Interesting Facts About the Island of Mauritius
Decorated with several nicknames like 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean' and 'Star of the Indian Ocean', The Republic of Mauritius as it is officially known is, easily one of the most sought after holiday destinations of the world. There are indeed many reasons which give Mauritius this pride of place among dream vacation spots but the most obvious ones are its breathtaking and natural beauty, safe beaches, gentle seas and mild tropical climate combined with Mauritian hospitality. These make it a year round destination that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Although geographically it is 1200 miles away, Mauritius is officially a part of Africa. The location of this Island Country in the South West Indian Ocean about 900 kilometres east of Madagascar makes it just as accessible from India too. Diversifying sugarcane farming with manufacturing and tourism strengthens the nation which is a blend of Africans, Indians, Europeans, and Chinese and also enjoys the continent's highest per capita income.
Mauritius forms part of the Mascarene Islands together with Rodrigues and Reunion. All three were formed by undersea volcanic eruptions. Mauritius and Rodrigues were formed around 10 million years ago and are now volcanically inactive. The volcanic main island is ringed by coral reefs. There are some twenty smaller islands as well that were ruled by the Dutch, French and the British in turns and today carry the imprint of varied cultures in their population as well as lifestyle.
Port Louis, the modern capital of this 38-mile by 29-mile island, is a bustling port with a revitalized waterfront and busy market. Most visitors however tend to gravitate towards the resort areas such as Mont Choisy. The bustling Flic en Flac area is popular with scuba divers. Rivière Noire is ideal for those eager to do deep-sea fishing. Some other important towns over the island are Curepipe, Quatre Bornes, Rose Hill, Vacoas, and Phoenix among others.
Mauritius was also home to a previously unknown species of bird, which the Portuguese named the Dodo. The slow breeding Dodo population was eventually destroyed. Nevertheless, the Dodo is prominently featured on the national coat-of-arms.
Sega, the local folklore music which has African roots is also unique to Mauritus. The traditional instruments for producing the music are goat-skin percussion instruments called ravane and metallic clicks using metal triangles. Men usually play the instruments while women perform an accompanying dance. Tourists throng to sea Sega shows that are regularly hosted in the coastal hotels.
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