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Comoros

The Comoros (Arabic: ??? ????? Juzur al-Qumur) are an island nation off the coast of East Africa, in the Indian Ocean between northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar.

Islands

Mayotte is claimed by Comoros, but administered by France.

Cities

  • Moroni — the country's capital
  • Domoni
  • Fomboni — capital of Moheli
  • Nioumachoua — second largest village of Moheli on the southern coast
  • Moutsamoudou — the capital of Anjouan

Other destinations

Understand

Comoros has endured 20 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. Azali seized power. He pledged to resolve the secessionist crisis through a confederal arrangement named the 2000 Fomboni Accord. In December 2001, voters approved a new constitution and presidential elections took place in the spring of 2002. Each island in the archipelago elected its own president and a new union president took office in May 2002.

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.

Comoros is also the smallest nation in the Arab World by population.

The name Comoros originates from qamar, Arabic for moon.

Climate

Tropical marine; rainy and hot season (November to May).

Landscape

Volcanic islands whose interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills, with the highest point, Le Karthala (on Grand Comore), at 2,361m.

History

The islands of Comoros have been settled by a succession of diverse groups from the coast of Africa, Persian Gulf, Malay Archipelago and Madagascar. Swahili settlers first reached the islands as part of the great Bantu expansion that took place throughout the first millennium.

In 933 CE, Al-Masudi refers to Omani sailors, who call the Comoros "The Perfume Islands" and sing of waves that break rhythmically along broad, pearl-sand beaches, the light breezes scented with ylang-ylang, a component to many perfumes.

From the 11th to 15th centuries, trade with the island of Madagascar and merchants from the Middle East flourished, smaller villages emerged, and existing towns expanded.

Portuguese explorers visited the islands of the archipelago in 1505 on the Cape Route. By 1506, the Portuguese landed on the islands and began to challenge the Bajas (Bantu Muslim chiefs) and Fanis (lesser chiefs).

Get in

Everyone requires a visa to visit to the Comoros, which is issued on arrival. A normal visa costs €61. It can be paid in Comorian francs, US dollars, British pounds or Euros. A visa lasts 45 days, and whilst it can be extended the authorities are not likely to unless you have a good reason. All visitors must report to the immigration office in Moroni or Mutsamudu for an additional passport stamp. Failure to do so will lead to problems upon departure.

By plane

  • Kenya Airways now flies direct from Nairobi, thrice a week, connecting with London, Dubai, Mumbai and Paris flights
  • Air Austral flies from Paris and Marseilles with change of planes in Saint Denis, Reunion
  • Inter Iles Air flies from Mayotte to Anjouan and Moroni several times a week.
  • Yemenia Airways fly on 4 days each week to Sana'a, Yemen with onward connection to all major cities.
  • African Express connects to Mombasa, Dubai.
  • Precision Air flies from Tanzania three times a week
  • Air Madagascar flies almost daily from Madagascar

By boat

There are freighters that leave from Zanzibar and Madagascar. These are cheaper than flying, usually, but take longer and departure dates are less reliable. To catch these you must find the boat captain at the harbour and discuss prices. If you bargain very hard, you may get passage for €100.

Get around

By plane

Inter Iles Air flies between Moroni, Anjouan, and Moheli daily. In Moroni their office is near the Volo Volo Market.

By car

It's possible to rent cars on Grand Comore for approximately €30 (or CF15,000) a day. It's also possible to take taxis (standard fare from the airport to Moroni approx: €15) or attempt to hitch-hike. If hitch-hiking, especially as a Caucasian tourist, some fee may be requested. As the locals have no access to public transport and children have to walk to and from school, tourists with a car may wish to consider aiding hitch-hikers. Petrol costs less than €10 per bottle.

By bus

The island of Grand Comore has no public buses. Shared taxis are the most common mode of public transport.

By boat

There is a boat that operates from Chindini on the southern coast of Grand Comore, to Hoani on the northern coast of Moheli. These boats are small fibreglass fishing boats with boat and engines in variable condition. They should be taken only on days when the sea is calm, as passengers have been forced to off-load baggage into the sea and there are rumours boats being lost. However, these boats are generally safe to take on calm days. The price is CF8,500 as of March 2008, although opening quotes will be CF15,000 for foreigners. There is an additional CF500 council departure tax.

More convenient are large ferries (two or three per week) from Moroni to Foumboni on Moheli. Prices are posted at CF8,000, slightly negotiable.

There are also two large catamaran ferries operating between Moroni on the west coast of Grand Comore and Mutsamudu on Anjouan several times a week.

Talk

The official languages are French and Arabic. Most Comorians speak their own language known as Shikomor (Comorian), which is a group of Swahili dialects, as a first language and French as a second. Some can also speak Arabic.

Each island has its own dialect. The greetings below are not necessarily direct translations.

