The Republic of Mauritius is located in the western Indian Ocean about 800 km east of Madagascar. The country has a total area of 2 040 km2, including the island of Mauritius, with an area of 1 865 km2; the island of Rodrigues (104 km2) to the east; the Agalega Islands to the north and the Cargados Carajos Shoals to the north-east.
The island of Mauritius is of volcanic origin. The northern part of the island is a low-lying fertile plain. The centre of the island is a plateau rising to over 650 m. The south is mountainous, with a maximum elevation at Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire of 828 m. The land drops sharply to the southern and western coasts. Several lakes are located in the plateau region, and numerous streams rise in the highlands and radiate to the coast. Coral reefs surround all but the southern part of the island.
The climate is oceanic tropical and generally hot and humid. The average annual temperature is on the coast is 23° C with only 3 or 4 degrees variation between summer and winter. Temperatures are lower on the central plateau. Average annual precipitation ranges from less than 1 000 mm on the south-western coast to about 5 100 mm in the very wet plateau region. The island is subject to cyclones from December to April.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.