11 reasons why you should travel to Comoros right now
A secluded place, rich in natural delights and surrounded by the sea on all sides, Comoros is a holiday destination that you would love to enjoy amidst a global coronavirus pandemic. It offers you a pristine landscape that is hard to find a similar one somewhere else. Moreover, with the waves hitting the shore being the only noise other than the seagulls, of course, a visit to Comoros is the manna from heaven.
However, the usual question I have faced while discussing the archipelago has been, where is Comoros?
Travel to Comoros by the numerous international airlines that make a beeline, carrying droves of tourists and travellers, alike. The Comoros island is the destination that is not your typical getaway. However, there are plenty of places to visit in Comoros. It is off the beaten path and savoury that refuses to leave your taste buds.
To begin with, let us first locate Comoros on the map.
Where is Comoros?
Do you know where is Comoros on the map? Comoros is a group of islands that lie at the Northern end of the Mozambique Channel, situated in the Indian Ocean, bang between Madagascar and the South-East part of the African Mainland. It is approximately 180 miles off the coast of the giant continent. A curious trivia about the country is that it is perhaps the only member of the Arab League which is a group of islands. This archipelago is primarily a set of three major islands and a host of numerous smaller ones.
Now since we know, where is Comoros, let us also know a bit more about it.
What is the capital of Comoros?
Moroni is the capital of Comoros and also its biggest city. It is where the international airport is located too. While discovering the archipelago, travel to Moroni is a requisite, since the former French settlement does throw up pleasant surprises to unsuspecting visitors.
So why travel to Comoros Island. Here are 11 reasons why you should.
1. Mitsamiouli Beach
The archipelago is all about beaches, and the crown jewel is Mitsamiouli Beach. The entire place is replete with swaying palm trees, soft white sand and turquoise water, the beach is located on the northwest coast of the island of Grand Comore. At the beach be ready to be mesmerised by the distant azure of the infinitesimally long horizon at the end of the vast blue expanse of the ocean.
2. Travel to Comoros
Because of being a former French settlement, several families from the group of the island live in France, especially in and around Paris. Flying to the Moroni is not uber expensive as it has been thought to be. There are regular flights from Paris to Moroni that can be booked as per the convenience. Ethiopian Airlines and Kenyan Airways have regular flights to the capital of the island group. Hence your travel to Comoros would be a breeze.
3. Inter-Island Travels
Ditch the aeroplane while travelling between the islands. They are not even regular and are notorious for their excessive delays. Instead, make this trip memorable, and they row the boat. Travelling between the islands by boat is one of the best experiences for the worldly traveller. The crystal water surrounding the islands is a delightful addition. Ask the resort manager or your hotel manager to book a boat for you and off you sail. The travel to Comoros Island is nothing short of an adventure.
It might prove to be the trickiest part of the trip. You do need a bit of research before you embark on such a journey. Most websites do not provide up to date information regarding the place to stay. Airbnb, however, has several accommodations across the island group. Moroni, being the capital, has plenty to offer in terms of bed and breakfast and dormitories and luxury suites. So, if you are on a travel to Comoros Island, investigate first. There is a distinct French aftertaste that lingers over time.
5. Comoros people
I have always been interested in cultures and Comoros cuisine, which essentially means Comoros people.
The official language of Comoros is French, Arabic and Comorian. Most are fluent in all three. Since the bond between the archipelago and France's country is still strong, the French influence cannot be ignored. However, if you are not one of those who would pick a language well, English is spoken far and wide. Most Comorians are fluent in the Queen's speech and would be eager to help you out. Swahili is widespread, given its proximity to the African Mainland.
Comorians are inherently warm and inviting. Their economy runs on tourism, and they understand the dynamics of good behaviour. The food is typical French though there are Arabic influences too. Comoros cuisine is cosmopolitan by nature as an international destination and is a pleasure for the gastronome. Travel to Comoros Island will add more to your perspective about life.
