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About Mauritius
About Mauritius
Mauritius was discovered by the Portuguese sometime between 1507 to 1513. They took no interest in the islands which are now known as Reunion, Rodrigues and Mauritius.

In 1598, the Dutch having run into bad weather found the island and entered what is now known as Grand Port. The island was used for a while as a stop point, for ships that had been at sea. No permanent settlements were formed until later and many used it as a chance to pick up the bark of the Ebony trees. This was found in plenty throughout Mauritius.

The Dutch colonized the island in 1638 but due to much hardship like drought, cyclones, illnesses and a shortage of food were forced to abandon the island around 1710.

The Dutch established a permanent settlement. Cornelius Gooyer became the first governor of Mauritius. More men were sent to reinforce the settlement and island and seek income.

Slaves were then brought in to work, but still there was a lot of hardship. This continued on and off for many years and many governors were appointed but Mauritius was finally abandoned in 1710

In 1715, the French came to the island and claimed it as their own, naming it 'Isle de France', But it was not until Mahé de La Bourdonnais that the island started developing in the right direction.

In 1810, the British captured Mauritius after raids were carried out on them during Napoleonic wars. In an act of capitulation, the British kept many laws, customs and the language but changed many things including the abolition of slaves. Their rule lasted till 1968.

Geography and Demography

Location 2,400 km off the south-eastern coast of Africa
Capital Port Louis
Population 1.2 million, consisting of people of Indian, Chinese, European and African origin
Workforce 541,000
Main Language English (official language) and French
Climate Sub-tropical, with temperatures ranging
from 21o C to 34o C
Time Zone GMT +4 hours

Land & Marine Zone

Whole island 1,865 square kilometers
Agricultural land 86,500 ha (46%)
Forests & grazing lands 57,000 ha (30%)
Reservoirs, swamps and rocky lands 2,600 ha (1%)
Roads & footpaths 4,000 ha (2%)
Built-up areas 36,400 ha (19%)
Exclusive Marine Economic Zone 1.9 million square kilometres
Economic Indicators (2009)

Mauritian Rupee (Rs)
Exchange Rate:
1 US$ = MUR 32.14
1 Euro = MUR 40.88
1 GBP = MUR 47.37
GDP US$ 8.24 billion  
Real GDP Growth 3.1 %  
GDP/Capita US$ 7,500  
Agriculture 4%
Manufacturing 19%
Construction 7%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 12%
Hotels  7%
Financial intermediation 12%
Other Services 39%
Inflation 6.9%  
Export Partners UK (27%), France (16.6%), US (8.3%), Madagascar (6.4%), Italy (5.5%)
Import Partners India (18.7%), China (12.6%), France (11.7%), South Africa (8.7%), Australia (2.8%), Thailand (2.6%)


375,000 fixed telephone lines;
1,033,300 mobile telephone lines;
42, 191 dial-up internet subscribers;
157, 320 ADSL lines;
2 public switched telephone network providers, offering both fixed line and wireless local loop connections;
9 Internet Service Providers, of which 2 offering Wi-Max facilities;
3 mobile telephone operators, of which 1 offering 3G services (first in Africa);
3 International Long Distance (ILD) operators, also offering Internet telephony services.

Television operators 4
Radio Operators 4
Local Press:

Government and Legal System

Political status Multi-party parliamentary democracy.  General elections held every 5 years.
Head of State President
Head of Government Prime Minister
Constitution Based on British parliamentary system
Legal system Hybrid system drawing both from French Napoleonic Code and English law.  Last court of appeal is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Business Costs

Indicative labour costs
Accountants, lawyers, engineers
and other professionals
1500 USD / month
Computer operators 400 USD / month
Secretary 400 USD / month
Administrative officer 500 USD / month
Receptionist 400 USD / month
Clerical staff 400 USD / month
Maid 200 – 300 USD / month
Driver 200 – 300 USD / month
Gardener 200 USD / month

Telephone/Fax Charges
Installation charges 65 USD
Deposit per exchange line 65 USD
Call charges (IDD Rate) 0.2 USD (MRU – LON)
Rental Charges 7.5 USD

Cellular Telephone
Call charge (local) 0.1 USD
Call charge (international) 0.5 USD (MRU- LON)

Internet Access
ADSL Business 256kbps 53 USD / month
ADSL Business 512kbps 83 USD / month
ADSL Business 1Mbps 166 USD / month
ADSL Business 2Mbps 296 USD / month

Office space (unfurnished) USD 0.5 – USD 1.5 per square foot/month

3 bedrooms (Semi furnished)  
Apartment USD 300/month
Detached House USD 450/month
Beach House USD 1200/month

Four Star Hotels  
Single room USD 150 – 200 per person/night
Double room USD 120 – 150 per person/night

Five Star Hotels  
Single room USD 250 – 400 per person/night
Double room USD 200 – 450 per person/night

Car rental service (additional cost for
chauffeur driven)
USD 50 – 55 per day (minimum 3 days)
Taxi fare  
Day USD 0.67 for 1st 0.25 km & USD 0.10 for each additional 0.2 km
Night USD 1 for 1st 0.25 km & USD 0.19 for each additional 0.2 km
Bus fare  
One way ticket USD 0.20 – 0.90/person
Air fare (return ticket, indicative costs)  
Mauritius – New York USD 1,600
Mauritius – London USD 1,090
Mauritius – Singapore USD 600
Mauritius – Johannesburg USD 550

There are many deals from various activities around Mauritius. Many offer packages for groups and some will entertain bargaining. Although their deals and packages look fixed, looking around if time permits and making an offer will help save some money.

The number of flights entering Mauritius is increasing. People are quickly recognizing this place as a great holiday destination. Many packages are being offered and are choices vary from flights only to fully inclusive hotels. Prices can vary a lot depending on the time of year.

With the highest hotel density in the world, Mauritius gives you plenty of choice. Some of the best hotels in the world can be found here. The alternative to this is bungalows and apartments. They can be cheaper and will offer more freedom but might lack immediate beach access.

To get around Mauritius, taxis are used the most by tourists. Renting a car in Mauritius is a great alternative. It will give you the choice of wherever and whenever and may save you money. Driving is on the left like in the U.K.

There are many banks and money exchange points in Mauritius. Cash points are found at many parts of the island, but may lack in many remote areas. The common banks are State Bank Of Mauritius, Mauritius Commercial Bank, HSBC and Barclays.

Mauritius is most famous for Dodo's and its awesome beaches. The best beaches are found at the hotel, but a point to remember is that all beach area on the island is public. Although they may appear private, they are not, and this is also why you will get locals trying to sell their wares.

Due to many influences from the world, you can feast on many varieties. If you love seafood, you are in for a treat. French, Chinese, Indian and local are only a few choices to be had.

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