Photographer's Note

The last stop on my latest Europe/Africa trip was Mauritius. This was my first visit to Mauritius and I was struck by the similarity to Fiji – both in terms of the scenery (both are volcanic islands), the vegetation (lots of sugar cane and bananas growing on the rich brown soil) and the people (a substantial proportion of the population in both countries is of Indian descent – 68% in Mauritius and 44% in Fiji). Mauritius is more developed than Fiji though, having had a stable, democratically elected government since it gained independence in 1968.

Although Mauritius is part of Africa, it feels more like a mix of Asia and the south Pacific. Having been both a French and British colony in the past, many educated people speak both French and English, but most people speak just Mauritian Creole (which is derived from French) and about 20% speak Bhojpuri (which is a widely spoken Indian language).

This shot was taken looking over some fields from which the sugar cane had recently been cut. Sugar cane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land and accounts for about 25% of export earnings, but these days offshore financial services are earning almost as much with a lot of foreign investment in India and China being channeled through Mauritius. Combined with an expanding industrial and tourism base, Mauritius now has one of the highest per capita incomes in Africa.

This was taken on the road between Montagne Longue and Nouvelle Decouverte. I’ve shown the location as Montagne Longue, but I wasn’t sure where the boundary between the two districts was. If any of the Mauritian TEers believe I have that wrong, please let me know and I will correct it.

PP: Increased contrast slightly and sharpened.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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