Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometers off the southeast coast of the African continent. The Republic of Mauritius also includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon. The capital and largest city Port Louis are located on the main island of Mauritius.
In 1598, the Dutch took possession of Mauritius. They abandoned Mauritius in 1710 and the French took control of the island in 1715, renaming it Isle de France. France officially ceded Mauritius including all its dependencies to the United Kingdom (UK) through the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814 and in which Réunion was returned to France. The British colony of Mauritius consisted of the main island of Mauritius along with Rodrigues, Agalega, St Brandon, Tromelin and the Chagos Archipelago, while Seychelles became a separate colony in 1906.
The people of Mauritius are multiethnic, multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual. The island’s government is closely modeled on the Westminster parliamentary system, and Mauritius is highly ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom. The Human Development Index of Mauritius is the highest in Africa. Mauritius is ranked as the most competitive and the most developed economy in the African region. The main pillars of the Mauritian economy are manufacturing, financial services, tourism, and information and communications technology. Mauritius provides free universal health care, free education up to tertiary level and free public transport for students, senior citizens, and the disabled.
Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island. The island was the only known home of the dodo, which, along with several other avian species, was made extinct by human activities relatively shortly after the island’s settlement. If you are looking for the best place to visit in Mauritius, check next page.