About 1,200 miles from Africa’s southeast coast you’ll find the Republic of Mauritius. Comprised of islands Mauritius and Rodrigues, Agalega, and the archipelago of St. Brandon, the Republic of Mauritius is a multicultural, multiethnic nation with a varied and interesting history. In 1598, the first Europeans landed on Mauritius: a group of Dutch explorers. They began a settlement on the island and named it for Prince Maurice of Nassau. The island was abandoned a few years later and fell under French control. In 1810, the French lost their rights to Mauritius during the Napoleonic Wars, and England became the rightful new owner. Finally, Mauritius achieved its independence in 1968, and in 1992 was established as a republic. With its tropical climate and unique location, Mauritius is a wonderful choice for a sailing holiday. Surrounded almost completely by a coral reef, the brilliant blue coastal waters of Mauritius remain serene, offering tremendous visibility for snorkeling and swimming. The colorful reefs are filled with marine life; you’ll spot clownfish, damselfish, and more. Further offshore, you’ll find tremendous deep sea fishing, with plenty of opportunity to reel in some big catches. Interested fisherman should sail off the western coast to experience the best conditions. When fishing in Mauritius, you might catch giant trevally, yellowfin tuna, or blue marlin. Many tourists to Mauritius come not only for the sailing, but for the fantastic diving. There are numerous top scuba diving sites surrounding the islands, including an underwater crater close to Ile de Ronde, and Roche Zoco, a submerged rock pinnacle. The majority of popular diving sites in this region are on Mauritius’ western coast near Flic en Flac. Here, you’ll find the well-known Cathedral dive site. Visitors also enjoy the northern islands of Mauritius for their pleasant diving and clear, beautiful waters–perfect for snorkeling and swimming.