Yes, it has fantastic white sand, turquoise sea beaches and excellent diving, snorkelling and sailing, but otherwise Mayotte (Mahoré) is overpriced and some say over-Frenchified. A collectivité territoriale (overseas territory) of France, Mayotte differs from the other Comorian islands politically in that its people are French citizens governed by French law. As a result, French citizens don’t need visas to holiday here, and the island is crammed with holidaymakers on packages from all over France. It also has a large expat and diplomatic community in its capital city.
Despite large infusions of money aimed at bringing the island’s economy and infrastructure into parity with the Métropole (as mainland France is known), Mayotte remains economically poor, with a clear gulf between the local population and the French expatriates.
Under French administration, Mayotte has for the most part enjoyed relative peace and stability, although the other three Comorian islands feel the Mahorais (as the people of Mayotte are called) sold out, and they uncharitably refer to them as ‘the spoilt children of the republic’. To the casual visitor, both the Mahorais and Mayotte’s French expats seem considerably less friendly than the inhabitants of the other three islands.
Budget travellers may want to steer clear of Mayotte. Thanks to bureaucrats receiving fat government salaries in euros, and lots of upmarket resorts, prices for meals and transport are the same, if not more, than in France. Bargaining is all but impossible.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
Tips & articles
19 July 2012
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