Mauritius is situated in the south west Indian Ocean, slightly over the tropic of Capricorn, in latitude 20° south and longitude 57° east of Greenwich. It is 2,000 km off the east coast of Africa and some 855 km east of Madagascar.
An island of volcanic origin with an area of 1,864 km2, it is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs. The land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau where it reaches a height of 670 meters. Such plateau is bordered by three mountain ranges, including the highest peak, the Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire, rising to 828 m.
It enjoys a maritime sub-tropical climate with temperatures averaging 22° C on the plateau.
The territory of Mauritius
The Republic of Mauritius is constituted of the main island of Mauritius and several outlying islands. The second largest island is Rodrigues with an area of 108 km2 and situated 560 km to the east of Mauritius. With a population of about 38,167, its economy is based mainly on fishing, cattle rearing and a developing tourism sector.
The twin islands of Agalega have a total land area of 2,600 hectares situated some 1,000 km to the north of Mauritius. Agalega has a population of about 300 inhabitants and its economy is based primarily on coconut exploitation.
St. Brandon is an archipelago comprising a number of sand-banks, shoals and islets. It is situated some 430 km to the north-east of Mauritius and is mostly used as a fishing base.