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, which do not last long, so that the sun will soon shine again, even in the wettest months.

The archipelago is located in the zone of the trade winds, constant winds which in this hemisphere blow from the south-east, especially in the cooler months.

Main island

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, the highest point being Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, 800 metres (2,600 feet) high. In inland elevations, rainfall increases, while along the coast it rains a bit less, and there is also a difference between the two sides, so that annual precipitation varies from 1,200 millimetres (47 inches) in the north-west coast, to 1,700 mm (67 in) in the south-east coast, which is directly affected by the trade winds; in particular, in the cool season, showers are more frequent in the east side (see Plaisance) than in the west (see Port Louis). The rainiest months are January, February and March, when more than 200 mm (8 in) per month fall.
Here is the average precipitation in Plaisance, where the airport is located, on the south-east coast of the main island.
Plaisance - Average precipitation

In the main island, at least in the plains, the average maximum temperature is around 29/30 °C (84/86 °F) across the island from December to March, while from June to September it drops to 24/25 °C (75/77 °F) on the southeastern side (see Plaisance), while it remains around 26/27 °C (79/81 °F) in the north and west sides, more sheltered from the south-east trade winds.
Here are the average temperatures in Plaisance.
Plaisance - Average temperatures
Min (°C)232323222019181818192022
Max (°C)303029282725242425262829
Min (°F)737373726866646464666872
Max (°F)868684828177757577798284

The amount of sunshine is not great, nor poor, which reflects the fact that the rains may be intense, but do not last long. On the north and west sides of the island the amount of sunshine is decent and stable, so that there are 7-8 hours of sunshine per day throughout the year; on the south and east sides the least sunny period is winter, as they are directly affected by the trade winds, as we can see from the data of Plaisance.
Plaisance - Sunshine

The sea temperature in the main island is high enough for swimming all year round, although it drops to 23/24 °C (73/75 °F) from July to October.
Port Louis - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)272827272625242323242527
Temp (°F)818281817977757373757781


In addition to the main island, we find some smaller islands.


Rodrigues Island is located 600 kilometres (370 miles) to the north-east, and has a similar climate, a bit less cool in winter. Here are the average temperatures of Port Mathurin.
Port Mathurin - Average temperatures
Min (°C)232424232220191919202123
Max (°C)292929292726252525262728
Min (°F)737575737268666666687073
Max (°F)848484848179777777798182

The climate in Rodrigues Island is also more sunny and less rainy, in fact, it receives only 1,100 mm (43 in) of rain per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Port Mathurin - Average precipitation

The sea temperature in Rodrigues Island is practically the same as in the main island.

Further to the north, the small islands of St. Brandon (or Cargados Carajos Shoals) are less cool from June to September, and they too receive relatively little rainfall, approximately 950 mm (37.5 in) per year.
Much further 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 temperature is around 27 °C (81 °F) from June to September; precipitation level is higher, around 1,600 mm (63 in) per year, though it drops below 100 mm (4 in) per month from June to October.

Tropical cyclones

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. Some particularly intense cyclones that struck the islands were Claudette in December 1979, Daniella in December 1996, Hollanda in February 1994, Dina in February 2002.

When to go

The best times to visit the main island of Mauritius are the second half of May and the month of October. From June to August, and a little less in September, ie in the Southern Hemisphere winter, it can get a little cool, and clouds alternate with the sun, with some brief showers: at this time you can go hiking and visiting the many attractions on the island (Pamplemousses, Chamarel, Grand Bassin, Île aux Cerfs etc.) with more ease, but for 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 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 cyclone season begins, and this is a threat to be reckoned with, though cyclones rarely hit a particular location.
From January to March, not only the rains are frequent, but also the air is humid, therefore the heat is definitely muggy.

Rodrigues Island has a slightly better climate, being a little less cool and rainy in winter. It goes even better in the more northern islands of Saint Brandon, and even more in the almost equatorial islands of 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.

Back to top