Greetings nearly always follow this pattern:

Grand Comore

  • Yedje? (How are you?), response: Ndjema (good)
  • Bariza? (News?), response: Ndjema
  • Mahabari (News?), response: Salimina (peaceful)
  • Hufanyiha dje? (How are you?), response: Ndjema
  • Na kozazidi? (And problems?), response: Raha (Not yet)
  • E ngawe mnono? (Your health?), response: Alhamdulilah (Thanks to Allah)

Moheli

  • Jeje? (how are you?)
  • Ndjema (good)
  • Gushindu? (your health is good?)
  • Ewa (yes)
  • Kumnono? (you feel good?)
  • Ewa (yes)
  • Habari (you are well?)
  • Salaama (at peace)

Any series of words with habari in it requires a response of salaama. Shikomor has various extensions of the habari greeting to indicate time of day, such as habarizaho or habarizasobwuhi.

Other necessary words:

  • Ewa (yes)
  • A-a (no)
  • Marahaba (thank you)
  • Marahaba menji (thank you very much)
  • Swamahani (Sorry/pardon me)
  • Pvapvo (there; used to tell a taxi driver where you want them to stop)
  • Pvano (here; same as above, but the driver will likely slam on the brakes)

See

  • Trek to the Karthala volcano crater (8 hours walk one way) guides available for €100.
  • Lac Sale - lake adjacent to the beach beyond Mytsamiouli in Grand Comore
  • Dolphins off the coast beyond Hahaya
  • Livingstone Bats at Moheli
  • Giant Sea Turtles laying eggs at Moheli
  • Swahili-inspired architecture with arcades
  • White sand beaches

Do

  • Trekking
  • Cycling
  • Deep sea diving, snorkelling
  • Sailing on a dhow

Buy

Money

The country's currency is the Comorian franc, denoted by the symbol "CF" (ISO code: KMF).

Shopping

Handicrafts are not usually of good quality, though women of Mayotte as well as a few women in Grand Comore make quality baskets. One can buy CDs, colourful cloths that women wear (CF500 for a numbawani and CF750 for a finer shawl), beautiful scarves (CF2,000) and other imports.

Most handicrafts and tourist curios for sale at Volo Volo market in Moroni are made in Madagascar, and sold by Malagasy expatriates in the market. Local crafts are hard to find, but some are available at CNAC in Itsandra. Unique Comorian gifts can be found in other parts of Volo Volo market. Consider locally grown spices and essential oils, home made lamps and vegetable peelers, or products made from coconuts.

Do not buy shells from vendors on the beach.

Costs

Because the Comoros are isolated islands, prices tend to be more expensive than the rest of East Africa. The cheapest hotels or bungalows in Moroni (the most expensive lodging region of the Comoros) may cost €20 or as little as €10 if you bargain hard. On the other hand, Hotel Moroni may cost hundreds. Imported goods are cheaper on Grand Comore than Moheli, but fruits and vegetables are cheaper, if less available, on Moheli. Meals in a brochetterie (cheap restaurant that serves fried meat and bananas, manioc, taro, or breadfruit) may cost up to CF1500 (€3) on Grand Comore and as little as KMF250 (€0.50) on Moheli. Cakes (sweet bread) sold by women on the street generally cost around CF50-100 each. One could get by on around CF6,000-10,000 (€12-20) per day for food and lodging.

Eat

Visitors are advised not to eat any of the local food unless it has been cooked through. One speciality available on the island is the jackfruit, a large, green fruit (about 50 cm in length) with a taste resembling lychee.

Drink

Alcohol is readily available in Moroni from Indian and Chinese merchants near Volo Volo. Castle beer from South Africa and cheap boxed wine from France are common. Most merchants will supply black plastic bags so that no one will notice you bought alcohol ... except that they only give black bags to customers buying alcohol.

European restaurants also serve alcohol.

Sleep

In a pinch, you can probably find a friendly local who will welcome you into their home for the night. Ask if they prefer you to pay them for food and/or lodging. Sometimes people are welcoming you as an honoured guest and consequently it would be odd to pay.

  • Karthala International Hotel, Moroni (Moroni), ? +269 763 5212. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. USD60.
  • Itsandra Beach Hotel (4Star) +269 773 3333;

Learn

Learning facilities on the islands, like most facilities, are underdeveloped. There are several schools on the island of Grand Comore, and one college. These are all severely lacking in resources and funding.

Work

By some reckoning, this is the third poorest country in the world and workers can expect to earn only about USD1-1.5 a day for basic employment.

Stay safe

Cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April).

Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano.

Civil war possible; Anjouan island most at risk (clashes between rebel and African Union forces).

