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Mauritius is an island located in the Indian Ocean about 800 km east of Madagascar and 2,000 km off the nearest point of the African coast. The island of Rodrigues, an integral part of Mauritius, is located about 560 km off its north eastern coast. Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in 1505; it was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence was attained in 1968. Mauritius can certainly claim to be an African success story, in terms of GDP, human rights and a sustainable economy.

In terms of tourism, Mauritius is a fascinating slice of paradise, conjuring up images of tropical luxury and stupendous extravagance. Unlike many destinations famed for cobalt-blue seas, white sandy beaches and luxury hotels, where you may eventually find yourself wishing for something to do besides sunbathing and swimming, it’s often hard to know what to do next in Mauritius. The island is replete with historic sights, cultural diversity, geographic variation and almost limitless activities to distract you from the stresses of relaxing by beach or pool. But perhaps its single biggest attraction is the relaxed charm of its warm and welcoming people. Add to this the joys of Chinese, Indian, French and African cuisine, and the infectious party spirit of the locals, and you will soon understand why Mauritius really is so many people’s idea of paradise on earth.

Along with Zanzibar, The Seychelles and Mozambique, Mauritius is part of AfricaAway’s portfolio of idyllic beach destinations – the ideal way to unwind following a hectic game-viewing safari.

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