The island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is well-known for its beaches, lagoons, and reefs. Black River Gorges National Park, which is located in the mountainous interior, has hiking trails, waterfalls, rainforests, and animals like flying foxes. Sites like the 18th-century Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens, the Champs de Mars horse track, and the Eureka plantation house can be found in the capital city of Port Louis.

While the sparkling white beaches and deep, impenetrable azure waters are what Mauritius is best known for in the tourist circles, there is much more to this island than meets the eye.

While Mauritius is the island most people know about, The Republic of Mauritius comprises of the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega, St. Brandon and two more disputed territories as well.

These islands were formed a relatively young 9 million years ago, from the lava spewed out by underwater volcanoes.

The entire island of Mauritius is just 2040 km2 in area, making it the world’s 170th largest nation. In fact, the island is just 45 km wide and 65 km long.

The island of Mauritius is surrounded by a ring of dormant volcanoes, streams, waterfalls and rivers in all four directions.

These sugarcane plantations were worked upon mostly by slaves. After the abolition of slavery in 1835, the Britishers brought over more than half a million labourers from India whose descendants form the largest community in Mauritius today.

10. More than 1.2 million people reside on these islands leading to a high population density (highest in the entire African continent). There are more women than men on the island, leading to a very healthy gender ratio.

Mauritius is the only African nation with Hinduism as the dominant religion.

An estimate reveals that Mauritians on an average spend of more than 700 hours each year participating in religious activities.

English and French are the two most widely spoken languages on the island. The locals converse in Mauritian Creole, a unique language deriving its structure from French with some African influences.

Mauritius’ most popular native music and dance style is the Sega music which traces back its origin to the slave population. The songs are sung in Creole, and while dancing, the dancers never let their feet lose contact with the ground.

Owing to a heavy presence of Indians on the island, Bhojpuri is a widespread native language spoken by a sizeable chunk of Mauritians. Bhojpuri music is on the rise in Mauritius owing to the surging popularity of Bhojpuri bands such as The Bhojpuri Boys.   

Mauritius’ peaceful atmosphere allows it to exist without needing to raise a standing army.

Mauritius is often awarded as the best travel destination in the world for a honeymoon. Its breathtaking beach at Trou Aux Biches was awarded the coveted title of the world’s best beach destination in 2011.


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