The island of Mauritius is the main island of the nation of Mauritius, located in the southwest of the Indian Ocean, and right between Rodrigues to the east and the French island of Réunion to the west. While the islands are divided into nine different districts, the capital Port Louis – a district in itself – is both the main industrial hub as well as a touristic hot spot. Since gaining independence, Mauritius' politics have been influenced greatly by those of the Westminster parliament of Great Britain as the nation's last colonial master, and thus ranks highly for democracy, economic and political freedoms compared to many other African countries. While the island retained two languages forged during colonisation, French and English, an indigenous Mauritian Creole emerged as a blend of the colonial languages, as well as African and South Asian languages brought to and spoken on the island. Much like its population and culture, the island's endemic flora and fauna, which is best known for the flightless bird breed called dodo, is beautifully diverse and colourful. However, being in acute danger of extinction, many of the landscapes were turned into national parks subject to strict rules of nature protection, in order to maintain the beauty of this unique island.