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The island of Mayotte: Top 20 things to do

Last update : 05/12/2024

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This is a French island that few people actually know. Located at about 1400 Km northwest of Reunion Island and 300 Km from the Malagasy territory, many people wonder where Mayotte is on a world map! This small island paradise, as I like to call it, I lived there for almost four years. This small island in the Indian Ocean, located in the Mozambique Channel, between the African continent and the island of Madagascar, has in my eyes everything one could love about a tropical island. I present to you the things to do on the island of Mayotte . If you are preparing your trip, I invite you to read the article “ When to go to Mayotte? ” Come on, let’s discover one of the least known overseas departments.

The unmissable things to do on the island of mayotte

The island of Mayotte is a French department (formerly an overseas territory) geographically belonging to the Comoros archipelago (islands of Anjouan, Mohéli and Grande Comores). The total area of this volcanic island is 376 km2. The island has one of the largest lagoons in the world, almost closed, with a reef surrounding almost the entire island. The island is also famous for its multiple mangrove areas and its coral beds (people from Reunion Island often come for that), its sea turtle nests, its baobabs, and its Ylang Ylang culture.

This French territory is composed of two main islands: Grande Terre and Petite Terre. The capital of the island is Mamoudzou. Historically, Mayotte has been French since 1841, the rest of the Comoros was attached as a French protectorate. In 1946, Mayotte was then attached to the Comorian territory, formerly having the status of a French colony, detached from the island of Madagascar. In 1975, the independence of the Comoros was declared after consultation. In 2011, after a referendum, Mayotte became the 101st French department – DOM – (with Guyana, Reunion Island, Guadeloupe and Martinique).

  • The two official languages are French and Shimaore (Bantu African language derived from Swahili, mainly spoken in East Africa),
  • Many people live on food crops,
  • An important crossbreeding is found on the island with mainly a Comorian, Malagasy and African population,
  • A tropical climate is present all year round with a dry season and a rainy season (cyclonic period). It remains relatively safe from cyclones compared to Mauritius or Reunion Island,
  • From a geological point of view, the island of Mayotte is a hot spot,

I will purposely not talk about the recent situation on the island, that is not the point of this article. The problems of illegal immigration, slums, the living conditions of the population, departmentalization, delinquency, and recurrent general strikes are, however, real issues. For all that, the problems seem to be generally ignored for the moment…

the island of mayote in the indian ocean

So, no, life is not “all pink and beautiful” on the island of Mayotte, far from it, but it remains engraved in my heart as an extraordinary experience that I had the opportunity to live. The territory is complex, on the border of two worlds, one of which is the Union of the Comoros, just opposite, 70 km north of Mayotte. Even if the situation today is not easy for the island, I wish for all the Mahorais living on the island that the situation will improve in the very near future.

In the meantime, I hope that this article will encourage people to come and discover this island which remains in my eyes a pearl of the Indian Ocean. Even today, I find myself saying “if there weren’t so many insecurity problems on the island, I would spend my life there”! Here are, according to me, the must-see places in Mayotte.

mayotte island tourism

  • Mayotte island safari : soak up the island's classic but unforgettable charm on this safari tour.
  • Manta ray and dolphin safari : dive into an extraordinary adventure as you swim alongside these magnificent creatures in the lagoon!
  • Whale watching : in season, don't miss the unique experience of watching these marine giants in their natural habitat.
  • Introductory dive : explore the seabed in this must-do activity, especially if it's your first time!
  • Lagoon snorkelling : discover one of the most stunning lagoons we've ever had the pleasure to explore!

Book in advance to discover other exciting experiences on Mayotte.

1 - Scuba diving in Mayotte

If I had to answer the question “what to do on the island of Mayotte”, the answer would be obvious. This will probably be the subject of a full article, but diving in Mayotte is in one word GRANDIOSE. I had the opportunity to dive a lot on the island during my first stay. I went through more or less every dive spot on the island and I must admit that even after diving in other parts of the world, Mayotte remains superior to many places. French Polynesia for example is very rich in “big fish”, but the biodiversity remains very poor.

For those looking for a good serious diving club, you can go to my friend Max at Club Hippocampe Plongée , or to Alex at Nautilus Plongée .

On the program: great diversity of corals, tropical fish everywhere, various marine mammals, in short, an exceptional seabed as I have rarely seen.

best things to on mayotte island ? diving

2 - Discovering the beaches of Mayotte Island

During your visit to Mayotte, discover the beautiful beaches of the island. To name only the most famous: the beaches of Ngouja (south of the island), Sakouli beach, Sohoa beach (west coast) or Boueni beaches, remain places to visit without a doubt during your tour of the island! This is the opportunity to go with your snorkeling gear and discover the beautiful underwater world of the island (corals, crabs, anemones, various fish, etc.). The continental slope of Sakouli beach is particularly beautiful.

3 - Meeting with lemurs

Among the nice things to do on the island of Mayotte, meet the lemurs. These animals, which look like small monkeys, can be found all over the island. The famous N’gouja beach is the easiest spot to observe them. Many tourists and locals feed them bananas, so they are used to them. You can also see them in the center of the island in the forest or simply in the city center walking on the wires… A nice encounter with a very docile animal overall!

seing makis on mayotte island

4 - Swimming with turtles

Among the must-sees in Mayotte, swimming with turtles remains a must-do. I have never seen a place in the world where you can swim and approach turtles in their natural environment. The beach of N’gouja (the same as the lemurs) is really famous for that. Take your mask and snorkel (avoid the low tide), and go discover this wonderful world! Of course, you will often come across turtles while diving…

5 - Take a boat trip on the lagoon

It is clearly a must on the island of Mayotte. Several providers offer day trips on the lagoon around the island. Everyone has their preferences but I particularly recommend Mayotte Découverte, Planète Bleu or Lagon Aventure. The days are more or less the same and you will generally have the opportunity to go around the island and look for dolphins, manta rays or whales when the season is right. In any case, you will take advantage of this day to sunbathe, discover the superb beaches of the North or South of the island, do some snorkeling, all this accompanied by a good local meal! Depending on the providers and the tides, they will also take you to visit the mangrove!

Top 20 things to do on mayotte island

6 - Climbing Mount Choungui

Well, okay, climbing is a big word because the second highest peak of the island (594m), behind Mount Benara, is accessible from the village of the same name Choungui. Depending on your condition, the hike can take about an hour. The view from the summit is breathtaking, a true 360°. In fact, I wrote a full article on “ A hike to Mount Choungui ”.

7 - Going around Lake Dziani on Petite Terre

The island of Petite Terre (where the airport is located) is home to a superb natural site, Lake Dziani . This site is a crater lake (maars). Two others, partially collapsed, are visible from the top of the site. The tour of the lake is done without particular difficulty and you will have a breathtaking view of the lagoon and the beaches of Moya. I recommend doing the tour early in the morning, early enough before the sun hits too hard.

8 - A day by kayak on the Bandrelé islet

This is an outing I had the opportunity to do several times when friends or family visited me. All you have to do is rent kayaks on the beach of Sakouli, on the east coast of the island and set off (depending on the tides) for 30 minutes of kayaking in direction of the islet. The ideal is to prepare a picnic and eat on site. There, you will enjoy small beautiful white-sand beaches but above all, one of the most beautiful snorkeling sites on the northeast coast of the islet.

some food on mayotte island

9 - Eating ``brochettis``

And yes, among the essential passages of the island of Mayotte, brochettis remain a must. Personally, I used to go there once or twice a week. The idea is simple, plastic tables and chairs, and on the menu chicken wings (Mabawa), meat and fish sticks, all served with “Chaoula” (manioc, sweet potato, breadfruit) and “poutou” (local chilli pepper). You will find them all around the island, more or less elaborate, more or less frequented by mzungus (as foreigners are called in Mayotte). It remains a very good way to eat local and economical.

10 - Go around the island and admire the views

For all tourists passing through Mayotte, I recommend renting a car for at least one day, and going around the island to admire all the views overlooking the lagoon. The most beautiful places remain in my eyes, the north of the island and the magnificent views of the M’tzamboro islets, from the village of the same name. The south of the island is also beautiful and offers all along the road, superb views of the beautiful colors of the lagoon.

tour the island of mayotte, a must

11 - Walk around the city of Mamoudzou and explore the market

And yes, it might sound silly to say, but if you are a little bit curious and enjoy seeing local life, how people live, what’s going on in the “city center”, a walk from the city center to the seaside is quite nice. Everything is very close anyway! Take an hour to discover Mamoudzou market which is quite nice to see. There, you will find everything and anything: fruits, vegetables, clothes, fish, etc… It is also an opportunity to taste the fresh juice of star fruit, soursop and other local fruits.

12 - Discover Petite Terre and Moya's beaches

One of the nice things to do on the island of Mayotte is to explore the island of Petite Terre. Start by barging from Mamoudzou (yes taking the barge, a kind of local ferry between the 2 islands, has become a verb on the island!). There, you can walk, hitch-hike, or rent a bike. Go around the island to appreciate the local life of this little piece of island. End your day trip on the beaches of Moya, in the north of the island.

13 - Spend an evening or an afternoon on Saziley island.

South of the island is the Saziley islet, a perfect islet of white sand as one would almost dream of. Not much to do here except to laze with your feet in the sand. I had the opportunity to go there several times on day trips by boat, even with a friend’s boat or to spend the evening of a New Year’s Day. Be careful however if you decide to bivouac on the islet, the tidal range is high in Mayotte (4m more or less) and the islet can be covered by the sea at high tide. I have friends who have been trapped before!

things to not miss on mayotte island

14 - Spend an afternoon at the Gite du Mont Combani

Accessible from a bumpy road (at the time) on the crossroad leading to the village of Vahibe, the site exudes a peaceful atmosphere in the heart of the Mahoraise forest. You simply feel good there, with the cries of birds and lemurs that resonate. This is the opportunity to relax in this small paradise far from the city and the noise. Take a moment to enjoy a good fresh juice and some homemade cakes. For lovers of nature and peace, you can spend the night or the weekend. Here is their website !

15 - Visit the interior of the island by Quad bike

Among the nice things to do on the island of Mayotte, crossing the island by Quad allows you to have a very good view of the center and the forest of the island. You can rent a quad for a few hours and set off with a guide to discover the trails in the interior of the island. It’s a change from the beach and it’s quite nice to do!

16 - Hiking on the island

Even if the island of Mayotte is clearly more oriented beach and diving than mountain, there are some nice walks to do there. I told you about Mount Choungui above, but you can also climb to the highest peak of the island, Mount Benara, but also go on the “Marches d’Acoua” hike. In recent years, there could often be concerns of insecurity in the area. So, I recommend going with several people, in groups.

mayotte island what to do there

17 - Witness a turtle emergence

The Oulanga Na Nyamba association allows you, after registration, to attend this surreal spectacle of the spawning of green turtles. Let yourself be tempted by this superb experience!

18 - Visit the botanical garden of Coconi

Don’t expect a huge botanical garden. It is good to spend an hour strolling in a quiet place with some beautiful trees and shrubs. Nothing exceptional per se, but on your tour of the island, you can stop there for a short break!

19 - Have a bite to eat at the Moana

This restaurant in downtown Mamdouzou is an institution or almost. It is in my opinion, one of the only tables on the island where we are never really disappointed. I advise everyone to go and eat there one evening. Very nice atmosphere and very good food.

20 - Having breakfast at the Sakouli hotel

The last thing I found nice to do on the island of Mayotte is to go and have breakfast at the Sakouli hotel. The setting is beautiful and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the infinity pool with a view on the magnificent lagoon. To spend a few hours, it is really great.

Some practical advice

To get to the island of Mayotte from France, you will need a minimum of 550€. Flights can go up to 1000€ depending on the season. The main airlines are Kenya Airways, XL Airways and Air Austral. There are direct flights from Paris regularly. Find the cheapest flights here. I usually use this flight comparator to look for cheap flights .

For those looking for accommodation on the island of Mayotte, I personally recommend the Jardin Maoré in the south of the island (beautiful setting), the Sakouli hotel (superb with its swimming pool overlooking the lagoon) and La Cannelia (for a nice experience in the middle of nature).

If you are looking for a rental car on the island, I usually compare prices on this site to find the best deals.

That’s it, I’ve come to the end of this article. I hope I gave you the desire to come and discover this beautiful island that will remain in my heart for a long time. Even if the context of the island is not simple, don’t hesitate! You can see that there are quite a lot of things to do on the island of Mayotte, right?

Moreover, if you like islands and the African atmosphere, take a trip to the beautiful island of Ibo in Mozambique .

Have a nice trip in the Indian Ocean!

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author Sylvain Pons

Written by Sylvain PONS

From 2011 to 2015, Mélanie and I lived for four years on the island of Mayotte. This allowed us to appreciate the island's beauty, its culture, and its endearing population. It was undoubtedly one of our best life experiences!

Despite our care, a mistake may have slipped into this article. If you find any, please don't hesitate to let us know so we can correct it as soon as possible and keep our information up-to-date!

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Hi, I’ m glad I found your informations on Mayotte.Almost nothing useful is on the internet.I lived a very basic life for 13 years in Jamaica in a bamboo house I built myself.I planted fruit trees and vegetables and even established a small local vegan Cafe.Unfortunately I lost it all when a catergory 4 hurricane struck the island.I moved on and “gypsied” all over North/South Anerica.Now I’ m longing to live again on an island prefarably with no mass tourism where I can still find my l”heaven” to start all over once more.My eyes fell on Mayotte,it sounds like it could be the right place for me.I am multilingual,an artist,a gypsy woman , creative energy is my engine to always keep going to create my life in harmony with nature and it’s people.I learned after I lost everything through mother nature,that one can travel the world even with no money at all.It all depends on your own comfort zone……

Thanks you. I sincerely hope you’ll found what you’re looking for. Mayotte is much more calm regarding hurricane than Caribbeans islands (I do live in Guadeloupe now).

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  • 1.1 Tourist information
  • 3 Other destinations
  • 4.1 By plane
  • 4.2 By boat
  • 5 Get around
  • 14 Stay safe
  • 15 Stay healthy

Mayotte is an archipelago among the East African Islands , lying in the Indian Ocean channel between Madagascar and Mozambique . It's a French overseas department with a population of 299,348 in 2022. Most live on the large island of Grande-Terre, which somewhat resembles a sea horse, used on Mayotte's coat of arms. A 2 km channel separates it from Petite-Terre, also urbanised; the other islets are tiny with only a handful of residents.

The first known human habitation was in the 7th century CE, and early settlement was from the East African mainland and from Madagascar. Mayotte lay on the Arab trade routes, adopted Islam, and from 1500 became a sultanate. From time to time it fought with its neighbours, and in the 1830s Andriantsoly in exile from Madagascar grabbed power here as Sultan. Madagascar was backed by the British so he needed an equivalent Great Power ally, and in 1841 he sold the whole place to France. He got 5000 francs, which he mostly drank, until in 1847 an assassin nailed him slightly ahead of the bottle. Subsequently all of Comoros, Réunion and Mayotte became a French protectorate. Attempts to develop Mayotte for sugar plantations, as in the Caribbean, were stymied by the rugged terrain and long transport routes.

Modern France looked to divest itself of colonies, and in 1974 held a referendum on independence for Comoros. This was overwhelmingly in favour except in Mayotte, which voted 63% to remain French. It was therefore hived off, against Comoros protests. Subsequent referendums have only strengthened Mayotte's stance, and it became an overseas department in 2011. It's therefore eligible for EU funding and other social provision, not least its white-collar jobs. French secular law and ethos is potentially in conflict with sharia and other aspects of Islam, but religion is a relaxed affair here, with no groundswell of jihad or anti-western terrorism. Comoros continues to play diplomatic badminton, raising protests which France swats away, and the debate doesn't affect travellers. Indeed the people of Comoros have similarly voted with their feet - many of Mayotte's population are illegal immigrants from there.

Less than half of the population understand French and very few speak French fluently, see § Talk . You're more likely to be understood by younger folk.

The climate is tropical marine. It's wet Nov-May during northeastern monsoon, and dry May to November, so April to October is the best time to visit. The temperature variation is only a few degrees so it's the rain and mud that decides you. Cyclones are possible but uncommon in the wet season, as the main belt is further north and west.

The landscape is rugged, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks.

Tourist information

Map

  • -12.781389 45.231667 1 Mamoudzou is the capital.
  • -12.844 45.186 2 Dembéni is on the east coast.
  • -12.913 45.194 3 Bandrele is on the southeast coast.
  • -12.85 45.1 4 Sada is the main settlement on the west coast.
  • -12.723 45.059 5 Acoua is in the northwest.
  • -12.719 45.117 6 Dzoumogné is on the north coast.
  • -12.736 45.206 7 Koungou is also on the north coast.
  • -12.788 45.27 8 Dzaoudzi was the capital of Mayotte until 1977.
  • -12.794 45.278 9 Pamandzi occupies the south side of the island.

Other destinations

  • -12.811 45.236 1 M'bouzi the islet between Grande- and Petite-Terre is a nature reserve.
  • -12.645 45.03 2 Chissioua Mtsamboro , also known as Zamburu or Saddle Island, is the third largest of the archipelago. It's hilly, inhabited by some 20 fisherfolk, and has no visitor facilities.

Mayotte like other French overseas territories is not part of the Schengen area. Western visitors don't need a visa for Mayotte, but your passport must have 3 months of validity beyond your departure date.

There are no direct flights from Europe or the Middle East. From Paris ORY or CDG fly Air France via Saint-Denis on Réunion, and from Amsterdam fly KLM / Kenya Airways via Nairobi.

Air Austral fly twice a day from Saint-Denis , taking 70 min to Mayotte, so the journey time from Paris is about 18 hours.

Kenya Airways fly four days a week from Nairobi , taking 2 hr 30 min to Mayotte. Journey time from Amsterdam on connecting days is 16 hours.

Ewa Air is a Mayotte-based airline, with flights from Antananarivo , Nosy Be , Antsiranana (aka Diego-Suárez) and Mahajanga on Madagascar. They also fly from Anjouan and Moroni on Comoros.

-12.803 45.282 1 Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi Airport ( DZA  IATA ) is at the south tip of Petite-Terre. Reckon an hour by taxi and ferry to reach the capital. In 2022 a taxi from the airport to the ferry pier costs €5.60 M-Sa daytime, €8.20 Sunday or at night.

mayotte island tourism

SGTM ferry sails four days a week from Mutsamudu on Anjouan , Comoros. It takes 3 hours to Dzaoudzi and in 2022 an adult single fare is €185. The ferry pier is the same as for La Barge to Grande-Terre. From Moroni on Grand Comoros change ferries at Mutsamudu.

Cruise ships occasionally visit Mayotte.

La Barge is the car ferry between Mamoudzou (Gare Maritime) on Grande-Terre and Dzaoudzi (Issoufali) on Petite-Terre. It sails every 30 min 06:00-20:00 and hourly through the night, taking 15 min. Single fare in 2022 is €0.75 per foot passenger, €15 per car. A second ferry on a parallel route is for trucks.

Europcar are the rental company here, with desks at the airport and at Mamoudzou Gare Maritime.

"Bush taxis" ( taxi brousse ) connect the main settlements. Consider hiring one to show you round the sights for a few hours, rather than navigate the roads yourself.

French is the official language and is spoken by roughly 63% of the population, especially younger people. More commonly-spoken are Mahorian (a dialect of Swahili ) and Malagasy.

See the French version of this page for basic local vocabulary.

Mayotte lacks "sights", with no great architecture or natural wonders.

  • What's on? Mayotte Hebdo is the island newspaper.
  • Hike to the summit of Mt Choungui, the distinctive volcanic cone in the south. At 593 m it's the second-highest peak, but commands better views than the highest Benara (660 m and central).
  • Lemurs are the signature beast of Madagascar, but the maki or common brown lemur ( Eulemur fulvus ) has been introduced to Mayotte. They may be spotted in any quiet forest location.
  • Scuba diving: Mayotte is fringed by a reef, with only a dozen navigable cuts, enclosing a huge doughnut lagoon. There are five or six dive shacks around the coast, offering courses, kit hire and dives.
  • Marine life: Aug to Sept humpback whales give birth in the lagoon, so boat trips can view them with their calves. Sea turtles roost on the southern beaches year-round.
  • Sports: Complexe de Kawani in Mamoudzou is the national multi-use sports venue, hosting Mayotte's football team and other events.
  • Currency is the euro (€).
  • Local produce (bananas, manioc, fish) is inexpensive, imported items (dairy products, manufactured goods) are expensive.

The best of a limited choice is in Mamoudzou.

Tap-water is safe to drink in 93% of the country according to WHO, but not safe according to CDC the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mamoudzou has a couple of free-standing bars, otherwise drink in the cafes.

It's odd that a sugar-producing island doesn't have a rum distillery.

Facilities are poor, with just a couple of hotels in the capital and a couple more on Petite-Terre near the airport. Mayotte lacks beach resort hotels, so it's in the classic trap of few hotels > few tourists > few hotels.

Many folk live in semi-legal shanty towns, which make up in nasty dogs what they lack in mains water, sanitation and electricity. Take great care about airbnb offers.

mayotte island tourism

If you have fluent French and eligibility to work in France, then you might be able to take up a temporary specialist post on Mayotte such as technical support. But the islands have more qualified young people than they can employ, so there are no long-term vacancies.

In the semi-skilled sectors such as catering and construction, Mayotte has a big problem with illegal immigrants from Comoros, who continue to make hazardous crossings on overcrowded fishing boats. About a third of the population are "undocumented" and they will grab any casual post they can. Every few weeks the police come along and bust them. But there's nowhere to deport them or jail them, so they're sternly told to return to Comoros then set free.

Your chief hazard is always traffic, especially on muddy ill-lit streets.

Mayotte has no active volcanoes, but earth tremors have increased since 2018, and a new volcano is taking shape beneath the ocean. Activity has also increased at Karthala the Comoros volcano, but it's not expected to erupt.

Stay healthy

mayotte island tourism

  • Check your health cover – travel insurance valid for France and the EU won't automatically extend to Mayotte. There is a hospital in Mamoudzou, but a serious event such as a heart attack might necessitate a medevac to Europe.
  • Mayotte is low risk for malaria. Take normal precautions against mosquito bites (such as wearing long-sleeved shirts), but anti-malarial medicine is not recommended. Seek medical attention promptly if you develop a fever.

90% of the population are Muslim, following a fairly relaxed form of Islam. They observe Ramadan (which follows a lunar calendar, so it's 11 to 12 days earlier each year) so eating places may be closed daytime, simply for lack of custom.

As of Aug 2022, Mayotte has 4G from Only, Orange, SFR and (in patches) Maore. 5G has not reached these islands.

If you have an EU or UK based mobile, check whether your provider regards Mayotte as part of the EU roaming area.

  • Comoros , Réunion and Madagascar can be reached direct from Mayotte.

mayotte island tourism

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taste2travel

Mayotte Travel Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome to the taste2travel Mayotte Travel Guide!

Date Visited: March 2019

Introduction

Shaped like a seahorse, the French, Indian Ocean, territory of Mayotte is known for its beautiful lagoon, sandy beaches, and lush green countryside.

A view of Mayotte Lagoon from my ultralight flight over the island.

A view of Mayotte Lagoon from my ultralight flight over the island.

Created by ancient volcano’s, Mayotte is made up of eroded mountains and meandering streams and consists of two islands; the smaller, Petite Terre (10 km2), which is home to the airport and a beautiful crater lake and the larger, Grande Terre (39 kilometres long / 22 kilometres wide), which is home to the capital Mamoudzou .

The seahorse-shaped Mayotte.

The seahorse-shaped Mayotte.

Due to its location and past history, Mayotte faces insurmountable social issues (see the following section), with illegal immigration being the most significant. Historically part of the Comoros, at the time of independence in 1975, Mayotte voted to remain French to benefit from French development funds, which residents feared it would no longer receive. The French then embarked on a development program to modernise the island. This program is ongoing and is very much a ‘work in progress’.

The west coast town of Sada as seen from my ultralight flight over Mayotte.

The west coast town of Sada as seen from my ultralight flight over Mayotte.

In 2011, Mayotte became the 101st French département , the country’s newest. The department status of Mayotte is recent and the region remains, by a significant margin, the poorest in France. Mayotte is nevertheless much more prosperous than the other countries of the Mozambique Channel, making it a beacon of hope for illegal refugees.

Mayotte is surrounded by one of the World's largest lagoons.

Mayotte is surrounded by one of the World’s largest lagoons.

The development of Mayotte has created a huge disparity between it and the neighbouring Comoros Island , which is ranked as the 11th poorest nation on earth. While residents on Mayotte earn a third of the salaries of those in metropolitan France, their salaries are 15 times more than those in the neighbouring Comoros.

A shop on Rue du Commerce, the main street of the capital - Mamoudzou.

A shop on Rue du Commerce, the main street of the capital – Mamoudzou.

The capital city of Mayotte is the unremarkable Mamoudzou , which is located on the eastern side of Grand-Terre . An inter-island barge connects Mamoudzou to the island of Petite Terre .

The finest beach on Mayotte, N'Gouja beach is a beautiful gold-sand beach set on a curved bay on the south coast.

The finest beach on Mayotte, N’Gouja beach is a beautiful gold-sand beach set on a curved bay on the south coast.

Tourism on Mayotte is in its infancy, and with a complete lack of hotels and restaurants, it is a challenging travel destination – best suited to intrepid adventurers.

Social Issues

An excellent introduction to the challenges facing Mayotte is provided in the following Al Jazeera documentary (47 mins), which is compulsory viewing for anyone who wishes to understand the complex social and political issues facing this French outpost.

Airfares between Mayotte and its nearest neighbour, Anjoun , are prohibitively expensive at €300 return on Ewa Airways for the 40 minute flight. Additionally, visa’s to Mayotte, which are required by all Comoran passport holders, cost €100.

All very expensive, which forces Comoran’s to undertake a dangerous sea voyage between the islands. The body of water separating the two islands has become the widest cemetery in the world with an estimated 10,000 Comoran’s drowned, most of them women and children.

My guest house in the town of Sada. Homes on Mayotte are secured with bars and grill doors to prevent robberies.

My guest house in the town of Sada. Homes on Mayotte are secured with bars and grill doors to prevent robberies.

The French government estimates that illegal immigrants account for 40% of the islands’ population, which places great pressure on Mayotte’s health, housing and education services.

With such a large portion of the population living in makeshift slums, without any opportunity to work, crime levels are high.

Homes on Mayotte are often surrounded by high security walls and secured with barred windows and grilled doors. The pressure created from such a large number of refugees has led to recent protests.

Environmental Issues

A beach, covered with litter, in the east coast town of Sada.

A beach, covered with litter, in the east coast town of Sada.

Mayotte is a beautiful tropical island which is blessed with green, forested hills and wonderful tropical beaches. Unfortunately, anywhere there are people, the environment is spoiled by illegal dumping and littering, with lots of plastic waste being washed into the turquoise lagoon.

The French government has installed street-side litter bins in urban areas, especially along the waterfront in downtown Mamoudzou, however the bins mostly remain empty while litter covers the ground around them. Educating the locals to place their rubbish in a bin, rather than dropping it on the ground, requires a cultural change which will take time.

In all towns, large, communal, skip bins have been placed by the roadside, but collections do not keep pace with the amount of rubbish being produced, resulting in piles of rubbish covering the ground. Large recycling bins have been installed in all towns, but plastic waste litters every town.

Mamoudzou, Mayotte

Mayotte is the most easterly island in the Comoros archipelago , located in the Mozambique channel , midway between Mozambique and Madagascar.

With an area of 374 square kilometres, Mayotte is an ancient, volcanic island, the terrain is undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks. The territory is surrounded by one of the largest lagoons in the world which is encompassed by an almost impenetrable fringing reef.

The 'S' Pass is one of the few passages through the fringing reef.

The ‘S’ Pass is one of the few passages through the fringing reef.

A Mahorais store owner at Mamoudzou Central market wearing the traditional 'salouva'.

A Mahorais store owner at Mamoudzou Central market wearing the traditional ‘Salouva’.

The population of Mayotte in 2019 was 270,372. Most of the people on Mayotte are Mahorais of Malagasy origin and are Sunni Muslim with influences from French culture.

While French is the official language, most Mahorais speak Shimaore , the same language which is spoken throughout the Comoros Islands. Mahorais woman often look resplendent in their Salouva , a long cotton tube tied around the chest and falling to the feet.

Unlike other French territories, which have sizeable French ex-pat populations, who contribute to the economy and society, French ex-pats on Mayotte represent just 4% of the population . Most of these are conscripted government workers who work mainly in the municipal administration and are in a position of authority. The French clearly are not embracing their newest département !

Camera Shy Locals

The Mahorais will always hide from the camera.

The Mahorais will always hide from the camera.

As a photographer, I was hoping to get some nice people shots on Mayotte, however, I quickly learnt that the Mahorais do not like having their photo taken and will either refuse any requests or turn their back to hide their face. If you want to clear a street in downtown Mamoudzou, you only need to show your camera.

“ Bao ” is Swahili for “board” and refers to a traditional mancala board game which is played throughout Africa, including on Mayotte. The objective of the game is to ‘capture and sow’ beads from the opponents side of the board. The one who captures all beads is the winner. It’s believed the game has existed since the 7th century and possibly existed in Ancient Egypt.

I filmed the following video in the village of Sada, which shows one confident player claiming victory over his opponent.   

Fauna & Flora

Originally introduced from Madagascar, the Common Brown Lemur is widespread on Mayotte.

Originally introduced from Madagascar, the Common Brown Lemur is widespread on Mayotte.

The Common Brown Lemur , originally from Madagascar, was introduced by humans prior to European colonisation and is found throughout Mayotte, in both urban and rural areas (these photos were taken in the town of M’zouasia). A sizeable population can be found on N’Gouja beach , on the south coast.

Lemurs are very inquisitive creatures which allows for excellent photography as they seem to pose for the camera.

Lemurs are very inquisitive creatures which allows for excellent photography as they pose for the camera.

Lemurs normally live in groups of 5 to 12 and are active during the day and early evening. One evening I watched a parade of 10 lemurs tight-rope walking along the length of a power line in Boueni. Lemurs are by nature, inquisitive creatures which makes it easy to photograph them as they’ll come to investigate you.

A juvenile Common Brown Lemur - even more inquisitive than the parents.

A juvenile Common Brown Lemur – even more inquisitive than the parents.

Like many parts of mainland Africa and Madagascar, Mayotte is home to towering baobab trees. These giants of the natural world are omnipresent on Mayotte where they line most beaches. The Baobab originated from sub-Saharan Africa but nowadays is found all over the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the Africa, always in dry places as it does not tolerate humidity.

A towering Baobab tree on Sakouli beach.

A towering Baobab tree on Sakouli beach.

The largest Baobab on Mayotte can be found on Musicale beach and has a trunk circumference of 28 m.

The large fruit of the Baobab tree is used by locals to make fruit juice which has a citrus flavour.

The large fruit of the Baobab tree is used by locals to make fruit juice which has a citrus flavour.

The tree produces a large, pendulous fruit which can grow up to 20 to 30 cm in length. The pulp of the fruit is edible and can be eaten out of hand or diluted in water to make a refreshing drink, which can easily be found on restaurant menus.

The Euro (€).

The Euro (€).

The official currency of Mayotte is the Euro (€) , with €1 currently (June 2019) worth US$1.11 .

Several French banks in downtown Mamoudzou provide ATM’s . Outside of the capital, there are very few ATM’s, and most businesses only accept cash or cheques (from French banks) which are still in wide-spread use in the French world.

Mayotte is not cheap! It’s a mystery why a glass of freshly squeezed juice , made from abundantly available, local, tropical fruit should cost €7!

Sample costs: 

  • Cappuccino at Caribou Hotel : €3 (US$3.36)
  • Fresh Fruit Juice at Caribou Hotel: €7 (US$7.84)
  • Car hire (compact car per day): €75 (US$84)
  • Litre of fuel : €1.34 (US$1.50)
  • Salad at Caribou Hotel : €15 (US$16.80)
  • Main course at Caribou Hotel: €27 (US$30.24)
  • Dessert at Caribou Hotel: €7 (US$7.84)
  • Room in a budget hotel (Airbnb apartment) : (US$80)
  • Room in a mid-range hotel (Maharajah Hotel) : €144 (US$160)

The 'Place Mariage' is the prettiest part of downtown Mamoudzou, offering boutiques, travel agents and electronics shops.

The ‘Place Mariage’ is the prettiest part of downtown Mamoudzou, offering boutiques, travel agents and electronics shops.

Mamoudzou is a charmless, soulless capital which offers little of interest for the visitor. With chaotic streets full of litter, a few hours would be enough to explore the small downtown area , the waterfront and the central market . There’s no reason to stay in town unless you’re here on government duties or for business.

Like their African sisters, the Mahorais woman wear colourful clothing made from African wax printed fabrics.

Like their African sisters, the Mahorais woman wear colourful clothing made from African wax printed fabrics.

The main street, the Rue du Commerce , is lined with shops selling cheap Chinese products, with the occasional clothing store offering a splash of colour.

Spices for sale in Mamoudzou central market.

Spices for sale in Mamoudzou central market.

Located on the waterfront, next to the Office de Tourisme , Mamoudzou Central market offers local produce and spices.

The marina in Mamoudzou harbour is home to pleasure craft, all of which are owned by French ex-pats.

The marina in Mamoudzou harbour is home to pleasure craft, all of which are owned by French ex-pats.

The waterfront in Mamoudzou is home to several informal take-away restaurants which have been setup in shipping containers. A marina is home to various small pleasure craft which are used for weekend recreation by the ex-pat community.

A view of Mamoudzou harbour from the 'Auberge du Rond-Point' restaurant.

A view of Mamoudzou harbour from the ‘Auberge du Rond-Point’ restaurant.

A view of Dzaoudzi from the Inter-island barge.

A view of Dzaoudzi from the Inter-island barge.

Petite Terre is comprised of two islands; the smaller Dzaoudzi and the larger Pamanzi , which are connected by a causeway. Dzaoudzi is the terminus for the inter-island barge while Pamanzi is home to the Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport .

Until 1962, Dzaoudzi served as the capital of the entire Comoros . Today, this sleepy settlement is Mayotte’s administrative centre and home to Mayotte’s only museum .

The small Musée MUMA in Dzaoudzi provides an overview of Mayotte culture, fauna and flora.

The small Musée MUMA in Dzaoudzi provides an overview of Mayotte culture, fauna and flora.

Opened in September 2015, the Musée MUMA (open: 9 am – 5 pm every day except Sunday) is the only attraction in Dzaoudzi and the only museum in the territory.

The skeleton of a Sperm Whale at the Musée MUMA in Dzaoudzi.

The skeleton of a Sperm Whale at the Musée MUMA in Dzaoudzi.

The small museum provides an insight into the culture, environment, archaeology and traditions of Mayotte and includes an impressive skeleton from a Sperm Whale which was found in 1995 in the lagoon.

Located on Petite Terre, the water in Dziani Dzaha crater lake is twice as salty as the nearby sea water.

Located on Petite Terre, the water in Dziani Dzaha crater lake is twice as salty as the nearby sea water.

Located on Pamanzi, the beautiful crater lake of Dziani Dzaha where the emerald-coloured water is twice as salty as the nearby sea water.

Les ULM de Mayotte

Pamanzi is home to the only airport on Mayotte and its where you’ll find the wonderful Les ULM de Mayotte , who offer spectacular ultra-light flights over the island, which was the highlight of my trip. Operating from a small wooden cabin, a short distance from the airport, Les ULM de Mayotte are open every day, except Sunday and Monday. Advance reservation is recommended and credit cards are not accepted. 

My competent pilot, Fred, and his Skyranger ultra-light plane.

My competent pilot, Fred, and his Skyranger ultralight plane.

I flew with the very capable Fred in his 2-seater Skyranger Ultralight which weighs just 250 kg when empty.

Fred giving me the safety briefing. The plane is equipped with its own parachute for use in emergencies.

Fred giving me the safety briefing. The plane is equipped with its own parachute for use in emergencies.

Constructed from aluminium tubes and fibreglass panels, the plane has a built-in parachute which can be activated in the event of an emergency, allowing the plane to float back to earth. After a safety briefing, we departed from the airport and flew a one-hour loop over the lagoon and the southern half of Mayotte.

Flying over Mont Choungui, a conical volcanic mountain, located in the south of Mayotte.

Flying over Mont Choungui, a conical volcanic mountain, located in the south of Mayotte.

After spending a week exploring the territory by road, it was great to be able to view the island from above. My window had a large cut-out section which allowed me to photograph ‘outside the plane’.

One of the many highlights was a loop around the summit of Mont Choungui which is an ancient, conical volcanic mountain and the 2nd highest point on the island at 593 m (1,946 ft).

Flying over the island of Chissioua Mbouzi, en route to the airport.

Flying over the island of Chissioua Mbouzi, en route to the airport.

Sakouli Beach

A panoramic view of Sakouli beach.

A panoramic view of Sakouli beach.

Remote and wild, Sakouli beach is located on a remote stretch of the south-east coast, between baobabs and brown volcanic sand.

One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Sakouli attracts day-trippers from Mamoudzou and is home to the best accommodation on Mayotte – the O’lolo Hôtel (see ‘ Accommodation ‘ below) which offers tastefully decorated rooms bungalows overlooking the beach.

N’Gouja Beach

N'Gouja beach is the prettiest beach on Mayotte and home to many sea turtles.

N’Gouja beach is the prettiest beach on Mayotte and home to many sea turtles.

Located on the southwest coast of Grand Terre, N’Gouja beach is a beautiful gold-sand beach set on a curved bay. Considered the best beach on Mayotte, its remote location ensures the beach is free of the usual litter. The beach is home to one of the few accommodation options on this part of the island, the Jardin Maoré (see the ‘ Accommodation ‘ section below).

An aerial view of N'Gouja beach from my Ultralight flight.

An aerial view of N’Gouja beach from my Ultralight flight.

Diving is available through Jardin Maoré while an offshore sea-grass bed attracts green sea turtles which makes for great snorkelling (see the ‘ Diving ‘ section below). A sign at the entrance gate indicates that parking costs €20 which is only enforced on the busy weekends. I visited during the week and paid nothing!

The view of the south coast at Kanikeli.

The view of the south coast at Kanikeli.

The volcanic-sand beach at Boueni.

The volcanic-sand beach at Boueni.

The west coast town of Boueni offers a brown-sand beach, two restaurants and one terrible accommodation option – Les Pieds dans l’Eau (see the ‘ Accommodation ‘ section below). A shallow onshore reef makes this beach less than ideal for swimming.

Watching the sunset from Sada beach with the island of Chissioua Sada in the background.

Watching the sunset from Sada beach with the island of Chissioua Sada in the background.

The west coast town of Sada is home to one of the best restaurants on Mayotte, Nasso na Bisso , (see the ‘ Eating Out ‘ section for more) and one of the best accommodation options I found on Mayotte – Maison Fleurie  (see the ‘ Accommodation ‘ section for more).

The town makes an ideal base while exploring the west coast and offers spectacular sunsets from the beach.

North Coast

The offshore island of Chissioua Handréma is popular with weekend boaters.

The offshore island of Chissioua Handréma is popular with weekend boaters.

The north coast of Mayotte features rugged mountains which descend to the sea. The best viewpoint is at the picturesque Baie de Handréma which offers views over the island of Chissioua Handréma .

Storm clouds over Baie de Handréma, one of the best views on the north coast.

Storm clouds over Baie de Handréma, one of the best views on the north coast.

Diving/ Snorkelling

Mayotte lagoon is surrounded by a fringing reef, offering wonderful diving.

Mayotte lagoon is surrounded by a fringing reef, offering wonderful diving.

Located in the west coast town of M’zouasia, Abalone Plongée offers diving from their beach-side dive shop. Abalone are one of the few dive operators on Mayotte and are very popular. At the time of my visit, they were booked out for the next five days. Best to book in advance via their website! Single dives with full equipment rental cost €57 (US$63) .

Located on the southwest coast, N'Gouja beach is home to a large sea-grass bed which attracts lots of turtles.

Located on the southwest coast, N’Gouja beach is home to a large sea-grass bed which attracts lots of turtles.

A short distance offshore from the beautiful N’Gouja beach , a sea-grass bed attracts green sea turtles, making this a popular snorkelling spot. Diving at N’Gouja beach can be arranged through the Dive Centre at Jardin Maoré .

Accommodation

The biggest hotel on Mayotte, the 70 room, 3-star, Maharajah hotel.

The biggest hotel on Mayotte, the 70 room, 3-star, Maharajah hotel.

The accommodation scene on Mayotte is very disappointing and could best be described as ‘ 2-star facilities at 5 -star prices ‘. There is a complete lack of hotels on the island, and those few that do exist are normally fully booked by the French government and French companies. The best chance of securing accommodation is in one of the beach-side bungalow properties which can be found away from the capital.

With a limited number of hotels, and a complete lack of competition, the few existing properties are always running at close to 100% occupancy, so there’s no need to try too hard and no need to spend money on upgrading facilities. Most properties are old and tired and wouldn’t attract many customers in the real world.

The one saving grace is Airbnb which has about 40 properties listed. However, almost all of these are private rooms in family houses rather than private apartments.

Grande Terre

My Airbnb apartment in Mamoudzou.

My Airbnb apartment in Mamoudzou.

Hotel Maharajah

With 70 rooms, the 3-star Hotel Maharajah is the largest hotel on Mayotte and a popular choice with French Gendarmerie (police) who seem to occupy most of the rooms, leaving just a few rooms for visitors. At the time of my visit, the only room available was a suite for €280 (US$312) per night. Mamoudzou is hardly Monaco! The cheapest rooms on booking.com or hotels.com average €144 per night (US$160).

Hôtel Caribou

Also downtown is the old and faded 2-star Hôtel Caribou which is in need to a complete makeover – but since there’s no competition in town, why spend the money! Like the few other hotels on Mayotte, the Caribou normally operates at close to 100% and is a popular choice for visiting French businessmen. The hotel restaurant/ bar is very popular, with Karaoke once a week.

The O'lolo Hôtel overlooks Sakouli beach which is home to some impressive Baobab trees.

The O’lolo Hôtel overlooks Sakouli beach which is home to some impressive Baobab trees.

The O’lolo Hôtel overlooks the popular east coast beach of Sakouli , a volcanic sand beach which is framed by towering Baobab trees. Tastefully decorated, wooden bungalows, start at €110 (US$123). The onsite restaurant provides the only food for miles around.

Located on N’Gouja beach, Jardin Maoré offers simple bungalows from €160 (US$177) per night. An onsite restaurant offers the best food on the south coast.

Located on the beach in the west coast town of Boueni, Les Pieds dans l’Eau (Feet in the Water) is a loveless, soulless place which offers rundown, hostel style accommodation for €45 per room.

Some rooms have bathrooms, some have shared bathrooms. There’s a communal kitchen with cupboards which are devoid of any utensils or cooking equipment. A very uninspiring breakfast is served each morning in a plastic container which is left in the kitchen. The owners are largely absent and room service is non-existent. Not recommended!

In Sada, I stayed in the brand new Maison Fleurie which I booked on Airbnb . It was the 2nd best accommodation I found on Mayotte. The owners of this private residence have built several self-contained, very comfortable, apartments on the 2nd floor of their large home.

The property is located on an unmarked country lane which is not on Google Maps. I organised for the owners to meet me at the nearby Nasso na Bisso restaurant (see the ‘ Eating Out ‘ section for more on this excellent restaurant) who then escorted me to their home.

Highly recommended!

The living room of my Airbnb apartment at Maison Fleurie in Sada.

The living room of my Airbnb apartment at Maison Fleurie in Sada.

Petite Terre

Overlooking the barge dock in Dzaoudzi, Le Rocher is the only hotel on Petite Terre , offering 22 old and dated rooms from €109 – 199. The hotel is normally 100% booked by French businessmen and French Civil Servants, so best to reserve well in advance.

My Airbnb room in Labattoir.

My Airbnb room in Labattoir.

Since Le Rocher was never available, I stayed at an Airbnb in the nearby town of Labattoir . Like other Airbnb properties on Mayotte, the owners met me at the airport to escort me to their property since the neighbourhood was makeshift (largely a slum) and none of the streets were on Google Maps.

Located on a hill, overlooking the sea, the stylish, modern, neat and tide, tastefully designed, 2-storey house felt like anything in France, but outside the high security walls, litter was strewn everywhere and the neighbours lived in makeshift shacks constructed from corrugated iron sheets.

My favourite restaurant in Mamoudzou, the charming Auberge du Rond-Point offers wonderful meals.

My favourite restaurant in Mamoudzou, the charming Auberge du Rond-Point offers wonderful meals.

Like the accommodation scene, restaurants are in short supply on Mayotte . While there are several restaurants in Mamoudzou and on Petite Terre, elsewhere options are very limited.

The Auberge du Rond-Point.

The Auberge du Rond-Point.

My favourite restaurant in Mamoudzou is the charming Auberge du Rond-Point which is located across the road from the Town Hall . Offering alfresco dining with magnificent views over the harbour, the best deal here is the ‘ lunchtime  express ‘ menu. For €20 you get a main course, dessert and coffee – a bargain for Mayotte.

The lunch menu at Auberge du Rond-Point is good value at €20.

The lunch menu at Auberge du Rond-Point is good value at €20.

The restaurant at the  Hôtel Caribou is a local institution and always busy. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant provides reasonable food at less-than-reasonable prices. With a fresh fruit juice costing €7, main courses costing €25-30, the restaurant takes advantage of the fact that there are very few dining options for visitors in Mayotte.

Food stalls at Mamoudzou central market offer affordable local food.

Food stalls at Mamoudzou central market offer affordable local food.

A much better value meal, in less salubrious surroundings, can be found at the Mamoudzou Central Market which is home to several outdoor food stalls which offer cheap, local BBQ meals.

One of the best restaurants in the country is the very small but excellent Nasso na Bisso ( open: 12–3 pm & 7–10 pm every day except Sunday) which is located in a quiet side street in the west coast town of Sada . Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant is famous for its hamburgers, which are amazing.

An amazing dinner at Le Faré - veal in a creamy mustard sauce with fresh pasta.

An amazing dinner at Le Faré – veal in a creamy mustard sauce with fresh pasta.

The best restaurant on Mayotte is, without a doubt, the incredible and impeccable Le Faré ( open: 11 am – 1 am every day except Monday and Tuesday).

The friendly French crew who own and run this fine dining restaurant offer amazing French cuisine, cocktails, craft beers and wine, all served in a beautifully designed environment.

In the evening, a towering baobab tree in the garden is lit with fairy lights with dining tables arranged under the huge limbs. Appetisers average €16, main courses €22-26 and amazing desserts €12-15. This is one place not to be missed!

Visa Requirements

Mayotte passport stamps.

Mayotte passport stamps.

Mayotte is a French overseas territory, but it is not part of the Schengen Zone and, as such, applies its own visa policy . While French and European passport holders can reside for an unlimited period, many other nationalities can remain for 3 to 6 months.

Getting There

The modern terminal at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.

The modern terminal at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.

On approach to Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.

On approach to Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.

All flights into Mayotte arrive at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport ( IATA: DZA ) which is located on the smaller island of Petite-Terre , a short barge ride east of the main island of Grande-Terre .

The airport serves as the base for Ewa Air , the small, local airline which provides (expensive) connections to the neighbouring countries of Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Ewa Air and Air Austral at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.

Ewa Air and Air Austral at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.

The following airlines provide scheduled services to/ from Mayotte :

  • AB Aviation – flies to/from Anjouan, Moheli, Moroni
  • Air Austral – flies to/from Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Saint-Denis de la Réunion
  • Air Madagascar – flies to/from Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Majunga
  • Ewa Air – flies to/from Anjouan, Antsiranana, Dar es Salaam, Majunga, Moroni, Nosy Be, Pemba (MZ)
  • Kenya Airways – flies to/from Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta

Airport Transport

Shared mini-vans and taxis connect the airport with the barge at Dzaoudzi wharf for a few Euro’s.

I was very fortunate to see one of just three cruise ships which call at Mayotte each year - the MV Silversea Whisper.

I was very fortunate to see one of just three cruise ships which call at Mayotte each year – the MV Silversea Whisper.

A grand total of three cruise ships call at Mayotte each year, you can check the schedule here . My stay coincided with the arrival, on the 7th of April, of the MV Silversea Whisper .

Getting Around

Public transport.

There are no public buses on Mayotte! As you drive around the island, you’ll have the opportunity to pick up many appreciative locals as everyone hitch-hikes .

Shared taxis are available on Petite Terre and Grande Terre with fares within Mamoudzou costing €1.10. Beyond Mamoudzou, fares to neighbouring villages cost €1.30.

