Geography of Mauritius

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Native name: Moris
Nickname: The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean
Mauritius island location.svg
Location of Mauritius
Mauritius Island map-fr.svg
Location Indian Ocean
Coordinates 20°17′S 57°33′E / 20.283°S 57.550°E / -20.283; 57.550
Archipelago Mascarene Islands
Area 2,011 km2 (776 sq mi)
Highest elevation 828 m (2,717 ft)
Highest point Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire
Largest settlement Port Louis (pop. 147,688)
Population 1,264,866 (2007)
Pop. density 616 /km2 (1,595 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Indo-Mauritian 68%, Mauritian Creole people 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%

Mauritius is an island of Africa's southeast coast located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is geologically located within the Somali plate.


The local climate is tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; there is a warm, dry winter from May to November and a hot, wet, and humid summer from November to May. Anti-cyclones affect the country during May to September.

Cyclones affect Mauritius during November–April. Hollanda (1994) and Dina (2002) were the worst two last cyclones to have affected the island.


Satellite image of Mauritius

Location: Southeastern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar Geographic coordinates: 20°17′S 57°33′E / 20.283°S 57.550°E / -20.283; 57.550

Map references: World

Area (includes Agaléga, Cargados Carajos (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues):
total: 2,011 km²
land: 2,030 km²
water: 10 km²
note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoais (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 177 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)
continental shelf: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)

Terrain: small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire 828 m

Natural resources: arable land, fish

Land use:
arable land: 38.24%
permanent crops: 1.96%
other: 59.80% (2011)

Irrigated land: 212.2 km² (2003)

Total renewable water resources: 2.75 km3 (2011)

Natural hazards: cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards

Environment - current issues: water pollution, degradation of coral reefs

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: The main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs; former home of the dodo, a large flightless bird related to pigeons, driven to extinction by the end of the 17th century through a combination of hunting and the introduction of predatory species

Landscape near Les Mariannes.

Table of Islands[edit]

Island Capital Other Cities Area (km²) Population
Agalega Islands Vingt Cinq La Fourche, St Rita, Port St James 26.0 290
Agalega Islands Vingt Cinq La Fourche, St Rita, Port St James 26.0 290
Cargados Carajos Raphael Avocare, Ile du Sud, Coco Island 3.2 63
Cargados Carajos Raphael Avocare, Ile du Sud, Coco Island 3.2 63
Islets of Mauritius Port Louis 1871 1252980
Ile aux Benitiers Ile aux Benitiers 0.7 10
Ile Aux Cerfs Le Touessrok Resort 1.2 0
Ile des deux Cocos deux Cocos resort 0.04 2
Mouchoir Rouge Mouchoir Rouge resort 0.01 3
Mauritius Island Port Louis Beau-Bassin Rose-Hill, Quatre Bornes, Vacoas-Phoenix, Curepipe 1860 1252964
More Mauritius Islands Ile aux Aigrettes Ronde Island, Ile de la Passe, Coin du Mire, Ile D’Ambre, Ile Plate, Ilot Gabriel, Grand Port Islets, Ile aux Serpents, Ile de L’Est 8.8 1
Islets of Rodriguez Port Mathurin 111 38167
Ile Crabe Rodriguez Port Crabe 0.4 2
Rodriguez Island Port Mathurin Gabriel, Riviere Cocos, port south east 109 38164
More Rodriguez Islands Ile aux Cocos Ile Fregate, Ile aux Sables, Ile aux Chats, le Hermitage, Ile Gombrani 1.36 1
Mauritius Port Louis 2011 1291500

notes: excludes Tromelin and other îles éparses

Extreme points[edit]

This is a list of the extreme points of Mauritius, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]