Do’s and Don’ts: Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles

When visiting to a new destination, customs, manners, and even phrases can hold different meanings.To ensure an enjoyable getaway and avoid unpleasant situations, we recommend learning what you can and cannot do when traveling abroad. So check out these travel tips for visiting the Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles by Travel Expert Jed Hauck.



Although Maldives is a multiracial and religiously tolerant society, it is best to avoid any critical remarks about religion or culture. Please respect the country’s Islamic laws and customs. The majority of the population does not mix with the tourists, with the exception of those involved with tourism in the resorts and in Malé.

Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles

Take a load off – and your shoes when entering someone’s home in the Maldives!

Dress is informal, but Muslim locals will be offended by nudity or scanty clothing in public places, and the government rigidly enforces these standards. Please dress modestly when visiting inhabited islands. Women should cover their shoulders and not wear shorts. Bikinis and other scanty beachwear are not acceptable in Malé or on any other inhabited island; they should be restricted to resort islands only. When entering a mosque, the legs and body, but not the neck and face, should be covered.

Shaking hands is the customary form of greeting.

A large number of locals smoke, but smoking during Ramadan is discouraged.

Don’t be out late on the streets of the capital; there’s a curfew that begins at 10:00 p.m.

Take off your shoes at the door when visiting someone’s home.

Tipping is officially discouraged.

There is no need to import alcohol because all resort hotels have bars. If you have alcohol with you when you arrive, customs officials will hold it for you at the airport until your departure.

Related Story: Top Ten Experiences: Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles



As a multicultural society, Mauritius is tolerant of different beliefs and ethnicities. However, it is important that you show respect when visiting a religious site and never enter a religious building when a service is in progress. There are also various rules associated with each religion, such as the prohibition of wearing shoes inside a mosque, which must also be respected.

Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles

Shaking hands, not always a universal greeting but accepted in Mauritius.

Dress is usually informal, although men will need to wear a suit for particularly formal occasions.

Shaking hands is the customary form of greeting.

Visitors should respect the traditions of their hosts, particularly when visiting a private house. It is appropriate to give a gift as a small token of appreciation if invited for a meal.

Tipping is optional (usually 10%), but normally considered unnecessary if the usual 12% tax has already been added to the bill. While taxi drivers do not expect a tip, airport and hotel porters often do.

Related Story: Discover Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles



The people of the Seychelles live a simple and unsophisticated island life, and tourism is carefully controlled so that the charm and natural beauty of the island is protected and undisturbed. The native people have developed their own language and culture which are completely unique; these customs should always be respected and in some cases, observed.

Casual wear is essential with formal clothes only being worn to church services. Swimwear and revealing clothes should only be worn on the beaches or by the pool.

Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles

Don’t be afraid to leave a tip in Seychelles!

Shaking hands is the customary form of greeting for both men and women.

Seychellois are very hospitable and enjoy inviting guests to their homes. If you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s house, taking a simple gift is the norm.

Tips in restaurants and hotels as well as tips for taxi drivers and porters are usually included in all bills as a 5-10% addition. However, if you are extremely happy with the service, an additional 5-10% will be much appreciated.


About Jed Hauck

jed hauck - promo photoJed Hauck is a writer for Flight Centre USA. A New Yorker to the core, he has written extensively inside the travel and entertainment fields (winning Emmy Award honors for the latter), and has traveled widely throughout Europe and North America. He would love to live in London but can’t quite master the accent. He does, however, speak French like Marcel Marceau.