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Mauritius weather a safe bet in ‘unchartered territory’
In times of meteorological uncertainty like we’re experiencing now, planning a holiday with guaranteed glorious weather is a bit like playing a game of Russian roulette. But there’s one safe bet as far as stable, temperate weather goes - and that’s in picture-perfect Mauritius
The tropical island in the Indian Ocean is renowned for its mild all-year weather, and this makes it the perfect destination for your wedding, honeymoon - or both.
There’s very little difference in the weather conditions during summer (November to April) and winter (May to October) so this allows travellers to visit at any time of the year for that picture book holiday. This seems like the exception rather than the rule these days.
Honeymooners can look forward to the most vivid sunsets on the West coast of the island, while the cooling breeze on the East coast during the sweltering summer months from November to March brings such welcome relief from the heat and humidity.
What’s happening with the world’s weather?
The weather pundits seem to have got it right when they said that 2017 will serve up more unpredictable weather than last year.
Every other week we hear of some part of the world being lashed by a hurricane, the size of which has never been witnessed before.
Harvey, Irma, Maria and, to a lesser degree, Nate, have become household names in the past couple of months, just like Katrina did all those years ago now.
And just this week, we hear news of hurricane Ophelia approaching Ireland. Yes, Ireland of all places! Not to mention the out of the ordinary torrential rain in Durban last week.
“We are now in truly uncharted territory,” World Climate Research Programme Director David Carlson recently announced rather ominously.
Magical weather awaits in Mauritius
For the time being, Mauritius appears to have escaped the radical shift in global weather patterns brought on by climate change.
Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate that is greatly affected by southeast trade winds. The warmest weather occurs in February (average temperatures around 29℃, while the coolest month is usually July (average temperatures around 23℃ in some areas).
Generally, the western and northern regions are warmer and drier than those in the east and south.
Summertime sees overall averages of 30℃ along the coasts and is slightly cooler on the central plateau, while in winter overall averages are about 25℃ along the coast and are lower on the central plateau.
The sea temperature ranges from about 21℃ to 26 depending on the conditions and the season.
Heavy rain is common from January to the end of March. The hottest months of the year are usually December, January and February when also cyclones can occur.
The humidity is quite high in the air during the summer time mainly on the coastal part of the island.
If you’ve travelled to Mauritius before you’ll know about the multitude of microclimates on the island. It could be pouring with rain while you’re having breakfast and bright and sunny by lunchtime.
If a day starts out grey, chances good that you’ll be sipping on your sundowner after a super afternoon tanning on the beach.
The best time to visit?
That depends on what you like to do.
Each season has its pros and cons, which is why you need to take all the factors into account before making up your mind on when to travel.
The summer is ideal for a Mauritius beach holiday. The days are long, hot and sticky making swims in the ocean more refreshing and those East coast breezes so fabulous. Bear in mind, though, that it can get uncomfortably hot between December and February.
This is the best time of the year for diving enthusiasts as the waters are at their clearest, turquoise blue. Anglers will also enjoy this time of the year, with big game fishing at its best.
During the cooler months, between July and September, you’re likely to experience less rain. However, you won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a tan because there’s still plenty of sun during these months.
This is the ideal time for surfers to travel as they will be rewarded with amazing surfing conditions along the West coast, especially in Tamarin and Le Morne.
The nice thing about the off-peak season is that there are fewer tourists on the island, the hotel rates tend to be generally lower winter and humidity levels are dialled down a few notches.
This means two things - the cyclone threat is over and, more importantly, you can enjoy many of the inland activities such as hiking, quad biking and zip lining.
Edwina Fletcher, the CEO of Webtours, the company that operates Just Honeymoons and Beach Travel, loves Mauritius and has travelled there more than a few times. Her favourite months to travel are between April and September.
On one of the trips in May she experienced a lot of wind on the East Coast, and recommends choosing a resort that is in a protected bay – as it can make the world of difference by being on the correct bit of coast!
On another trip, this time in August, she experienced a tropical storm in the South West but was greeted by the most beautiful weather when she reached the North West.
Mauritius really is a year-round destination. But keep in mind the areas you’d like to visit based on your needs and have an experienced travel expert on hand to advise you.