Mayotte was ceded to France along with the other islands of the Comoros group in 1843. When Comoros voted for independence in the 1970's, Mayotte decided to remain a French "collective". In March 2009, the islands voted overwhelmingly (95.2%) to become France's 101st 'departement' effective in 2011. The island is 95% Muslim and many Muslim customs such as polygamy, Islamic-inspired law, and male dominance are commonplace, although all will be reversed in accordance with French law by 2011. A large amount of the island's population is composed of illegal aliens from neighboring Comoros. Despite the island's French ownership, less than half of the population understands French and very few speak French fluently.
Tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November).
Generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks.
- Mamoudzou — capital of the island
Planes fly daily between Dzaoudzi, the airport/military base in Mayotte. For a return flight from Paris to Mayotte, expect to cash out at least €800.
The primary port is Dzaoudzi.
The easiest way to get around Mayotte is with bush taxis ("taxi brousse") who will take you around the island for a few euros.
French is the official language and is spoken by roughly 35% of the population. More commonly-spoken are Mahorian (a dialect of Swahili) and Malagasy.
Currency is the Euro (€). Local food and items (bananas, manioc, fish) are inexpensive, imported items (dairy products, manufactured products) are expensive.
- A hike (almost a climb) to the summit of Mont Choungui will offer a spectacular panorama of the island.
- Makis (ring-tailed lemur) can be found in remote regions of the island.
- Diving is mandatory. Expect spectacular sights in the world's largest lagoon.
- Sea turtles come to roost on the southern beaches.
- In August-September, humpback whales can be found with their calves in the lagoon.
Voluntary service: Volontariat Civil à l'Aide Technique (VCAT).  Conditions: you must be French or from another EU-member state or a country belonging to the European Economic Area. You must be over 18 and under 28 years old (inclusive). You must not have had your civic rights revoked by a court or have been convicted of certain offences.
Cyclones can occur during rainy season.
Mayotte is a malaria-infested zone; considered to be high risk. Consult your physician for anti-malaria medicine, take it, and pile on mosquito repellent to avoid bites.
90% of the population is Muslim, following a very tolerant Islam. Greeting others while perambulating about, or a pleasant expression of recognition, a smile, is considered respectful.