Mauritius or Ile’ Maurice, as it is called in French, is a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is located to the east of Madagascar Island, near South Africa. Discovered in early 1500 by Portuguese explorers, and later ruled by the French and lastly by the British, Mauritius became independent in 1968 and a republic in 1992. The capital of this island country is Port Louis. The country is a small one but a top and favourite destination for travellers. It is a source of unparalleled beauty that is rare and can only be found in very few places in the world. Read on to see some of the vital but possibly forgotten facts about Mauritius which makes it one of the best places to be.
Interesting Facts About Mauritius You Should Know
1. The Island was formed as a result of volcanic activity in the Indian Ocean, millions of years ago.
2. The Dodo, which is the national bird of Mauritius, is an extinct species of a flightless bird, which was a resident of this island, centuries ago. Dodos were found only on this island and nowhere else in the world.
3. The British were the last to rule over Mauritius, before it gained independence on 12th of March 1968. After becoming a republic in 1992, it was then renamed as the ‘Republic of Mauritius’.
4. The capital city of Port Louis houses more than 40% of the island’s population and is the main seat of economic activity. The city has a waterfront, which operates as a port and has all business houses, Banks, Telecom offices and government offices.
5. Sugarcane is the major cash crop grown on this island. The sugar cane fields occupy almost 80% of the island. In the hill country, tea is widely grown. Both sugarcane and tea are exported from here and contribute to the island’s revenue.
6. Being rich in scenic beauty and fringed by beaches with white sand and turquoise coloured clear ocean waters, Mauritius is a tourist haven. Tourists from all over the world flock here throughout the year to bask in the sun and sand. Tourism is the next revenue earner for this island.
See also: Interesting South Africa Facts
7. Mauritius is the native of a number of unique species of plants and animals. Within the small space of 65km length x45km width on this island, we find a variation in topography, climate and a variety of flora and fauna.
8. There are no wild animals on this island and even the species of snakes found here are not poisonous in nature.
9. The island had no terrestrial animals before the invasion of Portuguese in 1507. This allegedly enabled the evolution of a good number of flightless birds and large reptile species.
10. The coral reef around the island helps to keep the ocean water temperature lower than that in the high seas and protects the tourists from attacks by sharks, jellyfish and other aquatic animals.
11. A prominent tourist attraction is the ‘seven coloured earth’ in Chamarel, where the sand is found in seven different colours within a very small space. The sand dunes, which were a result of volcanic activity, are now protected but samples are sold in souvenir shops.
12. Mauritius being in the middle of the Indian Ocean faces the brunt of cyclonic storms several times in a year.
13. The island is inhabited by people from many races like the Hindus, Muslims, and Creoles who are primarily Catholics. The official languages spoken there are French, Bhojpuri, Creole, and English.
13. Mauritius is made of up of multiple ethnic societies but the island nation has no numerical data on the ethnic groups due to the constitutional amendment of 1982 which states that Mauritians are not required to disclose their ethnic identities.
15. Mauritius does not maintain a standing Army.
16. The average life expectancy of a Mauritian is 73 years, which is considered to be the highest among developing countries.
17. Mauritius is the most densely populated and one of the richest nations of Africa.
18. Mauritius is the only country in Africa continent with the highest population of those who practise Hindu.
19. The basic musical style of Mauritius is Sega music. Other musical genres are its fusion genre, Seggae and Bhojpuri songs.
20. The local food of Mauritius is a blend of French, Chinese, Indian and Creole with several dishes exclusive to the island. Spices are also a great part of the island’s local food.
21. In Mauritius, public holidays involve the combination of a number of cultures from its history including Chinese festivals, Muslim festivals, Christian festivals and Hindu festivals.
22. Mauritius has no railways currently.
23. A 70-member Parliament elects the president of the island country and such elections hold every five years.
These Mauritius facts are useful tips for people who would love to travel to this island country.