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.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette