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Republic of Mauritius (English)
République de Maurice (French)
Republic of Mauritius
Flag of Mauritius
Mauritius coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Motto : Stella Maris Clavisque Indici
Latin , "Star and Key of the Indian Ocean"
Official language de jure : none
de facto : English and French in Parliament
Capital Port Louis
Form of government Parliamentary Republic
Government system Parliamentary democracy
Head of state President
Prithvirajsing Roopun
Head of government Prime Minister
Pravind Jugnauth
surface 2,040 km²
population 1,265,303 (2018)
Population density 635 ( 11th ) inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 0.61% (2016) per year
gross domestic product
  • Nominal
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 14.21 billion ( 129. )
  • $ 30.01 billion ( 135th )
  • 11,228 USD ( 66. )
  • 23,709 USD ( 63. )
Human Development Index   0.790 ( 65th ) (2017)
currency Mauritian rupee (MUR)
independence March 12, 1968
(from the UK )
National anthem Motherland
Time zone UTC + 4
License Plate MS
ISO 3166 MU , MUS, 480
Internet TLD .mu
Telephone code +230
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Mauritius (German [ maʊ̯ˈriːtsi̯ʊs ], English [ məˈɹɪʃəs ], French Maurice [ moˈʀiːs ], Creole Moris ) is an island nation in the southwest of the Indian Ocean about 870 kilometers east of Madagascar .

In addition to the main island of Mauritius with the capital Port Louis , Rodrigues , the Cargados-Carajos Islands and the Agalega Islands are part of the national territory. The Chagos Archipelago was part of the national territory of Mauritius, but was spun off from Great Britain shortly before the foreseeable independence from Mauritius in 1965.



Together with Réunion , the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues are part of the Mascarene Islands .


Spacious location

The island of Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean about 1800 km east of the African continent .

Neighbore states

The island of Réunion, which belongs to France, is about 200 km to the west. To the north, the Seychelles are about 1750 kilometers away . India is about 4000 kilometers to the northeast.

Associated islands

  • Main island of Mauritius: The state of Mauritius consists of two large and several smaller islands : The capital Port Louis is on Mauritius itself, the largest island of the state .
  • Small islands near Mauritius: Large parts of the main island are surrounded by a reef from which a few other small islands such as Amber Island rise. Gunner's Coin (Coin de Mire) (8 km from the north coast) and Round Island are located 22 km to the northeast in close proximity to Mauritius .
  • Rodrigues: The second larger island is Rodrigues with around 40,000 inhabitants. It is located around 600 km to the east at roughly the same latitude as the main island.
  • Cargados-Carajos Islands: The Cargados-Carajos Islands (also St. Brandon) are located about 500 km northeast of Mauritius. This archipelago has a length of about 100 km and extends from north to south.
  • Agalega Islands: The Agalega Islands are located more than 1000 km north of Mauritius and with about 650 km as the crow flies are much closer to the Seychelles .


Mauritius is located in the southern hemisphere. The seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. Due to the location in the summer humid tropics, the average temperature on the coast is around 23.3 ° C and on the heights around 19.4 ° C. The relative humidity fluctuates by 80%. Winter (June to October) is the driest, summer (December to April) the wettest season. The contrasts between the east and west coasts are striking: While the east coast is directly influenced by the SE trade winds, the west coast is well protected in the rain shadow (lee) of the mountains. As a result, the Fuel station on the east coast has about 2.5 times more precipitation (1962 mm per year) than the Medien station on the west coast (782 mm per year). In addition, the west coast is slightly warmer than the east side due to the lee effect ( foehn ).


Over the south-western Indian Ocean (SW-Indic), in which Mauritius is located, an average of around 15 tropical storms are observed annually. The cyclone season in Mauritius runs from November 15th to May 15th. Not every storm reaches the cyclone stage (wind speeds> 118 km / h), and not every storm moves across the island. More often they graze foothills with heavy clouds, increasing wind and high waves on the coast.


