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TO5LA Mayotte

TO5LA Team will be active from Mayotte, IOTA AF - 027, 28 March - 2 April 2024.
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Mayotte Island

Mayotte is a small island cluster in the Gulf of Mozambique, located roughly midway between Africa and the northern tip of the island of Madagascar. The island chain includes several small islets in addition to the main island of Maore, the largest of which is Pamansi. All of them are part of the Comoros archipelago, territorially are the property of France and since 2011 form a separate overseas department. The currency of Mayotte - euro, besides the residents, having a local passport, nothing prevents travel within the Schengen zone. It should be clarified that the political status of the territory is not so unambiguous, as there are still disputes between the French and the Union of Comoros over it.

TO5LA MayotteMayotte. Author - Alexandre Morel.

Highlights of the past

At the turn of the 16th century, the Arabs settled on the archipelago and turned it into a sultanate. In 1503, a colony was established on Mayotte by Portuguese adventurers. In 1832 the territory was first conquered by the Madagascar monarch, and in 1833 it was transformed into the sultanate of Mwali, which was succeeded by another sultanate - Ndzuwani. The period of French rule was marked by Mayotte receiving protectorate status in 1843. For a time as part of the Comoros Islands, it was considered a colony of France, and since 1946 the Comoros has been a French overseas territory. After a series of political events in 2009, Mayotte became a full-fledged French department by referendum, which was finally approved in 2011.

To Whom You Belong...

The flag of the department of Mayotte hints at the commitment to France, as it unambiguously reflects its tricolor symbolism, while the department's own flag is pure white, with a coat of arms. If you look at the enlarged coat of arms, it shows a philosophical inscription - "We are vigilant" - in the depth of the meaning of which everyone understands in his own way. The hegemony of French political traditions is also evidenced by the singing of the corresponding anthem, although according to the geographical affiliation it seems logical that the anthem of the Comoros should be sung.

TO5LA Mayotte DX NewsMayotte. Author - Jan Dunzweiler.

People and mores

The population of the islands is about 250,000, which is not a lot. However, the archipelago is ahead of other French departments in terms of population density. On average 657 people live on 1km2. Most of the population speaks the Maori dialect of the Comorian language, but only 35% of the population speaks French, and this despite the fact that French is the official language of the department. Interestingly, there are many people on the islands who do not know French at all, but do not feel uncomfortable about it.

Far away, but not offended

There is an obvious financial dependence of the overseas administrative unit on France, which provides its subjects with social guarantees in the form of subsidies and benefits, especially for pensioners. Despite the subsidized budget, education on the islands is free, and the majority of people are quite satisfied with the quality of medical care.

It is no exaggeration to say that Mayotte lives ten times more prosperous than its neighbors, who can only entertain themselves with hope. Nowadays, not everyone visits the atoll as it used to be, as the French central authorities introduced a visa regime due to the influx of migrants from neighboring islands and illegal attempts to overthrow the local administration in the mid-90s of the last century. Anyone detained for illegal stay in the territory faces trouble in the form of imprisonment in special places, the location of which is not publicized. It is known that the conditions of detention there are extremely harsh, which has been repeatedly emphasized by EU representatives.

TO5LA Mayotte Tourist attractions spotMayotte. Author - Laurent Marcel Plantard.

The power of tradition

Alongside the powerful wagging of indigenous traditions on the lives of islanders, the French authorities have sought to somehow regularize the moral and ethical aspects of life by putting a lock on deeply rooted and previously considered natural ways of life. For example, since 1995, polygamy has not been permitted, and marriages are not allowed before the age of 18, as opposed to the previous 15. Judicial matters are the responsibility of the civil court, which not long ago replaced the authoritative Islamic Sharia law for the majority.

The strong influence of Islam is evidenced by the fact that about 97% of the residents are Muslims and only 3% are Catholics, so it is not surprising that namazes and restrictions on entertainment during Ramadan are a common practice, imposing a cultural identity. However, such an order raises a number of questions among the younger generation in terms of the need for strict obedience to tradition, which is something that those who were brought up in the French manner are more likely to think about.

No factories or steamships

There are no industrial enterprises on the archipelago, so the waters along the coast and the air are always in perfect condition. With a constant humidity of 85%, the air is very comfortable to breathe. On the islands lying in the zone of dominance of the marine tropical climate, the transitional seasons are actually not expressed, so you can observe only summer and winter. During the conditional summer, which lasts from November to April, there is a lot of rain and sunshine with air temperatures up to 36℃. In winter, that is, from May to October, when rainfall decreases sharply, the air is slightly cooler with an average temperature of 24℃. In total, about 1100 mm of rain pours out of the sky in a year, and this is if we talk about the average. In fact, there are central and coastal areas that receive almost three times as much rainfall per year.

An undiscovered "treasure"

Despite the climatic flavor of the tourist business on Mayotte "weather" does not make, the fault of what remoteness and infrastructural inappropriateness. However, those who have visited these islands, received a portion of impressions 100%. Divers can see the underwater kingdom of corals and rare fish, among which is Latimeria - a relict species of kysteperi, found only here. Those who can't imagine rest without a fishing rod are guaranteed great fishing, and fans of birds, walking on land, will be able to admire the beauty of several dozen species of exotic birds.

TO5LA Where is Mayotte located. Map.

TO5LA Mayotte. Sunrise 07-19-2024 at 03:20 GMT sunset at 14:50 GMT
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Ros Bunyat-Zade
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  • 2024-04-12 19:11:59
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Jim Reisert
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