Mauritius, known officially as the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation located off the southeast coast of the African continent in the Indian Ocean. It is a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches with coral reefs surrounding most of the coastline.
The island is situated approximately 2400 kilometres off the South East Coast of Africa. The island covers an area of 1,865 square kilometers or 720 square miles, with 330 kilometres of coastline. Mauritius is 45km in width and 65km in length.
Mauritius is a densely populated island of around 1.2 million people. It has a reputation for stability and racial harmony among its mixed population. Mauritius is known as a plural society where all the ethnic groups present: Hindus, Muslims, Creoles, Chinese and Europeans live in peace and where all the ancestral cultures have been preserved. These features make the island a unique place in the world, and the Mauritians is known for their tolerance and kindness towards all people.
Most Mauritians are bilingual being equally fluent in French and English. English is the official language, but French and Creole are widely spoken. Oriental languages also form part of the linguistic mosaic.
Mauritius has preserved its image as one of Africa's few social and economic success stories, being a sugar and clothing exporter and a centre for upmarket tourism.
Mauritius enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate throughout the year. The country has two seasons: a warm humid summer extending from November to April and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September. The month of October and May are commonly known as the transition months.
Mean summer temperature is 24.7 degrees Celsius and means winter temperature is 20.4 degrees Celsius. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3 degrees Celsius.
The warmest months are January and February with the average daily maximum temperature reaching 29.2 degrees Celsius and the coolest months are July and August when average night minimum temperatures drop down to 16.4 degrees Celsius.