Mauritius is located on the African plate and is of volcanic origin. A distinction is made between three volcanic phases. An earliest phase began ten million years ago and ended five million years ago. A middle volcanic phase began 3.5 million years ago and ended 1.7 million years ago. A recent or current series began 700,000 years ago and extends at least until 20,000 years ago. The volcanism produced mainly basaltic lavas . The island of Rodrigues also consists of basaltic volcanic rocks, which radiometric determination of the age of 1.54 million years. On the southwest side of Rodriguez, the coral debris builds up to a height of 62 meters.


The highest mountain in Mauritius is the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 m . It is located in the Black River District in the Black River Mountain Range. It is followed by the two peaks of Pieter Both (820 m) and Le Pouce (811 m) of the Moka-Port-Louis chain.

Flora and fauna


As is often the case on isolated islands, the fauna of Mauritius is not very species-rich, but has a high proportion of endemic species.

Before the arrival of humans, there were no land-dwelling mammals other than bats . These bats include the now extinct Mascarene flying fox , the Mauritius grave bat and the Mascarene flying fox ( Pteropus niger ). To this day, however, other species of bats and fruit bats are native to the island. Because the Mascarene fruit bats allegedly damage the harvest of mangoes and lychees, the government decided in October 2015 to kill 20 percent of these fruit bats. Animal rights activists and the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN warned that this could lead the species to the brink of extinction.

Numerous species of animals were introduced by humans, including rats , mice , mongooses , the maned deer, and the crab monkey .

There are also over 100 bird species on Mauritius, in particular the endemic species are partly threatened or have already died out due to habitat changes and the introduced mammals. The best-known bird is the dodo ( Raphus cucullatus ), also represented in the island's coat of arms , which was exterminated around 1690. Other endemic species are the mascarene spectacled bird , the Mauritius falcon , the Mauritian parakeet and the rose pigeon . The Mauritius gray parakeet , the Mauritius goose , the Mauritius night heron , the Mauritius parrot , the Mauritius rail and the Mauritius duck are already extinct . Among other things, the Shepherd Maina , the Rotohrbülbül and the Sperbertaube were introduced .

As on many islands in the western Indian Ocean, there were giant tortoises (genus Cylindraspis ) on Mauritius ; but they were exterminated around 1800. The other reptiles mainly include geckos (including Günther's day gecko and ornament day gecko ) and skinks such as the Telfair skink . The rare Round Island Boa is endemic to the small island in the north that it bears.


Of the 670 species of flowering plants , around half are endemic. Large parts of the island were originally covered by tropical rainforest . The endemic mallow family Trochetia boutoniana is considered the national flower .

National parks, nature reserves, Ramsar areas

There are two larger national parks on the main island of Mauritius (as of 2020), and 8 neighboring islets have been declared an island national park ( Islet National Park ):

  • Île D'Ambre (128 hectares)
  • Ile aux Flamants (0.8 hectares)
  • Ile aux Fouquets (2.49 hectares)
  • Ile aux Fous (0.3 hectares)
  • Ile aux Oiseaux (0.7 hectares)
  • Ilot Vacoas (1.36 hectares)
  • Pigeon Rock (0.63 hectare)
  • Rocher aux Oiseaux (0.1 hectare)

Another 7 islands are designated as nature reserves:

On the territory of Mauritius, three areas are currently (2020) defined according to the Convention on Wetlands, in particular as habitats for waterbirds and waders, of international importance ( Ramsar Convention ):


The largest cities are (as of July 1, 2016):

  1. Port Louis : 148,870 inhabitants
  2. Vacoas-Phoenix : 106,253 inhabitants
  3. Beau Bassin-Rose Hill : 104,544 inhabitants
  4. Curepipe : 79,001 inhabitants
  5. Quatre Bornes : 77,492 inhabitants


Shiva monument Ganga Talao


Around two thirds (68%) of the population are Indo-Mauritians, i.e. they come from the Indian subcontinent . A large part of the rest of the population are so-called Creoles (27%, descendants of slaves from Africa and Madagascar , mixed with other groups, especially Europeans). A good 3% of the Mauritians are of Chinese descent as Sinomauritians. The white minority is somewhat smaller, around 2% of the population are Franco-Mauritians . There are no indigenous people, as Mauritius was uninhabited before colonization and was only occasionally visited by Arab sailors. In 2017, 2.3% of the population was born abroad.

