Mauritius – country information
|Official name||Republic of Mauritius|
|Population||1 257 900 (2011)|
|Foundation of a state||12. 3. 1968|
|The highest mountains||Mount Piton 828 m|
|State system||a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament|
|The biggest cities||Port Louis (Capital) 150,000, Beau Bassin-Rose Hill 100,000, Curepipe 70,000|
|Ethnicity/National Composition||Indian and Pakistani 69%, Creole 25%, Chinese 3%, Caucasian 3%|
|Religious affiliation||Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Other Christian 8.6%, Muslim 16.6%, Other 3.2%|
|Currency||1 Mauritian rupee (Mau Re) = 100 cents|
|gross domestic product (GDP)||US$15,424 (2012)|
|Average life expectancy of the population||72.63 let (2006)|
|Structure of GDP||agriculture and fishing 10%, industry 25.5%, construction 7%, services 57.5%|
According to Abbreviationfinder, Mauritius belongs to the Mascarene archipelago and is an independent island nation in the Indian Ocean, located about 800 km east of Madagascar. It also includes the island of Rodrigues in the east, the Cargados-Carajos islands in the northeast and the small dependency of Agalega in the far north.
Mauritius is a volcanic island surrounded by coral reefs. From the northern coastal plain, the landscape rises into a low plateau, surrounded by peaks – the remains of huge volcanoes. The tropical climate is moderated by the northeast trade winds, which bring heavy rainfall and occasional cyclones. The original forests that once covered the entire island have already been almost cut down, so even the local endemic fauna is on the verge of extinction. This is represented by a tenrek thistle and a strange bat. Mauritius was once home to the extinct dodo bird. Nature conservation projects started with British help.
People and history
The island of Mauritius got its name in 1598 after the Dutch navigator Prince Maurice of Nassau (1567 – 1625), but remained uninhabited until French colonization in the 18th century. The French called it Ile de France and brought African slaves to it to work on the sugar cane plantations they also established on Rodrigues Island. In 1810, both islands were ceded to Great Britain, but the French and mixed Creole population retained their language and culture. After the abolition of slavery, many Indian workers and Chinese merchants also settled here.
Mauritius experienced after the 2nd St. war several economic reforms and gained some self-government. It has been independent within the British Commonwealth since 1968. Its democratic government and parliament survived many political upheavals and in 1992 the island became a republic. The official language is English, but Creole French, Hindi and Chinese are also commonly spoken. More than half of the believers are Hindus, 30% Christians (mainly Roman Catholics). Followed by Muslims and a small group of Buddhists.
Until recently, Mauritius was heavily dependent on sugarcane production, but now its economic base is more diversified. In addition to sugarcane plantations, which occupy almost half of the island’s area, tea, bananas, potatoes, tobacco, vegetables (tomatoes) and fruits are grown. Fishing is being modernized. There are 20 sugar mills operating on the island.
The industry is developing rapidly, mainly thanks to the creation of free trade zones in which they process imported raw materials and semi-finished products. In this way textiles and clothing became the most important article; plastic products, watches, synthetic gems and electronics are also exported. The natural beauty of the island and its lively and mixed cultural environment helps the growth of tourism. The money that flows from it constitutes the second income item in the state budget. Imports of consumer goods, machinery, food and fuel significantly exceed the volume of exports. In order to reduce the dependence on fuel imports and enable the development of other industries, the construction of hydroelectric power plants and even the production of fuel from sugar cane begins. The old railway is not in operation, all transport is provided by cars, which have at their disposal a very good network of mostly paved roads. Maritime transport is the most important for the country’s economy, with the important port of Port Louis in the north-west of the island. The international airport in Plaisance in the southwest of the island serves the rapidly growing tourism industry.
Health and social services are very good, but not enough for an overpopulated island. The vast majority of children attend primary schools and higher education is also available for them. Technical fields are mainly taught at the local university.
Location: South Africa
Time zone: CET + 3 (during summer time: CET + 2)
Total area: 2,040 km²
Land area: 2,030 km²
Water area: 10 km²
Length of the state border: 0 km
Coastline: 177 km
Capital: Port Louis
Agalega Island, Black River, Cargados Carajos Shoals, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis, Riviere du Rempart, Rodrigues, Savanne
Electric current: 220 V, 50 Hz
Telephone code: 00 230 (Source: Allcitycodes)
Highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
Population: approx. 1.3 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)
Population growth: 0.7% per year
Population density (residents per km²): 637
Life expectancy: 72 (male), 79 (female)
Official language: English, French
- 48% Hindu
- 26% Roman Catholic
- 17% Muslim
- 9% other
The seasons in Mauritius are opposite to those in Europe. The tropical summer lasts from November to April and the subtropical winter from May to October.
In the period from January to April, cyclones combined with precipitation often occur.
Currency / finance
Currency unit: Mauritius rupee (MUR)
Classification: 1 rupee = 100 cents
ATMs: are available in major cities.
International credit cards: These are accepted by many hotels and shops.
Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.
The following may be carried duty-free:
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
- 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
- small amounts of perfume
(Information applies to people aged 16 and over)
Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.
The export of rare species of mussels and corals is prohibited under the species protection agreement.
Possession and trafficking in drugs is strictly prohibited (death penalty)!
Due to the strict handling of suspected drug possession, you should carry a medical certificate with you when importing essential medicines. This must be written in English! Furthermore, it is helpful to be able to show a list of all medications and necessary aids (syringes, disinfectants,…) drawn up by the doctor in English.
Since tap water is drinkable, but not always of the best quality, you should use bottled water for cooking.
The traditional export is cane sugar.
The fastest growing industries are tourism and the manufacture of textiles.
Industries: chemical industry, food production (sugar), textiles, tourism
Natural resources: fish, farmland
- Land: 49%
- Grain cultivation: 3%
- Pasture area: 3%
- Forests: 22%
- other: 23%
The forests, which were once widespread on the island, were mostly felled as construction timber. Today mainly eucalyptus trees, chestnuts, pines, conifers and mangroves still grow.
Nature conservation has only been practiced for a few years. The largest national park, the Black River Gorges National Park, was only inaugurated in 1994.
There are now many other projects that aim to reintroduce the original flora and fauna.
After many animal species were almost extinct, the population is slowly beginning to recover.
Today, the most common animals include monkeys, rabbits, deer, dogs, mongooses, snakes, pigs, goats and various species of birds.