Top 10 facts about Mauritius
Mauritius is a very small island nation in the Indian Ocean. A long time ago, the island of the same name was completely uninhabited, until Dutch sailors discovered it in the 16th century, and only in the 18th century, during the French colonization, did the island begin to settle down and take on a more or less residential look.
Over time, in addition to this island, the Republic of Mauritius included other neighboring islands: the islands of Rodrigues, Agagela, and many tiny pieces of land nearby. Today it is not the most developed country from an economic point of view, but an attractive tourist spot.
Geography and population
Mauritius belongs to the group of South African states. These are islands of volcanic origin, the main of which has a mountainous and hilly relief, turning into a plateau along the edges. There are no problems with water resources on it: numerous streams and waterfalls cut through the area. The area of the island of Mauritius is only about 1865 km2.
Located in the intertropical zone, the island has a humid tropical climate, with almost constant and high temperatures (26-27°C), especially in the coastal zone. Rains prevail during the summer season (October to April). There are numerous and short streams, the flow of which varies depending on the frequency and intensity of rains. Expanded eucalyptus and coniferous forests, as well as several palms such as the traveler's tree, as a result of intensive reforestation (forest covers about 30% of the territory); some animal species, such as flightless birds, have now disappeared.
The climate is tropical, during the year the air temperature does not fall below +22°C. Please note that due to the geographical position of the island, winter and summer are opposite to European ones: the warmest months are in the period December-April, and the colder months are in May-November. There are typhoons and periodic rains in the interior of the island.
Uninhabited at the time of the arrival of the first Europeans (Portuguese), the island was later colonized by the Dutch, French and British. The modern ethnic composition of the population is influenced by historical events: these are Hindus, once brought for agricultural work, Creoles, and even Chinese. A lot of mestizos and migrants. The total population in 2020 is more than 1.2 million people with a fairly high density: more than 600 people per km2.
Good news for tourists: the main language in the Republic of Mauritius is English, although this is not enshrined in the country's constitution. Of course, the population also uses local languages, such as the local variety of Creole, but you will not have any problems with communication. Thanks to recent colonization, many also speak decently French.
The local official currency is the Mauritian rupee. In 2022, 1 Mauritian Rupee equals approximately 47 EUR or 44 USD.
Mauritius has a good internet connection. For calls abroad, you can choose some kind of tourist SIM card, or you can purchase a card from local operators. There are two popular options to choose from: Emtel and My T-mobile.
Emtel offers very cheap advantageous packages. For example, a monthly plan for 319 rupees (about $7) provides 5 GB of data per day. For 434 rupees (about $9.5), you can choose a postpaid plan for a year, in which the subscriber receives 500 GB of traffic per month.
My T-Mobile offers slightly different rates. For example, for 315 rupees, 75 GB of data is offered for a month. For 2000 rupees (about $44) per month, you can enjoy unlimited data, unlimited calls, and SMS. This is an option for those who need a lot of Internet traffic.
You can buy a card right away in company stores - usually, they are in various shopping and entertainment centers. The SIM costs about a couple of dollars.
The country's GDP in 2021 was almost $11 billion. Its basis is agriculture: the locals grow sugarcane and succeed in it. Such fishing goes back to the 18th century, and today Mauritians annually receive an average of 300-400 thousand tons of raw materials.
As part of the agricultural diversification program, the cultivation of tea, vanilla, tobacco, sansevieria (from which textile fiber is obtained), and coffee are intensively grown. Food crops (corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, tomatoes, peanuts, bananas) also take place, but not enough to cover the growing needs of the country. There are no fossil resources on the island.
The industrial sectors of clothing, footwear, food products (sugar, molasses, rum, beer), precision mechanics (watches), and electronics are active.
But, of course, one of the most important sectors is tourism. The popularity of this resort has been steadily growing since the 80s of the last century and even the coronavirus pandemic could not prevent this.
Mauritius is not a country where you can count on gigantic incomes, but the situation as a whole is rather favorable. The average salary is just over $500 after taxes, but not everyone gets it: in small enterprises, workers can work for a modest salary of $300-400.
The work of teachers and teachers is highly valued: their salaries can reach 500 and 800 dollars, respectively. The same applies to doctors. A general internist in a hospital earns an average of about $700, while a surgeon earns the entire $1,000.
Traditionally, the lowest salaries are for service sector workers - waiters, sellers, and cashiers. A waiter in a restaurant gets about $400 before tips, and a McDonald's employee gets even less. Representatives of the IT sector earn very well: the average salary is more than $ 1,000 per month.
