#A beautiful lagoon
Surrounded by a double coral reef more than 150 kilometres long and fringed by a fringing reef, Mayotte has one of the largest closed lagoons in the world. Interspersed in places by a few passes allowing access from the outside, it is a real life-size aquarium that is available to us. Protected from the currents of the Indian Ocean, located in the Mozambique Channel, Petite-Terre and Grande-Terre, the only two inhabited islands of Mayotte, face each other and enjoy a water temperature that is never below 25°C.
Mother Nature par excellence :
Mayotte with its bush surprises by its humid and tropical forest, green and lush. It is full of mango trees, banana plantations, coconut trees, breadfruit trees and even giant bamboos. In its centre, ylang-ylang plantations, whose scents of the mysterious flower scent the island at dawn. Its forests of cinnamon trees, its vanilla, its lemongrass and its other spices or perfumed plants surprise the metropolitan who only knew them on the supermarket shelves before discovering them in Mayotte. A drier vegetation to the south reveals the majestic baobabs, some of them century-old, that enjoy growing along beaches or gently sloping hills. To perfect everything, and to everyone's delight, the maki, the Mayotte lemur, is used to travel, always in small clans, at certain times of the morning or late afternoon. It is therefore quite easy to see them as soon as there are large trees. Lemurus fulvus mayottensis coexist with the dogfish, a large bat that can grow to nearly a metre in size. Rest assured, she is vegetarian and non-aggressive, except with the makis, to whom she competes for the fruits of the trees.
A change of scenery and authenticity
Both African and Malagasy, Mayotte offers a change of scenery in complete safety: zebus grazing on the side of the road, friendly reunions around a skewer in the evening, noisy and communicative laughter from the bulls, children racing behind a tire that runs down the road, fishermen sliding on the surface of the lagoon... These moments of daily life are pearls that make the experience unique and enchanting.
Kindness and simplicity
The Mahorais are at first sight rather shy and reserved, so you should not hesitate to show them interest, because kindness and generosity are always there. So, you are never left alone with a flat tire on the side of the road for example, someone will always come to help. It is what is called musada or mutual aid which is one of the foundations of Islam and the island. The welcome given by the "expats", those Mzungus who have settled on the island for a few days or a few years, is also particularly warm. A solidarity is created from the plane and continues with each meeting, the trip and the discovery are shared in Mayotte.
Mayotte the French one
Being French gives Mayotte several advantages in terms of tourism. The visitor thus has the impression of visiting a foreign country while staying in France. To go to the other side of the world and more than 9,000 kilometres from the metropolis while staying in your country is a privilege that very few nations know... First of all, from a practical point of view: no need for a passport or visa, the currency is the euro and withdraws to the ATM, the post office and France Telecom operate there as in metropolitan France, just like SFR and Orange, the overseas operators.Metropolitans, Europeans or Reunionese (because many of them visit the island) immediately find their bearings when they disembark and feel secure there by modern medicine, first-rate police, reliable transport, electricity and telephone that work as if they were at home. This is not the case for the other countries in the region, which have a much lower standard of living, like the independent Comoros, which are facing the greatest poverty.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette