Countries and territories
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
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.
- Antananarivo — also known as Tana, is the capital of Madagascar
- Port Louis — the capital of 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.
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, many intercontinental flights arrive from France; especially Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The more touristed islands receive flights from hubs in Europe and Asia.