Capital: Port Louis. Population: 147,131 (1998)
Area: 2040 sq km (788 sq miles)
Population: 1,159,729 (1998)
Population Density: 589.0 per sq km
Government Mauritius gained its independence from the British in 1968.
Head of State: President Cassam Uteem since 1992.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Aneerood Jugnauth since 2000.
English is the official language of Mauritius. The most widely spoken languages are French, Creole, Hindi and Bhojpuri. Urdu and Chinese are also among the languages spoken.
51 % is Hindu, 31 % is Christian, and 18 % is Muslim.
Mauritius is GMT + 4.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. UK-type 3-pin plugs are commonly used in hotels in Mauritius.
IDD is available. Country code: 230. There are no area codes. Outgoing international code: 00. There are a limited number of public telephone booths, mainly at the airport and major hotels.
Most hotels have facilities, as well as Mauritius Telecom offices in Port Louis and Cassis.
There are a number of ISPs in Mauritius; they include Telecom Plus, Mauritius Network (MNS), MauriNet and Mauritius Telecom. Most hotels offer internet facilities.
Post office hours: Generally Mon-Fri 08h15-11h15 and 12h00-16h00; Sat 0800-1145.
There are nine daily newspapers, of which two are published in Chinese and the remainder in French and English. The L'Express and Le Mauricien have the highest circulation.
The national airline of Mauritius is Air Mauritius (MK). Air Austral, Air Europe, Air France, Air Madagascar, Air Seychelles, Air Tanzania, Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, Condor, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Swissair also fly to Mauritius.
Mauritius (MRU) (Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam) is 48km (30 miles) southeast of Port Louis. Taxis are widely available to the city (travel time - 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic). Airport facilities include duty-free shops, banks/bureaux de change, snack bar; post office, shops and car hire (Avis, Europcar and Hertz). A new terminal has recently been built.
MRs500 (Mauritian Rupees) Passengers transiting within 48 hours and children under two years of age are exempt.
Port Louis is the main port. It is primarily commercial but there is a limited passenger service to Reunion and Rodriguez Island.