commune in Mayotte, France

Mamoudzou is the chief town in Mayotte, with a population of 71,437 in 2017. It's on the main island, Grande-Terre, looking across a 2 km channel to the other island, Petite-Terre, which has the airport.

Understand

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Colourful garb of Mayotte

Mamoudzou was a collection of half-a-dozen villages and sugar plantations that grew together from the 1860s, as this was the obvious landing point from the capital Dzouadzi, and one of the few expanses of flat land in this rugged terrain. And it grew and grew, until in 1977 it was made the provisional capital, though it took another ten years for all the government functions to transfer here. This status was "provisional" pending the signing of a decree, which nobody got around to doing, so Dzouadzi is still the de iure capital.

Kawéni village at the north end of town is the oldest part, dating from the 14th century, but is now a large industrial zone. Its mangrove swamps were reclaimed and built over to create this.

The Tourist Office is by the ferry pier, open M-F 08:00-17:00, Sa 09:00-16:00

Get in

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See Mayotte#Get in for flights to Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi Airport (DZA  IATA) from Reunion, Comoros, Madagascar and Nairobi; also for ferries from Comoros. These all land on Petite-Terre, so you then need to take La Barge, the car ferry from Dzaoudzi, a 15 min crossing.

1 Gare Maritime is the ferry landing point in Mamoudzou. Europcar have a rental office here.

Get around

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There are no standard buses, and taxi brousse or "bush taxi" is the local transport. Their rates are fixed and (as of 2022) within town you pay a flat fare of €1.40 by day, €2.10 between 19:00 and 05:00. The longest trip you could make, from Mamoudzou to Bouéni in the south, costs €6.20.

Road discipline is erratic, so think twice about driving yourself.

The daily market is very colorful and bustling.

  • Go on boat rides into the lagoon to watch dolphins and whales (seasonal).
  • Complexe de Kawani is the main sports facility, southwest corner of town. Cavani Stadium (capacity 5000) is multi-use and hosts the national football team. They're not affiliated to FIFA and just play friendlies against the other East African islands.
  • Course de Pneus is a tyre-rolling race, held in June over 1.8 km through the town streets. Participants have to dress up to an annual theme, and whack a tyre along with a couple of batons.
  • Commercial Centre Baobab is what passes for a shopping centre, south side of town. Limited selection and same high prices.
  • Sodifram supermarket near the ferry pier is open M-Sa 08:30-20:00, Su 08:30-12:00.
  • Along the harbour front or just inland are La Croisette, Auberge du Rond-point, La Renaissance Alpajoe, La Table du Senat, May'Food, Le Kamcham, Le Citron Vert, Le Boboka and Le Maki Gourmand.
  • A little way along the main road north are L'Orient Express, Hippocampe, Paris 13 and Haraka.

Drink

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Harbour front and ferry pier

Bars include Le Mermoz within Caribou Hotel, Le Camion Rouge and Le Camion Blanc.

Sleep

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  • 1 Hotel Maharajah, Rue du Commerce, +262 269 609609. Bug-ridden, poor value all round, yet you don't have many other choices in town. B&B double €180.
  • Cacao Lodge, 10 Rue Pasky (200 m northwest of Hotel Maharajah), +262 639 652549. Basic place but usually clean. B&B double €150.
  • Hôtel Caribou, Rue Mariaz (just north of Gare Maritime), +262 269 611905. Tatty but acceptable place, catering erratic. B&B double €140.
  • 2 Le Passamainty Lodge, 407 Rue de l'Ecole Mhogoni, Passamainty, +262 692 732619. Smart resort hotel 2 km down the coast. B&B double €140.

Connect

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Mamoudzou has 4G from all Mayotte carriers, which extends along the ferry crossing and highway to the airport. As of Aug 2022, 5G has not reached these islands.

Go next

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  • Transport on Grande-Terre radiates from Mamoudzou.
  • Petite-Terre is only a 15 min ferry ride.


This city travel guide to Mamoudzou is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.