The French island of Mayotte sits on the Indian Ocean in East Africa and it is tucked somewhere in between Mozambique and Madagascar. Mayotte became a French overseas territory in 1843 when it was ceded alongside the Comoros islands. Even after the Comoros decided to vote for independence, Mayotte on the other hand surprised many when it overwhelmingly voted to remain a France department in 2011. Majority of the island’s population comprises of Muslims and as such, Mayotte is largely dominated by Muslim customs like polygamy, male dominance and Islamic Sharia law. Typical of Mayotte island is its greenery and colorful fauna that attracts many zoologists and botanists. You meet several endemic species of animals such as endangered gray bamboo lemur, drongo bird and famous baobab and coconut palms. In the warm waters of the lagoon around the island you can see hundreds of species of crustaceans with the different color. Around the main island has a barrier reef that protects the island from the big waves of the ocean and therefore trade in ports and cruise ships.

Coral reefs are home to many species of fish and corals. Here you can diving and enjoy the underwater beauty of this exotic archipelago. A walk in the small towns of Mayotte will seem unique experience.
Architecture in cities can hardly speak, because most of the homes are actually wooden shacks covered with coconut palm leaves. This is typical of houses in neighboring Madagascar. One of the attractions in Mayotte ascent to the peak Choungui. In good weather you can make panoramic photos of the entire island of Mayotte. The best time to visit is November to March because it is cool, and is a good excuse to escape the winter cold in the north. However, if you want to see the migration of whales and laying eggs of turtles is well your visit to the island of Mayotte is in August and September. The most beautiful beach ideal for romantic couples is set Sakouli beach. In the middle of the beach grows huge baobab, which is a major attraction for visitors. Inside Mayotte there are several protected areas such as Mount Benara forest. The islands are close to Grand Terre we can mention Chissioua Mbouzi. This island is uninhabited – a protected area because of dry tropical forests and about a thousand brown lemurs that live freely in this little paradise. A curious fact about the island of Mayotte, that the local population does not want autonomy from France, on the contrary, despite numerous attempts by the Comoros to join political this small island for now remains unsuccessful. This destination is not recommended for people who are accustomed to the comforts of the big hotel chains. Attractions in Mayotte are suitable for people with adventurous spirit and families with low budget.

However, most of the things are nowadays being changed comply with the French law. Most of the people living in Mayotte are illegal aliens especially from Comoros and despite being owned by French, only a handful of the local population understands French. The tropical climate of Mayotte is characterized by rainy, humid and hot seasons. The landscape of the island is undulating comprising of ancient volcanic and deep ravines. The capital city of Mayotte is Mamoudzou and other small cities include Sada, Bandele and Dzaoudzi. Most of the travelers to Mayotte fly in through Kenya Airways via Comoros but there are still other flights providing direct connections between Dzaoudzi and Reunion. There is a major port at Dzaoudzi. Since most of the locals do not speak French, their main language of communication is Mahorian.

While Mayotte might not be a paradise for tourists, here are still some few landmarks that are quite interesting to visit. The small island of Chissioua Mbouzi in Mayotte is largely covered with a dry tropical forest that contains numerous Mayotte endemic plant species. In fact, some plants in this forest are not found at any other place in the world. This island is also home to brown lemurs which are fed by the locals. The Musicale beach baobab is recognized as the largest, most popular baobab tree in Mayotte and has a 28 meters circumference. The Mount Benara forest is a unique high altitude forest and the only one of its kind in Mayotte and covers about 185 hectares. It is home to many rare and endemic, plants and animal species. Ouangani village is home to one of the largest water falls in the world known as Rouaka falls that is about 20 meters tall. The Sakouli beach is rather beautiful and features giant baobabs tree and there is also a gorgeous waterfall known as the Soulou falls. The old Tsingoni Mosque dates back in 15th century when it was built by the Tsingoni sultans. The mosque also houses graves of these sultans as well. Hiking is common in Mayotte especially at Mount Choungui where you can get some spectacular views of the whole island.

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