Stay healthy

Malaria, including cerebral malaria, is prevalent in the Comoros. Sleep under a permethrin-treated mosquito net and take an anti-malarial. Grand Comore and Anjouan have the best medical infrastructure and you can be tested for malaria in most major towns. If you get a fever, it is wise to get tested, especially if the fever does not respond to paracetamol or does not go away. Moheli has a hospital in Fomboni. The one in Nioumachoua may occasionally be accessible.

Healthy food is not difficult to find. Eat many fruits and vegetables as well as rice. During some time of the year vegetables might be only available in small quantities in Moheli. A healthy and delicious local dish is madaba; pounded and boiled manioc leaves. But madaba takes hours to prepare, so you may not find it in restaurants. If you are fortunate enough to stay or eat with a local family, you might get to try madaba. Vegetarians should be aware that on Grand Comore locals put fish in the madaba, while on Moheli they do not. Women may experience cessation or alteration of their menstrual cycle due to poor nutrition if they stay in the Comoros for several months or longer.

Respect

Although the Comoros is a rather liberal Muslim country, it is disrespectful for women to expose their shoulders, much of their chest, knees, and especially stomach and lower back. Wear shirts or shawls that cover these areas. Locals will not expect foreign, non-Muslim women to cover their heads. When swimming, local women are fully dressed. Foreigners are not expected to do this, but shorts and a swimming shirt is more respectful than a bikini or topless swimming. Men should wear shorts below the knee, though a man wearing shorter shorts is less offensive than a woman doing so. Public affection between men and women is not acceptable, though one may rarely see a Comorian man and woman holding hands briefly (in the nightclubs some locals seem to ignore Muslim convention).

Non-Muslim religious proselytizing is illegal, as is giving Bibles to locals. Locals are very tolerant and friendly towards non-Muslims, but avoid appearing as if you are trying to convert them.

Drinking alcohol in public is disrespectful, though it occurs in nightclubs. Restaurants generally do not serve alcohol unless they cater to foreigners.

To greet an elder, you say "kwesi". The elder says something like "mbona, mkana baraka" to which you respond "salaama".

It is a big mistake to hand out sweets to children on the street. Since locals are unused to tourists, this rarely occurs and they are usually just happy to talk with you, children included. Once tourists begin handing out gifts and money, locals will see Westerners as rich and free with money, destroying many opportunities for a human connection with them. Children will harass tourists for sweets and money. Tourists who do this are showing themselves to be disrespectful of locals, such as by assuming that money/sweets is what they want from tourists and by putting that in between them rather than making an effort to get to know locals, and ignorant of the consequences of their actions.

Since, allegedly, it was discovered that a Western man, resident of Grand Comore for 14 years, had been making pornographic videos and photographs, as well as violating children on the islands, the residents are quite averse to being filmed or photographed. Individual reactions may vary upon being photographed, but taking unauthorised photographs of the locals will, at best, offend an individual and can potentially lead to violent reactions by the subject.

Connect

Comoros Travel and Guide, History and Culture: Information tourism Book for tourist and business adventure- COMOROS

Sampson Jerry

Comoros is a small country that is not well known to many people, but this island has a lot to offer you, Comoros is the best place for tourism, if you want to relax for a short holiday, or need to discover more on what nature has given, it is an environment for discovery, with the best climate in the world, planning to visit Comoros will be perfectly done with information at hand related to the following: locations, events, activities, people, culture, food and life style, knowing where to go in hand will boost your travel knowledge, find out what Comoros has to offer in business aspect, tourism in Comoros ultimate

COMOROS Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Comoros

CIA

A brief yet detailed report on the country of Comoros with updated information on the map, flag, history, people, economics, political conditions in government, foreign affairs, and U.S. relations.

Comoros Islands (A Travelogue - Book 2)

Sean McGrath

Known as the perfume islands for its many ylang ylang trees, whose flowers are a valued essence in perfumery, these islands off the Swahili coast of Africa are visited by few tourists. The year Sean McGrath lived there, it was run by the French soldier of fortune Bob Denard and his band of European mercenaries, following a coup he had staged to depose a president he had previously installed in an earlier coup. Denard was believed to have inspired the novel The Dogs of War and used the Comoros as a logistics base for mercenary activity in the proxy wars of the Cold War in Angola and Mozambique. McGrath settles into the sleepy islands, windsurfing, scuba diving and going to open-air discos by the sea. With an eye for the absurd, he delves into the recent history of the Comoros, depicts the languorous pace of life on the islands, observing the political intrigue of the country, interacting with the mercenaries, spending time in the Arab quarter and absorbing the Swahili culture. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in traveling to these remote islands.

