Also known as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, the island of Mauritius covers an area of 1865 kms with 330 kms of coastline. Of volcanic origin, it is located about 2000 kms to the south eastern coast of Africa with barriers of coral reefs almost all around the island that forms natural crystal clear lagoons. Known to the Arabs as the 10th century but officially “discovered” by the Portuguese in 1505, the island has been successively a Dutch colony (1598 – 1712), a French colony (1715 – 1810) until they ceded to the British. On the 12th March 1968 Mauritius became Independent. Republic Day was proclaimed on 12th March 1992.
Its rainbow population of about 1.2 million people consists of Chinese, Creole, Europeans, Hindus and Muslims. This cultural diversity makes almost everyday a religious festival. A broad spectrum of languages is spoken but French and English are most used in the business and official environment.
The temperature on the coastal areas varies between 22°C in winter and 34°C in summer. The sea temperature varies between 22°C and 27°C. In the central part of the island, the maximum daytime temperature varies from about 19°C in August to about 26°C in February. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the East and the South.