Travel agent shares why Mauritius is a popular destination for South African travellers

An aerial view of the island of Mauritius on the Indian Ocean. Picture: Unsplash

An aerial view of the island of Mauritius on the Indian Ocean. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jan 22, 2024


Sunny tropical destinations continue to be the top of many people’s travel bucket list. Fortunately for South Africans, there are plenty of beach destinations to explore on our shores, however, for those looking for a dreamy island holiday, South Africa is relatively close to Mauritius.

For many South African travellers, the island nation is just a 4-hour flight away.

South Africa and Mauritius share the Indian Ocean and have another thing in common: a rich Indian heritage that has influenced culture, food and religion for generations. With a common ancestry, Indian South Africans and Indo-Mauritians are connected.

One man who has kept the connection alive through travel is Mauritian-born travel agent Richi Koomar Bhugun.

Mauritian-born travel agent Richi Koomar Bhugun.

Bhugun moved to Durban, South Africa in 2013 after he married his South African wife Anna, having met her in Mauritius.

He has been in the travel industry for more than 23 years. He is the product and branch manager for Satguru Travel in Phoenix and has been proudly selling his home country as a destination for South Africans to visit.

Bhugun said there were plenty of reasons why Mauritius was an attractive destination for South African travellers, not least because South African passport holders did not require a visa.

“Mauritius is a tropical country and the same as South Africa but it’s just that Mauritius is more humid. Travellers don’t have to worry about long-haul travel as Mauritius is a 4 hour flight away from Johannesburg and travellers arrive at the destination on the same day,” said Bhugun.

He said South African visitors could stay on the island for up to 30 days. The rand was 2.5 x the Mauritian rupee, making the destination an affordable place to visit.

“Mauritius cuisine is similar to South African food, which South Africans appreciate, and Mauritians also speak English, making it easy for South Africans to converse with locals and service providers,” said Bhugun.

As a global travel management company, Satguru Travel also offers travellers packages to India, Dubai, Bali, Turkey, Europe and Africa, as well as cruises. The travel management company serves corporates and all race groups, not only Indian travellers.

Bhugun said the best part about being a travel agent was when a client booked a holiday with him and returned happy, feeling they had received value for money and their holiday had been hassle-free.

He said he appreciated travellers’ feedback, either by email or a positive review on the the internet. Getting star reviews confirmed to him that he was able to be part of making a traveller’s dream come true.

“Its challenging to be available 24 hours, 7 days a week. I always do the work with a smile, even on public holiday, weekends and on leave. The life of a travel consultant is very stressful and challenging, but our passion for tourism gives us the fuel to be always here for the clients,” said Bhugun.

He said that he, as a Mauritian, felt inspired by being able to direct tourists to Mauritius and assist with the economic growth of the island as tourism was one of the main economic contributors to the country.