Updated: Sep 27
Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France officially named the Department of Mayotte, The territory is also known as Maore.
It consists of the main island, Grande-Terre (or Maore), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two.
Mayotte is part of the Comoros archipelago, located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique.
The biggest city is Mamoudzou on Grande-Terre.
Reason for naming the country
The term Mayotte (or Maore) may refer to all of the department's islands, of which the largest is known as Maore (French: Grande-Terre) and includes Maore's surrounding islands, most notably Pamanzi (French: Petite-Terre), or only to the largest island. The name is believed to come from Mawuti, a contraction of the Arabic جزيرة الموت Jazīrat al-Mawt – meaning "island of death" (maybe due to the dangerous reefs circling the island) and corrupted to Mayotta in Portuguese, later turned into French. However, the local name is Mahore, and the Arabic etymology is doubtful.
The Flag of Mayotte is the Flag of France, as it does not possess any official flag. However, the Coat of arms of Mayotte is well defined and was adopted by the predecessor entity of the Department of Mayotte in 1982.
The island also has an unofficial flag and coat of arms which is used locally. The unofficial flag is a white rectangle with the coat of arms in the middle and the name MAYOTTE in red above the coat of arms. The coat of arms consists of a white shield braced by two grey seahorses on the right and left sides. The shield bears two cloud designs red at the bottom and blue at the top.
The blue cloud has a white crescent moon facing up and the red cloud has two yellow flowers. There is a banner at the bottom of the shield with the words RA HACHIRI which in Comorian language means we are vigilant.
The French national flag was adopted as the national flag in Mayotte in 1794 when Mayotte voted to become a political part of France.
The local flag of Mayotte Island has the colors of the French national flag. The three colors are blue, red, and white which are the major colors in France’s history. The three colors are at times assumed to represent the components of the revolutionary motto, blue symbolizes freedom, white represents equality, and red symbolizes brotherhood.
French is the only official language of Mayotte. It is the language used for administration, school system, on television and radio as well as in commercial announcements and billboards.
Despite this, the knowledge of French in Mayotte is lower than in any other part of France. Besides the French language, there are the native languages of Mayotte which are divided into Shimaore, a dialect of the Comorian language (a close relative of Swahili), Kibushi, a western dialect of the Malagasy language (the language of Madagascar) heavily influenced by Shimaore and Arabic
Kiantalaotsi, another western dialect of the Malagasy language also heavily influenced by Shimaore and Arabic.
Arabic, is essentially learned in the Quranic schools.
The main religion in Mayotte is Islam, with 97% of the population Muslim and 3% Christian.
The main religious minority, Roman Catholicism, has no proper diocese but is served, together with Comoros, by a missionary jurisdiction, the Apostolic Vicariate of Comoros Archipelago.
The politics of Mayotte takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic government and of a multi-party system, whereby the President of the Departmental Council is the head of the local assembly.
Executive power is exercised by the French government.
The climate of Mayotte is tropical, with a hot, humid, and rainy season from December to April, when the north-west monsoon prevails, and a relatively cool, dry, and sunny season from June to October, when the south-east trade winds prevail, while May and November can be considered as transitional months.
Mayotte is an archipelago consisting of two main islands, Grande-Terre (or Maore) and Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), plus some smaller islets. The archipelago is an overseas department of France and is located in the Indian Ocean, at a latitude of nearly 13 degrees south.
The average daily temperature ranges between 27 °C in the warmest period (January-April) to 23/24 °C in the coolest period (June-September). From June to September, the temperature never exceeds 32 °C, while from November to March, it can sometimes reach 34/35 °C, moreover, high humidity in this period makes the heat uncomfortable.
The best time to visit Mayotte for a beach holiday is from June to October: the temperature is pleasantly warm, the sun frequently shines and the rains are rare.
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