Sunday, 6 June 2010

Photos from the tropical island of Mayotte

In December 2007, I visited the island of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar. The island is a dependency of France. Ours was a fleeting visit, just one day on a cruise between Zanzibar and Madagascar. These are some of the photos I took.

Mayotte baobab tree Dec 07 no 6

The biggest baobab tree in Mayotte and it was huge! David demonstrates the size of it. We were told it was about 700 years old.

Mayotte baobab tree Dec 07 no 4


Mayotte saltmaking Dec 07 no 2

Salt was made by collecting the top soil in the lagoon pictured below which is flooded at high tide. The soil is mixed with water and then filtered through sand. The water is then boiled off to leave the salt.

Mayotte Dec 07 no 1

Mayotte saltmaking Dec 07 no 4

Mayotte saltmaking Dec 07 no 5

Snorkelling at the turtle reserve

Definitely a highlight of the visit. The turtles are huge, aver a metre in length, and they feed on the sea vegetation at the shallow sea bed next to this beach which is also a turtle reserve. It is possible to go snorkelling in this area but you are not allowed to swim down and touch the turtles. To prevent this, we were all given life jackets to wear whilst snorkelling. That kept us on the surface!

Mayotte beach Dec 07 no 1
The turtle reserve beach

Mayotte snorkling Dec 07 no 2
Me with my life jacket and snorkelling gear. One thing to watch out for when snorkelling with a life jacket on as I was: your back and neck spend quite a bit of time in the direct sun. You will feel it later in the day.

Mayotte snorkling Dec 07 no 1
The slightly more stripped down version of me!

Mayotte Lemurs Dec 07 no 5
Brown lemurs live wild on the island but some are quite tame and wait at the edge of the beach for food from passing visitors.

Mayotte musicians Dec 07 no 2
Lunch was on another beach and we have music provided by a local group. Face painting like this is common with women on the island.

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