Record ID: 85

Site Name

Mauritius

Type

Islands

Description

republic (area: 790 sq miles; 1996 est. pop. 1,133,551), in the SW Indian Ocean, part of the Mascarene Isl. group, c.500 miles E of Madagascar; (cap.) Port Louis. Surrounded by coral reefs� Mauritius was probably visited by Arabs and Malays in the Middle Ages. Port. sailors visited it in the 16th cent. The isl. was occupied by the Dutch (1598�1710) and named after Prince Maurice of Nassau (originally Maurice Isl., later Mauritius). The French settled here in 1722 and called it �le de France. It became an important way station on the route to India� The British captured the isl. in 1810 and restored the Du. Name