Comoros Tourist Guide and Information: Information tourism eBook for tourist and business adventure- COMOROS

Andrson Jones

Comoros is a small country that is not well known to many people, but this island has a lot to offer you, Comoros is the best place for tourism, if you want to relax for a short holiday, or need to discover more on what nature has given, it is an environment for discovery, with the best climate in the world, planning to visit Comoros will be perfectly done with information at hand related to the following: locations, events, activities, people, culture, food and life style, knowing where to go in hand will boost your travel knowledge, find out what Comoros has to offer in business aspect, tourism in Comoros ultimate

Lonely Planet Africa (Multi Country Travel Guide)

Anthony Ham

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Whether you're a hardened African veteran or a wide-eyed first timer, this is a continent that cannot fail to get under your skin. Our 12th edition takes you on a Serengeti safari, reveals the best spot to view Victoria Falls and tells you where to see surfing hippos. Whether you're after big-name highlights or lesser-known adventures, this guide has got it all covered.

The only guidebook that covers the entire African Continent 251 maps Wildlife guide reveals the continent's top spots for animal encounters Explore with itineraries covering Cairo to Cape Town and everywhere in-between Green Index: helps to make your travels more ecofriendly

Lonely Planet gets you to the heart of a place. Our job is to make amazing travel experiences happen. We visit the places we write about each and every edition. We never take freebies for positive coverage, so you can always rely on us to tell it like it is.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Anthony Ham, Kate Armstrong, James Bainbridge, Tim Bewer, Stuart Butler, Jean-Bernard Carillet, Paul Clammer, LucyCorne, Emilie Filou, Matthew D. Firestone, Mary Fitzpatrick, Katharina Lobeck Kane, Adam Karlin, Nana Luckham, Tom Masters, Alan Murphy, Helen Ranger, Nicola Simmonds, Kate Thomas, and Donna Wheeler.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Comoros Country Study Guide (World Country Study Guide

Ibp Usa

2009 Reprint,updated,printed ""on demand"" - Comoros Country Study Guide (World Country Study Guide

Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles and the Comoros

Olivier Langrand

Following in the format of Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, this guide presents all the birds of Madagascar and the other Indian Ocean islands (Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius and Mascarenes), a great many species of which are endemic to these islands.In field guide form, this text presents concise descriptions of each species, highlighting diagnostic features for ease of identification. Differences between sexes and plumages are discussed as well as the status of the bird, its habitat and call.Distribution maps accompany each entry. The birds are illustrated in full color and where necessary are depicted in all plumages relevant to identification (male, female and immature). In-flight illustrations present the bird from above and below, providing comprehensive coverage of the birds in the field.

Lonely Planet Madagascar & Comoros

Gemma Pitcher

Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island, and Comoros boasts unique blue pigeons and rare black parrots. Paul Greenway provides travellers with all the information they'll need when visiting this destination.

Exercise a high degree of caution

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

The security situation has improved following the political crisis of 2008. You should monitor news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Since April 2012, torrential rains have caused landslides and flash flooding in the eastern and northern regions of Comoros archipelago. Significant infrastructure damage has occurred, leaving some regions inaccessible by road. Other services have been affected, including emergency and medical care, as well as water and food supplies. The Government of the Union of Comoros has declared a state of emergency for the country. If you reside in or intend to travel to the affected areas, exercise caution, monitor local news and weather reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime

Although infrequent, petty crime such as pick-pocketing, purse snatching and theft from unlocked cars occurs. Exercise caution in crowded outdoor markets, parks and beaches. Ensure that personal belongings, passport, and other travel documents are secure at all times. It is not recommended to walk alone at night.

Demonstrations

Political instability, including frequent strikes and civil unrest, has plagued the islands. Police and demonstrators have clashed in the past, and further incidents are possible. Foreigners have not been targeted, but you should exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings. You should contact the High Commission of Canada in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for the latest security information.

Piracy

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

Road travel

Roads are narrow and poorly lit. Although most urban roads are paved, many rural roads are not. Exercise extreme caution when driving at night. Emergency and roadside assistance is non-existent. In the event of an accident, travellers should proceed to the nearest police station. Taxis and car rentals are available.

Sea travel

It is possible to travel between the islands by boat. You should avoid boats that are in poor condition or overcrowded, as there have been incidents of boats capsizing in the past.

Air travel

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Tourist facilities are limited. Telecommunications are unreliable. Water shortages and power cuts occur.

For emergency assistance, dial (269) 77 34 663.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are basic on Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli. Medical supplies and prescription medication are limited and the frequent interruption of electricity and water supplies can affect hospitals.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

It is illegal to be inebriated in public. Convicted offenders are subject to fines and possible imprisonment.

There are strict penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Conservative dress is recommended, particularly for women. Shorts and revealing clothing should not be worn.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Money

The currency is the Comorian franc (KMF). Credit cards are not widely accepted. Banking facilities are minimal, with only one established bank on Grande Comore.

Climate

There are two seasons: the hot and humid season (November to April) with possible cyclones and northeastern monsoons; and the dry season (May to October).

The Comoros are located in an active seismic and volcanic zone. The Karthala Volcano, situated on Grande Comore Island, erupted on January 12, 2007. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.