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Where is Mauritius? The Tiny island with a BIG history
If you would love to go to Mauritius but haven’t got a clue where it is, this article is for you! This is everything you need to know about ‘Where is Mauritius’
Mauritius is situated about 500 miles (800 KM) east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
It is a small island of only 720 square miles. It is just a dot in the vastness of the Indian Ocean in comparison to Madagascar which is the 4th largest island in the world and is, surprisingly bigger than France.
How long is the flight to Mauritius? Mauritius is a 11 – 12 hour flight from the UK (where we are based) it’s a tiny dot on the world map but it’s definitely worth a spot on your bucket list!
Mauritius may be a tiny island but it is an Ocean State with an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1,700,000 KM Square and is one of the most important maritime countries in the world.
Mauritius is also made up of some other smaller islands namely Rodrigues (350 miles east), ST Brandon (500 miles north), Agalega (800 miles north). Reunion island, a French Department, is 150 miles to the south west of Mauritius.
Where is Mauritius – A quick history lesson
As far as is known,the first inhabitants on the island was a small colony of Dutch and their slaves of African origin from the 16th century. The island was used mainly as a staging post by the Dutch to replenish their ships with food and water on their voyages between South Africa and Indonesia.
During their occupation they depleted the forests of ebony trees and killed the dodos to extinction. They also introduced the sugar cane to the island and this remains the main agricultural crop to this day and has shaped the history and all aspects of life on the island.
The French took over the island in 1715, and sugar cultivation expanded and more slaves were imported mainly from Mozambique and Madagascar.
The descendants of the French settlers,to this day, still own the bulk of the sugar industry and the best and most fertile agricultural land on the island. The British captured the island from the French in 1810 and stayed until Independence in 1968.
(Wow, all these countries certainly knew where Mauritius was!)
Following the abolition of slavery in the earlier part of the 19th century, Indentured labourers were brought to the island in their thousands from India to work on the sugar plantations.The majority populations are now Hindus but this tiny island is a melting pot of cultures and religions.
Sugar is still big but other important sectors of the economy have grown significantly in the past 30 years or so, namely Tourism,Finance,I.T and textile.
So there you go, that’s where Mauritius is in the world!
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