History in Mauritius
The first people to visit the island of Mauritius were the Arabs. They landed here in 975. Later, in 1510, the island was visited by the Portuguese, because it was on the trade route to Goa and Malacca. But they did not set up settlements here, because Mozambique was their main base on the way to Asia.
Mauritius became inhabited after the arrival of the Dutch in 1598. The Dutch brought slaves from Madagascar to Mauritius, whose labor was used to cut down the black ebony tree. In 1710, having cut down almost all the ebony trees, they left the island, and already in 1715 the French appeared here. They brought African slaves with them and began to equip plantations of coffee, sugar cane, spices and fruits.
In the early 19th century, France declared war on England. French corsairs used Mauritius as a base from which they attacked English merchant ships. In 1810, the British sent an army detachment to Mauritius, which captured the island, after which it became a British colony. After the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833, hired workers from India began to be imported to work on sugar cane plantations.
In 1947, Great Britain allowed the establishment of a legislative body in Mauritius – the Assembly, which served as the first step towards obtaining permission for self-government. In 1968, Mauritius gained independence and entered the Commonwealth of Nations (it united Great Britain and almost all of its former dominions, colonies and protectorates) as an independent state. In 1992, Mauritius was proclaimed a republic, but it still remains part of the Commonwealth.
These days, Mauritius is politically stable, belongs to the group of countries with a high per capita income, and its resorts are considered among the most luxurious in the world.
Religion in Mauritius
52% of the believing population of Mauritius professes Hinduism, Catholics make up 26%, Protestants – 2%, Muslims – 17%, Buddhists 3%.
Transport in Mauritius
The best way to get to Mauritius is by plane with a transfer in Europe.
You can travel between the islands by plane or ship. Inside the islands, the most popular mode of transport is taxis. Most cars do not have meters, so the cost of the trip should be agreed with the driver in advance. You can also use the services of buses, the route network of which covers almost all the islands. The bus fleet in Mauritius is a little outdated, but it is a fairly fast mode of transport.
In order to rent a car, you must be over 23 years old, have a driving experience of at least 1 year, an international driver’s license and a credit card.
Plant and Animal World in Mauritius
The islands of Mauritius are covered with lush tropical vegetation. Ebony, natu tree, casuarina, bottle palm, coconut and fan palms and mango grow in the forests. Baobab, oleander, jasmine, aloe, acacia and tulip tree are also common here.
Of the animals on the islands, deer, rabbits, macaques, rats, hares and mongooses are found. There are no predators or poisonous insects here. Reptiles such as boas and gecko lizards have survived on the island of Rodrigues. The forests of Mauritius are home to many birds – kestrel, parakeet, pink dove, Madagascar red fodi, myna starling and red-finned nightingale. Once upon a time, dodo birds lived on the islands, but they were exterminated by man. More than 300 species of fish, dolphins, shellfish and shrimps are found in the coastal waters of the islands.
Minerals in Mauritius
Limestone, iron ore, cobalt and manganese are mined on the islands of Mauritius.
Banks in Mauritius
Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 9:15 to 15:15 and on Friday until 15:30. On Saturday banks are open from 9:15 to 11:15.
Money in Mauritius
The official currency of the country is the Mauritian rupee. 1 rupee is equal to 100 cents. In circulation there are banknotes of 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 25 rupees and coins of 10, 5 and 1 rupee and 50, 20 and 5 cents.
You can exchange foreign currency at banks, exchange offices, airports and large hotels. Credit cards and travelers checks are widely used. Traveler’s checks have the best exchange rate, not cash.
Rate: 100 Mauritius Rupee (MUR) = 2.63 USD
Political State in Mauritius
According to politicsezine, Mauritius is a parliamentary republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament for a 5-year term. Executive power belongs to the Government headed by the Prime Minister. Legislative power is concentrated in the hands of a unicameral parliament – the National Assembly.
Population in Mauritius
Most of the country’s population is made up of Mauritians of Indian origin (68%), about 27% are Creoles (descendants from mixed marriages of Europeans with other peoples), 3% of Mauritians are of Chinese origin, 2% are descendants of the French.
The official language of Mauritius is English, but the majority of the local population speaks French. Creole, Indian languages (Hindi and Urdu) and Chinese are also common on the island.
Cuisine in Mauritius
European, Indian, Asian and African traditions are mixed in the national cuisine.
The basis of Mauritian dishes is rice seasoned with hot sauces. The most popular dish in Mauritius is “curry” (rice with meat or seafood). On the menu of any restaurant you will find “puris” (sandwiches made of special flour with different ingredients), Chinese noodles “min frit”, Chinese stew, “samussa” (samsa made of puff pastry with vegetables, meat or fish), sweet potato pies and a variety of vegetable and fruit dishes. Among the delicacies are the “millionaire’s salad” from the heart of the palm tree, freshwater crayfish “camarons” and scallop or shark fin soup.
It is customary to finish the meal with hot coffee or fruit juices.