MAURITIUS officially the Republic of Mauritius (Mauritian Creole: Republik Moris; French: République de Maurice) is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 870 kilometres (540 mi) east of Madagascar. In addition to the island of Mauritius, [Discount Mauritius Hotel Deals] the Republic includes the islands of Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands. Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion 170 km (110 mi) to the southwest and the island of Rodrigues 570 km (350 mi) to the east. The area of Mauritius is 2040 km2; its capital city is Port Louis. The United Kingdom took control of the islands in 1810, from France during the Napoleonic Wars, and Mauritius became independent from the UK in 1968. It is a parliamentary republic and is a member of the United Nations, Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the African Union, La Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations.