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Posted on June 10th, 2015

About Mauritius

Mauritius was named after the Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau.

Port Louis.

Latitude 20º south of the equator, Longitude 57.5º east.

2040 km sq.

1.2 million including Rodrigues and outer islands.

+4 hours Greenwich Mean Time ,+3 hours mid-European time.

The white beaches are protected by coral reef almost all around except for the southern coast that offers wilder strands or dramatic cliffs. From the northern plains, the land rises to a central plateau dotted by lakes and extinct volcanic craters. A few uninhabited islets area scattered around the main island.

November - April 23ºc to 33ºc.
May - October 17ºc to 23ºc.

Occasional Cyclones
Wettest months: December to March.

Annual Rainfall
900 mm on the coast 1500 mm on the central plateau.

Sea Temperature
22ºc to 27ºc.

9th century
Arabs Discovered Mauritius.

16th century
Portuguese Visited Mauritius.

The Dutch who were the first to colonise Mauritius, named it after their ruler, Prince Maurice Van Nassau.
Ebony forests were destroyed by overexploitation and the dodo was exterminated. It later became the symbol of endangered animal species and conservation worldwide.

Dutch Left Mauritius.

French took possession of the island and re-named it 'Isle de France'.

Governor Mahe de Labourdonnais founded Port Louis, which later became the capital.
He turned the island into a prosperous French colony and a port of call on the sea journey from Europe to the Far- East round the Cape of Good Hope. He established Port Louis as a naval base and built roads and bridges. Among his other achievements, one can mention the Government House, the Line Barracks, and Chateau Mon Plaisir at Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. Nowadays, Labourdonnais statue still stands guard facing Port Louis harbour.


Major naval battle took place in Grand Port on the south-east coast of the island. It was the only naval battle won by Napoleon, and is thus, duly engraved on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. However, three months later, the British launched a surprise attack from the north of the island and the French governor General Charles Decaen surrendered.

The 1814 Treaty of Paris ratified the cession of Mauritius and its dependencies, Rodrigues and Seychelles, to the British. But Réunion Island, which was also captured by the British, was returned to France.
The island took its former name of Mauritius, and English became the official language. However, according to the Treaty of Paris, the population was to keep its language, its religion and its laws. This is the reason why French is still widely spoken despite the fact that the British ruled the island for 158 years.

British Abolished Slavery.
As the newly freed slaves refused to work in the plantations, indentured labourers were brought in from India. Chinese and Muslim traders were also attracted to these shores. Hence the melting pot which now constitutes the population of Mauritius.


Mauritius gained its Independence.
Sir Seewosagur Ramgoolam became the first Prime Minister.
Mauritius still forms part of the British Commonwealth and follows the Westminster pattern of Government.

Mauritius became a Republic.

English is the official language. French and Creole are commonly used.
Hindi & Bhojpuri are also spoken.
Many hotel employees are fluent in German, Italian and Spanish.
The Mauritian literacy rate hovers around 90%.

Democratic state based on the Westminster model.
62 Members of Parliament elected every 5 years.
The President is the head of the state but constitutional power is vested in the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

The Mauritian Economy rests on four main pillars : Tourism, Sugar, Textile and the Services Sector.

International Direct Dialing facilities available.
International phone cards available at retail shops .
Post offices operate in most towns and villages.
Internet services are easily available at cybercafés and GSM networks.
Most hotels provide postal and internet services.

In the multi-ethnic culture of Mauritius, Hinduism,Christianity, Islam and Buddhism co-exist peacefully.

The Mauritian Rupee (Rs).
Coins :5c, 20c, 50 c , Rs 1 , Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20.
Notes : Rs 25 , Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500, Rs 1000, Rs 2000.
Change counters at the airport.
Foreign currency notes, drafts, travellers cheques and other banking instruments may be carried to Mauritius without restriction.

Normal Business Hours
Monday to Friday : 08 30 - 16.15.
Saturday : 09 00 - 12.00.

Banking Hours
Monday to Thursday: 09 15 - 15.15.
Friday 09 15 - 17 00.
Banks operate at the arrival and departure of international flights at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.