What is Mauritius

Information about the country and people in Mauritius

Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 900 kilometers east of Madagascar. The equator is about 2,000 km north and the African coast about 2,000 km to the west. The island of Réunion, a French overseas department, is about 200 km to the west.

The state of Mauritius consists of the two large islands Mauritius and Rodrigues (600 km east of Mauritius) as well as several smaller islands such as Cargados-Carajos Islands and Agalega Islands. The capital Port Louis is on Mauritius. Mauritius, Rodrigues and La Réunion are among the mascarens.

Mauritius is of volcanic origin and largely surrounded by coral reefs. The interior of the island is occupied by rising plateaus, which are towered over by volcanoes. The highest mountain in Mauritius is the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire with 826 meters in the Black River mountain range. Other peaks are the Pieter Both (820 m) and the Le Pouce (811 m) in the Moka-Port Louis chain. The tropical rainforest was almost completely destroyed. Original bamboo and bush vegetation still exists at higher elevations.

Out of a total of 200 km of coastline, Mauritius has around 170 km of sandy beaches. The north coast between Port Louis and Cape Malheureux has wonderfully long sandy beaches, excellent diving areas and an enchanting sunset atmosphere. Grand Baie, the most famous place in the north, offers the largest selection of entertainment and leisure facilities on the island. The Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is well worth a visit.

The most beautiful beaches can be found on the east coast. Since the wind is stronger on the east coast than in the west, windsurfers will find ideal conditions here. Early risers enjoy beautiful sunrises.

The south offers a charming landscape with extensive sugar cane plantations, rocky coasts and small bays. The west coast is varied with long sandy beaches and green hills. Bathing enthusiasts and water sports enthusiasts will find ideal conditions here. The sunsets are spectacular.

Mauritius has about 1.25 million inhabitants. The largest cities are Port Louis (approx. 155,000 inhabitants), Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, Vacoas-Phoenix, Curepipe and Quatre Bornes.

The population is characterized by its diversity. About two thirds of the residents are of Indian descent. A large part of the rest of the population are so-called Creoles (former slaves from Africa and Madagascar, mixed with other groups, especially Europeans). The Chinese make up around two percent of the Mauritians, the white minority is somewhat smaller.

English is the official language, but French is widely spoken. Morisyen, a Creole language, is the everyday language of most of the residents. In addition, North Indian languages ​​and dialects, Dravidian languages ​​from South India and various South Chinese dialects are spoken.

Hinduism is the most widespread religion. Then comes Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

The cultivation and processing of sugar cane, which is grown on almost 90% of the cultivated areas, has so far served as the main source of income. This is increasingly being replaced by the industrial, banking and tourism sectors. This led to a relatively high standard of living.