Little by little, one travels far.
— J. R. R. Tolkien, 1892 - 1973
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Mauritius

Background

Mauritius

Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signals intelligence. Independence from the UK was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes. Recent poor weather, declining sugar prices, and declining textile and apparel production, have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.

About

This article is the Collaboration of the month for October 2010. Find out how it can be improved, and plunge forward to make this an article we can be proud of!

Mauritius (French: L’île Maurice, Mauritian Creole: Maurice) is a small, multicultural island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and southeast of the Seychelles. Mauritius also controls Rodrigues Island and the remote, sparsely populated Agalega and Cargados Garayos (Saint Brandon) islands.

Read more about Mauritius in our Mauritius travel guide »

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Mauritius

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Featured hotels in

Mauritius

MauritiusOne&Only Le Saint Geran 

Pointe De Flacq
Belle Mare
Mauritius

Price (US$): $1431 - $2718 / night

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Location. One&Only Le Saint Geran is located on the beach in Belle Mare, close to Belle Mare Plage Golf Club The Links, Belle Mare Beach, and Flacq Market. Other points of interest are Palmar Beach and Silver Beach. Resort Features. Dining options at One&Only Le Saint Geran include 3 restaurants. 4 bars/lounges, a beach bar, and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves a complimentary breakfast. Guests can enjoy a complimentary evening… more »

MauritiusMaradiva Villas Resort & Spa 

Wolmar
Flic-en-Flac 230
Mauritius

Price (US$): $544 - $1217 / night

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Location. Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Flic en Flac's Wolmar neighborhood, close to Flic en Flac Beach, Tamarina Golf Club, and Barachois Shopping Center. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Casela Nature and Leisure Park and Cascavelle Shopping Mall. Resort Features. Dining options at Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa include 2 restaurants. A beach bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves… more »

MauritiusHeritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort 

Coastal Road, Bel Ombre
Bel Ombre
Mauritius

Price (US$): $463 - $510 / night

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Location. Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort is located on the beach in Bel Ombre, close to Heritage Golf Club. Other points of interest are Chamarel Falls and Seven Coloured Earths. Resort Features. Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site are a… more »

MauritiusHilton Mauritius Resort & Spa 

Wolmar
Flic-en-Flac
Mauritius

Price (US$): $333 - $646 / night

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Location. Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Flic en Flac's Wolmar neighborhood, close to Barachois Shopping Center, Flic en Flac Beach, and Tamarina Golf Club. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Casela Nature and Leisure Park and Cascavelle Shopping Mall. Resort Features. Dining options at Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa include 4 restaurants. A beach bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational… more »

MauritiusLe Cardinal Exclusive Resort 

Coastal Road
Trou aux Biches
Mauritius

Price (US$): $720 - $721 / night

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Location. Located in Trou aux Biches, Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort is on an island and close to Trou aux Biches Beach, Grand Bay Beach, and Mont Choisy Beach. Nearby points of interest also include Maheswarnath and Canonnier Beach. Resort Features. Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A beach bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include… more »

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Mauritius

Full name
Republic of Mauritius
Capital
Port Louis
Location

Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

20 17 S, 57 33 E

Area comparative

almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

177 km

Climate

tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)

Terrain

small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau

Lowest point

Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Mont Piton 828 m

Natural resources

arable land, fish

Population

1,294,104 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%

Religions

Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)

Languages

Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Independence

12 March 1968 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 12 March (1968)

Chief of state

President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 7 October 2003); Vice President Monique OHSAN-BELLEPEAU (since 13 November 2010)

Head of government

Prime Minister Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM (since 5 July 2005)

Internet country code

.mu

Internet users

290,000 (2009)

Airports

5 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Port Louis

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