There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 - 1894
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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

MauritiusInterContinental Hotel Mauritius 

Baclava Fort, Coastal Road
Balaclava
Mauritius

Price (US$): $235 - $740 / night

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Location. InterContinental Hotel Mauritius is located on the beach in Balaclava, close to Turtle Bay Marine Park and Mauritius Aquarium. Other points of interest are Pamplemousses Botanical Garden and Trou aux Biches Beach. Resort Features. Dining options at InterContinental Hotel Mauritius include 4 restaurants. 2 bars/lounges and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an outdoor tennis court, a… more »

MauritiusThe Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa 

Turtle Bay
Balaclava
Mauritius

Price (US$): $441 - $1524 / night

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Location. The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Balaclava, close to Turtle Bay Marine Park and Mauritius Aquarium. Other points of interest are Pamplemousses Botanical Garden and Immigration Depot. Hotel Features. The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa features a restaurant, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a sauna, a steam room, and a children's club. The property's full… more »

MauritiusMaritim Hotel Mauritius 

Turtle Bay
Terre Rouge
Balaclava
Mauritius

Price (US$): $339 - $913 / night

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Location. Maritim Hotel Mauritius is located on the beach in Balaclava, close to Turtle Bay Marine Park and Mauritius Aquarium. Other points of interest are Trou aux Biches Beach and Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. Resort Features. Dining options at Maritim Hotel Mauritius include 3 restaurants. A swim up bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site are an outdoor pool,… more »

MauritiusBaystone Hotel 

Coastal Road
Pointe aux Cannoniers
Mauritius

Price (US$): $823 - $1211 / night

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Location. Baystone Hotel is located in Pointe aux Cannoniers, close to Canonnier Beach, Grand Bay Beach, and Trou aux Biches Beach. Nearby points of interest also include Mont Choisy Beach and Merville Beach. Hotel Features. Dining options at Baystone Hotel include 2 restaurants. Room service is available. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a steam room, and complimentary bicycles. The property's full service health spa has body… more »

MauritiusConstance Le Prince Maurice 

Choisy Road
Poste De Flacq
Mauritius

Price (US$): $731 - $877 / night

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Location. Constance Le Prince Maurice is located on the beach in Poste de Flacq, close to Belle Mare Plage Golf Club The Links. Other points of interest are Flacq Market and Belle Mare Beach. Resort Features. Constance Le Prince Maurice features a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service health spa has body treatments,… 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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