Mayotte : a preserved archipelago
Composed of two principal islands, Grande-Terre and Petite-Terre, and thirty or so uninhabited islets, Mayotte is a tiny corner of the earth lost in the Indian Ocean to the north west of Madagascar. This archipelago, which became the 101st French département in 2011, has succeeded in keeping its authenticity.
Ancient French lands
An archipelago that is a hybrid of Africa, the East and the West, Mayotte became a French colony in 1841, then an Overseas Territory in 1946. In 2011, its 180,000 inhabitants chose by referendum to become the 101st French and 5th overseas département.
The Mayotte Lagoon is one of the biggest and most beautiful enclosed lagoons in the world. It is France's number two marine park, with an amazing array of fauna in its expanse of 1,500 km2. Humpback whales go to give birth there and dolphins play with marine turtles amid the coral … Magical!
A divers' paradise
Mayotte is a divers' paradise: the depths of the sea are packed with abundant flora and fauna and the white sandy beaches have not been blighted by mass tourism. Take a walk and you will see an amazing profusion of nature: baobab trees, orchids, giant bamboo… An unforgettable experience.
Mayotte specialises in the production of spices and aromatic plants: vanilla, ylang-ylang, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg , chillies, ginger and pepper… The archipelago has long been known as the perfumed isle with very good reason, and a visit to the market is a journey through the senses.
Influenced by Africa, Mayotte cuisine uses the staples of rice, cassava, banana and fish ... Mamas-brochettis - street stands – offer beef skewers and mabawas - grilled chicken wings - at affordable prices. Other specialities include baobab juice and trembo or coconut milk.