MAURITIUS AT A GLANCE
Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of Madagascar. It became independent on 12 March 1968. Republic Day was proclaimed on 12 March 1992. Mauritius is a democracy with a regular change of governments. The Government is elected on a five-year basis. The President is the head of the state but constitutional power is vested in the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
The main languages spoken in Mauritius are Mauritian Creole, French and English. The official language is English but the main spoken language is Mauritian Creole, and the newspapers and television programmes are usually in French. The country is composed of several ethnicities, including Asian, African, Chinese and French. The local climate is tropical, modified by south-east trade winds; there is a warm, dry winter from May to September and a hot, wet, and humid summer from October to May. Anti-cyclones affect the country during May to September. Cyclones affect the country during November–April.