Mauritius is a group of islands located southwest of the Indian Ocean, 900 kilometers east of Madagascar. The entire land area is only 2,040 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest nations on earth. The population is 1.2 million and the population density is 1,564 persons per square kilometer, making it one of the densest nations on earth. The nation's capital is Port Louis. Mauritius gained independence only in 1968.
Mauritius is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, making it an ideal place for ships stopping for repairs and replenishments coming from Europe rounding the South African tip and into the Indian Ocean. Throughout its history, Arabs, Dutch, French and the British had laid their eyes on these beautiful islands. The islands were believed to be volcanic in origin, hissing from the ocean from an undersea crater around 10 million years ago. The climate is tropical, and cyclones frequently visit it.
The island is very famous for its amazing natural beauty. Here, sun, sea and sand connived to create a very scenic view one would only see in postcards. One of those who were awed by its beauty was the author Mark Twain, insinuating that Mauritius and heaven are a class on their own.
The main sources of revenue for Mauritius is agriculture and tourism. In agriculture, the nation is dependent on vast sugarcane plantations. Sugarcane accounts for more than 90 percent of agricultural areas and a fourth of the nation’s earnings. On the other hand, industry is fast developing, with a distinction of having one of the highest GDP in Africa. Textile manufacturing and the service industry are also developing fast. The main trading partners are India, South Africa, and France. France has close ties with Mauritius, and provides assistance in varying forms.
Mauritius has also imposed a policy of going duty-free in the next few years. The reason for this is to help its citizens buy imported goods at lower rates as well as to attract more tourists to visit the island. Most products have seen reduced duties imposed on them, especially those on the technologically-intensive products. Mauritius is also implementing reforms to attract more foreign investors. The government is also in the process of implementing a coast-to-coast Internet access. On the other hand, Mauritius is frequented by cruise liners.
The islands draw in tourists to its beaches. Hence, water sports and resorts have sprouted in these beautiful islands. Some of the more popular recreational activities are the following:
- Water-based Activities
- Fishing. With the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean spread before it, fishing is an activity that can be done all year round.
- Windsurfing and water skiing are offered by the numerous resorts in Port Louis as well as in the coastal towns of Mahebourg and Souillac.
- There are also centers that offer services such as yacht and submarine cruising.
- Land-based Activities
- Mountain biking. This is popular in the hilly hinterlands of the island, along with trekking and horseback riding.
- Rappelling. For the daring, this is your activity of choice as this gives you the opportunity to challenge your endurance and conquer nature’s obstacles.