{{ message }}

Admin Page Edit


{{ message }}

Hotel Sakouli
Hotel Sakouli - dream vacation

Plage de sakouli BP 63 NyambadaoMamoudzou

Le Jardin Maore
Le Jardin Maore - dream vacation

Plage N\'Gouja BP636 ChironguiMamoudzou

Mayotte is an archipelago among the East African Islands, lying in the Indian Ocean channel between Madagascar and Mozambique. It's a French overseas department with a population of 299,348 in 2022. Most live on the large island of Grande-Terre, which somewhat resembles a sea horse, used on Mayotte's coat of arms. A 2 km channel separates it from Petite-Terre, also urbanised; the other islets are tiny with only a handful of residents.


The first known human habitation was in the 7th century CE, and early settlement was from the East African mainland and from Madagascar. Mayotte lay on the Arab trade routes, adopted Islam, and from 1500 became a sultanate. From time to time it fought with its neighbours, and in the 1830s Andriantsoly in exile from Madagascar grabbed power here as Sultan. Madagascar was backed by the British so he needed an equivalent Great Power ally, and in 1841 he sold the whole place to France. He got 5000 francs, which he mostly drank, until in 1847 an assassin nailed him slightly ahead of the bottle. Subsequently all of Comoros, Réunion and Mayotte became a French protectorate. Attempts to develop Mayotte for sugar plantations, as in the Caribbean, were stymied by the rugged terrain and long transport routes.

Modern France looked to divest itself of colonies, and in 1974 held a referendum on independence for Comoros. This was overwhelmingly in favour except in Mayotte, which voted 63% to remain French. It was therefore hived off, against Comoros protests. Subsequent referendums have only strengthened Mayotte's stance, and it became an overseas department in 2011. It's therefore eligible for EU funding and other social provision, not least its white-collar jobs. French secular law and ethos is potentially in conflict with sharia and other aspects of Islam, but religion is a relaxed affair here, with no groundswell of jihad or anti-western terrorism. Comoros continues to play diplomatic badminton, raising protests which France swats away, and the debate doesn't affect travellers. Indeed the people of Comoros have similarly voted with their feet - many of Mayotte's population are illegal immigrants from there.

Less than half of the population understand French and very few speak French fluently, see § Talk. You're more likely to be understood by younger folk.

The climate is tropical marine. It's wet Nov-May during northeastern monsoon, and dry May to November, so April to October is the best time to visit. The temperature variation is only a few degrees so it's the rain and mud that decides you. Cyclones are possible but uncommon in the wet season, as the main belt is further north and west.

The landscape is rugged, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks.


  • Mamoudzou is the capital.
  • 2 Dembéni is on the east coast.
  • 3 Bandrele is on the southeast coast.
  • 4 Sada is the main settlement on the west coast.
  • 5 Acoua is in the northwest.
  • 6 Dzoumogné is on the north coast.
  • 7 Koungou is also on the north coast.
  • 8 Dzaoudzi was the capital of Mayotte until 1977.
  • 9 Pamandzi occupies the south side of the island.

Other destinations

  • 1 M'bouzi the islet between Grande- and Petite-Terre is a nature reserve.
  • 2 Chissioua Mtsamboro, also known as Zamburu or Saddle Island, is the third largest of the archipelago. It's hilly, inhabited by some 20 fisherfolk, and has no visitor facilities.

Get in

Mayotte like other French overseas territories is not part of the Schengen area. Western visitors don't need a visa for Mayotte, but your passport must have 3 months of validity beyond your departure date.

By plane

There are no direct flights from Europe or the Middle East. From Paris ORY or CDG fly Air France via Saint-Denis on Réunion, and from Amsterdam fly KLM / Kenya Airways via Nairobi.

Air Austral fly twice a day from Saint-Denis, taking 70 min to Mayotte, so the journey time from Paris is about 18 hours.

Kenya Airways fly four days a week from Nairobi, taking 2 hr 30 min to Mayotte. Journey time from Amsterdam on connecting days is 16 hours.

Ewa Air is a Mayotte-based airline, with flights from Antananarivo, Nosy Be, Antsiranana (aka Diego-Suárez) and Mahajanga on Madagascar. They also fly from Anjouan and Moroni on Comoros.

1 Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi Airport (DZA IATA) is at the south tip of Petite-Terre. Reckon an hour by taxi and ferry to reach the capital. In 2022 a taxi from the airport to the ferry pier costs €5.60 M-Sa daytime, €8.20 Sunday or at night.

By boat

SGTM ferry sails four days a week from Mutsamudu on Anjouan, Comoros. It takes 3 hours to Dzaoudzi and in 2022 an adult single fare is €185. The ferry pier is the same as for La Barge to Grande-Terre. From Moroni on Grand Comoros change ferries at Mutsamudu.

Cruise ships occasionally visit Mayotte.

Get around

La Barge is the car ferry between Mamoudzou (Gare Maritime) on Grande-Terre and Dzaoudzi (Issoufali) on Petite-Terre. It sails every 30 min 06:00-20:00 and hourly through the night, taking 15 min. Single fare in 2022 is €0.75 per foot passenger, €15 per car. A second ferry on a parallel route is for trucks.

Europcar are the rental company here, with desks at the airport and at Mamoudzou Gare Maritime.

"Bush taxis" (taxi brousse) connect the main settlements. Consider hiring one to show you round the sights for a few hours, rather than navigate the roads yourself.


French is the official language and is spoken by roughly 63% of the population, especially younger people. More commonly-spoken are Mahorian (a dialect of Swahili) and Malagasy.

See the French version of this page for basic local vocabulary.


Mayotte lacks "sights", with no great architecture or natural wonders.


  • What's on? Mayotte Hebdo is the island newspaper.
  • Hike to the summit of Mt Choungui, the distinctive volcanic cone in the south. At 593 m it's the second-highest peak, but commands better views than the highest Benara (660 m and central).
  • Lemurs are the signature beast of Madagascar, but the maki or common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) has been introduced to Mayotte. They may be spotted in any quiet forest location.
  • Scuba diving: Mayotte is fringed by a reef, with only a dozen navigable cuts, enclosing a huge doughnut lagoon. There are five or six dive shacks around the coast, offering courses, kit hire and dives.
  • Marine life: Aug to Sept humpback whales give birth in the lagoon, so boat trips can view them with their calves. Sea turtles roost on the southern beaches year-round.
  • Sports: Complexe de Kawani in Mamoudzou is the national multi-use sports venue, hosting Mayotte's football team and other events.


  • Currency is the euro (€).
  • Local produce (bananas, manioc, fish) is inexpensive, imported items (dairy products, manufactured goods) are expensive.


The best of a limited choice is in Mamoudzou.


Tap-water is safe to drink in 93% of the country according to WHO, but not safe according to CDC the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mamoudzou has a couple of free-standing bars, otherwise drink in the cafes.

It's odd that a sugar-producing island doesn't have a rum distillery.


Facilities are poor, with just a couple of hotels in the capital and a couple more on Petite-Terre near the airport. Mayotte lacks beach resort hotels, so it's in the classic trap of few hotels > few tourists > few hotels.

Many folk live in semi-legal shanty towns, which make up in nasty dogs what they lack in mains water, sanitation and electricity. Take great care about airbnb offers.


If you have fluent French and eligibility to work in France, then you might be able to take up a temporary specialist post on Mayotte such as technical support. But the islands have more qualified young people than they can employ, so there are no long-term vacancies.

In the semi-skilled sectors such as catering and construction, Mayotte has a big problem with illegal immigrants from Comoros, who continue to make hazardous crossings on overcrowded fishing boats. About a third of the population are "undocumented" and they will grab any casual post they can. Every few weeks the police come along and bust them. But there's nowhere to deport them or jail them, so they're sternly told to return to Comoros then set free.

Stay safe

Your chief hazard is always traffic, especially on muddy ill-lit streets.

Mayotte has no active volcanoes, but earth tremors have increased since 2018, and a new volcano is taking shape beneath the ocean. Activity has also increased at Karthala the Comoros volcano, but it's not expected to erupt.

Stay healthy

  • Check your health cover – travel insurance valid for France and the EU won't automatically extend to Mayotte. There is a hospital in Mamoudzou, but a serious event such as a heart attack might necessitate a medevac to Europe.
  • Mayotte is low risk for malaria. Take normal precautions against mosquito bites (such as wearing long-sleeved shirts), but anti-malarial medicine is not recommended. Seek medical attention promptly if you develop a fever.


90% of the population are Muslim, following a fairly relaxed form of Islam. They observe Ramadan (which follows a lunar calendar, so it's 11 to 12 days earlier each year) so eating places may be closed daytime, simply for lack of custom.


As of Aug 2022, Mayotte has 4G from Only, Orange, SFR and (in patches) Maore. 5G has not reached these islands.

If you have an EU or UK based mobile, check whether your provider regards Mayotte as part of the EU roaming area.

Go next

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.


Although infrequent, petty crime such as pick-pocketing, purse snatching and theft from unlocked cars occurs. Exercise caution in crowded outdoor markets, parks and beaches. Ensure that personal belongings, passport, and other travel documents are secure at all times.


Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.


Located in the Indian Ocean, Mayotte is part of the Comoros archipelago. Mayotte is made up of two main islands, Grande-Terre and Petite-Terre, and several other small islands, including Mtsamboro, Mbouzi and Bandrélé.

Taxis are the only urban public transport. It is possible to travel between the islands by boat. You should avoid boats that are in poor condition or overcrowded, as there have been incidents of boats capsizing in the past.

Car rental agencies are also available. The road network is currently being rehabilitated, so it should be noted that road quality is still variable. In some spots, the lack of maintenance, lighting and traffic lights is deplorable.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Tourist facilities are limited.

France’s main telecommunications carriers operate in Mayotte, providing reliable access to the telephone network. Broadband Internet access (ADSL) has also been also available in Mayotte since April 2012, and work to improve the network is ongoing. 

Mayotte has all the traditional postal services; the post office is a modern and reliable institution. 

Emergency services

Dial 15 or 02 69 61 86 86 to reach the police, 17 to reach the gendarmerie and 18 to reach fire fighters.


Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.


Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.


Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.



  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.


Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

A general hospital offering a wide range of health care services is available in Mamoudzou, and there is also an auxiliary hospital in Dzaoudzi. There are no hospitals outside these major cities, but it is possible to visit a doctor or a local clinic.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Canada and France are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.

Dual citizenship

Although France recognizes dual citizenship, dual citizens are considered French citizens and are subject to French laws. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.

Dress and behaviour

The majority of the population is Muslim. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly, and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.


The currency is the Euro (EUR). Automated Banking machines are increasing in numbers and are common in Mamoudzou and Petite-Terre.


There are two seasons in Mayotte: the hot and humid season (November to April) with possible cyclones and northeastern monsoons; and the dry season (May to October).

Site issues? Contact Us