oa Africa Insight - Country profiles - Mauritius and Reunion

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Located south of the equator, and approximately 800 to 1 200 km east of Madagascar, is a group of three islands known as the Mascarenes. The trio comprises Mauritius, Rodrigues and Reunion. Like many of the smaller Indian Ocean islands, the Mascarenes are the result of volcanic activity in prehistoric times. Some of the volcanoes, on Reunion for instance, are still active. Almost completely surrounded by coral reefs, these mountainous islands are renowned for their scenic beauty. The climate is subtropical with abundant rainfall and occasional cyclones. Mauritius has several dependencies including the small island of Rodrigues 585 km to the east, the Cargados Carajos Archipelago 370 km to the north-east and the Agalega Islets 935 km to the north. Mauritius also claims Tromelin Island, 556 km to the north-west, which belongs to France, and also seeks the return of the Chagos Archipelago 1 900 km to the north-east. The Chagos Islands were administered from Mauritius during colonial times, but in 1965 they became part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Advocating the declaration of the Indian Ocean as a ""zone of peace"", the Mauritian government has often denounced the development of a United States military base on Diego Garcia, the main island in the Chagos group.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error