Mayotte forms part of the Comoro Archipelago, located in the Mozambique Channel, between Mozambique and the island of Madagascar. The two main islands have undulating terrain, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks. The highest point is Benara, at 660 meters.
Mayotte has a tropical, marine climate, with a hot and humid rainy season during the northeastern monsoon from November to May, and a cooler dry season from May to November. Natural hazards include possible cyclones in the rainy season. Apparently water scarcity is a new, climate change related issue for Mayotte. In 2017, Fluence Corporation was contracted to supply three of its containerised, reverse-osmosis seawater desalination units for Mayotte.
Mayotte is surrounded by tropical coral reef, consisting of a large outer, barrier reef, which encloses one of the world’s largest and deepest lagoons, with and additional fringing reef interrupted by mangroves. Mayotte is one of the few islands to have such a double barrier reef.
All Mayotte waters are protected as a marine nature park. There are 28 protected areas listed for Mayotte, including 1 national nature reserve (Chissioua Mbouzi), 23 lands acquired by the French national seaside and lakeside conservancy, 2 “protected biotopes”, 1 marine nature park, and 1 wetland of international importance.
Nearly two thirds of the population of Mayotte were born there, and just less than a third immigrated from the Comoros. Less than five percent of the population is from metropolitan France. In 1841, France purchased the island of Mayotte, and operated it as a colony. In 1974, Mayotte was the only Comoro island that voted to retain its link with France, and to this day operates as an “overseas department” of France. However, there are on-going protests in the Comoros claiming sovereignty over Mayotte.
Mayotte now heads the Vanilla Islands tourism initiative, which includes the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, and Seychelles. The departmental committee of tourism of Mayotte operates the French language website at mayotte-tourisme.com. Gemtour is the trade association for tourism businesses in Mayotte, with a website at gemtour.yt. In the capital of Mamoudzou, there is a hiking association called Amis Raid Rando Mayotte. The principal airline operating out of Mayotte is EWA Air.
- Tourism Imaginaries and Political Discourses of Mayotte Island – M Regnault – 2016
- Enquête flux touristiques à Mayotte, une année 2012 sauvée par le tourisme d’affaires – C Martigny – 2013
- Du pouvoir de la culture à la culture du pouvoir: politiques culturelles et mise en tourisme des patrimoines à La Réunion et à Mayotte – M Regnault – 2011