Financed by the European Union, the Karihani Barge docked at Mamoudzou.

Financed by the European Union, the Karihani Barge docked at Mamoudzou.

Inter-island barges connect the two islands of Petite Terre and Grande Terre , carrying passengers and vehicles. With a crossing time of 20 minutes, barges depart on the half hour and operate seven days a week as per the following schedule:

  • Monday to Thursday Every half hour from 05h30 to 20h00 Every hour from 20h00 to 00h00
  • Friday Every half hour from 05h30 to 20h00 Every hour from 20h00 to 03h00
  • Saturday Every 1/2 hour of 06h00 à 20h00 Every hour from 20h00 to 03h00
  • Sunday and public holidays Every half hour from 7h00 to 20h00 Every hour from 20h00 to 00h00

On board the Karihani barge.

On board the Karihani barge.

Fares are charged only when departing from Mamoudzou , with the passenger fare costing € 0.75, while a car costs €15.

My rental car on the inter-island ferry.

My rental car on the inter-island ferry.

The best way to maximise your time on Mayotte is to rent a car from one of the agents at the airport . The supply of cars on Mayotte is limited so it’s best to book well in advance. Once you have your car, your first drive will be to the inter-island ferry which connects Petite Terre to Grande Terre.

Mayotte Travel Guide: The license plate of my rental car bearing the Mayotte department number of 976.

The license plate of my rental car bearing the Mayotte department number of 976.

The following agents (who speak partial English) have branches at the airport and also in downtown Mamoudzou:

  • Budget Car Rental (Tel: +262 269 61 66 16)
  • Europcar (Tel: +262 269 61 72 72)
  • Garcia Car Rental (Tel: +262 269 60 54 95)

A rental car is the best way to explore Mayotte.

A rental car is the best way to explore Mayotte.

That’s the end of my Mayotte Travel Guide.

Safe Travels!

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Further Reading

You might also be interested in reading other taste2travel articles from the region, such as my:

  • Reunion Travel Guide
  • Maldives Travel Guide
  • Mauritius Travel Guide
  • Seychelles Travel Guide

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Author: Darren McLean

Darren McLean is an Australian full-time digital nomad who has spent 36 years on a slow meander around the globe, visiting all seven continents and 236 UN+ countries and territories.

He founded taste2travel to pique one’s curiosity and inspire wanderlust.

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4 comments leave a comment.

Hey Darren Thanks for helping my Mayotte research! We met when we went on the walrus trip in Svalbard last June . Cheers

You are most welcome. When do you plan to visit Mayotte?

Safe Travels,

Very late July to very early August is the plan. Not sure if the current security situation warrants a guide . Do you have a view?

Security situation while I was there was not the best but it’s always somewhat unstable. I travelled in my own rental car by myself without any issues.

You don’t need a guide. It’s a small island. 👍👍

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The Vanilla Islands of the Indian Ocean

Mayotte island The biggest closed lagoon in the world

Transition - vanilla islands - îles vanille

Home The islands Mayotte

Mayotte is a french island part of the Comoros archipelago in the Mozambique Channel. It is divided in two islands. A smaller island called yje island Petite Terre where the airport is located, and Grande Terre, the biggest. These Islands of the Comoros are the 101st department of France. It is part of French overseas territories. This is why french is the official language of this departmental collectivity.

MAYOTTE ISLAND : A LITTLE-KNOWN DESTINATION

The islands are surrounded by a barrier reef, to create the biggest closed lagoon in the world. Chances are you’ll be the first of your friends to discover this French overseas department in the Indian Ocean. The tourism industry has not been particularly developed and most visitors come to visit their family on the island.

MAYOTTE

FIND THE LARGEST LAGOON IN THE WORLD

Spanning some 1,100km2, it has an average depth of 40 meters and countless coral reefs, making it a paradise for divers. There’s no need for air tanks here : a pair of flippers and a mask are all you need to explore this enchanting landscape.

VACATIONS IN MAYOTTE : A DIFFERENT TRIP

There’s no mass tourism here. Travellers can connect with locals, enjoying their rich history and daily life as they savour local products. The ylang ylang is one of the assets as the fauna and the famous brown lemurs. This part of France close to Grande Comore will offer you a different trip.

Lagoon

SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS AND WHALE WATCHING

The lagoon is a fantastic place to come into contact with these creatures. In addition to many species of dolphins living in the island’s waters all year round. The whale season is a unique opportunity for travellers.

You can also encounter sea turtles and a rich marine life at any time of the year.

mayotte island tourism

EXPERIENCE FRENCH CULTURE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD

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mayotte island tourism

14 Best Places To Visit In Mayotte

Mayotte

Posted on November 10, 2022 |

As a Comoran island, Mayotte is claimed by Comoros. But it’s administered by France and is considered a french overseas department. The island is covered by a barrier reef and is home to a diverse collection of aquatic and land animals.

Mayotte is an island in the Mozambique channel, only 1 hour away from the east coast of Africa . This island has lots of natural riches and breathtaking scenery. The beaches are stunning and the snorkeling is incredible. The turquoise waters and white sand beaches are simply out of this world.

It’s an exotic place to visit because it has a beautiful natural landscape and rich history. It has mountains, forests, and beaches, and it offers visitors a lot of opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Let’s explore the places you don’t want to miss.

Mamoudzou

The capital of Mayotte, Mamoudzou is the largest city on the island and is inhabited by more than 31,000 people. The town has a lively handicraft district, close to the town center, where you can browse for handmade jewelry and wickerwork.

Located on the island’s east coast, Mamoudzou is surrounded by banana and coconut plantations and has many markets and shops. Mayotte’s cuisine is similar to that found in France, with seafood being the most common dish. Tourists can visit the island of Mayotte and experience its beautiful beaches and clear blue water.

There is also a charming old Governor’s house with panoramic views of the lagoon. Lastly, you can stroll along the seafront and take in the botanical garden at Pointe Mahabou.

The best time of year to visit Mamoudzou is from April to September when the climate is temperate. During these months, the chance of significant precipitation is very low. From May 25 to October 19, the region receives less than four inches of precipitation per month. During the rest of the year, the average monthly rainfall is 0.2 inches, and the wettest month is August.

You can also take a boat to Mamoudzou and explore the island of Petite Terre. A barge can take you there, and you can also hitchhike or rent a bicycle to explore the island. You can sample local foods and try the local cuisine.

Ilot Mbouzi National Reserve

Ilot Mbouzi National Reserve source wikipedia

If you’re visiting Mayotte, you might want to visit the Reserve Naturelle de l’Ilot Mbouzi, or “Mbouzi Nature Reserve”. This national park was established in 2007 to protect the island of Mbouzi. It is home to a variety of plant life and marine life and is ideal for hiking and trekking. The reserve is also home to the only museum on the island.

One of the islands’ main attractions is its spectacular tropical landscapes. The island has lush green hills and a beautiful coastline.

The Baobab trees are a staple of Mayotte’s landscape. These ancient trees were introduced by humans before European colonization. Today, they grow around Mayotte in urban and rural areas. They are commonly found at N’Gouja beach, which is located on the south coast.

Baobab trees can live up to 2000 years and are used as a source of food, water, and fiber. They are also native to Madagascar , where they are a symbol of culture and identity.

Ecomusee Du Sel De Bandréle

Visit Ecomusee Du Sel De Bandréle for a unique underwater experience. The lagoon is the second largest in the world and offers a variety of marine life. You can dive and snorkel with dolphins and other marine creatures. This tour also gives you the chance to meet the local people and learn about their culture.

The sel of Bandrele is a natural resource that is harvested only in this island village. The Mamans of Bandrele have been making sel for centuries. It is a natural substance that contains medicinal qualities and is tolerable to hypertendus. There is an ecomuseum in the village where sel is harvested, and it’s one of the most popular sites on European heritage tours.

Here, you’ll meet the women who make traditional salt in Mayotte, known as “shingo mamas.” These women are extremely welcoming and will be more than happy to show you their salt-making process.

Besides learning about Mayotte’s culture, you’ll also have the opportunity to observe dolphins and a humpback whale with a calf. You’ll also have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the lagoon. Enjoy the picturesque views and delicious tuna tartare while on the tour.

Chissioua Mtsampboro

Chissioua Mtsampboro source wikipedia

Located in the Indian Ocean, Chissioua Mtsampboro is a mountainous island in the Comoros archipelago. It lies north of the Choazil Islands. The island is home to a single main stretch of beach and is surrounded by mountains.

The island’s climate is temperate, and it is possible to visit during any season. However, it is the rainiest between December and March. Also, the sea water is warm during this time. As such, it is essential to check the weather forecast and travel accordingly.

The island is home to one of the only freshwater natural lakes in Mayotte, Lake Karihani. It is covered in water lilies and serves as a refuge for a wide variety of birds. Visitors can enjoy a walk around the lake. A tour of the lake is a relaxing way to experience the beauty of the island.

When you visit the island, be sure to visit the pristine Lake Karihani, the island’s only freshwater lake. It is covered in water lilies and is a breeding ground for many types of birds. A tour of the lake will provide you with a peaceful, exotic walk. You can also visit the village of Dzaoudzi, which has about 13,000 inhabitants, and most of the island’s colonial buildings, including the former governor’s palace.

The island is home to the Mayotte football team and the Mayolese humpback whales. You can also take a boat trip around the lagoon, where you can see humpback whales with their calves. You can also see sea turtles on the southern beaches throughout the year.

Coconi Botanical Gardens

Coconi botanical garden (Jardin Botanique de Coconi) is a beautiful place to visit in Mayotte. This former agricultural site is 2 hectares in size and is home to several varieties of plants and numerous endemic species. Visitors can see exotic flowers and even see turtles and lemurs. There are also several groves of coconut trees and palm trees. You can also visit the nursery there.

This garden was founded by botanist Mario de Cocini and has since been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see a diverse collection of plants and trees and relax in the shade or on a bench. There is also a juice bar, so you can try some delicious drinks while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

You can also observe lemurs, which look like small monkeys. These mammals are found in a variety of locations in Mayotte, but N’gouja beach is the easiest place to see them. Tourists are often seen feeding the lemurs bananas, and you can watch them in the forest or on wires throughout the city.

Located in the heart of Mayotte, the garden is an oasis of tranquility. With more than 500 species of plants, it is a haven for nature lovers and a great place to bring the whole family. The garden is free to visit and is well maintained.

Boueni Peninsula

The bay of Baie de Boueni is a beautiful place to visit when visiting Mayotte Island. This bay is home to the green sea turtles that make their home along the beaches of Mayotte Island. You can spot these sea turtles in the rocky area at the southern end of the bay. The village of Boueni is a short walk from the beach.

The Boueni peninsula is located in the south of Mayotte and extends for about four kilometers. There are small fishing villages along the coast and hiking trails are available. You can even visit a sea turtle nesting site on Moya Beach, which is an ideal place to watch the eggs laying.

MUMA Muse De Mayotte

During your Mayotte visit, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the MUMA muse de Mayotte. This museum focuses on the marine natural heritage of the island. You can find rare fossils of extinct animals, as well as objects from the island. In the current exhibit, you can also see an endangered fish known as the coelacanth. In addition to this, you can also see a display of Mayotte’s cultural heritage.

The MuMA museum is housed in the old Dzaoudzi Barracks, which were rehabilitated and opened to the public on European Heritage Days. It is an ideal place to discover the rich culture of the island. The permanent collection contains the tangible and intangible heritage, as well as films. The museum also features a rich collection of artisanal crafts.

The MUMA also hosts other museums. In Vernet-les-Bains, you can visit the Musee d’histoire naturelle, while in Ambriere-les-Vallee, you can visit the Musee du tisserand. This museum is located in an authentic XVIIe Siecle house. Another museum is located in Denaze. In Fontaine-Couverte, you can also visit the Musee de la vieille forge.

Ilot De Sable Blanc

Ilot De Sable Blanc

One of the most popular attractions in Mayotte is the Ilot de Sable Blanc. In the summer, many day tours are organized to this unique location. However, you can also visit this island during the spring and autumn seasons, when the atmosphere is more serene. This is because Mayotte is located in the southern hemisphere, where the climatic winter coincides with the calendar summer.

