Mayotte travel advice

Latest updates: Safety and security – removed temporary information on gang-related violence

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Risk level

Mayotte - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mayotte due to high levels of crimes of opportunity.

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Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime

Crimes of opportunity and petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occur frequently. Thieves could target foreigners, particularly in Kawéni neighbourhood, in the capital Mamoudzou, and in crowded public areas such as:

  • markets
  • the airport and public transportation facilities
  • hotel lobbies
  • restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
  • tourist sites and attractions

While you’re in Mayotte:

  • ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • don’t keep your passport and other types of ID in the same place and carry a photocopy rather than the original
  • avoid showing signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewellery
  • avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables
  • avoid deserted streets at night
  • pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in crowded and tourist areas
  • find out which beaches are the safest
  • be extra cautious when withdrawing cash from ATMs

Residential break-ins

Residential break-ins occur. Burglars sometimes target houses or apartments owned or rented by foreigners.

  • Choose well-secured accommodation
  • Make sure you lock doors and windows at night and when you’re away

Vehicles

Car theft, break-ins and carjacking occur. Rental and luxury vehicles may be a target of choice.

  • Familiarize yourself with your route before starting the trip
  • Keep your windows and doors locked at all times
  • Keep your belongings out of reach
  • Use secure parking facilities, especially overnight
  • Never leave belongings unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk

Violent crime

Gang-related violence occurs. Criminals often use knives or firearms.

While violent incidents don’t typically target foreigners or tourists, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Spontaneous demonstrations and civil unrest take place from time to time in the main cities due to socioeconomic tensions. Clashes between protesters and security forces have occurred.

Even peaceful demonstrations can suddenly turn violent and lead to clashes with security forces. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic, public transportation and health and emergency services.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Outages and shortages

Power outages

Due to extreme weather conditions and the fact that Mayotte has only one electricity provider, power outages occur from time to time.

Water shortages

Due to below-average rainfall in the recent years, Mayotte is experiencing regular water shortages.

Plan for adequate supply of water.

Road safety

Most roads are paved.

In some areas, the presence of pot holes and the lack of maintenance, lighting and traffic lights can make driving conditions hazardous.

Public transportation

There is no public transportation in Mayotte. You may have to rent a car.

Taxis

Taxis are the only urban transport alternative to driving yourself. While they are an affordable option, they are not always safe.

  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • Use only reputable taxi companies through establishments such as hotels
  • Book your ride in advance when possible

If you have no choice but to hail a taxi on the street:

  • never enter a cab if it already has one or more passengers
  • note the license plate number and name of the driver when you travel
  • immediately communicate this information to family or friends

Ferry

It’s possible to travel by ferry between the two main islands, Grande-Terre and Petite-Terre.

Ferry accidents occur sometimes due to the overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels.

Don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

If you are planning to take part in water sports such as scuba diving, jetskiing or parasailing:

  • ensure that equipment is safe and in good condition
  • ensure helmets and life jackets are available
  • avoid participating in any water activities when you are under the influence of alcohol or other substances
  • check that your travel insurance covers accidents related to recreational activities
  • follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

Water safety abroad

Hiking

If you intend on hiking:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Attacks in the Indian ocean cannot be ruled out.

Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live Piracy Report - International Maritime Bureau

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Mayotte is a French overseas department. However, it’s not part of the Schengen Area.

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Mayotte.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Residence visa: required
Work visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay. 

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
 
Limited malaria transmission may occur in this destination, but risk to travellers is very low. 
 
Antimalarial medication is not recommended for most travellers. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Rift Valley fever

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is limited in availability. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the island.

There is a general hospital in Mamoudzou on Grande-Terre and an auxiliary hospital in Dzaoudzi, Petite-Terre. There are no hospitals outside these major cities, but you can find a doctor or a local clinic.

Evacuation may be necessary, however, in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Mayotte is an overseas department of France.

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and France are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and France authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect prison sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

French law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Mayotte.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Mayotte.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and France.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Mayotte, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the mahoran court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Mayotte to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You may drive in Mayotte with a valid Canadian driver’s licence for up to 6 months. After that period, you must have an international driving permit.

The legal driving age in France and its territories is 18. However, many rental car companies require drivers to be at least 25 years of age and have two years of driving experience.

If renting a car, check the details of your insurance regarding the theft of or damage to your rental vehicle.

Money

The currency of Mayotte is the euro (EUR).

ATMs are available in Mamoudzou and on Petite-Terre.

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Natural disasters and climate

Cyclones

Cyclones usually occur from November to April. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major cyclones.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to Mayotte during cyclone season:

  • you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Useful links

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 17
  • ambulance: 15
  • firefighters: 18
  • coastguard: 196

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Mayotte. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to France, in Paris.

Paris - Embassy of Canada
Street Address130, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, FrancePostal Address130, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, FranceTelephone+33 (0)1 44 43 29 02Fax+33 (0)1 44 43 29 86Emailparis-consulaire@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-FranceFacebookEmbassy of Canada to FranceTwitter@CanEmbFranceOther social mediaCanEmbFrance
Embassy of Canada in France
Consular district

French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, La Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

Appointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to France, in Paris, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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