(Department of Mayotte)
- Location: East Africa (Indian Ocean)
- Capital: Mamoudzou
- Language(s): Shimaore, French, Swahili
- Population: 201,000
- Total Area: 374 sq km
- Currency: Euro
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Mayotte is mainly a Muslim nation and alcohol is not readily available. However, it is still sold in certain areas especially in the capital. Locally-brewed drinks are also available in many places.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: Not available
- Most Popular Drink(s): Fruit juices, local beers
Mayotte is an island nation off the coast of East Africa. Situated in the Indian Ocean, it is composed mainly of one large island (called Mahoré or Grand Terre) and a smaller one called Petite-Terre (an apt description, you might say). The smaller island is also sometimes referred to as Pamanzi. As with other island nations, there is a number of islets surrounding these islands. Mayotte is straddled between Madagascar and Mozambique while the islands of Comoros are not too far, and it has Mamoundzou Prefecture as its capital. The nation has a history of colonization by France and just recently, citizens voted to become an overseas department of France. Expectedly, French is the official language.
Even though Mayotte is politically separate from the islands of the Comoros, it is interesting to learn that an overwhelming population are ethnic Comorians. Making up over 90% of the population, the Comorians are the predominant ethnolingustic group in the country and they share features of the Arabs (who have a long history with the region), Malagasy and Bantus. Others include the Swahili from East Africa, French, who colonized the area and others, are members of the indigenous tribal groups.
As in other parts of Africa, one thing that you will thoroughly enjoy while in Mayotte is the food. The local delicacies will leave you asking for more and more. As a result of history and culture, the various dishes available reflect the different traditions in the area, and that is why Indian, African, Arab and European dishes are widely available. The environment also ensures that seafood is abundant –go for grilled crabs or steamed and spicy oysters. Meat is also available in various styles –boiled, fried or even smoked. Chicken or beef, just place your order. If you ever step on this island, do not leave until your tongue savors the heavenly sensation of fish and coconut milk.
Mayotte is a predominantly Muslim island and that means alcohol is somewhat restricted. However, there are some restaurants and hotels in the capital that serve wines and beers from across the globe. Local beers are also made from food crops such as cassava.
Like many of the other island nations that I have been priviledged to visit, Mayotte is a place of scenic beauty and it offers the visitor spectacular places to visit. These include the port of Longoni and the many coral reefs that encircle the nation.
- Mayotte is surrounded by enchantingly beautiful coral reefs.
- According to local traditions, the name of the can be translated to mean Island of the Dead.
- The capital city is also called Momoju and it is also nice to know it was not always the capital. Dzaoudzi was the capital until 1977 when Mamoundzou was adopted.
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