Almost 9.500 kilometers as the crow flies and a twelve-hour flight time separate Düsseldorf and the autonomous island republic of Mauritius. The 1.865 km² island is located in the Indian Ocean, around 800 km east of Madagascar. The country of Mauritius also includes the 580 km² island of Rodrigues, 108 km away, as well as some other islets. Like the French overseas territory of La Réunion, Mauritius is assigned to the Mascarene Islands.
Mauritius - Black River Gorges National Park
Mauritius - the distant island paradise
According to official information, almost 1,3 million tourists visited the tropical holiday destination in 2019. The archipelago created by volcanism offers its visitors overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes. In the interior of the island, a 67 km² large, well-developed national park invites you to go hiking. The 200 km long coastline offers long, white sandy beaches. The coral reefs that almost surround the island are ideal for divers and snorkelers. You won't find any large hotels in Mauritius, the island has so far been spared from mass tourism. To the delight of cruisers, the island also serves as a cruise destination every now and then.Mauritius - coastline with the Ile aux Benitiers
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese Pedro de Mascarenas discovered the Mascarene Islands. Mauritius was first settled by the Dutch towards the end of the 16th century. They named the island after its governor Prince Moritz (Maurice) von Nassau.
Mauritius - symbol of British rule
After a little over a hundred years, the Dutch gave up Mauritius and France fell to sovereignty over the island in 1715. In 1810 Mauritius finally passed to the English crown. The slavery practiced under French rule ended in 1835. The slaves left, but work on the sugar cane plantations remained. Contract workers from India and China replaced the slaves. The Aapravas Ghat transit camp in Port Louis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, bears witness to the island's history of immigration. The last important date in the island's chronicle marks the achievement of independence in 1968.
Mauritius - Port Louis - Former workers' camp Aapravas Ghat
The country's population is given as 1,3 million. More than half of the population are of Indian descent. The port city of Port Louis in the west of Mauritius is the country's political, economic and social center. More than 150.000 people live in the bustling capital.
Mauritius - center of Port Louis
Port Louis is extremely attractive to tourists. The city is clean, tidy and clear.
Mauritius - Port Louis - Place d'Armes
In the cityscape, the remarkably large commercial buildings of financial companies, which do not do justice to the international and economic importance of the country, stand out. There is a reason for this: Mauritius is considered a tax haven. The EU Commission put the republic on the black list of tax havens in 2016. A well-known Swiss lawyer even rates Mauritius as the “Panama of Asia”. Other real economic sectors are the cultivation of cane sugar, the production of wood and paper products, the manufacture of textiles and tourism.
Mauritius - Port Louis - Modern commercial buildings
Cruise ship guests boarding and disembarking in Port Louis should take enough time to see some of the city and island highlights. We report on this in detail at: Mauritius sightseeing.
Update March 2021