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Known officially as the Republic of Mauritius, this island nation is located off the southeast coast of the African continent in the Indian Ocean. It is a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches with coral reefs. Mauritius was discovered by the Arabs in the 10th century, and was officially explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Dutch settled it in the 17th century  and named the island in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU. It was subsequently held by the French and British. Independence was attained in 1968. Today it has diversified a economy and has earned one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes. It is a densely populated island of around 1.2 million people. It has a reputation for stability and racial harmony among its mixed population, a stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record. Most Mauritians are bilingual, speaking French and English. English is the official language, but French and Creole are widely spoken. Oriental languages also form part of the linguistic mosaic.

Photo by Rob Howes

I took this photo in Mauritius, a small island off the coast of Madagascar in the South China Sea. Because of its location near the tropics, the sunsets are spectacular.

Questions? Contact Rob Howes at gonzorob@cox.net.

Wichita
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77 °
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