Comoros Travel Tips

Comoros Travel Tips

If you are planning a trip to Comoros, there are a few things that you need to know. Starting from how to get in and what to do, there doesn’t seem to be much information about Comoros even if you do some extensive searching.

Getting In

The only international airport in Comoros is Prince Said Ibrahim International airport and is situated in Grand Comore. There are quite a few airlines including Kenya Airways, Ethiopean Airlines and Air Tanzania that fly to Comoros. However note that all flights to Comoros originate from either eastern Africa or from Indian Ocean such as Seychelles, The Reunion Islands or Madagascar. There are no direct flights from/to Europe and Asia.

Visa

Comoros provides visa on arrival for all nationals. The visa fee is 30 EUR. Keep your money changed as there are no ATMs prior to the immigration area. The visa process is quite easy and the immigration officials are very friendly.

Hotels, Restaurants and Food.

There are a few hotels near Moroni, the capital of Grand Comore. The hotels are quite expensive compared to what you would find in South and South Eastern Asia and other parts of Africa. The hotel I stayed was Le Kalyptus. It had a pretty spacious room and an attached kitchenette if you wanted to do your own cooking. The hotel also has an in-house restaurant.

Be ready to spend upwards of 60 EURs per night for lodging only (without any meals) if you are staying in Moroni.

Being a vegetarian, I didn’t find much of a difficulty in finding food, but this might be because I opted to eat at the hotel’s restaurant. For a total of 6-8 meals I have spent about 70 EURs at the restaurant.

Getting around

The main transport mode in Grand Comoroe is by taxi. A taxi from the airport to the capital will cost you around 10 EUR. The taxis around the city may also be shared and will cost you a lot less. You could also negotiate a taxi driver to take you around the island for a day between 40-60 EURs.

If you want to travel to other islands, Moheli and Anjouan, you should look for a speed boat connection. Your hotel would be able to arrange this for you. Note however that this is no cruise ride, these are regular speedboats which may take around 10 people in a ride to connect between the islands. Do time your travel properly as the boat services can be cancelled if the sea is rough.

French language is a must if you are visiting Comoros. If you cannot speak French well, carry a Google Translate app on your phone with the French dictionary downloaded.

Comoros is also a Muslim country while quite liberal. Do pay attention to your clothing especially if you are a female. While the full Abayas are not very common in Comoros (I can’t remember spotting more than a handful), the women dress quite conservatively.

What to do

If you are reasonably fit, the one item that you should not miss is climbing Mount Karthala. It is an active volcano and can be done as a single day trip or an overnight trip where you camp halfway on the mountain. The guide cost me 80 EURs, however I don’t feel that you need to have a guide to make the trek. The details of the trek including the gpx files are available at: http://theaimlessalbatross.com/2018/11/17/union-of-the-comoros-the-perfume-islands-part-2-mount-karthala-trek/

Lac Sale is an old volcanic crater now filled with water. It is located near the northern end of the island and you should be able to take a taxi there. You could also walk around the crater lake. There are some who might sell you sea shells and other souvenirs at the lake, but I would personally suggest not to buy sea shells as they are actively taken out from the sea. This contributes to loss of sea life and eventual erosion of the beaches you see.

The town center of Moroni also hosts the Volo Volo market, a local market where you may be able to buy some souvenirs to remember Comoros by.
Maloudja beach or Mitsamiouli beach are two famous beach spots on the western side of the island. However don’t expect any luxuries here. There are some shelters you could leave your stuff.

If you are in to snorkeling and diving, Comoros does provide some good spots of interest. Contact https://www.facebook.com/Comores-Plong%C3%A9e-313634908842795/ for a properly guided snorkelling or a diving experience. You might be able to swim alongside dolphins and spot dugongs.

Money

The national currency of Comoros is Comorian Franc (KMF/CMF). However most Comorians will welcome EUR as a payment. There is an ATM at the town center in Moroni. According to the information my hotel provided, banks will also change foreign currency to Comorian Franks.

Mobile connections

During my stay in Comoros I did not buy a mobile plan. However as I learned from the people I met there, Comoros Telecom provides mobile connectivity and is quite easy to obtain a connection.

Comoros is one of the safest countries I’ve been in. While there is somewhat of a political unrest, I did not see any major disturbances in the country. Travel alerts do say that the island of Anjouan may be prone to civil unrest. I do hope that the travel industry picks up very fast here that others will also get to experience this wonderful island.

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