Dutch colonists named it after Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic.
In 1598 a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island "Mauritius" after Prince Maurice van Nassau of the Dutch Republic, the ruler of his country.
These islands have emerged as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of kilometres to the east of the continental block made up of Africa and Madagascar.
They are no longer volcanically active and the hotspot now rests under Réunion Island.
Mauritius is encircled by a broken ring of mountain ranges, varying in height from 300–800 m (1,000–2,600 ft) above sea level.
The land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau where it reaches a height of 670 m (2,200 ft); the highest peak is in the southwest, Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 metres (2,717 ft).
The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago.
However, the island might have been visited well before by sailors of ancient times; wax tablets were found on the shores of Mauritius by the Dutch, but since the tablets were not preserved, it cannot be said whether they were of Greek, Phoenician or Arab origin.), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie and the African Union.The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, 560 kilometres (350 mi) east of Mauritius, and the outer islands (Agaléga, St. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. Formerly a Dutch colony (1638–1710) and a French colony (1715–1810), Mauritius became a British colonial possession in 1810 and remained so until 1968, the year in which it attained independence.Later the island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France.On 3 December 1810, the French surrendered the island to Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars.