Spreading across 790 square miles, Mauritius is a beautiful island nation situated in the Indian Ocean. Other than its splendid beaches and lush green landscapes, Mauritius also boasts of a range of lavish resorts that offer the perfect accommodation for your holiday.
Some of the popular tourist attractions include Le Morne Brabant, Eureka, Champs de Mars, and Mauritius Botanical Garden. Other than everything that you can see, there is a lot that remains to be seen and is not known to many. Here are some unknown facts about Mauritius that will blow your mind.
1. The Arabs were its first residents
It is believed that the first people to inhabit Mauritius were the Arabs. Arab sailors became the first recorded group of people to visit the island in the middle ages. Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit the island, who arrived in 1507.
2. It’s a volcanic island
Mauritius is a volcanic island that first rose above the waves eight million years ago. The island is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs.
3. Three countries colonized Mauritius
Mauritius has been colonized by three countries in its past. The first European powers to gain control over the island were the Dutch, who ruled from 1638 to 1710. Five years after they abandoned the island, the French took control and remained there until 1810. After France gave up control, the British took over.
4. Role in the Second World War
Mauritius was valued by the British during the Second World War and they even expanded their military presence on the island. They had also set up a naval base on Mauritius. The island also played a major role in various antisubmarine operations. Mauritius played an important role in the collection of intelligence.
5. Home to the Dodo
Mauritius was one the only known habitat of extinct flightless bird Dodo. The bird was most likely first seen by Dutch sailors in 1598 and by 1660s the bird was wiped out by ship rats and other animals. Even after extinction, it is still the Mauritian national bird.
(Curated by Priya Pareek)