Top Places to Visit in Comoros

Comoros islands

The Comoros archipelago, situated near mainland Africa, has gained recent popularity as a tourist destination. This group of three main islands, including Grand Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli, offers a range of unique attractions. From black sand beaches and mountainous landscapes to coral reefs, waterfalls, and rainforests, each island presents distinct features.

Located in the warm Indian Ocean, the volcanic islands boast stunning beaches and architectural reminders of their Arab heritage, such as carved doors and a white colonnaded mosque in Moroni. Accessible by plane or boat from Kenya, the archipelago holds a place on the World Heritage List.

Moroni

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Moroni, the capital of Comoros, is a small, appealing city encircled by volcanic peaks. It features narrow streets filled with charming shops, cafes, and locals in traditional attire. The Volo-Volo market, adjacent to the Friday Mosque, offers souvenirs, spices, and handicrafts.

Motorbike rentals are available for independent exploration. The city, once a French settlement, boasts beautiful beaches with clear blue waters and clean sand, ideal for a beach holiday. Its Arabian ambiance is enhanced by winding alleys, small shops, and Middle Eastern-style cafes.

Anjouan

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Anjouan, a high island in the Indian Ocean, is a distinctive destination in Comoros. A key activity on Anjouan is ascending Mount Ntingui, the island’s highest peak.

The climb is challenging, but the panoramic views of the Comoros Islands from the summit are worthwhile. The island’s lush forests also offer hiking opportunities and sightings of exotic bird species.

Anjouan offers a harmonious blend of natural scenery and vibrant urban areas. Despite its development, the island retains its allure, ensuring a tranquil vacation experience.

Grande Comore (Ngazidja)

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Grande Comore, an attractive island in Comoros, provides clean beaches, a top-notch spa, and excellent dinner buffets. It offers activities like scuba diving, kayaking, and beach sports. The locals are amiable.

Mount Karthala, the world’s largest active volcano, is situated on Grande Comore, rising over 2,300 meters above sea level. Despite causing damage due to its eruptions, the island has recovered. For a challenging hike, consider the two-day summit trek.

Moheli ( also known as Mwali)

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Moheli, an island in the Comoros archipelago, is notable for hosting the country’s sole national park, Parc Marin de Moheli, and its striking, rocky islets. Its unspoiled nature appeals to nature enthusiasts. Its mountainous interior conceals numerous picturesque waterfalls, such as the impressive Miringoni.

The island also offers sightings of giant turtles in Niumashuwa Bay and a rich culture with harmonious coexistence among various ethnic groups. The village of Itsamia is known for sea turtle nesting, and the island is also home to the world’s largest fruit bat.

Mount Karthala

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Comoros features the impressive Mount Karthala, an active volcano reaching over 2,260 meters high. A guided two-day hike offers stunning views of nearby islands and the Indian Ocean, with a five-hour descent. Accommodations are available in Moroni and M’vouni.

Mount Karthala dominates Grande Comore island’s southern half and serves as a striking backdrop to Moroni. As the Comoros Union’s highest point, it’s perfect for hiking through diverse vegetation, lava fields, and enjoying Indian Ocean vistas.

Fomboni

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Comoros’ capital, Fomboni, is a notable location on Moheli island. This quaint town, with a population of 19,000, features a functional harbor, a nearby airport, and a range of eateries along its littered beach. Despite the quiet atmosphere and minimal traffic,

Fomboni offers intriguing sites such as a small market and a picturesque waterfront. The town serves as a transport hub for the island and its residents, though reserved, contribute to its charming history. Fomboni provides a relaxed environment with a jetty, market, and beautiful waterfront.

Bouni

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Bouni experiences a consistently warm climate, with minimal temperature variation throughout the year. The humid climate typically ranges between 66°F and 84°F, seldom dropping below 64°F or exceeding 84°F. This makes it suitable for water activities and relaxation.

The island’s white sandy beaches, fringed with palm trees, attract both locals and tourists. These beaches are child-friendly due to their soft sand and gentle waves. Additionally, the island offers opportunities for beach sports like volleyball and soccer.

Chomoni

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Chomoni is a recommended island for a tropical vacation. It features a blue sea, white sand beaches, and favorable climate, making it popular for diving and observing marine life and coral reefs in the Indian Ocean.

Notably, Chomoni houses the Vendredi mosque, the oldest in Comoros, adorned with intricate windows and a green dome. A traditional jewelry store can also be found there.

The island offers stunning beaches, diving spots, and unique landscapes like volcanic rocks on Chomoni and Bouni beaches. Additionally, Petite Terre, composed of two uninhabited islands, provides a remarkable sea and sand view.

Domoni (Domoney)

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Domoni, a formerly royal city, is notably well-maintained with tidy houses and clean streets, suggesting prosperity even within Comorian contexts. The island boasts several attractive beaches, such as Chomoni and Bouni.

Despite the predominance of black lava rocks along the coastline, there are some striking white sand areas, particularly near Mitsamiouli. The ideal period to travel to Domoni is between May and October, with a tropical climate offering temperatures from 22°C in July/August to 27°C in February/March.

Mamoudzou

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In Mamoudzou, one can explore the bustling marketplace that offers an array of local goods. From fresh produce like fruits and vegetables to unique handmade crafts, the market provides a glimpse into the daily life of the locals.

Another activity to consider in Mamoudzou is visiting the Grand Mosque, an architectural gem that showcases the island’s Islamic heritage. The mosque’s striking white exterior and intricate details make it a notable landmark.

Dziancoundre Waterfall

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For a unique experience, visit the Dziancoundre Waterfall on Anjouan Island and explore Moroni, the capital city, known for its Arabian-styled atmosphere, charming cafes, and local culture. Enjoy the stunning natural scenery, including an active volcano and waterfalls, and try excellent diving opportunities.

Ntingui Mountain

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The second-highest peak in Anjouan, Comoros, Mount Ntingui, provides a demanding hike with impressive panoramas and diverse wildlife.

To evade cloudy conditions, it’s suggested to hike during late March or early November for better visibility. For those intending to hike Mount Ntingui, several hotels in Anjouan City are available for a pleasant stay.

Mayotte

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Mayotte is a traditional tourist destination governed by France, but its culture is closely related to the Comoros Islands. The white sand beaches and turquoise waters are some of the main draws to the island.

The island is a popular destination for sailing, snorkeling, and diving. It has no major roads and is a quiet city with a beautiful waterfront.

National Museum of Comoros

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The National Museum of Comoros, established in 1989 in Moroni, the capital city, houses four exhibit rooms. These rooms display the island’s history, art, and religion, including a collection of volcanic artifacts from Mount Karthala, the island’s highest peak with 20 eruptions since the 19th century.

The museum is part of the National Center for Documentation and Scientific Research and is home to the once-believed-extinct coelacanth. Its collections span art, history, archeology, natural science, and social and cultural anthropology.

Itsandra

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Itsandra is known for its beaches, clear waters, and coral reefs, making it suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. It’s accessible from Moroni via taxi or public transport. Notable features include Itsandra Hotel, Mount Karthala, an active volcano, and serene beaches.

Activities include snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Itsandra Beach Village offers a rich cultural experience, combining African, Arab, and French influences. Local cuisine and traditional dance performances are highlights.

Takeaways

The Comoro Islands are an off-beat destination known for their stunning beauty and world-class beaches. The scent of ylang-ylang and cloves is prevalent. It’s an ideal location for both romantic and family trips.

The islands provide a range of activities for those seeking adventure, including hiking in tropical rainforests, encounters with giant fruit bats, and exploring volcanoes. Despite lacking in infrastructure compared to other African nations, the Comoros offer a unique, exciting, and unpredictable experience.

The Comoros provide a tranquil, untouched environment. Renowned for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and excellent diving opportunities, a trip to this island is budget-friendly. The island’s ruins, filled with small caves and cacti, are also worth exploring.

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