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Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signal intelligence. Independence from the UK was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 183
5 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 2
Over 3,047 m 1
914 to 1,523 m 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 3
914 to 1,523 m 2
Under 914 m 1 (2012)

Roadways World Ranking: 173
Total 2,066 km
Paved
2,066 km (includes 75 km of expressways) (2009)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 132
Total 4
By type
Passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals
Port Louis


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  Mauritius (Port Louis):


  GPS points from Mauritius (Port Louis)

Vacoa Plaines Wilhems District

Esperance Moka District

Montagne Ory Moka District

Riviere Bee Monique Grand Port District

Pointe Du Bambou Grand Port District

Petite Riviere Bay Black River District

Mont Longue Station Pamplemousses District

Pointe Du Sel Mauritius (general)




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