Quick Facts: Mauritius Island
- Major languages spoken in Mauritius include Creole, French and English
- Mauritius is almost entirely surrounded by the third largest coral reef in the world
- Mauritius experiences a tropical, temperate climate
- Sega, a dance punctuated by brightly coloured flowers and outfits is popular in Mauritius
- Port-Louis is the capital city of Mauritius
- The island is of volcanic origin
Introducing Mauritius Island
Mauritius Island lies approximately 2400 kilometers from the south-east coastline of Africa. The island can be found just above the Tropic of Capricorn in the Indian Ocean.
This picturesque island is favoured by holiday makers because of its warm, tropical waters, temperate climate, luxury all-inclusive hotels and the colourful coral reefs that surround most of the coastline. Apart from the coastline, Mauritius also boasts some natural wonders that are well-worth a visit. Other attractions include the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens which are famous for their giant water lilies and exotic plant species, the Seven Coloured Earths at Chamarel, the bird garden of Casela and the Tamarin falls.
Many people who visit Mauritius come away in love with the food. The hotels are famous for their gigantic buffets with restaurants serving dishes with French, Mediterranean, Indian and local flavours. Seafood is an obvious choice along with spicy, curry dishes.
The size of Mauritius Island
The island is of volcanic origin and spans an area of 1865 square kilometers
Major cities and towns
Port-Louis is the capital city of Mauritius and has become home to most of the island’s economic and administrative industry. This city is very quiet after hours and on weekends and has a busy, commercial port. Grand Baie is a popular tourist spot because of its calm, natural bay area, boutique shops, hip bars and bustling nightlife. Many boat excursions and helicopter rides embark from Grand Baie.
Mahebourg houses the national Naval Museum which gives great insight into the history of the island. Curepipe is an elegant residential area with manicured gardens and colonial houses. Curepipe is home to tea plantations, the Trou aux Cerfs crater and some of the best view points on the island.
People and language
Due to the fact that Mauritius has been re-colonised a number of times; the island boasts an extensive cultural diversity. A mix of religions and ethnicities can be found on the island. The Mauritian people primarily speak the Creole language as well as French and English. The inland areas of the island are covered with sugar cane plantations and many of the Mauritian people make their living from these farms. Mauritian song and dance, also known as sega, is a staple in their culture and many local, brightly coloured shows can be found at the various hotels on the island.
Topography and climate
Mauritius experiences winter between the months of July and September yet the temperature still reaches around 22 degrees during the day. In the summer months between December and February the temperature rises to around 34 degrees Celsius while tropical storms and heavy rainfalls are common during this time. Throughout the year the sea temperature varies between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius. The western and northern regions of the island are warmer and drier than the eastern and the southern coastlines.
Mauritius features a central plateau, which lies 400 metres above sea level. The island is scattered with mountains, tropical forests, white sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons. The island’s lagoons are protected from the open ocean by the third largest coral reef in the world; making the calm waters ideal for snorkeling, water-skiing and scuba diving.
Access to Mauritius Island
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is the only international airport on the island. The airport is located in the Grand Port region.