mauritius, an indian ocean island nation, is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. the mountainous interior includes black river gorges national park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife like the flying fox. capital port louis has sites such as the champs de mars horse track, eureka plantation house and 18th-century sir seewoosagur ramgoolam botanical gardens.
the first historical evidence of the existence of an island now known as mauritius is on a map produced by the italian cartographer alberto cantino in 1502. from this, it appears that mauritius bore the name dina arobi, very likely the name shared with the portuguese by sailors from the subcontinent. in 1507, portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island. the island appears with the portuguese names cirne or do-cerne on early portuguese maps, probably from the name of a ship in the 1507 expedition. another portuguese sailor, dom pedro mascarenhas, gave the name mascarenes to the archipelago.
good to know
country east africa
visa requirements everyone else needs a visa.
languages spoken english
currency used mauritian rupee
area (km2) 691,873 square kilometers
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