GEOGRAPHY OF MAURITIUS

Geography of Mauritius

Climate
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.

Statistics
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.

Landscape near Les Mariannes