This tropical island is surrounded by a coral barrier reef that shields the world’s largest lagoon. This makes it a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. There are also hiking trails in the island’s foothills, which offer spectacular views of the Comoros Islands. And if you’re a nature lover, you might also want to visit Majimbini Island, where you can see the famous lemurs and makis.

Choizil Ilets

Choizil Ilets

To visit Choizil islets, you have to sail from M’tsamboro. They have some of the best beaches in Petite Terre. In addition, you can visit the Point of Handrema, a fishing village. There are light boats to rent to enjoy the landscape. You can also try a sea kayaking excursion within the lagoon.

There are also many plants and animals that are native to the island. You can see the baobab trees and turtles that call this place home. If you’re into diving, you can also explore the basalt column of Mount Choungui. Make sure to bring your snorkeling equipment. You’ll also need water and sunscreen.

Diving in Mayotte is another popular activity and the Choizil islets are a perfect place to dive. You can snorkel and swim with dolphins off the coast of Saziley Point, dive in the Passe en S underwater nature reserve, or marvel at humpback whales and other marine mammals.

Choizil islets are only a few kilometers from the coast and are filled with beautiful coral reefs. You’ll find a variety of multicolored fish and coral on the sandy banks. You can also go kayaking through the mangroves, which are home to many different animals.

Chirongui

If you’re looking for a getaway in the Indian Ocean, consider visiting the town of Chirongui. This commune is located in the French overseas department of Mayotte. This island offers several outdoor activities, including hiking and rock climbing. You’ll also find water parks and nature reserves. And if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, you can enjoy some time in the local pubs.

Chirongui’s Mediterranean climate makes it an ideal destination for a family holiday, with temperatures typically ranging from 71degF to 87degF. The warmest month is March, with temperatures averaging 85degF. The coolest months of the year are August and December when average temperatures are around 78degF.

Rainfall in Chirongui varies widely throughout the year. There are about 3.4 months of rainless weather (May 23 to October 21). In comparison, the wettest month, August, has an average of 1.0 wet days a year. The precipitation on these wet days can be rain, snow, or a combination. There are two seasons in Chirongui, with the wettest being August and the driest being January.

Visitors to Chirongui should plan their trip according to the seasons. The best time to visit the island is from April to November when the temperature is warm and there is little rain. The shortest day in Chirongui is June 21 while the longest day is December 22. For more detailed climate information, you can consult the table below. The data shown here are based on the last 30 years.

210 Marches D’Acoua

Visit 210 Marches d’Acoua for a panoramic view of the island. This island in the Indian Ocean is part of the French overseas territory. It consists of the main island Grande-Terre, smaller Petite-Terre, and several islets. The island is part of the Comoros archipelago and is approximately 374 square kilometers in size. The capital city is Mamoudzou.

There are a number of ways to get to the Marches d’Acoua. One route is by car, and it can take more than two hours. Alternatively, you can take the bus to Acoua and take a taxi to the island. The journey takes around six hours, but it is well worth it for the scenic views and the chance to view wildlife in a protected environment.

If you’re not fond of public transportation, you can rent a bicycle and explore the island on a quad bike. It is a popular activity, and you’ll be able to get a great view of the island’s center and forest. The trip can be done on your own or with a guide, but it will be a nice change of pace from lying on the beach.

Dzaoudzi

Dzaoudzi is a commune that is made up of twin towns, Dzaoudzi and Labattoir. Located on Petite Terre, both are quaint and charming. You’ll love the unique architecture of both towns and the friendly locals.

Lake Karihani is the only freshwater lake on Mayotte, and it is covered with water lilies and attracts many species of birds. Enjoy a walk along this lake while you soak up the peaceful atmosphere. The town of Dzaoudzi is home to the island’s most colonial structures, including the governor’s palace.

The MUMA museum, which opened in September 2015, is another reason to visit Dzaoudzi. Its unique collection offers a unique insight into the Mayotte culture. One exhibit features a skeleton of a Sperm Whale found in the lagoon in 1995. The museum is also located on the beautiful crater lake of Dziani Dzaha, which has water that is twice as salty as seawater.

You can also visit the Coconi botanical garden, which is only open during the rainy season. You can see a wide variety of fauna and flora in Mayotte, including lemurs, turtles, and baobab trees. The island also has several cultural events throughout the year, including the Mamoudzou tyre race, held on the 14th of July.

Tahiti Plage

Tahiti Plage source wikipedia

The best way to discover Tahiti Plage (Tahiti beach) is to hire a private boat. This beautiful island is a popular tourist destination, but the island has more to offer than a lovely beach. You’ll find a range of activities and places to eat, and you can even enjoy a picnic on the beach.

The island’s capital, Mamoudzou, is a cosmopolitan town overlooking some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The town reflects both French and Arabic influences and is the hub of modern institutions and activities. The island is accessible by boat from Mamoudzou.

The island is home to the largest lagoon in the world. It stretches from about 100 meters to 500 meters across. It is wide enough for swimmers to reach the first barrier without too much trouble. But, you should be aware of the strong currents that occur during high tides.

Besides the sandy beach, Mayotte also offers lush green countryside and a picturesque lagoon. Ancient volcanoes forged the island’s landscape, and its lush forests and beaches were formed by erosion. The island is made up of two islands – Petite Terre and Grande Terre. The airport is located on Petite Terre, while the capital city is Mamoudzou.

Moya Beach

Stop by Moya beach and see turtles and other sea life. This tranquil, quiet beach is also home to beautiful baobabs and coconut trees. The marine life is abundant and you can snorkel right off the shore.

This beach is popular among locals and tourists. If you’d like to see the sea turtles, you’ll have to go during high tide. The other time is when the tide is low. The latter is better for swimming as the water level is shallower during low tide. In addition to turtles, you can also observe different species of coral and fish.

Visit the MUMA Musee de Mayotte on the Small Land. The museum features exhibits about the local culture and marine life.

You can also visit Lake Karihani, which is the only freshwater lake in Mayotte. It is covered with water lilies and serves as a sanctuary for many birds. A nice walk on the lakeside is a good way to learn about the local culture and nature.

The botanical garden on the island of Coconi is another place worth visiting. This site features groves of palm trees and coconut trees, as well as several varieties of flowers. It also has a nursery. Once you are done with the garden, you can head to the beach to enjoy a panoramic view of the island.

Mayotte is truly a great tourist destination. This hidden gem in the Indian Ocean is the perfect vacation getaway. From gorgeous beaches to breathtaking sunsets, to popular attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Mayotte is a beautiful island with incredible beaches, fantastic snorkeling, and incredible culture. The island is very focused on ecotourism and attracting tourism to help keep the economy afloat. This makes visiting Mayotte an incredible opportunity to experience a beautiful part of Africa while supporting the local community at the same time.

It’s a small island but it has a lot to offer to tourists. The food is amazing and the island has many historical sites and monuments, such as museums and mosques. This hidden gem in the Indian Ocean is the perfect vacation getaway. From gorgeous beaches to breathtaking sunsets, to popular attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Mayotte: A French Island Paradise in the Indian Ocean (2024)

  • October 22, 2023

mayotte

Nestled in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique lies Mayotte, a French overseas department and region that boasts a paradise-like charm. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey to explore this Hidden Gem , known for its captivating natural beauty, rich cultural tapestry, and mouthwatering cuisine.

Where is Mayotte

mayotte island

Mayotte is strategically positioned in the Mozambique Channel, approximately 350 Kilometers off the coast of Madagascar and 1,000 Kilometers from Mozambique. This prime location blesses the island with a Tropical Climate , making it an ideal year-round destination.

Mayotte map

mayotte island tourism

Consider including an up-to-date map of Mayotte in your guide for better visualization. You can search for royalty-free options online.

Mayotte population

Mayotte population

As of 2023 , Mayotte’s population stands at around 338,641 People , ranking it as the 181st most Population place globally .

Mayotte’s population has been rapidly increasing, driven by high birth rates and immigration. While most residents are Mahorais , there are also Significant Communities of Comorians , French, and Malagasy people.

Mayotte is a youthful nation, with a median age of 16.8 years . French is the official language, but Mahorais is widely spoken.

The majority of Mayotte’s population resides on the main island of Grande Terre, with its capital, Mamoudzou, housing Over 70,000 Residents .

Island Divisions

Grande terre.

Grande Terre

The larger of the two main islands, Grande Terre , serves as the heart of Mayotte. It is also home to the capital city, Mamoudzou, where visitors can explore the Island’s Administrative and Cultural Center .

Petite Terre

Petite Terre

Situated to the east of Grande Terre , Petite Terre offers a more serene and secluded experience. It’s pristine beaches and Untouched Natural Beauty make it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

The Flag of Mayotte

mayotte flag

Mayotte flag is a tricolor Masterpiece Featuring white, red, and yellow stripes. Symbolically, the white stripe represents the island’s sandy beaches, the red stripe signifies the resilience and Vitality of its People , and the yellow stripe represents the perpetual sunshine that graces Mayotte Island.

The People of Mayotte

mayotte island tourism

The inhabitants of Mayotte, known as Mahorais, form a diverse and Harmonious Community . Influenced by African, French, and Malagasy heritage, their Culture is a Colorful blend of traditions, music, and dance.

Languages Spoken

mayotte island tourism

While French is the Official Language of Mayotte, Mahorais, a local language, is widely spoken. This linguistic diversity adds to the island’s unique character, allowing visitors to Engage With Locals and immerse themselves in the culture.

Mayotte hotels

mayotte island tourism

Travelers to Mayotte are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodations. From budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious mayotte hotels, Here are Some of the Top Options:

  • Ibis Styles Mayotte Aéroport
  • LE CHISSIOUA
  • Hôtel Hamaha Beach
  • Le Jardin Maore
  • 2 0 HÔTEL Ylang
  • Villa d’ô
  • Hotel Maharajah
  • Le Passamainty Lodge
  • 2 0 HÔTEL Vanille
  • La Residence

Tourist Attractions

where is mayotte

Mayotte Island is a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural experiences . Here are some must-visit attractions:

The Beaches of Petite Terre

Discover the pristine, palm-fringed beaches of Petite Terre, where turquoise waters meet soft White Sands . Snorkeling and swimming in these Crystal-Clear Waters are a must.

The Coral Reefs of the Mayotte Lagoon

Explore the vibrant Underwater World of Mayotte by snorkeling or diving in the Mayotte Lagoon. Its coral reefs teem with Colorful Marine life, creating a mesmerizing underwater spectacle.

The Rainforests of Mont Choungui

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the lush rainforests of Mont Choungui , where hiking trails lead to Breathtaking Vistas and encounter unique flora and fauna.

The Villages of Passamainty and Chiconi

Immerse yourself in the Local Culture by visiting the charming villages of Passamainty and Chiconi . Explore bustling markets, sample local cuisine, and engage with friendly locals.

The Markets of Mamoudzou

Mamoudzou’s markets are a Sensory Delight . Wander through stalls filled with exotic spices, fresh produce, and handmade crafts, making it the Perfect Place to pick up souvenirs.

Culinary Delights of Mayotte

Mayotte

Mayotte’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of African, French, and Malagasy Influences . Here are some mouthwatering dishes to savor:

Indulge in Mataba, a stew made with cassava leaves, Coconut Milk , and your choice of Meat or Fish . Its rich flavors are a testament to Mayotte’s culinary diversity.

M’Tsamboro

Try M’Tsamboro, a delectable crepe crafted from Coconut Milk and Rice Flour . It’s a sweet treat that captures the essence of Mayotte’s cuisine.

Poulet Coco

Savor Poulet Coco, Chicken Cooked in aromatic coconut milk and spices. This dish epitomizes the island’s love for bold flavors.

Poisson Braisé

Experience Poisson Braisé, grilled fish served alongside Fragrant Rice and Vegetables . The freshness of the seafood is unparalleled.

Sorbet Coco

Conclude your meal with Sorbet Coco, a Refreshing Coconut Sorbet that provides the Perfect Ending to a Delightful Culinary journey.

Nightlife and Entertainment in Mayotte

Mayotte’s nightlife caters to those seeking a relaxed and social atmosphere. Local cafes and restaurants often transform into lively hubs in the evenings, with residents gathering to chat, enjoy music, and savor delicious meals. Traditional music and dance performances are also a highlight, offering a window into the island’s vibrant culture.

2024 Update: While specific recommendations for nightlife establishments might become outdated quickly, you can recommend consulting online resources or travel guides closer to your visit for current options.