Life expectancy in Mauritius between 2010 and 2015 was 74.1 years (men: 70.7 years, women: 77.7 years). Mauritius had the highest life expectancy of all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa . At the same time, it had the lowest birth rate with 1.5 children per woman.

year 1767 1787 1807 1830 1851 1871 1881 1891 1911 1931
population 18,777 40,439 77,768 96,945 180.823 316.042 359,874 370,558 368.791 393.238
Population pyramid Mauritius 2016
year 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2016 2019
population 493,000 660,000 826,000 966,000 1,056,000 1,185,000 1,248,000 1,262,000 1,270,000


Morisyen , a Creole language based on French , is used by almost the entire population in everyday life and is spoken by over 86.5% as their mother tongue (in 2000 it was 70.1%). Efforts are being made to give Morisyen official status. In addition, a mixture of North Indian languages and dialects is spoken, as well as Dravidian languages from South India, especially Tamil . The second most widely spoken language is Bhojpuri , which is similar to Hindi and is spoken by 5.3% of the population (12.1% in 2000). Some of the Chinese still speak different southern Chinese dialects. Another language is English (less than 1%), while French is still the mother tongue (4.1%) of the upper class, although the French have not ruled the country for over 200 years. The position of French is also strengthened by the related Morisyen. French dominates the mass media , while English and French can be found equally in public spaces. The official language of Parliament is English, but French can also be used.

Rodrigues is called Rodriguan Creole , the Agalega Islands Agalega Creole .

Since 2006 Mauritius has also had observer status in the community of Portuguese-speaking countries .


The most widespread religion is Hinduism , to which 48% of the population belong. For Christian approximately acknowledge 32.7% of the population, with 26.3% Catholic ( Bistum Port Louis and Apostolic Vicariate Rodrigues ) and about 6.4% other Christians ( Protestants ) are. Almost all of the 17.3% Muslim population are Sunni , even if there are a small number of politically and economically influential Shiites . The Bahá'ís make up a good 1% of the population. Buddhists make up only a small part of the population, and 0.7% do not belong to any religion. The vast majority of Hindus and Muslims are descended from Indian workers who were brought to the island by the British after the abolition of slavery and used on the sugar cane plantations.


The island was known to Arabs and Malays as early as the 10th century.

Portuguese period (1505–1598)

The island was discovered by Europeans in 1505 (other sources mention 1507 or 1510) by the Portuguese Pedro Mascarenhas . The name of the Mascarene archipelago (consisting of Mauritius, Rodrigues and Réunion ) still reminds of him today . However, the Portuguese only used the island as a base and not as a colony.

Dutch period (1598-1710)

Admiral Wybrand van Warwijck took possession of the island for Holland in 1598 and named it after Prince Moritz of Orange ( Netherlandish Maurits , Latin Mauritius ). From 1598 to 1710 Mauritius was owned by the Netherlands. It was only settled by the Dutch in 1638. France took possession of the neighboring islands of Rodrigues and Réunion in the same year . Numerous governors were installed as heads of the island, but many pressures and hardships such as cyclones , droughts , pests , food shortages and diseases took their toll and in 1710 Mauritius was finally abandoned by the Dutch. In the period that followed, pirates established themselves in Mauritius. They operated more and more brazenly in the Indian Ocean and caused considerable damage to merchant shipping. The trading power France intervened and fought against the well-organized piracy . The island was almost completely cleared and the animal populations (such as that of the dodos ) exterminated or severely decimated.

