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Situated in the Indian Ocean at about 2,000 kilometers off the southeast coast of the African continent, Mauritius is a gem. Discovered by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages, and named Dina Arobi then by Portuguese sailors who then named is Ilha do Cirne.
In 1507 The Portuguese were the first to establish a base on the uninhabited island. The Portuguese however, didn’t stay long on the island as they didn’t find any interest in it.
The Dutch came in 1598 and name the island Mauritius in reference to Prince Maurice van Nassau of the Dutch republic. The Dutch then set a colony on the island in 1638 with the aim to exploit is resources such as ebony tree, and introduce deer and sugar canes. Those exploitation didn’t yield enough return and the Dutch decide to quit the island in 1710.
The French who already occupied nearby island, Ile Bourbon (called Reunion nowadays), took control of the island in 1715 and renamed it Isle de France. France occupied the island for nearly 100 years, and left many evidences of their occupation of the island such as cities still baring French names, the Chateau Mon Plaisir, the Line Barack which is still the headquarter of the police force or the French language which is still spoken by the majority of the population.
In 1810, during the Napoleonic War, a Royal Navy expedition sent to take possession of the island came out successful and the Island’s name reverted to Mauritius. While the island was now under British occupancy, settlers were allowed to keep their land and property as well as the use of the French language and law of France in criminal and civil situation.
The British occupation shaped the future of the island in many ways. The abolition of slavery led the planters to bring half a million indentured Indian laborers between 1834 and 1921 to work on sugar estates, factories, on construction site and in transport. This explains why around 68% of the population come from Indian descendant. The independence of Mauritius came from Harold Macmillan after Winds of Change speech in 1959 where he acknowledged that the best option for Britain was to give complete independence to its colonies.
The Lancaster Conference of 1965 made those intention clearer and on the 12th of March 1968 Mauritius became an independent nation. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became the first prime minister with Queen Elizabeth II head of state. On the 12th March 1992, Mauritius was proclaimed a republic within the Commonwealth on Nations.
During your stay you may wish to discover the hidden treasure of the island and we are here to help you do so. Have a look to the different activities and excursions recommendations, find what sparks your interest and let us know. We will happily organized everything for you.