Comoros, Indian Ocean

Comoros, Indian Ocean

Located between Mozambique and Madagascar, the island nation of Comoros is Africa’s best-kept secret. Come for picture-perfect beaches, turtle-hatching, conservation projects and an active volcano.


Comoros, Indian Ocean.

Why now?

Often overlooked in favour of nearby island destinations such as
Mauritius and the Seychelles, this little archipelago offers just
as much charm and allure as the any of the African isles. Named
after the Arabic word for “moon”, Comoros is just as magical as its
title suggests. Temperatures hover between 20ºC and 30ºC throughout
the year, and the sparkling Indian Ocean laps against peaceful,
palm-fringed shores.

The major islands – Grande Comore, Mohéli and Anjouan – are the
most-visited of the archipelago. Grande Comore is the largest, on
which Comoros capital Moroni provides reason in itself to travel to
these isles. Walk around the winding lanes of Moroni’s lively
medina, where houses are decorated with carved doors and skyline
views are punctured by ornate minarets. Head south to reach Mount
Karthala, an active volcano and popular trekking destination. If
hiking isn’t your idea of a holiday activity, make your way to
Chomoni, a jaw-dropping beach complete with dark, volcanic rock,
pearl-white sand and glistening water.

Rent a car or book a driver to show you the rest of the island.
Drive north along roads lined with frangipani and baobab trees to
reach Dos du Dragon, a collection of rock formations named after
its resemblance to the scaly, spiked back of a dragon.
Alternatively, take a dip in the Indian Ocean at Trou du Prophète –
meaning Prophet’s Hole, this beach is said to have been where the
Prophet Muhammad hid from looting pirates.

Don’t miss…

While Grande Comore is the largest of the islands, its smaller
neighbours should not be eschewed. Island-hop your way round the
Comoros to truly experience the ins and outs of this mystical
archipelago. Mohéli offers tree-covered fells and verdant national
parks framed by beaches more populated by nesting turtles than
people. Similarly, Anjouan prides itself on animal and nature
conservation. Home to the endangered Livingstone fruit bats, it’s
the place to trek up mountains and catch a glimpse of these
nocturnal giants before spending a few days lazing on the beaches
of Moya, in the south.

Who to take with you

Someone interested in ecotourism. The Comoros is known for its
natural beauty, from dense forests and deserted beaches to
volcanoes stretching high above the clouds. Explore mangroves and
coral reefs at the beach or hike inland to catch glimpses of rare,
colourful birds and strikingly magnificent reptiles (of which there
are 12 endemic species).

When to go

Go in September. Dry season is between May
and November,
but September
offers perfect temperatures of around 25ºC, and barely any

Where to stay

Nestled in the shadow of Mount Karthala, Retaj Moroni is comprised of
vast grounds leading out towards the shore and a pool by which to
laze during the day, making it the perfect base to explore the
Comoros’ spoils. Similarly, Itsandra Beach Hotel offers private bungalows with
views across the ocean.

Most likely to bump into…

Someone looking for a serious island escape.

Essentials to bring with you

With all those postcard-perfect beaches at your fingertips, good
swimwear is a must. This Ganni tiger-print swimsuit has a
high-leg silhouette and a crisscross back, perfect for taking dips
in the ocean or working on that tan.

How to get there

Fly into Moroni airport after a stopover in Ethiopia’s Addis

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