French period (1715-1810)

Rigobert Bonne : Isle de France (1791)

In 1715 the island was conquered by the French who renamed the island "Île de France". Mahé de Labourdonnais was governor of Mauritius from 1734 to 1746 and founded Port Louis in 1735, where he established the governor's seat. The island was owned by the French East India Company until it went bankrupt in 1767 . She had sugar cane plantations built and managed by slaves from East Africa and Madagascar. From 1767 the island was a French crown colony .

British period (1810-1968)

In 1810 the British under Commodore Josias Rowley occupied the island after a successful campaign - the so-called Mauritius campaign - against France and renamed it Mauritius again. Rodrigues also fell permanently into British hands, while Réunion, which had also been conquered, was returned to France after the war. From 1814 Mauritius was a British crown colony and part of the British Empire . The British occupiers had little influence on events and conditions on the island. Many French influences were therefore retained, such as Napoleon's civil code and the French language .

Under the British, however, mass immigration from India began in the 19th century after the British colonial power had banned slavery from 1835 and the majority of the released slaves were no longer willing to work for the colonial masters in the fields. From 1871, when the Indians working on the plantations had reached sixty percent of the population, a ban on immigration was imposed on so-called “contract workers”.

Because of monocultures the economy on the island from development of was sugar cane - world market price vary much. The crisis in the sugar cane industry in Mauritius at the end of the 19th century caused a large part of its population to emigrate.

Despite British rule that lasted more than 150 years, the population has remained French to this day due to the origins of the ruling upper class.

In the British island colony of Mauritius, representation had been limited to the elite until the 1947 constitution extended the right to vote to all women and men over the age of 21 who could read and write. This introduced women's suffrage . A new constitution in 1959 introduced universal suffrage for adults.

The British Colonial Office interned Jewish refugees from the Shoah who had traveled on the Atlantic ship from 1940 to 1945 in a former Napoleonic prison in the Beau Bassin , a few kilometers south of Port Louis .

Independence since March 12, 1968

Chapel "Notre Dame Auxiliatrice" at Cap Malheureux
Mauritius' east coast
View from the sea to the island

From 1958, Great Britain prepared Mauritius together with Rodrigues for its independence. Universal suffrage and political autonomy were granted. After 150 years of British rule, Mauritius became independent on March 12, 1968 and joined the Commonwealth . The women's suffrage was confirmed.

The first prime minister became the leader of the Labor Party, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam , who ruled Mauritius for the first 14 years of its independence.

On March 12, 1992 Mauritius became a republic after the introduction of a new constitution .

From 1995 to 2000 and from 2005 to 2014 Seewoosagur Ramgoolam's son Navin Ramgoolam was Prime Minister.


Political system

Representative democracy

Since independence, Mauritius has been one of the few stable representative democracies in Africa with free elections and guarantees for human rights within the state. In the 2019 Democracy Index, Mauritius ranks 18th out of 167 countries, making the country a “complete democracy”.

National Assembly

The National Assembly of Mauritius consists of a minimum of 62 and a maximum of 70 members. These are elected every five years in the 21 constituencies . Each district has three MPs, with the exception of Rodrigues, which has two. The remaining eight are the “best losers” of all districts, which must belong to certain ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the “normal” election results. The usefulness of the Best Loser System , which is based on a census from the 1970s, is controversial and could be deleted in the course of a discussed electoral reform.


The head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament after the elections. He elects the prime minister from among the members of parliament, who heads the government and proposes candidates for the individual ministerial offices, who in turn are appointed by the president. Prithvirajsing Roopun has been President since 2019 . His predecessor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim had held the post since 2015 and resigned in March 2018 after a corruption scandal. This was followed by Barlen Vyapoory until 2019 and Eddy Balancy until Roopun took over the office as interim president.

Prime Minister has been Pravind Jugnauth since January 2017 .

Parties / government

The Mauritian Labor Party (MLP) ruled consistently from 1947 to 1982 either alone or in a coalition. The alliance of the Mauritian Militant Movement and the Mauritian Socialist Party (MMM / PSM) won the 1982 elections and was awarded all 60 seats. 1983 politicians defected from the MMM to the PSM and united to form the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) and formed a majority in the coalition with the MLP.

