Mayotte: what to do, what to see...



À Mayotte, les eaux turquoises de la plage de N'Gouja
© Insularis / Istockphoto - À Mayotte, les eaux turquoises de la plage de N'Gouja

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 31 January 2024, updated on 21 April 2024

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. Here we go!

Visits you cannot miss in Mayotte

Parmi les incontournables de votre séjour à Mayotte, visitez les champs d'Ylang Ylang : un ravissement pour les sens !
© Peht - AdobeStock - Parmi les incontournables de votre séjour à Mayotte, visitez les champs d'Ylang Ylang : un ravissement pour les sens !

• Mount Choungi The ascent of Mount Choungui is one of the essential of Mayotte during the dry season. It dominates the south of the island with its perfect and steep cone that reaches 594 meters. It offers a panoramic view of the entire south of the island and its basaltic column is visible from Petite Terre.

• Islet of Saziley For this nautical escapade south of Mayotte, you will leave by boat from Moutsamoudou ... not to mention take masks, fins and snorkel, sunscreen, hat and plenty of water because you will not find anything on this little corner of paradise !

• Coconut Botanical Garden Strolling around the botanical garden of Coconi during the rainy season (between November and the end of April) remains a small privilege. In addition to the many flowers and beautiful alignments of palm and coconut trees, you can also visit the nursery.

• The beach of N'Gouja Located at the extreme south-west of the island in the lagoon, this beach is the most beautiful and best known of Mayotte. Swim with turtles and lie on the clear sand, under the baobabs, observe bats and lemurs are the pleasures of this little paradise of the island.

• Lake Karihani Lake Karihani, or 'dziani Karihani' in Shimaoré, is the only freshwater natural lake in Mayotte. Often covered with water lilies, it serves as a refuge for many birds, egrets, herons or hens. The tour of the lake, near the village of Tsingoni, is a quiet and exotic walk.

• The village of Dzaoudzi Dzaoudzi, which has 13,000 inhabitants, houses most of the buildings of the colonial era, including the hotel "The Rock", the old post office that dates back to 1845, the former boarding house which houses the Heritage House or even the former governor's palace called "Eiffel Palace", named after his designer.

• The Guerlain plantation and its fields At 800 meters from the village of Combani, the Guerlain plantation aligns its rows of ylang-ylang, and its alley of coconut trees. The house of the famous perfumer, planted in the middle of a neat garden, offers beautiful remains that are worth to be visited.

• The 210 steps of Acoua This uneven staircase gives access to the top of a hill that overlooks Acoua Bay, offering a magnificent view of the Northern Islands. In the distance, the Choazil Islands and the Chissioua Mtsamboro seem to swim on the calm waters of the lagoon ...

• The small town of Mamoudzou Mamoudzou, which has only 6,200 inhabitants, is on the edge of two coves separated by Mahabo Point. It does most of the island's businesses and services, the headquarters of the General Council and most of the administrations, notably on Place Mariage, in the city center.

• The peninsula of Bouéni Located south of Mayotte, the Boueni Peninsula stretches for 4 kilometers to the north, facing the town of Sada and partly close to the great Bay of Boueni. Fishing villages, located along the coast and trails, allow you to visit the peninsula, from Majiméouni to Mzouazia.

Essential activities in Mayotte

Eau turquoise et sable blanc sont le décor des poissons multicolores que vous pourrez observer sur les ilots Choizil.
© Michel Bordieu - AdobeStock - Eau turquoise et sable blanc sont le décor des poissons multicolores que vous pourrez observer sur les ilots Choizil.

• Tears will be shed when you assist with the laying of turtles on Moya Beach Mayotte is one of the places in the Indian Ocean where it is common to see turtles laying eggs. Moya Beach is their favorite site. Almost every night from March to June, with records in May, turtles come to lay their eggs. Be careful not to disturb them...

• Marvel at the ballooning of humpback whales in the lagoon From Mamoudzou, one can go to observe humpback whales and their calves that come to romp in the turquoise waters of the almost closed lagoon, from July to the end of October. They come to perform courtship displays, give birth, breastfeed and then educate their young.

• Swim with dolphins and terns at Saziley Point Dolphins and terns are observed all year round in Mayotte, the lagoon fauna being very rich. For dolphins, the most famous place is M'Tsamboro Island, in the direction of the Great Barrier Reef. Near the tip of Saziley, is the "white islet" which is the main refuge of the terns.

• Open your eyes, dive to the reserve of the Passe en S From its real name Longogori, the "Passe en S" is a famous dive site, protected as a marine reserve since 1990. Fishing is prohibited. With 13 sites divided between the lagoon and the ocean, it is the diving spot of Mayotte. There are many turtles in particular here.

• Jump back 3 billion years to the crater lake of Dziani Dziani Dzaha is an emerald green crater lake, located north of Petite-Terre. You will admire the rock of Dzaoudzi and its marina, Grande-Terre and the turquoise waters of the great northeastern reef. Since the faré overlooks the beaches of Moya, a path is there so that you can reach them.

• Explore Choizil Islands with a mask and snorkel Located a few kilometers from the coast, Choizil islets are the most beautiful dive sites in Mayotte: turquoise water, white sandbank, black rocks, and green reliefs in the background. The rather degraded coral bottom abounds with multicolored fish (clownfish, angelfish ...).

• Discover the mangrove by canoe to better observe its inhabitants Cruising the Mayotte mangrove kayak is definitely worth a visit. This universe is fascinating. We can meet the periophthalm, a kind of small amphibious fish, the violin crab, the white crabbird, the Terebralia palustris, a mollusc with a pointed cone...

• Learn the art of Bandrele salt and laugh with the "mama shingo" The “ mama shingos" will explain each step of the production of this salt, totally natural and with a unique taste: from the collection to the filtration in perforated basins, the watering with the sea water and the heating to evaporate the liquid, leaving only a salt of amazing whiteness!

• Make friends with maki Easy to approach, these adorable lemurs live in colonies in the trees. They will come close to you and may even try to steal food from you! They look like adorable stuffed animals that you want to caress. But feeding them changes their eating habits and can alter their health...


• Matsidza rice • Kakamoukou fish curry • Fish mataba with manioc and coconut milk • Kebabs and mabawas • Chicken Pilao • Tomato rougail • Kangué stew • Poutou chillis • Baobab juice


• Spices • Vanilla essence • Ylang Ylang essence • Sculpted baobab fruit • Stamps • A Salouva, the traditional costume worn by the women of Mayotte • Bandrélé salt • A hat from Sada

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