COMOROS TRAVEL GUIDE
The Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel. The nation state’s largest island, Grande Comore (Ngazidja) is ringed by beaches and old lava from active Mt. Karthala volcano. Around the port and medina in the capital, Moroni, are carved doors and a white collonaded mosque, the Ancienne Mosquée du Vendredi, recalling the islands’ Arab heritage. One of the world's poorest countries, Comoros is made up of three islands that have inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources.
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COMOROS QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Moroni
- Currency: Comoran franc (KMF)
- Area: 2,170 sq km
- Population: 832 322 (2018)
- Language: Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (official; also known as Shimasiwa).
- Religion:Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
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COMOROS PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 18 March, Anniversary of the Death of Said Mohammad Cheikh Al Maarouf
- 6 July, National Day
- 12 November, Journée Nationale Maoré (Day of Admission to the United Nations)
Also, Muharram, Maulid an-Nabi, Leilat al-Meiraj, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
FESTIVALS IN COMOROS
BEST TIME TO VISIT COMOROS
Comoros has a tropical climate with two main seasons: a rainy season and a dry season.
- The rainy season typically runs from November to April and is characterized by high temperatures, high humidity, and frequent rainfall. This season can make outdoor activities challenging and some roads may become impassable.
- The dry season typically runs from May to September and is characterized by mild temperatures, low humidity, and little rainfall. This is the best time to visit Comoros for outdoor activities and visiting national parks.
The best time to visit Comoros is from May to September when the weather is dry and mild. This is also the best time for outdoor activities and visiting the national parks. The rainy season is from November to April and it can be quite hot and humid during this time.
COMOROS WEATHER SYNOPSIS
The climate of Comoros is characterised by a tropical climate with a rainy season that lasts from mid-November to mid-April and a dry season that extends from June to October. Annual rainfall ranges between 1,000 and 5,000 mm across the three islands due to differences in altitude and winds. Generally, the western regions of the islands experience the highest rainfall totals due to greater exposure to the monsoons. The rainy season, which extends from November to April, is characterized by hot and humid weather with frequent storms, including tropical cyclones that are concentrated between the months of January to April. Average temperatures hover around 27°C and average monthly precipitation ranges from 200-250 mm. From June to October, the dry season brings lower humidity and the lowest temperatures of the year, ranging between 18-28°C, with average temperatures around 24°C. Average precipitation during this time ranges between 50-100 mm per month.
COMOROS TOURIST SEASONS
Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists.
Off Peak Season
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN COMOROS
HIKING & CYCLING IN COMOROS
The best time for outdoor activities in Comoros is from May to October, during the dry season and when the temperatures are slightly more moderate. From November, the humidity increases and there are often tropical cyclones between January and May.
BEACH OPTIONS IN COMOROS
Comoros has plenty of stunning and secluded beaches which you can enjoy at almost any time of the year. The dry season is from May to October when the temperatures are also more moderate. From November, the humidity increases and there are often tropical cyclones between January and May.
SURFING IN COMOROS
You can enjoy some very secluded surfing in Comoros at Grande Comore and Anjouan Islands. Although you can usually surf from March to October, the best time for consistent swell is from May to September.
KITESURF IN COMOROS
Kitesurfing spot details and weather
HEALTH RISKS IN COMOROS
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
COMOROS TRAVEL COSTS
he cost of traveling to Comoros can vary depending on a number of factors such as the time of year, your travel style, and how long you plan to stay.
Some expenses to consider when planning a trip to Comoros include:
- Airfare: Round trip flights from major cities in Europe or Africa can cost between $600 to $1000 depending on the season, carrier, and point of origin.
- Accommodation: Prices for hotels and guesthouses in Comoros can range from as little as $20 per night for a budget option to $100 or more per night for a luxury option.
- Food: Eating out at a local restaurant can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per meal.
- Transportation: Prices for local transportation, such as buses and taxis, are relatively low in Comoros.
- Activities and excursions: Prices for activities and excursions, such as island-hopping and snorkeling, can vary depending on the tour operator and the activity.
Overall, a budget-friendly trip to Comoros can cost around $40- $50 per day, while a more comfortable or luxury trip can cost $100 to $200 per day or more.
Here is a sample list of costs for a trip to Comoros:
- Round-trip airfare from Paris to Moroni: $800- $1000
- Accommodation: $50 per night for a mid-range hotel or guesthouse
- Food: $10-15 per meal at a local restaurant
- Transportation: $5-10 for a local bus or taxi ride, and $25-40 for a full-day car rental
- Activities and excursions: $30-50 for a half-day island-hopping tour, $20-30 for a snorkeling excursion.
Please keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the time of year and your point of origin, and this is just a rough estimate. It is always best to check current prices and availability when planning your trip.
COMOROS TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some travel tips for visiting Comoros:
- Visa: Visitors from most countries do not need a visa to enter Comoros for stays of up to 90 days. However, it's always best to check with the Embassy of Comoros before traveling to confirm the current requirements.
- Currency: The local currency is the Comorian Franc. It can be difficult to find ATMs or places to exchange currency outside of the major cities, so it's recommended to bring enough cash or a credit card with a good international withdrawal limit.
- Language: The official languages of Comoros are Comorian, French, and Arabic, so it's helpful to know a few basic phrases in one of those languages. Many people in the tourist industry speak some English, but it's not widely spoken.
- Health: It's important to check with your doctor before traveling to Comoros and make sure you're up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended, and you should also be aware of the risk of dengue fever and chikungunya.
- Safety: Comoros is generally safe to travel, but it's always best to be aware of your surroundings and be cautious with your valuables, especially in larger cities.
- Transportation: While the main island Grande Comore has a good network of roads, some of them can be in poor condition. it's recommended to hire a car with a driver or take a taxi if you're not familiar with the area. Also, note that public transportation can be limited and irregular.
- Respect: Comoros is a Muslim country and it's important to be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when it comes to dress and behavior. Women should dress conservatively and avoid revealing clothing, and it's important to remove shoes before entering a mosque.
- Be flexible: Comoros is a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination, so it's important to be flexible and open-minded when traveling there. Things may not always go as planned, but that's all part of the adventure!
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF COMOROS
Comoros is made up of four main islands: Grande Comore, Moheli, Anjouan, and Mayotte. Each island has its own unique culture and attractions.
- Grande Comore: also known as Ngazidja, is the largest and most populous of the Comoros islands. It's home to the capital city Moroni, and the island's natural beauty, including the volcano Karthala and the beautiful beaches. Visitors can also explore traditional villages and markets, and visit the Presidential Palace and the National Museum.
- Moheli: also known as Mwali, is the smallest of the Comoros islands. Moheli is known for its natural beauty, including white-sand beaches and lush vegetation. Visitors can also explore traditional villages, snorkel and dive in the coral reefs, and visit the Moheli Marine Park.
- Anjouan: also known as Ndzuwani, is known for its rich culture, history and natural beauty. Visitors can explore traditional villages, visit the historic capital Mutsamudu, and take in the stunning landscapes. The island is also home to many spices, including vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang.
- Mayotte: is a French overseas territory and the only island of the Comoros that is not an independent state. Mayotte is known for its beautiful beaches, lagoons, and coral reefs. Visitors can also explore traditional villages, visit the capital city Mamoudzou, and take in the stunning landscapes.
Please note that while Mayotte is administratively part of Comoros, it is not a part of the Union of the Comoros, and the travel tips and information may be different.
Comoros offers a variety of things to see and do for visitors, here are some of the best:
- Visit the capital city Moroni: Moroni is the capital and largest city of Comoros. It's home to many historical and cultural sites, including the Presidential Palace and the National Museum. Visitors can also explore the city's markets, traditional villages, and beautiful beaches.
- Climb the Karthala volcano: The Karthala volcano is the largest volcano in the Comoros and one of the most active in the world. Visitors can hike to the summit and take in the stunning views of the island and the Indian Ocean.
- Explore the Moheli Marine Park: The Moheli Marine Park is a protected area that is home to a diverse range of marine life, including coral reefs, fish, and sea turtles. Visitors can snorkel and dive in the park to see the marine life up close.
- Visit the traditional villages: Comoros is home to many traditional villages that offer a glimpse into the island's rich culture and history. Visitors can explore the villages and meet the local people, learn about their customs and traditions, and see traditional architecture.
- Island-hopping: Comoros is made up of four main islands, each with its unique culture and attractions. Visitors can take a ferry or charter a boat to explore the islands and see the different landscapes and cultures.
- Snorkeling and diving: Comoros is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Visitors can snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters to see the marine life up close.
- Spice tour: Comoros is known for its spices, particularly vanilla, cloves, and ylang-ylang. Visitors can take a tour of the spice plantations and learn about the history and cultivation of these spices.
- Relax on the beautiful beaches: Comoros is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Visitors can relax on the white-sand beaches and take in the stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
Overall, Comoros is a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to explore.
WHAT TO EAT IN COMOROS
When visiting Comoros, you will have the opportunity to try some delicious local dishes. Here are some of the most popular foods to try:
- Mataba: Mataba is a popular dish made with a type of bread that is filled with meat, vegetables, or fish. Mataba is a popular street food and can be found in many local restaurants.
- Langouste: Langouste is a type of lobster that is caught off the coast of Comoros. It is often grilled and served with rice or vegetables.
- Yassa: Yassa is a traditional dish made with chicken or fish that is marinated in a spicy sauce made with onions and lemons. It is often served with rice or couscous.
- Mshikaki: Mshikaki is a popular dish made with skewers of marinated beef or chicken that is grilled over hot coals.
- Cari: Cari is a traditional dish made with meat or fish that is cooked in a spicy sauce made with coconut milk and spices.
- Zebu: Zebu is a type of beef that is often grilled and served with rice or vegetables.
- Fresh seafood: Comoros is an island nation, seafood is a staple and it's a must-try! Visitors can enjoy a variety of fresh seafood, including fish, octopus, and squid.
- Rasko: Rasko is a traditional porridge-like dish made with rice, sugar, and coconut milk. It is often served as a dessert.
- Fruit: Comoros is known for its delicious tropical fruits, such as papaya, mango, and banana. Visitors can enjoy fresh fruits as snacks or try them in traditional dishes.
It's important to note that some of the food and drinks in Comoros may be quite spicy, so be sure to let the chef know if you don't want it too spicy. Visitors should also be aware of the risk of food-borne illness and take precautions to ensure that food is properly prepared and cooked.
LGBTQ IN COMOROS
WHERE TO STAY IN COMOROS
When visiting Comoros for the first time, it's recommended to stay in the capital city of Moroni, as it's a good base for exploring the island and it offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets.
Moroni is home to a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to mid-range hotels and luxury resorts. Some of the most popular options include:
- Budget-friendly: Guesthouses and hostels in Moroni offer basic but comfortable accommodation at an affordable price. They typically have shared bathrooms and may have a shared kitchen for guests to use.
- Mid-range: There are a variety of mid-range hotels and resorts in Moroni that offer comfortable rooms and amenities such as air-conditioning and private bathrooms. Some may also have a pool and restaurant on-site.
- Luxury: For those looking for a more luxurious stay, Moroni has a few high-end resorts that offer comfortable accommodation, facilities and amenities. These resorts may have private pools, spas, and fine dining restaurants.
Alternatively, it's also possible to stay in one of the other islands, such as Moheli or Anjouan. If you're interested in diving or snorkeling, Moheli offers a variety of options with easy access to the marine parks. If you're interested in culture, Anjouan offers a variety of options with easy access to the traditional villages and spice plantations. Keep in mind that the options in these islands may be more limited than in Moroni.
In general, it's recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during high season. Additionally, it's always best to check the reviews before booking and make sure the location works for you, as some places may be farther away from the main attractions and activities.
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