The population, some 200 000 inhabitants approximately, is in the majority muslim (95%), a moderate, tolerant sort of islam. Its traditions are lively and varied, and inherited to its civilizations.
The earliest traces of the island date back to the 8th century. The first humans to arrive here are believed to have been the Bantus from East Africa followed by the Swahilis. In the 9th century, the first Arab and Persian traders landed on the island, bringing Islam religion with them. In the 16th century, the Dutch arrived followed by the Brtitish and later the French in the 17th century.
The climate is typically tropical with a hot humid season or austral summer from October to March, and dry season, the austral winter, from April to September. Mayotte is almost never affected by cyclones or hurricanes. The average annual year round temperature is 79°F (26°C) with an average variation of three or four degrees, between the rainy and the dry season. Mayotte enjoys more than eight hours of sunshine per day, and the temperature of the water in the lagoon never goes below twenty four degrees centigrade.
HEALTH & SAFETY
No vaccine is required but it is advisable nevertheless to have your basic vaccinations up to date, especially if you will be travelling in and around the Indian Ocean (hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, polio and typhoid). Even if there are few cases of diphtheria, malaria and yellow fever, it is recommended to protect yourself against mosquito bites by using insect repellents, mosquito nets and strip sticks.
Emergency services (SMUR), the equivalent of the SAMU in mainland France ring 15. The police 17. The fire brigade 18. The navy will direct you if necessary to the SNSM (Lifeguards Service or Sea Rescue Service).
The urban area collective taxis are numerous. In the rural areas, the “bush taxis” apply a fee according to the distance. But renting a vehicle remains the most pleasant way to discover Mayotte. About sea, the “barge” provides ferry services between Petite-Terre, where the airport is located, and Grande-Terre. And the crossing takes fifteen minutes.
NOT TO BE MISSED
At sea:The world’s largest enclosed lagoon ensures total safety... Enjoy scuba or skin diving in a natural aquarium, from the elegant aquatic ballet of hundreds of dolphins, the elegance of the manta rays, the breathtaking leaps of the whales. Diving outside the barrier reef and night diving.
On land:An outstanding natural heritage. The ylang-ylang essential oil distilleries, the culinary, medicinal and fragrant plant varieties to be found in the Coconi Gardens, the laying of turtle eggs at Moya.
Culture: A patchwork quilt of peoples and cultures, July and August are referred to as the wedding months, two weeks of festivities combine ceremonies and ancient rites, offering a lively demonstration of traditional arts and crafts.