7 imagesThe dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The first recorded mention of the dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598. In the following years, the bird was hunted by sailors, their domesticated animals, and invasive species introduced during that time. The last widely accepted sighting of a dodo was in 1662. It's extinction was not immediately noticed, and some considered it to be a mythical creature. In the 19th century, research was conducted on a small quantity of remains of four specimens that had been brought to Europe in the early 17th century. Among these is a dried head, the only soft tissue of the dodo that remains today. And today Dodo bird, never seen alive by any of living today people that have only fantasies of how exactly it could look like, became the main souvenir and almost a brand of Mauritius. Wooden, plastic, glass, metal etc. Dodo birds are present at every souvenir shop or even every tiny stall at the island.
19 imagesPort Louis is the capital city of Mauritius. It is the country's economic, cultural, political centre and most populous city. Port Louis was already in use as a harbour in 1638. In 1735, under French government, it became the administrative centre of Mauritius and a major reprovisioning halt for French ships during their passage between Asia and Europe, around the Cape of Good Hope. During period of French colonization, Mauritius was known as Ile de France. Value of the port continued during the British occupation of the island during the Napoleonic Wars (1800–15), and helped Britain control the Indian Ocean. However, port calls of ships fell drastically following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. While Port Louis continues to be the business and administrative capital of Mauritius, expansion of the tourism industry in the late 1990s led to considerable development in Port Louis, with many shops, hotels, and restaurants being built in the Caudan Waterfront area.