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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 24, 2020
Headline for 30 Useful things to know before you travel to Mauritius – Uncovering Mauritius
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30 Useful things to know before you travel to Mauritius – Uncovering Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the most sought-after luxury beach holiday destinations in the world. Here are 30 interesting things about the island.

1

Birth of the islands

The islands of the Republic of Mauritius came into being when burning lava spewed forth from underwater volcanoes 9 million years ago. While most people think of Mauritius as a lone island, the Republic comprises of several islands including Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon, not to mention two more disputed territories.

2

Marine life

The seas around Mauritius are home to some of the world's most picturesque and thriving coral reefs and marine life. The islands are surrounded by the world's third-largest coral reefs. If you've booked accommodation at one of the Blue Bay Mauritius hotels, you should visit the Blue Bay Marine Park to encounter vibrant sea creatures that thrive there. The marine park is located about a 20-minute drive away from resorts such as the Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort.

3

More about volcanoes and wonders

The island of Mauritius is enveloped by a ring of dormant volcanoes. There are many water ways across the island including waterfalls, rivers and streams. The waterfalls will leave you spellbound.

4

First Discovery and name

The islands were first discovered by Arabian sailors way back in 975. They called it Dina Arobi. When Dutch colonizers later landed at the Grand Port in 1598, they called it Mauritius after their Prince Maurice Van Nassau who at the time was the Chief Magistrate of the Dutch Republic.

5

Colonial influences

You can expect an exciting blend of cultural influences in Mauritius. Three nations colonized the islands including the Netherlands, France, and Great Britain.

6

Sugar cane and trade routes

During the rule of the French East India Company, plantations growing sugarcane thrived in Mauritius. It was one of the main contributors to the economy. Before the Suez Canal opened in 1869, Mauritius was a valuable place to trade routes from Europe.

7

Slavery and migration

Initially, sugarcane plantation owners used slaves on their land. After slavery was abolished in 1835, English colonizers brought down about half a million workers from India. Their descendants are part of the largest community in Mauritius to this day.

8

High population density

About 1.2 million people live on the islands. The population density in Mauritius is the highest in Africa.

9

High literacy and life expectancy

Mauritius is home to a highly literate population (90 per cent). Their life expectancy too is high at 75 years.

10

Hinduism

The high number of citizens of Indian descent means that Mauritius is the only African nation with Hinduism as the dominant religion. Mauritians spend a lot of time on religious activities.

11

Languages

Most people in Mauritius speak English and or French. They also proudly converse in beautiful Mauritian Creole. Creole is a language and culture that is made up of French and African influences. Given the presence of people of Indian descent, Bhojpuri is another widely spoken language.

12

Sega music and dance

Sega music and dance styles which date back to days when slavery was alive, and kicking are still much loved in the islands. These enchanting songs are the sun in native Creole and dancers to those rhythms never let their two feet lose contact with the earth.

13

Bhojpuri music

Bhojpuri music too is currently enjoying popularity with the rise of bands such as the Bhojpuri Boys. Bhojpuri music

14

Free public transport to some

If you are s student or senior citizen in Mauritius, you travel for free in public transport. People with disabilities too can travel on public transport for free.

15

The tale of the flag

The national flag of Mauritius symbolizes the most important historical and cultural facts about the islands. The flag is composed of four bands in four different colours. Red reminds the people about the bloodshed they had to go through to abolish slavery. Blue refers to the vast ocean while green symbolizes the country's lush landscape. Yellow heralds the bright future.

16

Mark Twain's praise

Mark Twain loved Mauritius so much that he compared it to heaven and said that heaven was copied after Mauritius

17

Land of the Dodos

Years ago, Dodos, flightless yet adorable birds prospered in the island in the near absence of predators. But, once sailors flocked to the islands they sadly became extinct.

18

Football team named Dodos

The Mauritius football team gets its name from now extinct Dodos. But the bird is mainly known for being sleepy and lethargic.

19

The Lewis Carroll connection

Lewis Carroll found inspiration to write his famous Alice in Wonderland after he spotted a stuffed Dodo at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

20

Home to Pink Pigeons

The green forests of Mauritius make a safe home for Pink Pigeons, one of the rarest bird species in the entire world.

21

Seven coloured Earth

The seven-coloured earth in Chamarel Mauritius draws thousands of tourists yearly. Volcanic eruptions that occurred underneath cooled at different times, giving the area its vibrant dunes.

22

Best honeymoon destination

Mauritius often gets the title as the world's best honeymoon travel destination.

23

Winter Horse racing

Winter horse racing events occur annually in Mauritius. It is a highly attended affair.

24

Hairpin bend at Baie Du Cap

The country's famous hairpin bend near Baie Du Cap is popular with enthusiastic drivers.

25

Giant Aldabra tortoises

La Vanille Nature Park is home to a large number of Giant Aldabra tortoises' bred in captivity. Visitors can get up close and personal with them.