Various Attraction of Comoros

The big hotels both run diving trips to the small coral islands and reefs south of Moheli, where you’ll find magnificent white beaches and have a good chance to see nesting green sea turtles. To go independently, you’ll need a CF1,000 permit from the police in Fomboni, and then have to bargain with boat owners in Nioumachoua to take you across to the islands. The most idyllic of the islands is Chissioua Ouenefou.

On the east coast of Anjouan, the historic town of Domoni is the source of some of the Comoros’ finest embroidery and woodcarving. First settled by Arab merchants and their African slaves, the town was officially founded by Fani Attouman Caletschipoutou in 1274 A.D. The labyrinthine old town is both utterly decrepit and absolutely charming. You’ll see the old town wall, which guarded the coast from Malagasy pirates; several lovely mosques; and the mausoleum of President Ahmed Abdallah Abderemane.

Not to be confused with Fomboni on Moheli, this bright, white town on the east coast of Grande Comore has a more exotic atmosphere than Moroni, Iconi, or Itsandra, and is far less visited. Foumbouni served as the former capital of the Sultan of Badjini, but is now best-known for its pottery works and as the largest Muslim secondary school in the Comoros. Several interesting tombs of Portuguese navigators have been discovered at Bandamakji, 7 miles (12km) north of Foumbouni. With some effort and a very early start, Foumbouni can be visited in one day by taxi-brousse from Moroni.

Grand Comore’s Beaches
The east-facing beaches and rambling villages of Grande Comore are cleaner and far more traditional than those on the tamer and less-exposed west coast. Among them are N’droude, Bouni, and Chomoni, all backed up by coconut palms and baobabs, as well as many smaller settlements. In the far south, Chindini beach makes a particularly worthwhile destination. All these places are readily reached by taxi-brousse from Moroni.

Iconi, the oldest settlement on Grande Comore, was the original capital of the island and the seat of the Sultan of Bambao. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Iconi was damaged by wave after wave of Malagasy pirates, and in 1978, was the site of the tragic massacre of the Muslim faithful by Ali Soilih’s gangs of youthful thugs. Still, many fine old buildings remain and it’s worth a couple of hours of exploration. It lies just three miles (five km) south of Moroni and can be reached on foot, by share taxi (CF200), or taxi-brousse.

The nameless streets, bazaars, and alleys of Moroni wind between rows of homes and shops which well reflect the Comoros’ Swahili architectural styles and trading history. It’s easy to imagine you’ve been transported back to the days of the Arabian Nights, especially when the moon is full.

Mount Karthala
Mount Karthala, the Comoros’ most prominent natural feature, can be climbed in two days with a guide from M’vouni or Boboni, south of Moroni. From M’vouni, it takes at least seven hours to reach the summit, where most people camp overnight, and then five hours back down to Boboni. You’ll need to carry all food and water for the trip. Guides may be hired for around CF20,000. By bargaining, you may get a better price, but don’t pay more than CF20,000. Note that you must also provide food for the guide.

Moya Plage and Dziani Dzaha, Mayotte
While the main island of Mayotte offers some very nice hiking and several good beaches, the favorite spots are the beach at Moya Plage and the crater lake, Dziani Dzaha, both on the smaller island of Petite Terre. Both spots can be accessed on foot or by taxi-brousse from the village of L’Abbatoir, but either will involve a short hike from the road.