Mauritius Country Facts

By | June 21, 2024
Capital city Port Louis
Surface 2,040 km²
Population 1,266,000
Road network length 1,960 km
Length of highway network 60 km
First highway ?
Motorway name Motorway
Traffic drives Left
License plate code MS

Mauritius (French: Maurice), formally the Republic of Mauritius (République de Maurice) is an archipelago and country in the Indian Ocean, belonging to the continent of Africa. The country is the size of a Dutch province and has 1.3 million inhabitants, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The capital is Port Louis.


Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, 900 kilometers east of Madagascar. The country consists of one main island and several mini-islands, most of which are uninhabited. It is located 180 kilometers northeast of the French island of Réunion. The capital is Port Louis, which is located on the coast of the main island. The island is densely populated, with many villages that have grown together. The island is sloping without very large height differences. The Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire is the highest point at 828 meters.

Mauritius has a hot climate with a wet and less wet season. The average maximum temperature in Port Louis is between 27 and 32 °C and there is 700 mm of precipitation per year. The island is therefore quite green.


Mauritius grew from about 480,000 inhabitants in 1950 to one million in 1985 and 1.3 million in 2010. The capital Port Louis has about 150,000 inhabitants, but the entire main island is densely populated, with an urbanized agglomeration on the west of the island.

About two-thirds of the population is of Indian descent. Creoles make up a quarter, they are mostly of African or mixed descent. Chinese and Europeans form smaller groups. The country has no official language, but the de facto official languages ​​are English and French. The population is mostly multilingual, with Mauritian Creole as the mother tongue and English and French as a second language, which most people are fluent in. The media mainly uses French.


Mauritius is one of the more developed countries in Africa with a GDP of $23,000 per inhabitant, one of the highest in Africa. The economy is based on textiles, tourism, sugar cane and financial services. The country has few raw materials, but it does have a developed infrastructure.


The islands were uninhabited for a long time, the first visitors were Arabs and then the Portuguese, who, however, did not establish settlements there. From 1638 the island was inhabited by the Dutch, after which it was a Dutch colony until 1710. The Dutch had difficulty developing the island and left the island voluntarily. The French then took control of the island in 1715, from nearby La Réunion. The French called it Isle de France. The French managed to develop the island somewhat. However, in 1810 the British invaded the island, which was then under British rule.

Most Africans came to Mauritius as slaves, when slavery was abolished many Indians were brought to the island as indentured servants. They eventually grew into a majority of the population. Mauritius became independent from the United Kingdom in 1968. Mauritius subsequently developed as a relatively prosperous country, especially compared to the region.

Road Network

Mauritius has quite a well-developed road network and is the only island nation in Africa with motorways, called motorways. These are mainly roads reserved for motorized traffic and they also have roundabouts in addition to grade-separated intersections. They have 2×2 lanes with separate lanes, but usually without an emergency lane. The M2 is the main motorway, running for approximately 60 kilometers from Grand Baie via Port Louis to Mahebourg on the south coast . All roads in Port Louis are paved, but there is a lot of traffic jams because most streets are narrow and there is a lot of slow traffic on the road. In Mauritius you drive on the left. The roads in the north of Mauritius often run straight through the sugar cane fields.

Road numbering

The road network of Mauritius consists of Motorways (M), Primary Roads (A) and Secondary Roads (B). Motorways are not real highways, but roads reserved for motorized traffic. However, they usually have 2×2 lanes with regular grade-separated intersections. A and B roads are all considered main roads. A-roads usually start in Port Louis or are branches of such roads. B-roads usually form other connections and are clustered to some extent, especially in the lower numbers. Higher numbers are more random, possibly chronological.


White plates with black letters are used, but there are also green plates after the British model. European road signs are also used in Mauritius.


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