Those after an under-water safari should travel to Mayotte. Indeed, every summer (of our hemisphere) and winter (as far as Mayotte's climate is concerned), the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) stopover to reproduce. You can be sure to see some in the 600 sq mi of turquoise water of the lagoon. Why not try a beach-holiday: You will soon become a deluxe Robinson Crusoe when you see the landscape not yet cluttered with hotels. Then, if you are interested in perfume, go and visit a ylang-ylang plantation; you will feel as if you were in the Garden of Eden.
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If you want to see the most beautiful diving site of Mayotte, go to the S shape channel off the eastern coast. A river has given it its sinuous outline (hence the name), and the under-water wildlife and flora are exceptional. Diving clubs organize diving sessions in the channels, from the departure points of Mamoudzou or Bandrélé. You can organize also to go on a bivouac on the Choizil islets set along the north-west coast, off M'tsamboro. The sunsets are particularly sumptuous. The most pleasant way to get there is to rent a pirogue from M'tsamboro. The fishermen of the village will be happy to organize the trip.
+Mayotte's lagoon is one of the most beautiful in the world.
+The interior of the island has kept a very authentic character.
-The climate limits the tourism season.
-There are few hotels.
Some of the women wear the musindzano, a facial mask made of sandal wood scented cream. This mask covers the face uniformly, when it is used as protection from the sun, but it takes on patterns (flowers, circles, dots), when it is worn as an ornament for traditional ceremonies.
Mahorian cuisine is simple but tasty. A typical dish, which absolutely has to be given a try is trovi ya nadzi; it is a meat or fish stew, cooked in coconut milk with chunks of plantain and manioc. Plantain and manioc are also fried, served with chicken, goat or zebu. Smoked fish is worth a try (shark, swordfish, grouper), as well as the shellfish (lobster, prawns, crab). For dessert, you can taste oubou (sweet manioc flour gruel) or dunk into the tropical fruit, such as mangos, litchis, soursop, sugar apples and guava.
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It would be a good idea to take vanilla, coffee and ylang-ylang essence home. You can also find hand-made mats, hats and bags, fabrics, gold jewels made locally, as well as traditional music instruments: drums, other percussion instruments, dzendze (accordion) and gabusi (guitar). Shops are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on week days.