Mayotte Island – Africa, Overseas Department, France…Mayotte is one of overseas departments of France , consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre (or Mahoré), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two in the Mozambique Channel between the Indian Ocean off East Africa and Madagascar near Comoro islands and form part of the Comoros Archipelago.
Mayotte Island consists of two volcanoes with a mountainous terrain and a rocky coastline with diverse geochemistry that were active from the Pliocene to the Holocene. The coral reef encircles much of the island and the main harbour at Dzaoudzi is very well-protected for ships and a habitat for fish.
Its biggest city and prefecture is Mamoudzou and has been the capital since 1977. Mayotte consists of two islands, Grande Terre and Petite Terre and many other uninhabited islands. The main island, Grande-Terre, geologically the oldest of the Comoro Islands, and its highest point is Mount Benara, at 660 metres (2,165 ft) above sea level. Because of the volcanic rock, the soil is relatively rich in some areas.
The territory is geographically part of the Comoro Islands, but has been politically under French rule. France gained colonial control over Mayotte in 1843 along with the other islands of the Comoros group. It is the most populous of the four Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean off Mozambique in Africa.
In the 1970’s, Mayotte voted to remain a French “collective” rather than join the other Comoran islands in declaring independence in 1975. In July 2000, 70% of voters opted to accept greater autonomy but to remain a part of France.
In a March 2009 referendum, voters approved accession to the status of department by a large majority and with overwhelmingly (95.2%) voted in favor of departmental status to become an overseas department and became 101st ‘department’ effective on March 31, 2011.
On January 1, 2014, Mayotte is set to become part of the European Union. That will make Mayotte the European Union’s outermost region.
The island is 95% Muslim and many Muslim customs such as polygamy, Islamic-inspired law, and male dominance are commonplace, although all will be reversed in accordance with French law by 2011. A large amount of the island’s population is composed of illegal aliens from neighboring Comoros. Despite the island’s French ownership and French is the only official language of Mayotte, less than half of the population understands French and very few speak French fluently.
Because Mayotte island is mainly volcanic in origin, with a mountainous terrain and a rocky coastline, hiking to the top of Mont Choungui offers a spectacular panorama of the island making it a spectacular hiking destination. Mayotte Island is almost entirely surrounded by a coral reef and so diving is mandatory. This is the world’s largest lagoon so spectacular sights to enjoy the reefs, corals and numerous colorful species of fish are expected besides having an experience of the most unique marine life here. You may even sight a humpback whale or two in the lagoon in August/September. The southern coastline of the island plays host to giant sea turtles, who come to the beach to roost.
Mayotte Island is beautifully nestled in Comoros is one of the popular tourist destinations in the world with fantastic white sand, turquoise sea beaches and excellent diving, snorkeling, sailing, spear fishing, angling and other water sports. The Tourist Attractions in Mayotte Island consist of various beautiful stunning beaches surrounded by coral reefs and other picturesque locations and sites. There are also various archeological areas in Mayotte.Every year, large numbers of travelers come in the period from June to October which is the best time to visit Mayotte Tourist Attractions for a memorable experience with family and friends as it is cooler and best time for visiting Mayotte.
Travelling here will bring you to the beauty and wonders of a French island in the Indian Ocean with one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. It is also a perfect spot to break a sweat and enjoy several water activities, including diving excursions and jet-ski tours among many others.