Let’s be honest, how often have you heard about Comoros? You probably haven’t and that is okay – its not your fault! Situated in the Indian Ocean, somewhere between Madagascar and the African mainland, Comoros is an independent three-island nation. There’s a fourth island too – Mayotte, but that’s where things start to get complicated. Even though Comoros claims the island of Mayotte, it is still governed by France and treated as a French overseas department.
Comoros is a volcanic island group and known as “perfumed islands” due to an abundance of scented ylang-ylang plants. The largest and main island, Grande Comore (also known as Ngazidja) is where the nation’s capital Moroni is located. Although it is nowhere near the “city” standards for the rest of the world, Moroni is the country’s most modern location. Apart from a few mosques, nearby beaches and the National Museum of Comoros, there is not much to do in the capital. From here, you can visit Mount Karthala – an active volcano rising as high as 2,361m. Climbing is possible, however, it is quite a stiff ascend. Other destinations in Grande Comore include Itsandra Mdjini – a town close to Moroni on the west coast of the island, Mitsamiouli – another coastal town with a few decent eateries and a nearby beach and Lac Sale (also known as Lac Niamawi) – a salt lake with lovely views.
The other two islands of Comoros are Moheli (Mwali) and Anjouan (Nzwani). Moheli is the smallest island in the archipelago and known for the first-ever protected area of Comoros – Moheli Marine Park. The park is home to the rare coelacanth fish along with sharks, humpback whales and turtles. Anjouan, on the other hand, is a volcanic island with picturesque villages and traditional people. The island’s main town Mutsamudu is second largest in Comoros after Moroni, and home to an 18th-century citadel.
Mayotte lies to the southeast of Anjouan and as we already mentioned, it has a complicated status. Like other islands in the archipelago, Mayotte also has a volcanic landscape dominated by Mont Choungui – a volcanic mountain located in the southern region of the island. Though it is a strenuous hike, you can climb to the top and capture beautiful views. The coastal town Mamoudzou is the capital of the island.
Comoros is pretty much untouched by tourism, which makes it one of the world’s best offbeat destinations. With rugged volcanic landscape and beautiful beaches, this archipelago is a sublime hideaway destination.
Comoros is a volcanic island group and known as “perfumed islands” due to its abundance of scented ylang-ylang plants.