|The Dembéni site is a small bay along a west / east axis, bordered by foothills on both North and South sides where the Dembeni river opens out into the Mayotte lagoon. It holds the fourth biggest mangrove forest of the island, with an area estimated at 43.6 ha in 2016, over a 1.5 km long of coastline.
In terms of vegetation, after a narrow pioneering front of Sonneratia alba on the sea side, the mangrove forest is dominated by a large central zone alternating pockets of monospecific areas of Rhizophora mucronata and areas of mixed R. mucronata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Ceriops tagal. This area then transitions to a narrow band of old Avicennia marina and young C. tagal before opening on two ‘tannes’ on either side of the river. On the North side, the mangrove forest transitions to a small back mangrove area limited by steep slopes or urbanised / farmed land. On the south side, the two villages bordering the mangrove forest have taken over the former back mangrove area.
Alike most sites around the island, this mangrove forest is bordered by agricultural land and used for pasture along the village, and openings have been made for accessing the seafront by boat and by foot. Numerous debris and waste can be found lining the village – mangrove interface.