World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Mauritius Travelling Guide
Mauritius Travelling Guide

General background: Discovered by the Portuguese in 1505, Mauritius was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence 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 and declining sugar prices have slowed economic growth leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.

Area comparative: Almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC

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

Population: 1,200,206 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%

Religions: Hindu 52%, Christian 28.3% (Roman Catholic 26%, Protestant 2.3%), Muslim 16.6%, other 3.1%

Language: English (official), Creole, French (official), Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Port Louis

Legal system: Based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas.

Economic overview: Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much improved infrastructure. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centres on foreign investment. Mauritius has attracted more than 9,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector and responsible fiscal management, was well-poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Communication/Telephone system: Small system with good service.

Places of interest: Exquisite resorts offering all exciting kinds of water sports.

Travel tips: Don't drink the tap (faucet) water, buy the bottled kind.