10 Things About… Moroni, Comoros

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According to pre-Islamic legend, the Comoros archipelago was formed when a Genie dropped a jewel in the ocean, which became the Karthala volcano that in turn formed the islands of the Comoros.

1. Getting There
Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport and yachts can be chartered from various points on mainland Africa. Be aware that all visitors need a visa to enter the Comoros Islands.

2. Getting Around
You can drive on your own if you have an international drivers license, otherwise you can hire a taxi, use a bicycle or walk. Try to avoid travelling at night as potholes and animals are a hazard.

3. Where to Stay
Retaj Moroni Hotel, Cristal Itsandra Beach Hotel or for a less pricey option, Jardin de la Paix.

4. Eating Out
Moroni is a varied and flavoursome affair. Seafood is an obvious staple on local menus; the well-known Restaurant des Arcades, for instance, does a great lobster. Chez Babou Restaurant is great for Indian food while Café de la Paix makes a delicious calamari and octopus!

5. Things to Do
The nightlife is Moroni is almost non-existent. Medina is made up of narrow and maze-like alleyways. Ancienne Mosquée du Vendredi is a beautiful and popular tourist spot. Itsandra Beach is roughly 3km from the town centre and offers white pristine sands and deep blue ocean.

6. Shopping
The Comoros region is the world’s largest producer of ylang-ylang and is a big producer of vanilla. Local spices are therefore a great buy. The Volo Volo Market is an excellent place to buy handcrafted jewellery, scarves and woodcrafts

7. About town
Mount Karthala wasteland is a haven for bird lovers, as well as hikers and mountain bikers. The views from the top are spectacular. Mitsamiouli and Moludja Beach has plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.

8. History & Culture
Muslim, Swahili and Arab influences dominated until European colonization took hold.

9. Language
French and Arabic are the official languages of Comoros, while Comorian or Shikomor are also spoken by locals

10. One last thing
The Comoros is a predominantly Muslim region so it is important to dress modestly and show the requisite respect at religious sites.

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