Map from Google - Mauritius
In the islands of Mauritius, the climate is tropical
, with a hot and rainy season which reaches its peak from January to March, and a relatively cooler and less rainy season from June to September. In fact, being in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed compared with Europe or North America. The rains, as it's common in the tropics, occur primarily in the form of downpour or thunderstorm, leaving room for the sun even in the wettest months.
The archipelago is located in the zone of the trade winds
, constant winds that in this Hemisphere blow from the south-east, especially in the cooler months.
The main island
is located at a latitude of 20° south, so it's close to the Tropic, and it's hilly in the interior, culminating in Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire
, 800 metres high. On the slopes the rainfall increases in inland areas, while along the coast it rains a bit less, and there is also a difference between the two sides, so that the annual precipitation varies from 1,200 millimetres in the north-west coast, to 1,700 mm in the south-east coast.
In the main island, the average daily temperature
ranges from 26 °C in January and February, to 20 °C in August. In Port Louis
, the capital, the maximum temperature is around 29/30 °C from December to March, while it drops to 24/25 °C from June to September. Showers are frequent throughout the year, but they are shorter and less intense from May to November, and more intense from December to April. The rainiest months are January, February and March, when more than 200 mm per month fall.
Here is the average precipitation in Plaisance, where the airport is located, on the south-east coast of the main island.
Average precipitation - Plaisance
The amount of sunshine
is never great, but it is always acceptable, so that it goes from 7 hours per day in the winter months, to 8 hours in the rainy period, reflecting the fact that the rains may be intense but do not last long.
Here are the average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Plaisance
The sea temperature in the main island is high enough for swimming all year round, although it drops to 23/24 °C from July to October.
Sea temperature - Port Louis
In addition to the main island, we find some smaller islands. Rodrigues
is located 600 kilometres to the north-east: its climate is similar, a bit less cool in winter. Here are the average temperatures of Port Mathurin, in Rodrigues Island.
Average temperatures - Port Mathurin
The climate in Rodrigues is also more sunny and less rainy, in fact, it receives only 1,100 mm of rain per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Port Mathurin
Further to the north, the islands of St. Brandon
are less cool from June to September, and they too receive relatively little rainfall, approximately 950 mm per year. Far to the north, therefore closer to the Equator, the islands of Agaléga
are warmer throughout the year, and especially in the cool season, given that the maximum temperatures are around 27 °C from June to September; the total precipitation amount is higher, around 1,600 mm per year, but it drops below 100 mm per month from June to October.
The Mauritius are in the path of tropical cyclones
, whose official season runs from November 1 to May 15, although they are more frequent from late December to mid-April.
The best times to visit the main island of Mauritius are the second half of May and the month of October
. From June to September, ie the Southern Hemisphere winter, it can get a little cool, and the clouds alternate with the sun, with some brief showers: at this time you can go hiking and visiting the many attractions on the island with more ease, but for swimming and sunbathing, since the winds blow steadily from the southeast, it is preferable to choose a beach along the north-west coast, on the same side as Port Louis, which is more sheltered and more sunny (but not in the northernmost tip, which is still beaten by the wind). On the contrary, surf lovers will appreciate exactly the wind that blows in this period.
In December, it is hot and the nature is in bloom, the air is humid and the rainy season has already begun, but the amount of sunshine is still acceptable. However, in November the cyclones season begins, which rarely hits a particular location, even though they are still a threat to be reckoned with.
From January to March, not only the rains are frequent, but the air is humid and therefore the heat is definitely muggy.
Rodrigues has a slightly better climate, being a little less cool and rainy in winter. It goes even better in the more northern Saint Brandon, and even more in the warm, almost equatorial Agaléga.
What to pack
In winter (June to August): light clothes, sweatshirt or sweater and light jacket for the evening, scarf for the breeze, raincoat. For the reef, equipment for snorkeling, water shoes or rubber soled shoes.
In summer (December to February): tropics-friendly, loose fitting clothing, light shirts and pants of natural fibres (cotton, linen), a light sweatshirt for the evening, light raincoat or umbrella for the rain showers.