Mauritius Information - Page 1
The African island of Mauritius is in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The Republic of Mauritius also includes the small islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon).
Port Louis is the capital and the country's only commercial port.
The island, of volcanic origin, is surrounded by coral reefs. There is a small coastal plain, mountains and a central plateau. The Grand River South East is the longest river.
The climate is tropical with southeast trade winds.
The National Parks and Conservation Service is responsible for the protection of flora and fauna in Mauritius.
The Black River Gorges National Park was the first National Park to open on the island. Over three hundred species of flowering plants grow in the park and nine species of native birds inhabit the area.
The National Heritage Fund applied for inscription of Le Morne and Black River Gorges as a World Heritage site. Flat Island and Gabriel Island were also on the application list.
Research was published by the Natural History Museum in London in 2023 concerning the fear that many native plants in Mauritius are under threat because of a significant break in the chain of seed dispersal. The report states that because of the loss of wildlife there are few animals large enough to swallow seeds of native plants and thus disperse them; much larger introduced animal species tend to break open seeds rather than spread them; the Mauritian bulbul and flying fox are the two most important seed dispersers remaining.
Mauritian architecture was influenced by Colonial styles. Houses were constructed in wood with big verandahs and shuttered windows.
Many buildings are listed as National Monuments of Mauritius. These include the Sugar Factory (Grande Rosalie), the Windmill Tower of Forbach, the Lighthouse at Ile aux Fouquets and Government House in Port Louis.
In 2006 Aapravasi Ghat, in the district of Port Louis, was added to the World Heritage List. The complex, consisting of an entrance gateway, immigration sheds and service quarters, was a depot for indentured labour before dispersal to plantations.
The population of Mauritius was estimated at 1.266 million in 2021.
English and French are the official languages. Other languages spoken are Creole, Hindi, Urdu and Hakka.
Around half of Mauritians are Hindu. There are also Christians and Muslims.
The cuisine of Mauritius is influenced by Indian, Chinese, Creole and French cooking. Dishes are varied, for example, Indian curry, Chinese sweet and sour, Creole stew and French creme caramel.
Rice is served with meat and fish. Creole rougaille (tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, chili and thyme) often accompanies meals. Samosas and rotis are favourite snacks.
Fresh fruit juices, such as tamarind juice, are available. Alouda, a syrupy milk drink, is popular. Beer and rum are brewed locally.
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