Mayotte is a French overseas department located within the Mozambique Channel in the southwestern Indian ocean between the African continent and Madagascar. Among the volcanic islands of the Comoros archipelago, Mayotte is the oldest. Unfortunately, due to a conflict in our schedule, our team had to give up on exploring the main island of Mayotte. So, instead we took a look at the neighboring island, Pamanzi. The ccTLD for Mayotte is “.yt“.
◆Where is Mayotte located?
Mayotte is an island in the northernmost Mozambique Channel, in the northwestern part of the Comoros Islands. Mayotte is composed of two main islands, Mayotte and Pamanzi. Mayotte has a total area of 374㎢ and a population of 279,500 (as of 2020). The currency used is the Euro. The official language is French.
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◆The Best Things to Do in Pamanzi
Flight routes from Japan to Mayotte go via Bangkok to Réunion, or Doha to Kenya, Paris to Kenya, etc. We took the Bangkok to Réunion route. During our two-hour flight from Réunion on Air Austral, we were served a mushroom and gorgonzola pizza and a Kit Kat. The Kit Kat was invented in 1935 in England and today 700 of them are eaten around the world per second. Japan is said to be the second largest consumer after the UK.
Mayotte’s Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport is actually not located on Mayotte but on the neighboring island, Pamanzi.
We land at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.
Inside the airport, we got the impression there was a higher percentage of black people than in Réunion. Probably around 50% black people and 50% white people, but very few Asians.
Due to our schedule, we decided to have a look around Pamanzi, instead of going to the main island of Mayotte.
First, we head over to Musée de Mayotte, a museum where you can learn about the history and culture of Mayotte. We took a share taxi.
It takes about 30 minutes from the airport to Musée de Mayotte. We couldn’t get in. The museum is closed! According to available information, it’s open 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm. We got there just after 4pm so it should have been open. We visited on a Monday, which is not one of its regular days off.
By the way, admission is free. The museum has an enormous Sperm whale skeleton, which was discovered off the coast of Majicavo in 1995, on display. We really wanted to see that.
Another thing, when you search for “Musée de Mayotte” on Google Maps, nothing comes up with that name. The museum is located on the grounds of the “Maison du Gouverneur.”
If we can’t get in to see the museum, what else is there to see in Pamanzi?
We were at a loss as to what to do, but someone connected to the museum guided us to a taxi. Our driver’s name was Paul. He only spoke French, no English at all, so we used the voice feature of Google Translate when communicating.
◆Badamiers Power Station – Rumored to Be the Most Beautiful in the World
The first place Paul showed us was Labattoir beach.
And then the harbor.
We came across a Carrefour. Carrefour is a chain of supermarkets, with stores worldwide and headquarters based in Paris. There’s more than one on Pamanzi. Let’s take a look inside.
Inside was spacious and they sell fresh vegetables, meat and fruit.
And of course, all manner of daily necessities. They sell everything one might need.
We wanted to buy water but it was out of stock so we bought Coca Cola instead.
After we left Carrefour, we decided to head to Badamiers power station. A comment on Google reviews called it “the most beautiful power station in the world”.
Finally, we arrive at Badamiers power station. We aren’t allowed to look around inside the station. So, let’s just take a walk around the area.
All military, energy and other facilities are found here on Pamanzi, not on Mayotte.
Bathing in the afternoon sun. Unfortunately, even after walking around the area, we could never understand why it was called “the most beautiful power station in the world”.
◆Volcanic Crater Lake Dziani
We now decide to visit Lake Dziani, the biggest attraction on the island. Lake Dziani is a crater lake. Crater lakes form through the accumulation of water in volcanic craters.
The car can only go this far. We have to walk from here.
It’s quite hilly. It’s not an easy trail to walk.
My shoes ended up rather sandy.
A sign on the trail. Not far to go now.
We can see the crater lake! We had to walk about 15 minutes from where we left the car.
It’s hard to tell from the photo but the lake is a beautiful shimmering emerald green.
We return by the same path.
We then go back to our accommodation for the night, “Ibis Styles Mayotte Aeroport“. It looks like an aircraft hanger but when I asked the receptionist about it, she just laughed and said “No. It’s not”.
There’s a pool in the spacious outdoor grounds.
The rooms were clean and tidy.
◆What to Eat in Mayotte – Ginger Pork Stir-fry & a Hugely Popular Bakery
For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Le Mekong.
It has an Asian style interior. Buddhist statues and pictures are on display in the entrance.
There’s even a maneki-neko, or “beckoning cat”, even though this is not a Japanese restaurant. The characters “招財進寶” written on the cats arm hold the meaning that “if one pursues treasure, you will surely accumulate wealth and your descendants will prosper”.
After asking what they would recommend, we ordered Suay Fish (€22), Ginger Pork Stir-fry (€20) and a few other things. It was all delicious, well suited to the Japanese palate.
A sign reading “VOTRE PATISSIER VOUS PROPOSE”, meaning “Your pastry chef suggests” in the entrance.
The small bakery was pretty crowded.
They all look so delicious!
We order 4 different kinds of bread.
Here is what we got. For these four we paid €7.30. We took them to go. We enjoyed all four of them!
This one tasted just like a Japanese sweet snack called “Unagi Pie”.
We hurriedly make our way to the airport. Most people in Mayotte are Muslim so we saw many women covering their hair with hijab or full-body chador.
◆Finding .yt Around Town
“.yt” was used even on Pamanzi island. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit the domain name registry as the offices are located in France. This is an advertisement for a car rental company.
“Maore Discount”, a discount store selling home appliances, DIY supplies, computers, etc. We saw their advertisement on a screen in the airport.
“G La Pêche”, a local fishmonger. This ad was on the back of a truck.
◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed
We used eSIM Ubigi while we were in Mayotte. We measured a respectable internet speed of 53Mbps at Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport.
■List of Places Visited
■For access to Mayotte here