A Sustainable Adventure: Responsible Tourism in Mayotte

Mayotte’s natural beauty and cultural heritage are its treasures. As a responsible traveler, here are some ways to ensure a sustainable and positive impact:

  • Respect the Environment:  Minimize waste, conserve water, and avoid harming wildlife or delicate ecosystems.
  • Support Local Businesses:  Choose locally-owned accommodations, restaurants, and shops whenever possible. This helps inject revenue back into the community.
  • Embrace Cultural Sensitivity:  Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and be respectful of local customs and traditions.

A Memorable Mayotte Experience Awaits

Mayotte, a captivating island paradise, offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. From its pristine beaches and lush rainforests to its rich cultural tapestry and delectable cuisine , Mayotte promises an escape unlike any other. Remember, responsible tourism is key. Respect the environment and embrace the local culture to ensure Mayotte’s magic endures for generations to come.

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Best Places to Visit in Mayotte | Travel Guide (2024) | Things to Do, See & Eat

Discover Mayotte, a French overseas department where the lush rainforests, the vibrant marine life of its lagoon, and the cultural fusion of Mahorais society converge. Trek through its biodiverse forests, dive or snorkel in one of the world's largest lagoons, or immerse in the mix of French and Comorian cultures. Taste unique fusion cuisine, explore the market of Mamoudzou, or simply enjoy the laid-back island life. Mayotte, with its natural splendors, diverse cultures, and French flair, offers a unique and enchanting Indian Ocean adventure.

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Walk around Mamoudzou, the capital of the French island of Mayotte

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Best Places to Visit in Mayotte

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Frequently Asked Questions About Mayotte

General faqs for mayotte, which is the capital city of mayotte, what currency is used in mayotte, what are most spoken languages in mayotte, which time of the year is best to visit mayotte, how many days are required for traveling in mayotte, which are the emergency numbers in mayotte.

In case of an emergency in Mayotte, you should call the following numbers:

• The national emergency number for medical services is 15.

• For the fire department dial 18.

• To contact police dial 17.

• The Coast Guard can be reached at +262 639 353973.

It is recommended that visitors familiarize themselves with these numbers before traveling to Mayotte, so they can be prepared in case of an emergency. Additionally, it is advised to have a copy of your passport and other important documents on hand in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.

Places FAQs For Mayotte

What are the best places to visit in mayotte.

• Plage de Deuzio: Located on the west coast of Mayotte, this beautiful beach is known for its white sand and crystal-clear waters.

• La Grande Comore: Enjoy a day trip to this nearby island, where you can explore traditional markets and admire stunning views of the Indian Ocean.

• Lac Dziani: Visit this tranquil lake surrounded by lush vegetation and observe the local wildlife.

• Mamoudzou Town: Take a stroll through the narrow alleyways of the capital city and visit its vibrant markets, cafes and monuments.

• Chissioua M’Tsapéré Crocodile Park: Get up close with some of Mayotte’s unique wildlife, such as crocodiles, lizards and birds.

• Parc National de la Réserve Naturelle: This protected area offers spectacular views of the landscape and is home to an array of rare species.

• Sakouli Cave: Venture into this fascinating underground cave system full of stalactites and stalagmites.

• La Gloriette: Visit this spot for a stunning panorama of the lagoon and its surrounding islands.

• Pigeonnier Island: Go snorkeling, kayaking or swimming at this small tropical paradise with palm-fringed beaches.

How do tourist get around in Mayotte?

Budget faqs for mayotte, how much will the trip to mayotte cost, what is the cost of average meal in mayotte.

The cost of a meal in Mayotte varies depending on the type of restaurant and dish chosen. Generally, budget travelers can expect to spend around €10-15 for a typical lunch or dinner at an average restaurant. However, if you are looking for something more luxurious, meals at high-end restaurants can cost up to €30 per person. In addition, street food such as sandwiches and crepes are generally inexpensive and can be found throughout the island. It is also possible to visit local markets and purchase fresh produce at lower prices. With its unique mix of French, African and Indian influences, the cuisine of Mayotte is truly something special. From delicious local dishes to international cuisines with a twist, there is something for everyone’s tastes. ​​​So come and discover the flavors of Mayotte—you won’t be disappointed!

How much is the cost of stay in Mayotte?

The cost of accommodation in Mayotte varies depending on the type and quality of the accommodation. Budget travelers can expect to pay around €20-25 per night for a basic hotel room, while more luxurious options such as resorts or villas can be more expensive. Prices also tend to vary depending on location; for example, lodging near popular attractions or beaches may be more expensive. In addition, there are a variety of Airbnb listings available throughout the island for travelers who prefer a homelike atmosphere. For those looking for an even more economical option, camping is allowed in certain areas with permission from local authorities. From budget-friendly hotels and Airbnbs to luxurious resorts, you’re sure to find a place that fits your needs and budget. With its variety of lodging options and stunning landscapes, Mayotte is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway or an exciting adventure. So come explore this beautiful island and its many wonderful offerings—you won’t regret it!

What is the cheapest time to visit Mayotte?

Culture faqs for mayotte, how are the people in mayotte, what is the popular food to try in mayotte.

The popular dishes in Mayotte include:

• La Vazaha, a traditional fish dish made with cod or tuna cooked in coconut milk and spices.

• Rougaille, a spicy tomato-based sauce served over rice.

• Chicken Curry, made from chicken cooked in a flavorful blend of local spices.

• Lobster, served grilled or steamed with garlic butter.

• Octopus Curry, a savory dish cooked in coconut milk and spices.

• Zourite, a traditional soup made from red snapper and vegetables.

• Manioc Fritters, deep-fried snacks made from grated manioc root.

• Cocofrais, a refreshing coconut-based dessert.

• Ananas Tart, made from fresh pineapple and sweetened condensed milk.

• Gateau Patate, a delicious cake made with grated potato, sugar, butter and spices. These are just some of the popular dishes in Mayotte. With such a wide array of delicious flavors, visitors are sure to find something that suits their palate!

Which sport is the most popular in Mayotte?

Sports are popular in Mayotte, with the most popular being football (soccer), volleyball, basketball and tennis. Football is especially popular and there are many teams that compete at local, regional and national levels. There are also several beach sports such as beach soccer, beach volleyball and watersports such as kite surfing and windsurfing available for visitors to enjoy. Other popular activities include sailing, fishing, biking and hiking. Mayotte also hosts international sporting events such as the annual Mayotte Cup football tournament and the French Open tennis tournament. With its stunning beaches and warm climate, Mayotte is a great place for sports lovers to explore and enjoy

What are the most popular religions in Mayotte?

What are the most popular festivals in mayotte.

The popular Festivals celebrated in Mayotte include:

• Eid al-Fitr, a three-day Islamic festival to mark the end of Ramadan.

• Mawlid, an Islamic celebration to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

• Mwaka Kogwa, a traditional harvest festival celebrated by members of the Shimaore tribe.

• Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer.

• Tabaski, an important Muslim holiday commemorating Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God.

• Baobab Festival, a celebration of music, dance and culture held during May each year.

• La Fête de la Musique, an international music festival held in Mayotte each June.

• La Fête des Parfums, a traditional celebration of fragrant flowers and perfumes held every August.

• Journées des Cultures Locales, an annual event to celebrate the diverse culture of Mayotte.

• Mayotte Cup, an international football tournament held in December each year.

What souvenirs to buy from Mayotte?

Souvenirs from Mayotte are an excellent way to take home a piece of this beautiful and unique destination. Popular items include:

• Spices – It’s easy to find spices, herbs and seasonings such as cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in local markets.

• Perfumes – A range of traditional scents from the region can be found in local stores or markets.

• Handcrafts – From wooden masks to textiles, there are plenty of handmade crafts to choose from.

• Jewelry – Silver and gold jewelry is a popular souvenir among visitors to Mayotte.

• Food Products – Bottles of rum and liqueur made from island fruits make great gifts.

• Souvenir Clothing – From t-shirts to hats and local fabrics, there are plenty of options for souvenir clothing.

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Mayotte tourisme

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Sa culture authentique distingue Mayotte de toutes les autres escales pour une expérience unique.

Point de vue sur les îlots Choizil depuis M'tsamboro

Découvrir son point cardinal

Mayotte est imprégnée des cultures malgaches, françaises et comoriennes. Une diversité qui fait toute la magie de ses territoires…

La plage de N'Gouja

La vie s'éveille à Mayotte !

Ne cherchez plus, à Mayotte, vous pourrez tout vivre ! En mer, sur terre ou dans les airs, vivez des émotions toujours plus fortes dans des paysages magnifiques !

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Accueil > Mayotte

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Regional GDP

Regional capital

French overseas territories

There are 12 overseas territories: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and the Wallis and Futuna islands, which together have almost 2.6 million inhabitants.

Because of its overseas territories, France is the only EU country that is present in three separate oceans. They help consolidate France’s second place worldwide in terms of maritime reach and make a telling contribution to the rollout of the country’s maritime and “blue growth” policies. These territories enshrine the future of energy as they are the “100% renewable energy” forerunners of the energy transition and the promotion of clean transportation.

Mayotte: a crossroadsfor maritime trade between Europe and the Indian Ocean

Located at the northern entrance of the Mozambique Channel and 150 miles from Madagascar, the island of Mayotte has been a crossroads for maritime trade between Europe and the Indian Ocean for centuries. The island’s natural and cultural advantages provide strong potential and the sharp increase in the number of air passengers, together with the introduction of a direct flight between Paris and Mayotte, are leveraging growth.

Due to its French and European connections, Mayotte provides guarantees of legal certainty and political stability in the Region. The island has experienced a dynamic economic growth averaging 7% annually over the last 10 years and presents very relevant opportunities for private investments.

A hub and European standard infrastructures in the Indian ocean

With an exclusive economic zone of 74,000 sq. km (28,570 sq. miles) and a commercial port with €150 million of investment between 2013 and 2028, business opportunities are manifold, explaining the installation of major groups such as Sigma, Lafarge and Total. Mayotte was the leading French region for business creation in 2017 (+16.4% from 2016).

Digital infrastructure corresponding to European standards with a high and very high-speed internet available throughout the island and a Tier III data center coming online in 2021.

This openness to international investment can also be seen at the Pamandzi international airport offering 11 international links (Paris, Réunion, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Moroni, Antananarivo).

The construction is a booming sector, essential to the realization of Mayotte’s investment program planned for the next few years. Public funds (State, Europe, communities) are available, and they are earmarked for projects eagerly awaited by the population (schools, water management infrastructure, long runway at the airport, sports equipment, etc.). In view of the challenges, the rise of the construction sector must respond to big needs of equipments.

An innovation potential in many sectors

The number of students at the University of Training and Research Center (CUFR) of Mayotte have doubled in the last five years. In 2021, they were 1,800 registered students, including 450 of Master’s level.

With the emergence of cinematographic realisations in the island, Mayotte appears as the perfect spot for divertissement projects.

A quality service offer in the healthcare sector

The region boasts a hospital center, with four hospitals, 13 consultation centers and sophisticated technical services (MRI, scanner, operating theaters, medical analysis laboratories, erythrocytapheresis, diving chamber, sterilizer). Its equipment and personnel (205 doctors, including 58 medical specialists) make it a prime destination for medical evacuations, and it also has a renowned gynecological/obstetrics center.

More than half of childbirths on the island take place at the Centre Hospitalier de Mayotte (CHM).

Mayotte as a forerunner in terms of ecological policies

The island wants to move towards a 100% renewable energy rate its energy mix by 2030. In order to decarbonize the territory, the island of Mayotte is counting on the deployment of photovoltaic installations, the conversion of thermal power plants to bioliquids, the implementation of a 12 MW biomass power plant and the development of its geothermal potential.

Circular economy

Improving waste management and developing the circular economy appear to be major challenges for Mayotte. Many sectors are still to be set up or improved: construction waste, tires and batteries, D3E, packaging, etc. The success of the collection, sorting and recovery sectors will largely depend on the ability of the actors to innovate by taking into account the local specificities of Mayotte. The circular economy must become a showcase for Mayotte in the next years.

An appreciated tourist destination thanks to exceptional landscape and biodiversity

Mayotte relies on top-of-the-range eco-tourism that enhances its lagoon (boating, diving), as well as its exceptional agricultural (aromatic and perfume plants) and environmental heritage.

In line with its commitment to sustainable development and the protection of its biodiversity, Mayotte is developing green tourism.