Among the local population, there are not so many representatives of qualified professions: doctors, engineers, and employees of financial institutions. Specialists from other countries are hired, but for this, you need to have the appropriate education and know the language, at least English.
You can get temporary work in the agricultural field, harvesting is hard and not well-paid work, but there are no qualification requirements. It is best to get a job legally, receiving all the necessary documents: it is safer, does not threaten deportation, and promises more opportunities.
Mauritius is a rather expensive holiday in terms of tourism but even compared to a number of European countries, prices are lower here. You can rent an apartment for 400-500 dollars a month, but if you want to live in central areas or closer to the beaches, the price soars to 700-800 dollars.
Prices are quite high in local supermarkets:
Milk, 1 liter - 1.2 USD
Eggs, 10 pcs - 2 USD
500 grams of pasta - 1.5 USD
Chicken breast, 1 kilogram - 8 USD
Hard cheese - 2-3 USD per 100 g
Potatoes, 1 kilogram - 1 USD
In good restaurants with local cuisine, you can dine for 10-15 USD per person, or even cheaper. Lunch in a public place will cost about 5-6 USD per person. In general, at the household level, life in Mauritius is somewhat more expensive than in Russia or Ukraine.
Medicine and education
As for an African country, Mauritius has a good level of medical care. The state is engaged in the development of the healthcare sector and annually allocates money for this.
Medicine is divided into public and private. The local population can use insurance to save on maintenance, but there are no such privileges for foreigners - you have to pay. Therefore, in order to avoid large expenses in emergency situations, along with a ticket, be sure to buy an insurance policy that covers at least basic services.
Like in many European countries, it is very difficult to get an appointment at a public clinic - you have to wait a long time. Even for the operation, the queue is built in a few months.
Education does not lag behind in terms of development. More than 90% of the local population have graduated from at least school: education in it lasts as much as 13 years, plus three years of preschool education - in total, students graduate at about 20 years.
After that, you can get higher education, but less than half of the graduates use this opportunity. There are several institutions of higher education, the most famous of which is the University of Mauritius, located in the district of Moka in the heart of the island of Mauritius. Here you can study law, natural sciences, information technology, humanities, and oceanography. In the case of schools, instruction is predominantly in English; there are undergraduate and graduate programs that cost about $7,500 a year.
Working days and holidays
January 1st - New Year
March 12 - Independence Day
April-May - Easter holidays
November 1st - All Saints Day
December 25 - Christmas
Since the locals have adopted a lot from Indian culture, Hindu holidays are also celebrated throughout the year: this is the Hindu New Year, celebrated in April-May, Ganesha's Birthday, celebrated in August-September, and the Festival of Light in October-November.
Mauritians are quite friendly, open, and sociable people. A large number of ethnic groups and nationalities contributed to the formation of a tolerant society, where the majority treat each other with respect. Despite the fact that the locals adopted a lot from the Indians, they generally live somehow more neatly, closer to the European level.
Family plays an important role in the life of any Mauritian. This is manifested not only in the supremacy of family interests on a global level but also in everyday life: large families living in the same house for several generations are very common. Although such a system, of course, is not inherited by everyone, some prefer to live separately.
Feminist tendencies in Mauritius are not very strong. Of course, some ladies prefer a career path, but here more than in other countries they live in a traditional way: a man works, a woman takes care of life and raises children. However, if you suddenly want to get a job, they are unlikely to interfere with this.
Features that can be difficult to get along with include slowness, which in Mauritius rises to the absolute. People are not in a hurry, they live for their own pleasure, and sometimes (in fact often) this also manifests in professional activities and can be very unnerving.
The crime rate is not very high, the main local problem is theft.
Mauritius is a famous offshore zone. It is popular for registering any business due to favorable tax conditions and privacy guarantees, and these advantages extend to the cryptocurrency sector as well.
You can start a company providing services in the field of digital assets here. To do this, you need to obtain a special license, which is what various exchanges use. The corresponding legal framework was created back in 2019 when other countries did not even think in this direction.
In general, the government of the Republic has a positive attitude towards digital assets, obviously seeing them as another tool for economic development. The greatest interest was shown in 2017, but it decreased a little later, and some initiatives - for example, lending against the security of cryptocurrency in a state bank - were forgotten.
Many people know Mauritius as an expensive resort. Life here may seem like a complete pleasure: first of all, a pleasantly warm climate and amazing nature, pleasing to the eye. It is worth noting the signs of stable economic development in this state. Today the standard of living here is much higher than in other African countries.
If possible, it is worth visiting this place at least for a short time. You will definitely not be indifferent.