Home of the famously exinct Dodo Bird, of volcanic origin and sheltered for its major part by barriers of coral reefs forming natural, safe, crystal clear lagoons, Mauritius has for long been a dream destination. Known to Arabs as early as the 10th Century, but officially discovered in 1505 by the Portugese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, the island was occupied successively by the Dutch (1598-1712), the French (1715-1810), and was ceded to Great Britain in 1814 through the Treaty of Paris. On March 12, 1968 Mauritius acceded to Independence. Republic Day was proclaimed on 12 March 1992.
Mauritius is situated at approximately 2000 kilometers to the south -eastern coast of Africa and lies east of Madagascar on 20 S, 57.5 E. The land has an area of 1865 square kilometers with 330 kilometers of coastline. Inland features include a vast central plateau, subtropical forests, rivers, steams and waterfalls. Bordering this tableland are several mountain ranges consisting of diverse shaped masses of basalt testifying the volcanic origins of the island. Three peaks emerge: Piton de la Petite Riviere, Noire, and Le Pouce.
Sir Seewoosagar Ramgoolam Air Terminal, Plaisance is approximatively 3 kms from Mahebourg, 48kms from Port Louis, 80 kms from Grand Baie, 55kms from Flic en Flac and 50kms from Belle Mare. Facilities include duty-free shops both on arrival and departure, bars, banks, and Post Office.
At different stages during the course of the history of Mauritius, people of diverse origins- Indian (Hindus and Muslims), African, European and Chinese- have settled on the island bringing their culture language, values and traditions. The country today is a recognized cultural melting pot and is often cited as a perfect example of peaceful co-existing of the main religions of the world.