6. Places to visit in Comoros
There is plenty of places to visit in Comoros. The Comoros Islands is one tourist puzzle, unravelling one at a time.
The Lac Sale lake is one of such wonders. This bottomless slat water lake has been intriguing travellers for time immemorial. A hike to the Karthala volcano crater will be a trip to remember. However, the Comoros Islands' capital, the essential part of the trip will be spent on the beaches of Moheli. It is not just the play of light and water but also the rich fauna that inhabits the area. Humpback whales and Dolphins make regular visits to the area and create a sight to watch, where people scuba dive with the Dolphins and the Sea Turtles. Many tourist places to visit in the Comoros Islands make it a part of the bucket list.
Comoros Island is known for its unparalleled beauty and friendly Comoros culture. However, one can add safety to it too. It is one of the safest places to travel to. In fact, for those who are wary of mishaps and con artists, this is a place to unwind and let your hair down. There has been hardly any news regarding burglaries and robberies. Even hitchhiking in the most remote part of the island is considered to be safe.
However, as there is the thumb rule while travelling, it is always better to keep your senses wide open, because nasty surprises can happen anywhere.
Comoros being a Muslim country, is quite liberal compared to others. There were hardly any women who would cover their hair. However, there aren't many who would flaunt their washboard abs in a bikini too. One can always wear swimwear and take a splash since the beaches are mostly empty and less crowded. It is always important to respect the local Comoros culture. However, alcohol is served in a few bars and restaurants though they tend to be expensive.
9. Travel to Moroni
Being the capital of Comoros, travel to Moroni becomes an essential part of the trip. It is a small town if compared to the other cities dotting the Eastern part of Africa. However, this quaint township offers some delight to her visitors. The famous Volo Volo market is a centrepiece if you do not mind the dirt and smell. Moroni has two beaches. Both can be reached via a taxi which is quite affordable. The Mosque of Moroni is also an attractive tourist destination.
There are plenty of restaurants located in the city centre. These restaurants cater to the taste buds of its burgeoning international tourists, who travel from every place of the planet.
The city reminded me of a countryside French ton, nestled between the highlands and the ocean. It is artistic and rustic by nature and yet radiates a certain cordiality that is so missing in most urban centres nowadays.
Travel to Moroni would be incomplete without tasting its famed seafood. Most restaurants are adept at it, so simply walk in and order a few. There are few other tourist places in Comoros that you shouldn't miss.
If you visited Moroni, dash for Iconi too. It is the town next door. The famous Iconi Mosque and the adjoining mountain cliffs make for the perfect Instagram moment. Visit the volcano crater nearby and watch the ocean lying miles ahead.
11. Mount Karthali
Mount Karthali is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world, and the hike is breezy. Start early morning because it takes time. Also, it is expensive. The rainy season is not exactly the correct time to climb since it's humid and hot. Wait for the dry seasons, and the travel would be just fine. It is going to be helpful if you accompany a guide since the hiking trails aren't well defined, and only a trained and a local hand will be able to help you. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Comoros.
The Comoros islands have been hidden away from prying eyes for a long time. It is only recently that visits to Comoros island have started taking off. It is a postcard-perfect destination that will beguile the first-time traveller and then entice them to keep coming back. Add the smiling faces of the happy locals and the mouth-watering Comoros cuisine, and suddenly a whole new world explodes in front of you. Laden with tourist places in Comoros, it will be a visit of a lifetime.
This summer, make your plans and let them be the Comoros Islands.
Devraj Lahiri is a resident of Kolkata, India. He is an IT Entrepreneur by profession but a writer, traveller and a photographer by vocation. Besides, he is a gastronome who indulges in eating the myriad variety of delicacies while the universe keeps tempting him. His favourite leisure activity is walking around his hometown. The city of Kolkata is his muse, and he wishes never to leave it except for the short trips for travel inspiration.