Mauritius is part of the Mascarene island group and is located
in the south-wester-n Indian Ocean (20°17S,57°33E), some
855 km east of Madagascar and 1800 km east of the African continent.
It's nearest neighbor is La Réunion, a French " Département
d'Outre-Mers", which lies approximately 160 km due west.
Mauritius is 1860 sq km in size, including approximately 10 sq
km of lakes and has a coastline of 177 km.
island is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs. The resulting
lagoons are full of marine life and are ideal for diving. Its
beaches with fine sands are renowned throughout the world.
is the most accessible island in the Indian Ocean, boasting as
much tropical paradise as Maui or Martinique and, better still,
offering it at a bargain price. Though nestled up alongside Africa,
it's actually more influenced by its British and French ties and
massive Indian workforce.
Here, you can enjoy a dish of curried chickpeas or a nice Yorkshire
pudding on the terrace of a French café, sipping imported
wine or a thick malty ale while listening to Créole music
and the conversation of locals in any number of lingoes.
Its range of visitors facilities runs the gamut from pamper-happy
beach resorts and organised excursions to locals who'll put you
up in their homes and rent you their cars for daytrips. If you're
looking for a lazy beach vacation, you could certainly do worse,
but don't forget the rambling interior and the multicultural capital
Port Louis. Waves from the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 completely
submerged a village in the north of the island. There have been
no reports of casualties.