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Mauritius Facts

Political Climate
Mauritius became a republic on March 12, 1992. The most immediate result was that a Mauritian-born president became head of state, replacing Queen Elizabeth II. Under the amended constitution, political power remained with parliament. The Council of Ministers (cabinet), responsible for the direction and control of the government, consists of the prime minister (head of government), the leader of the majority party in the legislature, and about 20 ministries.

Geography
With Reunion, the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues constitute the archipelago of the Madagascan isles. All three are situated slightly above the Tropic of Capricornm southweast of Madagascar. Mauritius covers a total are of 720 square miles and is of volcanic origin rising out of the sea and forming a central highland about 600 meters. Mountain ranges are scattered around the highland reaching barely 1000 meters. The northern landscape is flat and all is surrounded by azure seas and coral beds.

Capital
Port Louis

Languages
Apart from Creole, French and English, seven language of oriental origin are spoken in Mauritius including Hindu. The official language is English and the main cultural language is French, with Creole being the language of the people.

Currency
The official currency is the Mauritius rupee (Rs) split up into 100 cents. Bank notes to the value of 1000 / 500 / 200 / 100 / 50 / 10 / and 5 rupees are issued. There are coins to the value of 5 and 1 rupee and of 50,20 and 5 cents. Exchange rates are listed daily in the banks. International credit cards are widely accepted.

Banks
Banks are open from Monday to Friday 9:30am until 2:30pm and on Saturdays from 9:30am until 11:30am. The most important banks keep an exchange counter open after closing time.

People & Population
The population of Mauritius is a mosaic of races coming from Europe, Africa, Asia and Madagascar, many of whom have held onto their own customs and cultures, which makes Mauritius a true ethnic microcosm. Over one million people reside on Mauritius.

Entry Requirements
Visitors must be in possession of 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.

Health
No vaccinations are required. However a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over 1 year of age who arrive from areas where yellow fever cases are reported.

Communications
Mauritius is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and three hours ahead (2 hours in summer) of mid-European Time. Mauritius has international direct dialing facilities to most parts of the world as well as high speed fax and internet services.

Climate and Best Time to Travel
Swept by tradewinds this tropical island is subject to cyclones which occur from end of November to March. The hottest time of the year is January – March with temperatures ranging 26-30C / 75-80F and the Coolest from July to September 20-25C / 68-75F.

Electricity
220 volts

For more information about Mauritius: www.mauritius.net