Situated in the Mozambique Channel of the western Indian Ocean, some 190 miles northwest of Madagascar, Mayotte is comprised of two beautiful French-controlled islands: Grand-Terre and Petit-Terre. A nature lover’s paradise, Mayotte’s surrounding aquamarine waters are home to the largest lagoon in the Indian Ocean, boasting over 250 different species of hard coral. On boat tours around the island, you’ll can look out for schools of tropical fish, turtles, dolphins and whales in the warm, clear waters. Alternatively, get even closer to the fascinating fauna and flora on unforgettable snorkelling or scuba diving adventures. [ReadMoreMob]
Ashore there’s much to explore in Mayotte too, including an extensive network of lush mangroves and humid rainforests. Grand-Terre – the main island of Mayotte – features stunning volcanic landscapes, marked by deep ravines and soaring ancient peaks. Hikers will be keen to scale the spectacular 660-metre high Mount Benara and 572-metre Mount Mtsapere; although smaller summits, such as Mount Combani and Dziani Bole are easier to climb and still offer incredible vistas.
Mamoudzou – Mayotte’s sprawling capital – is the place to sample the region’s French-influenced culture and charm. Home to approximately 54,000 friendly inhabitants, Mamoudzou is where Mayotte’s best shops, markets and restaurants are found. There isn’t many – after all, Mamoudzou is a still a small city – but there’s still enough to offer a true taste of the region. Speaking of taste, you’re sure to find something tempting to try in Mamoudzou, with French, Creole, Arabic and African inspired cuisine on offer.
Lagoons & Mangroves
The most prominent characteristic of Mayotte is its vast lagoon, which is separated from the sea by a barrier reef (coral reefs) and bordered by mangroves. This barrier reef is one of the most impressive in the world as it surrounds the island. According to Mahoran legend, this is to protect the island from foreign invasions.