Mayotte is an insular department and region of France officially named Département de Mayotte. It consists of an island, Grande-Terre, a smaller island, Petite-Terre. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, the department status of Mayotte is recent and the region remains the poorest in France. Mayotte is nevertheless much more prosperous than the countries of the Mozambique Channel. Mayottes area is 374 square kilometres and, with its 212,645 people, is densely populated at 569 per km². The biggest city and prefecture is Mamoudzou on Grande-Terre, however, the Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport is located on the neighbouring island of Petite-Terre. The territory is part of the Comoro Islands. The territory is known as Maore, the native name of its main island. The language of the majority is Shimaore, a Bantu language variety closely related to the varieties in the neighbouring Comoros islands, the second most widely spoken native language is Kibushi, a Malagasy language variety most closely related to the Sakalava dialect of Malagasy with influences from Shimaore. The vast majority of the population is Muslim, the island was populated from neighbouring East Africa with later arrival of Arabs, who brought the Islamic religion. A sultanate was established in 1500, the people of Mayotte voted to remain politically a part of France in the 1974 referendum. The term Mayotte may refer to all of the islands, of which the largest is known as Maore and includes Maores surrounding islands, most notably Pamanzi. The main island, Grande-Terre, geologically the oldest of the Comoro Islands, is 39 kilometres long and 22 kilometres wide, because of the volcanic rock, the soil is relatively rich in some areas. A coral reef encircling much of the island ensures protection for ships, Dzaoudzi was the capital of Mayotte until 1977. It is situated on Petite-Terre, which at 10 square kilometres is the largest of several islets adjacent to Maore, in 1500, the Maore or Mawuti sultanate was established on the island. In 1503, Mayotte was observed by Portuguese explorers, but not colonized, in 1832, Mayotte was conquered by Andriantsoly, former king of Iboina on Madagascar, in 1833, it was conquered by the neighbouring sultanate of Mwali. On 19 November 1835, Mayotte was again conquered by the Ndzuwani Sultanate, however, in 1836 it regained its independence under a last local Sultan. Mayotte was purchased by France in 1841 and it was the only island in the archipelago that voted in referendums in 1974 and 1976 to retain its link with France and forgo independence
The "rock" of Dzaoudzi and "Petite-Terre".
Tsingoni's mosque is the oldest in activity in France.