Named in honour of the Dutch prince Maurice van Nassau, the country has a land mass of 1,866 square kilometres, with a maximum length of 65 kilometres and a maximum width of 45 kilometres. Its population amounts to 1.3 million people and the capital city is Port-Louis.
The Republic of Mauritius, as it is known since 1992, is the most prosperous nation of the Indian Ocean islands and one of the most thriving in the African continent. One of the secrets of the country's success is the development of high-end tourism resorts integrated in the environment.
With a stable political system, an economy that has experienced constant growth for the past 25 years and a strategic location in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has become a privileged destination for foreign investors. With the introduction of a legal framework for Integrated Resorts Schemes (known as IRS), the country has become the heartthrob of wealthy foreigners in search of an outstanding lifestyle.
English is the official language, but French and Creole are commonly used. A large number of hotel staff speaks German, Italian and Spanish. The literacy rate hovers above 90%.
Mauritius derives its natural charm from the combination of different cultures and religions. The population is composed of Hindus, Creoles, Sino-Mauritians, Muslims and people of European descent.
Coastal temperatures vary between 22°C in winter and 34°C in summer. Sea temperature fluctuates between 22°C and 37°C. On the central plateau (high lands), temperatures range from 19°C in August to 26°C in February. The western regions and the North are warmer and relatively drier than the East and the South.
The local currency is the rupee (MRU).