Where Is Mauritius?

Although the island of Mauritius, deep in the Indian Ocean, is a well-known tourist trap and location for luxury beach holidays, for some it’s location may be something of an enigma. It is therefore natural to ask oneself “where is Mauritius?” when considering it for a holiday location; after all, the continent and general placement of a country has a huge factor in the type and quality of holiday it may provide.

To be precise, in answer to the “where is Mauritius?” question, Mauritius is coordinates 20°10’0”S, 57°31’0”E. However, unless navigation is one of your favorite hobbies, this goes no further to answering the question and a little more elaboration is required.

The Republic of Mauritius is in the southwest Indian Ocean, off the coast of the main African content in the southern hemisphere. It is around 900 kilometers to the east of Madagascar, en route from the Africas to the Antipodes, particularly Australia. It is near the Tropic of Capricorn, one of the five major circles of latitude marking the maps of the earth. The Tropic of Capricorn marks the most southerly point in the world where the sun can appear directly overhead at noon. Although the Tropic of Capricorn does not pass directly through Mauritius itself, it’s close proximity contributes to the warm weather of Mauritius.

In other latitude navigation, Mauritius lies just south of the equator, the imaginary line that divides the earth into the southern and northern hemisphere. Again, this contributes to the Mauritian climate, as nations located near the equator experience hot weather with occasional bursts of rain.

The Republic of Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands (sometimes referred to as Mascarenhas Archipelago). This is the collective term for a group of islands comprimising of Mauritius, the French island of Reunion (some 200 kilometers to the southwest of Mauritius), Rodrigues (around 570 kilometers from Mauritius, to the northwest), Cargados Carajos Shoals (northeast, also known as Saint Brandon Rocks and part of the Republic of Mauritius), as well as the former islands and banks Saya de Malha, Nazareth and Soudan.

The island are so named as they lie on the Mascarene Plateau, a submerged plateau underneath the Indian Ocean. The Plateau covers around 2000 kilometers, from the Seychelles Islands in the north is the neighbor of Mauritius, Reunion, in the south. Much of the Mascarene Plateau that now lies underwater was once islands, but was submerged in the recent ice age.

Due to tectonic and geographical location, Mauritius is actually a dormant volcano. It was formed between eight and 10 million years ago, during tectonic plate movement. The island itself formed around a central plateau, forming it’s highest peak in the southwest of the island. Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire stands at 828 meters high, and the distinct crater can still be distinguished from several surrounding mountains

Hopefully, you should now always comfortably be able to answer the question “where is Mauritius?”, and perhaps even begin planning the holiday of a lifetime on the island.

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