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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

MauritiusFour Seasons Mauritius 

Beau Champ
Grand River South East
Mauritius

Price (US$): $1077 - $3702 / night

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Location. Four Seasons Mauritius is located on the beach in Grand River South East, close to Touessrok Golf Course, Ile aux Cerfs Beach, and Le Touessrok Beach. Other points of interest are Silver Beach and Palmar Beach. Resort Features. Four Seasons Mauritius features a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include 4 outdoor swimming pools. Also located on site are a golf course, a children's pool, outdoor tennis courts, a sauna, and… more »

MauritiusParadis Hotel & Golf Club 

Le Morne Peninsula
Le Morne
Mauritius

Price (US$): $296 - $606 / night

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Location. Paradis Hotel & Golf Club is located on the beach in Le Morne, close to Le Morne Mountain and Le Morne Beach. Other points of interest are Chamarel Falls and Seven Coloured Earths. Resort Features. Dining options at Paradis Hotel & Golf Club include 4 restaurants. 4 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also… 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 »

MauritiusRoyal Palm 

Royal Road
Grand Bay
Mauritius

Price (US$): $1242 - $2454 / night

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Location. Royal Palm is located on the beach in central Grand Bay, close to Merville Beach, Grand Bay Beach, and Trou aux Biches Beach. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Grand Bay Shopping Center and Pereybere Beach. Resort Features. Royal Palm features a beach bar and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. A complimentary full breakfast is served each morning. Recreational amenities include a children's pool, outdoor tennis courts, a health club, a… more »

MauritiusLUX Grand Gaube 

Pointe Rejane
Grand Gaube
Mauritius

Price (US$): $296 - $2942 / night

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Location. LUX Grand Gaube is located on the beach in Grand Gaube, close to Cap Malheureux Beach. Other points of interest are Grand Bay Beach and Pereybere Beach. Hotel Features. Dining options at LUX Grand Gaube include 4 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include a children's pool, a sauna, a fitness facility, and a steam room.… 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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