Cocos (Keeling) Islands

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How lucky I am to have a card from Cocos (Keeling) Islands! 🙂 It comes from Karen. You should check out her page on Facebook. If you liked that, you should probably check out the Cocos Dive page as well, it looks amazing there! 🙂

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The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located in the middle of the Indian Ocean some 2750km north-west of Perth, and 900km west south-west of Christmas Island, its closest neighbour. Cocos lies approximately 12° south and 96.5° east, locating the islands in the humid tropical zone.

There are 27 coral islands in the group. Captain William Keeling discovered the islands in 1609, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. Annexed by the UK in 1857, they were transferred to the Australian Government in 1955. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island and the ethnic Malays on Home Island.

Grown throughout the islands, coconuts are the sole cash crop. Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but additional food and most other necessities must be imported from Australia. There is a small tourist industry.

 

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Mayotte

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My first card from Mayotte comes from Rouwaida. 🙂

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Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre (or Maore), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, namely between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. Mayotte’s area is 374 square kilometres and, with its 212,645 people, is very densely populated at 569 per km².

Its biggest city and prefecture is Mamoudzou. The territory is geographically part of the Comoro Islands, but the people of Mayotte chose to remain politically a part of France in the 1975 referendum. Mayotte became an overseas department of France in March 2011 in consequence of a 29 March 2009 referendum. The outcome was a 95.5 per cent vote in favour of changing the island’s status from a French “overseas community” to become France’s 101st département.

Réunion

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My first card from Réunion comes from Elena, who’s originally from Spain and just moved to this magical island! 😀

Réunion is a French island with a population of 840,974 inhabitants (as of January 2013) located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island.

Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, is part of the Eurozone.

The island is 63 kilometres long; 45 kilometres wide; and covers 2,512 square kilometres. It is similar to the Island of Hawaiʻi as both are located above hotspots in the Earth’s crust.

The island has been designated by Unesco as a protected natural site.

 

 

Mozambique

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My first card from Mozambique comes from Luis. 🙂 I absolutely love this card! As I wrote in my previous blog post – cards picturing aspects of real life are real jems! Instead of writing some random information about Mozambique, I’ll just quote what Luis has written on the back of the card: “Here you can see something common all along the Mozambican coast: fishmongers waiting for the day’s catch, fresh from the Indian Ocean. Notice that they’re dressed traditionally, with the head and lower body pieces.” A really great card! 🙂

Christmas Island

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This gorgeous card is now part of my collection thanks to Christmas Island Tourism Association. (You should also visit their Facebook page.) 😀

The Territory of Christmas Island is a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean. It has a population of 2,072 residents who live in a number of “Settlement areas” on the northern tip of the island: Flying Fish Cove (also known as Kampong), Silver City, Poon Saan, and Drumsite. It is called Christmas Island because it was discovered on Christmas Day.

The island’s geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of endemism among its flora and fauna. 63% of its 135 square kilometres is an Australian national park. There exist large areas of primary monsoonal forest.

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I absolutely love how the Christmas Island postmark has a huge crab on it! 😀

The Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis, is a species of land crab that is endemic to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. Although restricted to a relatively small area, it has been estimated that 43.7 million adult red crabs lived on Christmas Island alone, but the accidental introduction of the yellow crazy ant is believed to have killed about 10–15 million of these in recent years. Christmas Island red crabs are well known for their annual mass migration to the sea to lay their eggs in the ocean.

Mauritius

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My very first card from the beautiful island of Mauritius comes from Tasneem. 🙂

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, the islands of Agalega and the archipelago Saint Brandon.

The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507. The Dutch settled on the island in 1638 and abandoned it in 1710. Five years later, the island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France. The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country remained under British rule until it became an independent Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.

The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural; most Mauritians are multilingual, and English, French, Creole and Asian languages are used. The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system. Mauritius is highly ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom.

The island of Mauritius was the only home of the Dodo bird. The bird became extinct fewer than eighty years after its discovery.