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Mauritius is a small island located in the South-West Indian Ocean , off the east coast of Madagascar. The Republic of Mauritius (Mauritius for short and Maurice in French) comprises of the main island Mauritius, together with Rodrigues, St. Brandon Island, and Agalega Islands as its dependencies. It claims sovereignty on Diego Garcia and Tromelin. Mauritius is a volcanic island covering an area of 1,865 km sq.(720 sq. miles).

The capital of Mauritius is Port-Louis and the official language of the country is English though French and Creole are widely spoken. The Mauritian currency is the Rupee (MUR). The National flag is four horizontal stripes: red , blue, yellow, and green

Mauritius is well known for the Dodo, the extinct bird. The Dutch came in the early 17th century and named the island Mauritius after Prince Maurice de Nassau. They exploited severely the island by cutting the valuable ebony trees and are responsible for the extinction of the dodo birds. Their exports were so great that the price of this timber fell on the Dutch market. They introduced sugar cane before leaving the island in 1710 due to severe droughts and damage caused by cyclones.

Then came the French in 1721 who renamed the island Ile de France. Slaves from Madagascar and mainland Africa were imported to work on the sugar plantations established by the French. The French rule ended by a fierce battle with the British in 1810. The latter reinstated the name Mauritius and ruled the island for 158 years.

In 1835, slavery was abolished, and thus indentured labourers from India (and from China to a lesser extent) came to Mauritius to work in the sugar cane fields to replace the missing slave workforce. There have been several Chinese immigrations afterwards who camed as traders.

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