Checked content

Geography of Mauritius

Related subjects: African Geography

Background Information

SOS Children produced this website for schools as well as this video website about Africa. Sponsor a child to make a real difference.

Native name: Maurice
Nickname: The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean

Map of Mauritius
Location Indian Ocean
Coordinates 20°17′S 57°33′E
Archipelago Mascarene Islands
Area 2,030 square kilometres (780 sq mi)
Highest elevation 828 m (2,717 ft)
Highest point Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire
Largest city Port Louis (pop. 147,688)
Population 1,264,866 (as of 2007)
Density 616
Ethnic groups Indo-Mauritian 68%, Mauritian Creole people 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%


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 the country during November-April. Hollanda (1994) and Dina (2002) were the worst two last cyclones to have affected the island.


Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates: 20°17′S 57°33′E

Map references: World

Area (includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues):
total: 2,040 km²
land: 2,030 km²
water: 10 km²

Area - comparative: almost 11 times the size of Washington, D.C.

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 177 km

Maritime claims:
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)
territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 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: 49.26%
permanent crops: 2.96%
permanent pastures: 3%
forests and woodland: 22%
other: 23% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 200 km² (1998 est.)

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: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, 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

Retrieved from ""