Geography of Mauritius
The Geography of Mauritius
The island of Mauritius is sixty-one kilometers long and forty-six kilometers wide at its widest point and has a total land area of 1,865 square kilometers.
The island itself is formed around a central plateau which is about 600 meters above sea level, with about three hundred and fifty kilometres of coast which is protected almost entirely by coral reefs. Around the plateau, the original crater can still be distinguished from several other mountains.
Mauritius is quite a mountainous island but not with very high mountains. The highest peak is at the southwest of the Island, the mountain of Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 meters (2,717 ft), second is the Pieter Both at 823 meters and Le Pouce is the third highest mountain on the island at 812 meters.
Mauritius actually consists of a broken ring of mountain ranges, some 600 to 800 meters above sea level, encircling a central tableland that slopes from a level of 300 meters in the north to 600 meters in the southwest.
Ring of coral reefs surrounds almost the entire coastline and form many shallow lagoons, rich with white coral sand beaches, and dunes.
Mauritius has several rivers and streams, many of them are formed in the crevices between land created by new and old lava flows.
The island has two natural lakes both are crater lakes and one man-made reservoir.
Mauritius' capital and largest city is Port Louis which is situated at the northwest. Other important towns are Rose-Hill and Beau-Bassin, Curepipe, Vacoas, Phoenix, Quatre Bornes.
The two biggest harbors are Port Louis and Mahebourg.
Mauritius Geographic Location
Mauritius is located in the South West part of the Indian Ocean, north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The island of Mauritius lies 855 kilometers east of Madagascar and about 3,900 kilometers southwest of India, between longitudes 57 16' and 57 49' east, and latitudes 19 58' and 20 34' south.
Mauritian territory also incorporates the island of Rodrigues situated 600 kilometers east to Mauritius mainland.
In addition to Mauritius mainland and the Island of Rodrigues, there are two tiny dependencies to the north of Mauritius, the Agalega Islands which are two small islands lying 1100 kilometers north of Mauritius, and the Cargados Carajos Shoals (also known as the St. Brandon Rocks) located 395 kilometers northeast of Mauritius.
Mauritius and the Mascarene Islands
Together with Réunion and Rodrigues, Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands a chain of volcanic islands.
The Mascarene Islands are situated in the Indian Ocean east of Africa and Madagascar and west of Australia.
The Mascarene Islands formed in a series of undersea volcanic eruptions 8-10 million years ago, as the African plate drifted over the Réunion hotspot. The Mascarene Islands are perched on submarine ridges, including the Mascarene Plateau that runs for some 3,000 kilometers outward from the African mainland, and the Rodrigues Fracture Zone that ripples eastward and connects this underwater plateau with the massive Mid-Indian Ridge.
Mauritius Island dependencies
Rodrigues Island is a delightful remote little holiday island 650 km east of Mauritius in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Measuring only 18 km in length and 8 km at its widest point Rodrigues is entirely surrounded by coral reefs offering world-class diving and snorkeling. Rodrigues Island has a peak elevation of approximately 355 meters.
The capital of the island is Port Mathurin and the Island is administered from Port Louis by the Mauritian government.
The Agalega Islands are two islands dependencies of Mauritius lying in the Indian Ocean, 1100 kilometers north of Mauritius. The North Island is home to the islands' airstrip and the capital of Vingt Cinq and village of La Fourche, while the South Island has the village of Sainte Rita.
The Agalega Islands are governed by the central government of Mauritius.
Cargados Carajos Shoals - Saint Brandon Rocks
Cargados Carajos Shoals (also known as the Saint Brandon Rocks) are a group of about 16 small islands northeast of Mauritius.. The islands are classified as a dependency of Mauritius and are administered from Port Louis by the Mauritian government.