In July 1990 the MSM merged with the MMM and they won 59 of the 62 directly elected seats in parliament in the September 1991 elections. In December 1995 the MLP won again, this time in coalition with the MMM. After Prime Minister Ramgoolam of the MLP excluded the coalition partner MMM from government affairs in 1997, the MLP continued to rule alone with the help of small parties.

In 2000, the coalition of MMM and MSM won the national elections. Despite disputes between the two parties, they again ran together in the elections in July 2005 against the Social Alliance led by the MLP. The Social Alliance was able to achieve an outstanding victory - with 42 seats won.

Human rights

The human rights situation is good within the framework of the stable Mauritian democracy, but the national human rights commission detects occasional violations of human rights by the police. The criminal justice system works slowly. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are guaranteed.

According to the US State Department , the Mauritius government generally respects the human rights of its citizens. However, a few human rights issues were criticized: torture and ill-treatment of suspects and prisoners by security forces, overcrowded prisons, harassment and intimidation of journalists, violence and discrimination against women, abuse and sexual exploitation of children, discrimination against people with HIV / AIDS and from sexual minorities, restrictions on workers' rights, anti-union discrimination, forced labor (including children) and child labor in general. According to estimates by the International Labor Organization (ILO), around 1.4% of children between the ages of 10 and 14 were working in 2002.

According to the "Press Freedom Index 2011–2012" by Reporters Without Borders , an international non-governmental organization that safeguards press freedom, Mauritius is currently in 54th place, along with Hong Kong and Samoa .

Homosexual acts are prohibited by law in Mauritius. The “Morality Article” 250 provides for up to five years in prison for same-sex sexual contacts. However, the law rarely applies to consensual acts between adults. The Spartacus International Gay Guide, however, warns of the risk and generally recommends "inconspicuous behavior".

Administrative division

Nine districts:

The island of Mauritius is traditionally divided into nine districts:

Port Louis Skyline (2006)

For each district a first-instance district court's (District Court) set. In addition, the districts primarily serve statistical purposes.

Savanne (Distrikt) Grand Port Black River (Mauritius) Port Louis (Distrikt) Pamplemousses (Distrikt) Plaines Wilhems Moka (Distrikt) Flacq Rivière du Rempart (Distrikt)
The nine districts of Mauritius
district District capital Area in km² Residents Population density in inhabitants / km²
Black River Bambous 259.0 80,939 310
Flacq Center de Flacq 297.9 138,460 460
Grand Port Mahébourg 260.3 112.997 430
Moka Quartier Militaire 230.5 83,251 360
Pamplemousses Triolet 178.7 139.966 780
Plaines Wilhems Beau Bassin-Rose Hill 203.3 368,621 1800
Port Louis Port Louis 42.7 119,706 2800
Rivière du Rempart Mapou 147.6 108.005 730
savannah Souillac 244.8 63,585 280

Local administration

Local government is fundamentally regulated by the Local Government Act of December 15, 2011 . This sees the breakdown of the island of Mauritius in

The self-governing districts bear the names of the traditional districts (except Port Louis and Plaines Wilhems), but are not completely congruent with these. For example, the village of Midlands from the Plaines Wilhems district is assigned to the Grand Port self-government district.

In detail, the following villages are assigned to the districts for local self-government:

  • Black River: Albion, Bambous, Cascavelle, Case Noyale, Chamarel, Flic en Flac, Grande Rivière Noire, Gros Cailloux, La Gaulette, Le Morne, Petite Rivière, Richelieu, Tamarin
  • Flacq: Bel Air (Rivière Sèche), Bon Accueil, Bramsthan, Brisée Verdiére, Camp de Masque, Camp de Masque Pavé, Camp Ithier, Center de Flacq, Clemencia, Ecroignard, Grand River South East, Grande Retraite, Lalmatie, Laventure, Mare La Chaux, Médine (Camp de Masque), Olivia, Poste de Flacq, Quatre Cocos, Queen Victoria, Saint Julien, Sebastopol, Trou d'Eau Douce
  • Grand Port: Bambous Virieux, Bananes, Beau Vallon, Bois des Amourettes, Camp Carol, Cluny, Grand Bel Air, Grand Sable, Mahebourg, Mare d'Albert, Mare Tabac, Midlands, New Grove, Nouvelle France, Old Grand Port, Petit Bel Air, Plaine Magnien, Quatre Soeurs, Rivière des Créoles, Rose Belle, Saint Hubert, Seizième Mille, Trois Boutiques (Union Vale), Union Park
  • Moka: Camp Thorel, Dagotière, Dubreuil, Espérance, L'Avenir, La Laura-Malenga, Melrose, Moka, Montagne Blanche, Nouvelle Découverte, Providence, Quartier Militaire, Ripailles, Saint Julien d'Hotman, Saint Pierre, Verdun
  • Pamplemousses: Arsenal, Baie du Tombeau, Calebasses, Congomah, Crève Coeur, D'Epinay, Fond du Sac, Le Hochet, Long Mountain, Morcellement Saint André, Notre Dame, Pamplemousses, Plaine des Papayes, Pointe aux Piments, Terre Rouge, Triolet , Trou aux Biches, Ville Bague
  • Rivière du Rempart: Amaury, Amitié-Gokhoola, Belle Vue Maurel, Cap Malheureux, Cottage, Espérance Trébuchet, Goodlands, Grand Baie, Grand Gaube, Mapou, Petit Raffray, Piton, Plaine des Roches, Poudre d'Or, Poudre d'Or Hamlet, Rivière du Rempart, Roche Terre, Roches Noires, The Vale
  • Savannah: Baie du Cap, Bel Ombre, Bénarès, Bois Chéri, Britannia, Camp Diable, Chamouny, Chemin Grenier, Grand Bois, L'Escalier, La Flora, Rivière des Anguilles, Rivière du Poste, Saint Aubin, Souillac, Suriname, Tyack


The seven-colored earth in the southwest near Chamarel


The stable political situation on the island after independence attracted large numbers of foreign investors , which brought Mauritius one of the highest per capita incomes in Africa. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Mauritius ranks 45th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2020, the country was ranked 21st out of 180 countries in the Index for Economic Freedom . This makes the country one of the most economically liberal in Africa. In recent years, natural disasters and falling sugar prices have slowed economic growth significantly, leading to protests over the standard of living of the predominantly Creole population. The cane sugar , which is grown on almost 90% of the cultivated area, is one of the main sources of work in Mauritius, but only accounts for 2.2% of the gross domestic product . For a long time, an agreement concluded with the European Union secured prices for sugar cane farmers that were recently 36% above the world market level. This privilege was successively reduced between 2006 and 2015. The textile industry, an important branch of the economy, has also come under pressure due to limited export quotas. Another important factor is tourism, in 2008 around 930,000 visitors came, including around 62,500 from Germany.

Since gaining independence in 1968 Mauritius has been one of the 25 or so states without a military . The former military airfield in the southeast of the island was therefore converted into a civil international airport and named after the Governor General Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport . The airport is also the home airport of the state-owned Air Mauritius .

Mauritius is a member of the African Union as well as COMESA and SADC . Mauritius has been cooperating with France and the neighboring island states since 1984 in the Indian Ocean Commission .

The unemployment rate is given as 6.9% in 2017. Youth unemployment is estimated at 23.3%.

On January 28, 2016, the EU Commission presented a package of measures to combat tax evasion , including Mauritius on the black list of tax havens .

After the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International Mauritius in 2017 was of 176 countries, along with Italy and Slovakia on the 54th place, with 50 out of a maximum 100 points.