The island:

  • is home to the 3rd largest lagoon in the world
  • has a natural marine park of 1100 km
  • counts 170 beaches.

In addition to its magnificent landscapes, it is also the warm welcome of the Mahorais that makes the tourist experience exceptional. To continue to welcome thousands of tourists every year, the island is investing in the creation of at least 5 new hotels on the coast and ecolodges for 2024.

The region welcomed 65,500 tourists in 2019, with its 1,100 sq. km. (425 sq. miles) of lagoons, 195 sq. km. (75 sq. miles) of barrier reef, its 170 beaches and its 200 km (124 miles) of hiking paths. The Natural Marine Park of Mayotte has no fewer than 300 species of coral, 2,300 marine species and 25 species of marine mammals.

Very appreciated by tourists, the island boasts rare biodiversity (whales, dolphins, tortoises, 35 species of birdlife) and a mild climate (26°C).

As a member of the “Vanilla Islands” network, Mayotte has 57 accommodation establishments and is planning to create six coastal hotels, or 500 new rooms, by 2024.

Discover Mayotte : https://www.mayotte-tourisme.com/

Welcome to Mayotte

The Mayotte’s Development and Innovation Agency is the Business France Invest representative in Mayotte, and assists international companies wishing to establish themselves in the island.

The ADIM Agency sets up tools to allow and ensure your investments in the territory and realize your projects in all business sectors :

  • Provides informations to facilitate your installation
  • Help to acquire the financing necessary for the development of your projects
  • Support throughout the development of your projects

Your regional contact

ADIM Mayotte http://investinmayotte.fr/en/ [email protected]

Where to apply for a residence permit

Préfecture de Mayotte BP 676 – Kawéni, Mamoudzou, Mayotte

To contact the Foreign Office : [email protected]

International school programs

Discover our interactive map : International schools map – Welcome to France

French Tech in the region

Since 2021, Mayotte is part of the French Tech community, with the birth of Mayotte in Tech, the gathering of tech and communication companies.

Discover Mayotte

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7 experiences to see Mayotte’s lagoon at its best

Inspiration

Mayotte Nature and Outdoor Activities Sporting Activities Coastal With Family

Mayotte består av rundt tretti øyer og derfor helt ideell for små seilturer.

Reading time: 0 min Published on 25 July 2023

Sail between islets and sandbanks, swim with turtles, spot humpback whales, or take off in a microlight. There’s no shortage of ideas for ways to explore France’s first marine park in its overseas territories.

Diving a channel

A magical land of colourful corals, schools of barracuda, eagle ray and, in the depths, hammerhead sharks... For neophyte or seasoned divers, it doesn’t get much better than this, in an amazing lagoon protected by a double coral reef. The S-shaped channel on the eastern reef is still the most famous location within the lagoon. Just under three miles long, it offers up more than 10 dive sites visited by grouper, green humphead parrotfish, turtles, and grey reef sharks. It’s a true natural aquarium.

Swim with green turtles

In N’Gouja, on the island’s most beautiful beach overlooked by tousled baobabs, we put on our flippers, masks, and snorkels to go swimming with green turtles at high tide. They love the sea grass that carpets the seabed, just a few metres from the golden sandy shores. Used to encounters with swimmers, they are more than happy for you to watch and follow them. Just one thing: don’t touch them!

Go humpback whale watching

Between July and late October, you’re in with a good chance of witnessing the spectacle of humpback whales leaping out of the water in Mayotte’s lagoon. These giants of the sea measure 11m to 18m long, and travel from the Antarctic to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean to breed. It’s the perfect chance to set off on a whale-watching trip with tour operators that adhere to a respectful charter for approaching these mammals.

Sail in sync with the dolphins

Shadows flickering beneath the surface? Between April and June, it’s most probably a manta ray swimming along the reef. Further out, the fins of a school of dolphins make a boat’s passengers cry out in delight. There can be hundreds of them to follow a boat, in what looks like a friendly escort and occasionally a graceful ballet. These encounters with marine life, and the chance to drop anchor on Robinson’s islets, are the highlights of any boat trip out on the lagoon. Kids just love it!

Take flight

A bird’s eye view of the lagoon is not something you’ll forget in a hurry. Islets buried beneath thick vegetation, fringed with a carpet of coral glittering in the light; shape-shifting sand banks that scratch the turquoise water with their gleaming white; entangled mangroves that scrawl darkly over sections of coastline, and immaculate beaches lined with coconut palms. And of course, this amazing double barrier reef, caressed by the ocean spray... Flying over the lagoon in a microlight will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Melt in to the mangrove

Between land and sea, mangrove swamps are a mysterious, unique ecosystem made up of several species of mangrove trees that act as a nursery for a wide range of fish and shellfish. On land or at low tide you can walk between the mangrove trees’ overground roots, or even better, sail around their meandering branches in a pirogue at high tide. And why not visit Bandrélé where a community of women make mangrove salts according to an ancient recipe?

Go stand-up paddleboarding

What better than a board, and oar, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses to explore Mayotte’s lagoon at your own pace, whether you’re feeling sporty or meditative. Rising above the water, you spot a dolphin’s fin, contemplate the cliffs and creeks that cut into the coast, and draw alongside a deserted beach accessible only by sea...

  • Explore the lagoon and plan your trip to Mayotte

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IMAGES

  1. Mayotte in the indian ocean Vanilla islands. Comoros archipelago

    mayotte island tourism

  2. 12 meilleures plages de Mayotte

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  3. Mayotte

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  4. Mayotte in the indian ocean Vanilla islands. Comoros archipelago

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  5. Detailed Tourist Map Of Mayotte Island Mayotte Island

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  6. Les incontournables de ton séjour à Mayotte

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COMMENTS

  1. Mayotte: All You Must Know Before You Go (2024)

    Mayotte Tourism: Tripadvisor has 6,489 reviews of Mayotte Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Mayotte resource.

  2. Mayotte, a French Island in the Indian Ocean and paradise for divers

    Inspiration. In the Indian Ocean, between continental Africa and the island of Madagascar, Mayotte is a paradise for divers, who flock here to see the spectacular corals in the world's largest enclosed lagoon. On its hiking trails, you'll encounter protected native species, like the lemur, the drongo or even the amazing Mayotte sunbird.

  3. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Mayotte (2024)

    Things to Do in Mayotte, Africa: See Tripadvisor's 6,489 traveler reviews and photos of Mayotte tourist attractions. Find what to do today or anytime in June. ... The place is known around the island as a source of salt, and you can buy some at the entrance. An informal "tour" takes about 15 minutes. Read more. Review of: Ecomusee Du Sel De ...

  4. The island of Mayotte: Top 20 things to do

    12 - Discover Petite Terre and Moya's beaches. One of the nice things to do on the island of Mayotte is to explore the island of Petite Terre. Start by barging from Mamoudzou (yes taking the barge, a kind of local ferry between the 2 islands, has become a verb on the island!).

  5. Mayotte

    Mayotte. Mayotte is an archipelago among the East African Islands, lying in the Indian Ocean channel between Madagascar and Mozambique. It's a French overseas department with a population of 299,348 in 2022. Most live on the large island of Grande-Terre, which somewhat resembles a sea horse, used on Mayotte's coat of arms.

  6. Visit Mayotte

    Mayotte is also an excellent site for observing sea turtles. Swimming with them, or watching them laying their eggs is among the more unique experiences possible on the lagoon island. A multi-faceted area, Mayotte has inherited a mosaic of cultures**:** African, Persian, Asian, Madagascan, European and Arabic. This crossing of several different ...

  7. Mayotte

    ESSENTIALS. In the Indian Ocean, between continental Africa and the island of Madagascar, Mayotte is a paradise for divers, who flock here to see the spectacular corals in the world's largest enclosed lagoon. On its hiking trails, you'll encounter protected native species, like the lemur, the drongo or even the amazing Mayotte sunbird.

  8. Mayotte 2023: Best Places to Visit

    Mayotte Tourism: Tripadvisor has 6,397 reviews of Mayotte Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Mayotte resource. Skip to main content. Review. Trips Alerts Sign in. ... Mayotte Tourism: Best of Mayotte. Essential Mayotte. Eat. Can't-miss spots to dine, drink, and feast. Mon ile. 4. Deli. Chirongui, Mayotte. Le Moana. 331

  9. Mayotte Travel Guide

    Tourism on Mayotte is in its infancy, and with a complete lack of hotels and restaurants, it is a challenging travel destination - best suited to intrepid adventurers. ... Mayotte is a beautiful tropical island which is blessed with green, forested hills and wonderful tropical beaches. Unfortunately, anywhere there are people, the environment ...

  10. Mayotte island

    Mayotte island. Mayotte is a french island part of the Comoros archipelago in the Mozambique Channel. It is divided in two islands. A smaller island called yje island Petite Terre where the airport is located, and Grande Terre, the biggest. These Islands of the Comoros are the 101st department of France. It is part of French overseas territories.

  11. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Mayotte (UPDATED 2024)

    6. MUMA musée de mayotte (Musée De France) 12. Speciality Museums. By dyoll. Free entry. Half devoted to marine life and the other to culture and history. Nice exhibit of a coelacanth. See tours.

  12. 14 Best Places To Visit In Mayotte

    Mamoudzou. 14 Best Places To Visit In Mayotte 11. The capital of Mayotte, Mamoudzou is the largest city on the island and is inhabited by more than 31,000 people. The town has a lively handicraft district, close to the town center, where you can browse for handmade jewelry and wickerwork.

  13. Mayotte: A French Island Paradise in the Indian Ocean (2024)

    October 22, 2023. Nestled in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique lies Mayotte, a French overseas department and region that boasts a paradise-like charm. In this article, we'll embark on a journey to explore this Hidden Gem, known for its captivating natural beauty, rich cultural tapestry, and mouthwatering cuisine.

  14. Best Places to Visit in Mayotte

    Mayotte : une beauté naturelle à préserver I WIDE. Walk around Mamoudzou, the capital of the French island of Mayotte. 3 Minutes à MAYOTTE. Travel to Mayotte Facts about Mayotte Explore the Mayotte Tourism. Mayotte The African Island Under French Rule.

  15. Mayotte: All You Need to Know Before You Go (2024)

    Dzaoudzi, Mayotte. Créperie Bar À Vin Le Tour Du Monde. 96. $$ - $$$ • French, European. Dzaoudzi, Mayotte. Mayotte Tourism: Tripadvisor has 6,476 reviews of Mayotte Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Mayotte travel resource.

  16. Accueil

    Découvrez les merveilles de Mayotte avec l'Agence d'Attractivité et de Développement Touristique. Plongez dans une culture riche et une. Mayotte tourisme. 100525p3429

  17. Mayotte

    Topographic map of Mayotte, the "seahorse island" 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, contraction of the Arabic جزيرة الموت ...

  18. Settle in Mayotte

    With an exclusive economic zone of 74,000 sq. km (28,570 sq. miles) and a commercial port with €150 million of investment between 2013 and 2028, business opportunities are manifold, explaining the installation of major groups such as Sigma, Lafarge and Total. Mayotte was the leading French region for business creation in 2017 (+16.4% from 2016).

  19. Mayotte, The Island In The Lagoon

    00:00 Encircled by one of the world's largest enclosed lagoons, the 101st French department is a real cultural crossroads between Africa, the Indian Ocean an...

  20. Comoros Tour Operator for tours in the Comoros islands and Mayotte

    COMOROS TOUR OPERATOR. Our guides come from island families who have been working in tourism for 3 generations now, with an in-house fleet of vehicles, years of experience and exploration in the deepest reaches of the outlying shores, and a knowledge of everything in Comoros from new archeology sites to the Comorian Perfume Industry and Culture.

  21. Top Things to Do in Mayotte

    Things to Do in Mayotte, Africa: See Tripadvisor's 6,486 traveller reviews and photos of Mayotte tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend or in June. ... The place is known around the island as a source of salt, and you can buy some at the entrance. An informal "tour" takes about 15 minutes. Read more. Review of: Ecomusee Du Sel ...

  22. 7 experiences to see Mayotte's lagoon at its best

    Go humpback whale watching. Between July and late October, you're in with a good chance of witnessing the spectacle of humpback whales leaping out of the water in Mayotte's lagoon. These giants of the sea measure 11m to 18m long, and travel from the Antarctic to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean to breed. It's the perfect chance to set ...