Get to know the tropical islands of Comoros

There are so many unexplored holiday destinations in Africa especially, the islands in this region. Tropical islands such as Mauritius and Seychelles are the more popular island destinations, however, it would be worth your while to explore the Comoros. The early history of the islands is uncertain but one will notice African, Arabic, Malagasy and French influences. It is believed that these influences arise from the colonial powers of France, and trade deals between the Arabian and migration of the Malayo-Indonesian people.

Image cred: Exchange.co.tz

The Comoros Islands form an archipelago of volcanic islands located towards  the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar. There are 4 main islands that form part of the Comoros namely the Grande Comore, Moheli, Anjoan and Mayotte This four main islands have warm seas, pristine beaches and stunning views when you are hiking.  Interestingly enough the Comoros islands are called the “perfumed islands” for their fragrant plant life.  The smell of vanilla, cloves and other spices is ever-present in Comoros.

Most tourists enter the country via the capital, Moroni, which is situated on the island of Grande Comore. When arriving here, you will notice men drinking tea under whitewashed buildings in the Arab Quarter, while women will be dressed in brightly coloured East African fabrics. If one is planning to island hop, it is recommended that you make use of the local boat services available.

Choosing which island to explore can be overwhelming, so it is key that one researches the cultural and historic history of the 4 main islands. But if you want a taste of France pay Mayotte a visit. Due to colonial history Mayotte is currently governed from Paris. The most developed island that has strong resemblance of France, from the architecture to the cuisine.

Although accommodation on the Comoros is being upgraded, tourists can book themselves into prestigious hotels and lodges that are available. You can also make use of Airbnb. It is advised that one chose accommodation in Moroni and Mutsamudu as they are central areas which make it easy to navigate around the islands.    

If you speak French you don’t have much to worry about. If not, some people speak a decent amount of English especially the younger locals. So you will be able to go about your day but you may not be able to strike up conversations with people if that’s your thing. Maybe learn a little bit of French or tag along with a friend that knows the language. It’s always fun to explore new places with someone else anyway.

Image cred: Agoda.com

On to the food. Comorian cuisine has plenty of Arabic and French influence. And so there is a good mixture of Middle Eastern and East African taste buds. Perhaps something different is that coconut milk is a staple, otherwise, a typical Comorian meal would include fish. Goat meat is also popular, while beef is often reserved for special occasions. The nation is an Islamic one, so you won’t easily find foods like pork. The tipping standard is usually 10% and the legal drinking age is 18. 

Carefully prepare how you dress, especially if you’re a woman. More modest dress code is the way to go. Unless you at a private beach in front of your guesthouse sipping on a fancy drink, you might want to cover your chest area, shoulders and thighs. So long sleeve blouses, pretty skirts and cute shoes are great style options. It’s still a tropical place though, so breathable fabrics are a necessity. You don’t want to pass out from the heat on holiday. 

There are so many different activities that one can do while in Comoros. If you have an adventurous personality than you have to climb Mount Karthala. The top of Mount Karthala is the highest point at 2,260m and then descend into the crater of this active volcano.

Keen on getting up close and personal with nature than visiting the Moheli will be worth it. Moheli is known for its tranquility and breathtaking animals that one can spot, such as dolphins, whales and the green turtles.  If you just want to enjoy the sublime beaches on the islands check out Galawa Beach, Bouni and Chomoni. 

So bring a friend along and explore the beauty of the Comoros island and do not forget to  share on your social media account how magnificent the islands are .

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