Moya II
photo by mwanasimba

Mayotte is a French island in the Indian Ocean off East Africa between Madagascar and Mozambique. It was formerly part of France's Comoros Islands territory. When Comoros voted for independence in the 1970's, Mayotte decided to remain a French "collective". In March 2009, the islands voted overwhelmingly (95.2%) to become France's 101st 'departement' effective in 2011. The island is 95% Muslim and many Muslim customs such as polygamy, Islamic-inspired law, and male dominance are commonplace, although all will be reversed in accordance with French law by 2011. A large amount of the island's population is composed of illegal aliens from neighboring Comoros. Despite the island's French ownership, less than half of the population understands French and very few speak French fluently.


Mayotte was ceded to France along with the other islands of the Comoros group in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in 1974 to retain its link with France and forego independence.


Tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November).


Generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks.


Tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November).


Getting there

By plane

Planes fly daily between Réunion and Dzaoudzi, the airport/military base in Mayotte. For a return flight from Paris to Mayotte, expect to cash out at least €800.

Kenya Airways announced flights from Nairobi to Mayotte (via Comoros) in November 2006. This is an extension of their Paris-Nairobi flights.

By boat

The primary port is Dzaoudzi.

Traveling around

The easiest way to get around Mayotte is with bush taxis ("taxi brousse") who will take you around the island for a few euros.

Things to do

  • A hike (almost a climb) to the summit of mont Choungui will offer a spectacular panorama of the island

  • Makis can be found in remote regions of the island.

  • Diving is mandatory. Expect spectacular sights in the world's largest lagoon.

  • Sea turtles come to roost on the southern beaches.

  • In August-September, humpback whales can be found with their calves in the lagoon.


Currency is the Euro (€). Local stuff (bananas, manioc, fish) is inexpensive, imported items (dairy products, manufactured products) are expensive.


French is the official language and is spoken by roughly 35% of the population. More commonly-spoken are Mahorian (a dialect of Swahili) and Malagasy.


90% of the population is Muslim, following a very tolerant Islam. Say hello to people you will cross while hiking, always smile, and you will be respected.

Stay healthy

Mayotte is a malaria-infested zone. Consult your physician for anti-malaria medecine, and pile on mosquito repellent.


Cyclones can occur during rainy season.


Voluntary service: Volontariat Civil à l'Aide Technique (VCAT). Conditions: you must be French or from another EU-member state or a country belonging to the European Economic Area. You must be over 18 and under 28 years old (inclusive). You must not have had your civic rights revoked by a court or have been convicted of certain offences.

Contact & location

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

D. GuillaimeTodd VerBeek, Jim Logan, Antoine, David and David Le Brun, Inas, Tatatabot, AHeneen, Ypsilon, Ecjmartin, Hoshie, Episteme, InterLangBot, BigHaz, Karen Johnson and CIAWorldFactbook2002

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population - euro (EUR)
Area374 sq km
Governmentterritorial collectivity of France
Population201,234 (July 2006 est.)
ReligionMuslim 97%, Christian (mostly Roman Catholic)
TimezoneUTC +3