Mauritius is one of the most exciting holiday destinations on the planet right now. The combination of great weather, fantastic scenery and friendly people make it an unforgettable destination.
If you like to know about the places you travel to before setting off you might be interested in learning a few of the most intriguing facts about the country before you travel there.
Home of the Dodo
This is believed to be the only place where the famous dodo bird lived. We don’t know that much about them these days because they were hunted into extinction within 60 years of westerners discovering the island. It is the national animal of Mauritius. You will find it on stamps and if you are lucky you might even see a coin with one of these birds on it. The money used here is the Mauritius rupee and limited edition coins with the famous extinct bird on them were issued a few years ago.
The Richest Country in Africa
While the island sits in the Indian Ocean it is officially part of Africa. In fact, it is the most heavily populated and richest country in the continent and is currently the 17th most populous country on the planet. 40% of the inhabitants live in the capital city of Port Louis, while there are quieter, more secluded areas around the island. The economic well being of the island is reflected in that the average life expectancy of 73 is regarded as being among the highest in any developing country.
Exported Sugar and Imported Food
The big export and money generator from here is sugar. In fact, 90% of the arable land on the island is dedicated to growing sugar cane. This means that on holidays to Mauritius you are almost certain to see fields of sugar cane at one point or another. Other exports include tea, jewellery and clothing. What this means is that the islanders need to import most of their food, such as rice and vegetables.
English, French and Creole Spoken in Different Situations
There is no official language in Mauritius but 90% of the people who live here speak Mauritian Creole, which has a fairly close resemblance to French but with some major differences as well. While Creole is the everyday language which most people will use here, English and French are both commonly spoken in more formal situations or with foreigners. The newspapers and TV programmes you come across on the island will tend to be in French, while the government and courts work mainly in English.
A Popular Tourist Destination
Mauritius is considered one of the finest tourist destinations on the planet, with many people choosing to take luxury holidays and honeymoons here. Some of the best beaches in the world are to found here and islanders are especially proud of the fact that there is a very high rate of return tourists who go back year after year to Mauritius.