The Republic of Mauritius consists of the main island situated 800km (500mi) east of Madagascar, Rodrigues and several small islands.

The main island, fringed with coral reefs, rises to a high lava plateau. The climate is tropical with heavy rains in winter.

French from 1715 and British from 1810, the territory gained independence as a constitutional monarchy in 1992. The islands suffer tensions between the Indian majority, who are descended from contract workers brought in after the end of slavery in 1834 and the Creole minority.

Sugar-cane plantations cover extensive areas of Mauritius and, although the sugar industry has declined, sugar is still exported. Tea and tobacco are also grown. The expansion of textiles and clothing, together with growth in tourism, have to some extent offset the decline in sugar, although Mauritius remains heavily in debt.

  • Grand Bay

    Name: Grand Bay Location: Mauritius What’s it like?    Grand Bay (Grand Baie) is probably the most popular beach on the island, although it is sometimes considered to be a little seedy with its numerous bars and […]