Key figures

All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
1.88 billion 3.04 billion 5.13 billion 7.35 billion 10.50 billion 13.88 billion 14.95 billion 16.25 billion 17.48 billion 18.15 billion 19.13 billion 20.28 billion 21.32 billion 22.35 billion 23.58 billion 24.67 billion 25.96 billion 27.45 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
1,945 2.983 4,848 6,549 8,848 11,298 12.114 13,109 14.052 14,552 15,297 16,194 16,977 17,762 18,698 19,537 20,542 21,640
GDP growth
−10.1% 6.9% 7.2% 4.3% 8.2% 1.4% 4.5% 5.9% 5.5% 3.0% 4.1% 3.9% 3.2% 3.2% 3.6% 3.5% 3.9% 3.9%
(in percent)
33.0% 8.3% 10.7% 6.0% 4.2% 4.9% 8.9% 8.8% 9.7% 2.5% 2.9% 6.5% 3.9% 3.5% 3.2% 1.3% 3.7% 5.1%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
... ... ... ... 43% 51% 48% 45% 43% 51% 52% 52% 51% 54% 58% 60% 60% 60%


Left-hand traffic in Mauritius is a remnant of the English colonial era. Most of the traffic in Mauritius is carried out on the 1,600 km long road network, most of which is paved. However, many streets are narrow and some are also dilapidated. The main connection from north to south is the M2, a kind of motorway, from the small seaside resort of Grand Baie via the capital Port Louis to the international airport in Grand Port .

Main article: Rail transport in Mauritius

With the award of the construction contract for the Metro-Express at the end of July 2017, efficient rail passenger transport is to be set up in the capital region by September 2021 . The 26-kilometer route will connect the cities of Curepipe , Vacoas, Quatre-Bornes, Rose-Hill and Port Louis. The opening of the first section from Rose-Hill to Port Louis is planned for September 2019.

There is a dense network of bus routes on the island, which run regularly, but progress very slowly due to the many bus stops. A few long-distance connections move faster. The security standard in Mauritius stipulates that the bus can only transport as many people as there are seats. At peak times, large taxis are often waiting at the stops in order to transport guests together faster and more comfortably.

Taxis are quite inexpensive and are often booked by tourists for day trips as the taxi drivers know the sights well.

There are daily flights to the island of Rodrigues .

Structural change

Before independence, the economy was almost entirely dependent on sugar cane cultivation. In the meantime there is also an industrial, banking and tourism sector , which led to the relatively high standard of living. Gemstone cutting , in particular, has developed into an important branch of industry. The unselected in July 2005 government wanted to Mauritius at a cyber Iceland and destination of outsourcing make.

Product piracy

As in many holiday destinations, tourists are offered imitation branded clothing in many places. Often the shops are limited to simple T-shirts and polo shirts and the printing or embroidery of these with well-known brand names. However, there are also large, official-looking shops in all metropolitan areas that sell counterfeit branded items in large quantities and in all available sizes and colors. This is allowed in Mauritius as long as the rights holders have not registered their trademarks and designs locally with both the Intellectual Property Office and customs. Due to the small size of the island, of course, very few companies are willing to take on this bureaucratic effort, so that the sale of counterfeit branded clothing is hardly stopped on the island.


State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditure of the equivalent of 2.9 billion US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 2.4 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 3.9% of GDP .
The national debt was 62.7% of GDP in 2016.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:


The colonial past is also reflected in the culture. In all areas there is a mixture of the influences of the two colonial powers as well as Africa and Asia.


The culinary map of Mauritius contains elements from France , India , China and the Creoles.

Postage stamps

Mauritius is also famous for its postage stamps , the Red and Blue Mauritius (known in English as the “Red Penny” and the “Blue Penny”). They were printed in 1847 when Mauritius became the fifth country on earth to start using postage stamps. Today they are very rare and therefore very valuable.


European music first came to the island with the Dutch colonists in the 17th century. In the travel reports of seafarers and in the letters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) there are sparse reports about songs and dances of the slaves from this period. Although the settlements of the Dutch were small, there appear to have been certain public musical performances that also attracted outside visitors, including pirates. The escaped slaves ( Maroons ), who lived in semi-nomadic groups in the interior of the country, cultivated musical forms from which the Sega dance music style arose.

