June to mid-November. Yes, there is a chance of a rain shower. Yes, there is a chance of a cloudy day. But it is not unimportant that the maximum temperatures of about 23 to 28 degrees Celsius lend themselves perfectly to going out.
Mauritius during the school holidays
If you want to go on holiday to Mauritius with school-aged children or if you are tied to the school holidays for other reasons, the May and autumn holidays are the best travel periods to travel to Mauritius. The summer holidays are doubtful. It depends a bit on your destination and what you mean by ‘good beach weather’. If you go purely for sun and beach, where you preferably have at least 28 degrees Celsius, then Mauritius is not the best travel destination for the summer holidays.
If you want to seek out the winter sun around the holidays in December, Mauritius is a good choice in terms of temperature and sunshine. During the Christmas holidays it rains more often and the showers are heavier on average. There is a risk of a tropical cyclone. The hurricane season here starts in November and lasts until April. The Christmas holidays are an extremely expensive travel period for a holiday to Mauritius.
The island of Rodrigues
The location of Rodrigues about 600 kilometers from Mauritius means that the weather has many similarities, but that there are differences. It is fractionally warmer during the local winter (our summer period). More important for the weather picture on Rodrigues is that on an annual basis about a third less rain falls than on the island of Mauritius. The dry period lasts longer and shows fewer showers. From May/June you can see the precipitation amounts decrease. Only in December does it rain more and more on Rodrigues. The best time to travel to this tropical island is from mid-May to mid-December.