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Mauritius is a small nation of islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa. Mauritian creole, French, and English are spoken there. This is a secular state with a highly diverse population. Interestingly, statistics on ethnicity are unavailable because such questions were removed from census surveys. People of Indian or Chinese descent have been in Mauritius for quite a while. The product of volcanic activity, this country has mountains along with lagoons and coastal forests. The world's largest coral reef surrounds Mauritius. There are not that many native animal species, but some are endemic and not found elsewhere. The dodo was one example of that. There are also flying foxes, the avian Mauritius grey white-eye, and, for better or for worse, macaques that are bred for export and use in animal testing. In the last 40-plus years, Mauritius has expanded from a agriculture-based economy to a more complex middle-income economy also based on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services. Mauritius has recently received kudos for being an excellent travel destination and for its high-quality beaches. The Creole mansion Eureka is a relic of Mauritius' colonial past. It's now a museum about plantation life, and there is a path to a waterfall behind the house. Enjoy the Fran├ºois Leguat Reserve with its caves and tortoises, located on the island of Rodrigues. Rice and noodles are popular starches. Common vegetables include eggplant, cabbage, bitter melon, squash, green beans, and leafy greens. Dodos are no longer eaten, but old school French dishes like coq au vin are. Chinese-style foods like hakien rolls or crispy squid can be tasty appetizers, along with complementary main dishes. Try creole rougaille, a tomato-based sauce served with meat and rice, and which sometimes contains healthy greens. You might come across vegan Mauritian food or some Thai. If you're at the right place at the right time, you can get a free meal from the Krishnas. The price is definitely right there too!
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