During the French period, a European classical music culture developed alongside military music. At the beginning of the 18th century, the Sega had spread across the island from the Maroons to the slaves working in the plantations and was performed in secret at night by the light of a fire. Around 1730 the nocturnal Sega dances had become the standard instrumental accompaniment with the frame drum ravanne , the raft zither maravanne and a triangle , which is still common today .

A well-known Sega group by the name of Cassiya was founded in 1988. In addition to the African musical traditions, there are influences from Indian and Chinese music as well as a western pop and rock music scene. A popular Mauritian-Indian band called the Bhojpuri Boys and sings songs in the Bhojpuri language . One of the most famous Mauritian pop singers is Linzy Bacbotte. Devout Muslims practice originating from South Asia Genre na`at . These are price songs for the Prophet Mohammed , in which no musical instruments are permitted.

The oldest opera house in the southern hemisphere is in Port Louis, built around 1820. This means that Mauritius already has a long operatic tradition that was lost in the second half of the 19th century. The building is currently not playable. However, since 2009 there have been efforts to revive the opera scene in Mauritius. The entrepreneur Paul Olsen, the singer Katrin Caine and the conductor Martin Wettges are committed to this. The Berlin Friends of Opera Mauritius eV association supports music education and the implementation of opera productions in Mauritius as well as the restoration of the opera building. The Mauritian association Friends of OperArts promotes the next generation and organizes concerts. There are now several choirs, including the adult choir Cantiamo! and the children's choirs Rainbow Voices directed by Katrin Caine, the L'Ensemble 415 and the music kindergarten Vent D'un Rêve.

So far there have been the following opera productions since 2009: Carmen (2010), Hansel and Gretel (2011), La Traviata (2012), Dido and Aeneas (2013), Orphée aux Enfers (2014,) and the last one was Franz Lehár's operetta in October 2018 La Veuve joyeuse listed.

The Conservatoire François Mitterrand has existed in Mauritius since 1987 . In 2017, the Indian Ocean Symphonic Orkestra (IOSO) was founded, an association of musicians from La Réunion, Mauritius and Madagascar. This expresses a musical exchange that is already taking place on other (musical) levels between the islands.

Cultural monuments


The island offers a wide range of sports for both locals and tourists. The geographical conditions favor mountain hiking , diving, snorkeling, fishing , hunting, sailing , surfing and kite surfing .

Mauritius has already hosted the African Athletics Championships twice . The Mauritius Speedminton Open has also been held in Port Louis every November since 2010 . In cycling, the results of the Tour de Maurice attract international attention.

The Mauritian national soccer team has played international matches since 1947.

The rich coral reefs of Mauritius attract many divers and snorkelers . Mauritius is known for its giant moray eels and a wide variety of mussels and water snails .

From June to August the wind statistics for the kite spots promise 85% glide wind over 4 Beaufort, the average water and air temperature is 25 ° C. The spot at Le Morne offers a very large flat water and standing area due to the reef lying far in the sea in the Ladicke enclosed by it.

The Champ de Mars in Port Louis is the oldest horse racing track in the southern hemisphere .


Sons and daughters:

Persons with relationship to Mauritius:


Sunset from the Trou au Cerf crater
Sugar cane and volcanic stones
Sugar cane fields at Center de Flacq
Landscape at Long Mountain
Sugar cane on the coast near Roches Noir
Road around the Baie du Cap
Botanical garden in Pamplemousse


Sunset at Grand Baie
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  • Hermann Mückler: Struggle for Unity and Identity - Creole Culture in Mauritius. Notes on the history, ethnicity and political position of an ethnic minority . In: Werner Zips (Ed.): African Diaspora: out of Africa. Series Africa and its Diaspora . tape 1 . LIT, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-8258-3971-0 , p. 151-172 .
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Web links

Commons : Mauritius  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Mauritius  - geographical and historical maps
Wiktionary: Mauritius  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Mauritius  travel guide

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Coordinates: 20 °  S , 58 °  E