google-site-verification: googlea104b15742cb888b.html

User Login

10

July
2017
Dos-du-Dragon2

A Safari in Exotic Comoros Island

How much of Africa do you really know and what defines your perception of this continent?

When I think about this magnificent root of the human race, I can only marvel at nature’s gifts that dot its every corner and the products of human hands which leave one in agape.

On the Indian sea off the eastern coast of Africa, along a northwest-southeast axis at the north end of the Mozambique Channel, between Mozambique and the Island of Madagascar is one of such African wonders and nature’s gift; Welcome to the Islands of Comoros! I love to be the Marco Polo of my time, so if you know so little about Africa and in fact about these Island, join me on this insightful Islands’ tour.

Comoros-Islands-Map

The Islands of Comoros is one of the least known destinations in Africa. The name is drawn from an Arab word, Qamar, meaning “moon”, this is why Comoros is often called the “Islands of the Moon.” Comoros is Africa’s third smallest nation, mainly an archipelago of volcanic islands made up of four major islands: northwesternmost Grande Comore (Ngazidja); Mohéli (Mwali); Anjouan (Nzwani); and the contested southeasternmost Mayotte (Maore) which is still under French’s control.

If you use perfume and love ice cream, I bet you have probably made a contact with these Islands without knowing it. Also known as the Perfumed Islands, Comoros Islands are the world’s number one producer of the Ylang-Ylang essence, an essential ingredient in perfumes and the world’s second largest producer of Vanilla.

o-PERFUME-facebook

 

Vanillaicecream1

Getting to these Islands should not cost a lot of stress if you do not find the Islands’ embassy in your home country to get a visa, do not worry. There is provision for visa on arrival on the Islands and this should serve you for 45 days. It costs about $30.

Getting a straight flight might also be a challenge; the easy way around it is by flying into Madagascar first before connecting the Islands. If you travel by Air Austral or Air Madagascar (the latter had suspended it service once), your stop at Prince Said Ibrahim Airport on Grande Comore will officially announce to you that you have arrived on the Islands of Comoros.

ComorianPassport

The Islands are predominantly Muslim, though being a nation formed at a crossroads of many civilizations makes it notable for its diverse culture and history.

Blissful 20 to 30°C temperature defines Comoros’ tropical charm, with palms swinging in breeze almost all year round.

For every first time visitors or tourists, the islands’ volcanoes and turquoise waters are the main highlights of its attraction. Since almost everyone coming to Comoros Islands often arrive at the Grande Comore, it may as well be wise to kick off a tour of the Islands here.

Grand Comore hosts the islands’ capital, Moroni. It is the largest and most diverse of the islands; and the site of the largest active volcano in the world—the Karthala volcano, which has a lofty summit of 2360m that seems to be lost in equatorial clouds. Tourists often go on a two-day trek at Mt. Karthala, going through the thick forest to reach the lunar landscapes of the crater.

Karthalavolcano1

Up from Moroni towards the east coast, you will see two huge trails of volcanic rocks snaking down the slopes, souvenirs of past lava flows.

Close to these black rocks is the gorgeous beach of Chomoni, it is one of the many nice beaches you will see as you tour this Island. You will also see lavas, palm trees swinging their branches, great baobabs, and moody skies.

Salted-lake

Ensure you get to the Dos du Dragon (Dragon’s Back) were a series of rock formations looking uncannily like the imaginary spikes on a dragon’s back will leave you gasping. It would be great if you scaled the Dos du Dragon itself, it is an easy walk from the roadside.

Dos-du-Dragon1

So much around town, it is time to concentrate on the Island’s capital, Maroni. The capital’s name is linked to Mt. Karthala’s volcanic activities. In Comorian, Moroni means “in the heart of fire.” The city’s old town (Medina) is a narrow street lined with ancient buildings having old Swahili doors. This is where I wandered about the most on my first days, chatting with locals and sometimes playing dominoes or bao—a game played using board carved with 32 holes.

The most impressive structure along the waterfront is the Ancienne Mosquee du Vendredi. It is a two-storey building with elegant colonnades and a square minaret that was originally constructed in 1427. There is a new mosque next to the port too.

mosqueduvendari1

Moheli is where the only National Park is located. This is the smallest and most interesting of the Islands. Essentially a backwater compared to the other Islands, Moheli is relatively clean and natural. It is where you go to leave the planet for a while—as it is less populated except with donkeys. Snorkeling amid the colourful coral reef and exploring the dramatic craggy islet off Moheli’s golden shores won’t be a bad idea. Fans of sea turtles and marine mammals such as dolphins and whales will also love this Island.

mohelibeach1

At Dziani Boundouni, bird-watchers will have a full day fulfilling their dreams. Aside from the birds, rare mongoose lemur can also be sighted here.

Anjouan is the most populated of the Island. It is a beautiful place, perfect for hiking and exploration. Moya is one of the interesting places on this Island. It is a village overlooking a beautiful white beach. The beach is perfect for swimming, rock scrambling, and passable snorkeling when the sea is calm. Domoni, the original capital of Anjouan, is another interesting sight. This is where you have a large population of the island’s craftspeople and shops for beautiful works including fine woodcarvings.

comoros-island-city

There is so much more to this Island than one can say or write about. Reduced to a few words, one will say the Comoros Island is the right Ecotourism destination. Nevertheless, your judgment will best be made if you visit this island. Why not make it your next holiday spot and share your experience with other tourists here?

 

 

Michael Usifo

Michael Usifo

Creative Writer
Michael-Alvin, an imaginative get-it-done wordsmith, blends uncanny taste for facts gleaned from his training in law, and journalism by UNESCO, in his travels and reports about Africa for Afro Tourism.
Michael Usifo
Michael Usifo
Michael Usifo

Latest posts by Michael Usifo (see all)

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone
africa Africanfood Afro Tourism City Icon East Africa Festivals holidays Island Memories recipe wednesday South Africa Southern Africa top destination travel stories West Africa

Recent Posts

Archives

MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
     12
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
2627282930  
       
1234567
22232425262728
293031    
       
     12
3456789
       
  12345
       
  12345
2728     
       
      1
2345678
3031     
   1234
567891011
       
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
282930    
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
31      
   1234
567891011
       
1234567
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    
       
    123
45678910
11121314151617
       
  12345
6789101112
20212223242526
27282930   
       
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
    123
45678910
18192021222324
252627282930 
       
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
       
15161718192021
22232425262728
29      
       
    123
45678910
18192021222324
       
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
28293031   
       
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
262728293031 
       
 123456
21222324252627
282930    
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
24252627282930
31      
  12345
13141516171819
2728293031  
       
891011121314
2930     
       
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
       
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   
       
      1
2345678
9101112131415
23242526272829
3031     
      1
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728 
       
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
262728293031 
       
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
       
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031