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East African Islands

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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 territories[edit source]

East African islands
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.

The islands along Africa's coast, such as Socotra, Zanzibar and Bazaruto Archipelago, have natural and cultural similarities to these islands. They are described as part of their respective country.

Cities[edit source]

Other destinations[edit source]

Understand[edit source]

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.

Get in[edit source]

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.

Flying is also the most practical way to travel between the islands, since cruise ships and ferries are few and far between.

Get around[edit source]

By plane[edit source]

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.

By boat[edit source]

See[edit source]

The wildlife of Madagascar differs from mainland African wildlife. Lemurs are among the biggest drawcards.

Do[edit source]

Obviously, these islands are great for water sport. Even the smaller islands have great inland sceneries for outdoor life.

Eat[edit source]

Drink[edit source]

Stay safe[edit source]

Go next[edit source]

This region travel guide to East African Islands is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!