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Exploring Mauritius by bus
One of the most cost effective and easiest ways to explore Mauritius is by bus. With more and more development over the years, movement from one place to another is very important and thus there is a wide network of bus stops and bus stations all over the island. While locals use buses on a massive scale to go to work or for visits, tourists will find that this way of travelling is quite an interesting and impressive one. The beauty of the island can be seen through the buses as they take different routes that tour operators and taxis do not take.
There are a number of bus operators on the island like the National Transport Corporation, United Bus Service, Mauritian Bus Transport, Triolet Bus Service and a number of private bus owners. The state of the buses vary from one company to the other but are generally in good condition and there are even some air conditioned vehicles on our roads. Routes to be taken by the buses have been designed by the National Transport Authority and buses are usually available at specific times (for more information regarding buses’ time table, http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/mpisite/me... ).
Travelling by bus
The first thing to think about when using buses is where you intend to go and thus getting to the right bus stop or bus station. There are many places in Mauritius that require more than one bus voyage to reach the destination as there are no direct buses to such places; for instance, to get to a number of far away villages, passengers have to load the bus at one specific bus station, get down at another station and from there get the bus to the designated place (for instance, to get to Gris Gris, someone has to board the bus at Port Louis, get off at Curepipe to wait for another bus going in the direction of Gris Gris).
Rules on the bus
Once you are at the desired bus station, queue up with the other passengers and then board the bus. Have a seat and get your money ready to pay for your fare. In Mauritius, you pay for the fare once the bus starts moving and it is usually based on the distance that you will be travelling (number of bus stops apart, some 1.6km away from each other). Tell the conductor where you want to go and if possible tender the exact amount. If you are not sure where to get down, you can always ask the conductor to let you know when you get to your destination, otherwise you can follow the directions on a map.
Because buses are quite compact, it is not advised to carry big luggage on them. Also, it is not allowed to smoke on buses and not recommended to litter them. Out of respect, politeness and courtesy, it is advised to give your seats to elderly and handicapped people. When you are near your destination, press on the bell to signal the driver to stop so that you can get down but don't leave it to the last minute as it may then be difficult for the driver to stop the bus safely; check that you have not left anything behind when you leave the bus.