Africa > East African Islands
The East African Islands are in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Madagascar is the dominant island, and a continent on its own when it comes to wildlife. Most of the smaller islands are independent nations, or associated with France, and known as luxury beach resorts.
Countries and territoriesEdit
Tiny Islamic Indian Ocean island group between Madagascar and Mozambique
Expect the unexpected in the land of the lemurs and the so-called eighth continent
|Mauritius (including Rodrigues)
Tropical Indian Ocean island
Geographically part of the Comoros and formerly ruled by France as part of the Comoros, it voted to remain part of France when the rest of the Comoros opted for independence
A piece of France all the way in the Indian Ocean
A group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
The region also has some small islands administered by France, without regular transportation or hospitality venues.
- Europa Island is a small atoll with an unpaved airstrip.
- The Glorioso Islands are all part of a small atoll with one airstrip and some anchorages.
- Tromelin is a small uninhabited island claimed by Mauritius.
Both the natural and human history of the East African islands differs from the history of continental Africa. 90% of the wildlife of Madagascar is found nowhere else on the planet. The first inhabitants of Madagascar arrived from Southeast Asia, while the locals of Indian origin form the majority in Mauritius and substantial minorities in Réunion and Seychelles.
Arab trade and exploration flourished in the region between the 10th and 16th centuries. The Arabs also brought Islam to the lands, and it took in a big way in the Comoros and Mayotte. European influence and colonialism began in the 15th century, as Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama found the Cape Route from Europe to India. The Portuguese, Dutch and English set up trading posts in the region for the East Indian Companies. By the 19th century, France became the major colonial power on the islands, and still possesses some of them.
As most of these islands have been part of the French Empire or are still governed from Paris in some form, many intercontinental flights arrive from France; especially Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG IATA) and Orly Airport (ORY IATA). The more touristed islands receive flights from hubs in Europe and Asia.
There are some domestic flights within Madagascar and you can "island hop" to some extent but some connections are awkward and it may sometimes be easier to fly back to the mainland or even to France for some trips.