About Mauritius
Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 900 kilometers (560 mi) east of Madagascar and about 3,943 kilometers (2,450 mi) southwest of India. It is a volcanic Island and covers an area of 1,865 square kilometres (720 sq mi). Surrounded by coral reefs except the southern regions, Mauritius has one of the most beautiful lagoons and beaches among the tropical Islands. The average temperature during day time is 25° C (75° F) and rarely under 13° C (62° F) at night. There are two seasons. Summer is normally hot from November to April and winter is usually warm from May to October.
Mauritius has a population of about 1.2 million with a unique blend of different races, cultures and religions. People of European, African, Indian and Chinese origins have created a multiracial society where the various cultures and traditions flourish in peace and harmony. Even though the official language of Mauritius is English, most Mauritian speaks French and the native language is Creole. Some people are proficient in other oriental languages apart from German and Italian. The music of Mauritius, the Sega Dance (pronounced Saygah) is a dance which originated from the ritual music of Madagascar and the mainland of Africa, and it is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian Way of Life: Joy, Carefree and Lively.
The Dodo Bird unique to Mauritius lived undisturbed till the Portuguese set foot on the Island in 1505. The bird having lost its need and ability to fly became an easy source of fresh meat for the sailors of the ships that stopped over at the Mauritius. The Dodo, which is now extinct, was a metre-high and lived on fruit and nested on the ground.

Mauritius Map Dodo Bird - Mauritius
Background: Oceania, archipelagoes in the South Pacific Ocean about half way between South America and AustraliaDiscovered by the Portuguese in 1505, Mauritius was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa 's highest per capita incomes.
Location:

Southern Africa, Island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Area:

total: 2,040 sq km
land: 2,030 sq km
water: 10 sq km
note: includes Agalega Islands , Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues
Coastline:

177 km
Natural hazards: Occasional cyclonic storms in January
Climate: tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
Terrain:

small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
Natural resources:

arable land, fish
Land use: arable land: 49.26%
permanent crops: 2.96%
other: 47.78% (2001)
Natural hazards: cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Health No vaccinations are required. However a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over 1 year old who arrive from areas where yellow fever cases are reported

Medical services

Free public medical facilities are widely available. Private clinics providing medical services for a fee are also available.

GDP by sector: agriculture: 3.1%
industry: 19%
services: 77.8% (2005)
Geography - note:

the main Island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs
Electricity: 220 volts and 60 cycles with French style two-pin sockets so adapters are normally required for U.S. 110 volt appliances.
Currency (code): Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 87.59 (2007), 94.97 (2006), 95.89 (2005), 96.04 (2004), 105.66 (2003)
note: pegged at the rate of 119.25 XPF to the euro
Culture

Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. The population consists of Hindus, Creole, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans
Population:

1,230,602 (July 2005 est.)
Ethnic groups:

Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Religions:

Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, other Christian 8.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)
Languages: Most people speak both French and English. Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4% (official), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.6%
male: 88.6%
female: 82.7% (2003 est.)
Government type:

Parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model and enjoys political stability
Capital:

Port-Louis
Administrative divisions: 9 districts and 3 dependencies*; Agalega Islands *, Black River, Cargados Carajos Shoals*, Flacq, Grand Port , Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis , Riviere du Rempart, Rodrigues*, Savanne
Independence :

12 March 1968 (from UK )
Legal system:

based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas
Driving

People in Mauritius drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right. Foreigners with a driving licence issued by a Competent Authority in their respective countries are allowed to drive during their stay in Mauritius
Economy - overview:

The Mauritian economy is based on four sectors: Textile, Tourism, Sugar and Services. Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 7.6%
industry: 30%
services: 62.4% (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
Industries: food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing; chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery; tourism
Electricity

220 volts

Visa & entry requirements Visitors are required to have a valid passport and a return or onward ticket. A visitor’s visa is normally granted for a period of two weeks to one month upon arrival, to almost all holders of a valid passport, with one or two exceptions, e.g. EU. Visitors are strongly recommended to contact the Passport and Immigration Office in Mauritius or the nearest Mauritian Embassy or Consulate. The visa can be extended upon request at the Passport and Immigration Office, Sterling House, 11-19 Lislet Geoffroy Street , Port-Louis, Tel : (230) 210-9312 to 210-9317 Fax (230) 210-9322

Banking hours

Monday to Thursday : 9.15 am -3.15 pm; Friday: 9.15 am -3.30 pm; Saturday :9.15 am -11.15 am

Currency (code):

Mauritian rupee ( MUR )
Credit Cards

Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops

Sales Tax

A value added tax (VAT) of 15% is payable on goods and services including hotel and restaurant bills

Emergency
Police & ambulance :999, Police : 208-7018/20;  Fire : 995; Samu (ambulance): 114