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15 things everyone must do in Comoros Islands

1. Hiking

The best way to discover a country is hiking! What’s great about Comoros? Each Island is different! You can find informations directly in the tourist office in Moroni. But in many cases you’ll have to organize your hike all by yourself. You can get to the waterfalls in Ndzuani, exploring the Dziani-Boudouni Crater Lake in Mwali or explore the wildlife (Lemur, exotic birds, butterflies, bats…) in protected areas in Ngazidja. And this is just a short list: there’s always a new spot to discover in Comoros Islands!

 

Craftmanship Islands2. Quiet time at the beach

An interesting fact as tourism isn’t developed yet: you’ll find numerous deserted beaches all for yourself! It’s perfect to spend a quiet time alone. A long walk in the beach is highly recommended and really relaxing. You can also enjoy your day by spending your free time swimming in crystal-clear water.

3. Karthala

Thrill-seekers, here’s a spot for you: the Karthala volcano! It’s a shield volcano and very active. So, get ready for strong sensations! It’s located in Ngazidja next to the village of Mdé and Mkazi. What’s best when you made it to the summit? The panoramic views! It’s breathtaking out there!

4. Soccer on the beach

Soccer is the national sport. In the end of the afternoon, there’s always a game at the beach. You can either watch the game or be part of it if locals invite you. You know what people say: sport’s the best way to meet new people, to bond with other and to have fun!

5. Scuba diving

It’s definitely the best way to explore the ocean’s hidden secrets. Life under the Indian Ocean is full of surprises with exotic fishes and reefs. Marine life in Comoros is diversified. Each Island offers spots to explore it.

6. Go to the Marine Park

It was established in 2001 and is located in Mwali Island. An interesting fact about this Island: it’s the less urbanized of Comoros. The Nature remains untouched. It’s the best place to discover the mangrove and to observe marine ecosystems (reefs, clown fishes…). Marine life in Comoros is really diversified, by boat you can notice whales or watch dolphins. If you’re lucky you can see marine turtles lay their eggs on the beach and watch hatchlings’ habitats.

7. Go to historical sites and old-walled cities

These Islands have a long history. Comorian’s architecture reflects eastern styles and has modern influences too. One can see that through the pattern of the cities like Medinas, the street bazaars, the old towns, the mosques and so much more. In former days, Comoros were divided into multiple sultanates. They represent a beautiful remnant of the past. Visit the palace’s ruins. Each island has it owns.

Craftmanship coconut8. Shopping in street bazaars and local markets

They are the best places to bargain. You’ll always find something interesting at a good price. Whether you’re looking for local goods (exotic spices, vanilla, vegetal oils, tuna, etc…) or something great for your home. In addition to that, people are very nice, and also enjoy spending time with foreigners: it’s a great way to start the conversation and meet locals.

9. Twarab

Twarab is part of the Culture of Comorians. It’s an art and usually performed on stage. It combines Eastern and African influences. Normally it’s a group with singers and traditional instruments. But there’s also a modern way of twarab: the Karaoke part. When a woman takes her favorite song, go on stage and sing to share her emotions with the audience. Songs usually focus on love and life. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Comorian Lifestyle.

Usually, it takes place in community halls.

10. Be a part of a Comorian wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremonies take a great part in Comorian Lifestyle. The traditional weddings in Comoros can last 2 weeks for only one couple. Time to get loose and to wear your fancy clothes! It’s an opportunity to listen to traditional bands, taste the local cuisine and meet people. You can be a part of an outdoor wedding reception or greet the brides at home.

11. Give yourself a treat

Women in Comoros truly know how to treat themselves.

Msidzanou: this mask has an African influence. It leaves the skin smooth and clean. It’s the best way for women to protect themselves against the Sun. Two choices for you: get your face fully covered or get creative with a beautiful design as a sign of beauty.

Henna tattoo: It’s a temporary tattoo. Colors available are orange and black. Simply cover your nails or get yourself a beautiful oriental pattern drawn on your body. Women do this when attending to a traditional wedding ceremony or simply for fun!

12. Go to the CNDRS museum

This museum is located in Moroni, Ngazidja Island. It’s was established in 1989. You’ll find informations about the Culture of Comoros (population, geography, history, science and sociology).

13. Flowers distillation

Visit a distillery in Comoros.

Comoros present numerous healing plants and scented ones.

In fact, foreign trade activities have been part of Comoros’ history for decades.

They focused on trade of spices and flowers like vanilla, ylang-ylang, clove and jasmine. Nowadays these activities still remain but at another level.

It’s great to observe how fragrances and essential oils are made.

14. Visit a traditional sugar factory

Sugar industry also took a big part of Comoros. In the old days, one can count about five hundred of them located in these Islands. The factories were mostly located in Ndzuani Island. Their number has decreased over the years.

The equipments were very rudimentary but it’s still interesting to find out about the process itself and to discover the traditional way to produce sugar in Comoros Islands. So, if you get the chance, contact the owner and ask for a private visit to learn more about it and a tour of the installations.

Comoros Craftmanship15. Local handicraft

Art opens the door to new worlds. It’s another way to learn about traditions in Comoros.

Traditional craftsmanship in Comoros takes many forms: embroidery, basketry, jewelry, woodworking, traditional clothes, toys and so much more.

They can make decorative pieces out of…pretty anything! Like: coconut, banana leaves, sand and minerals. It’s amazing how they manage to create such beautiful things with only simple tools!

You can buy souvenirs or buy a perfect handmade gift to offer.

Connect with expats like you:

  • Alliance Française (membership: 5000 Comorian francs per person). Offices located in Ngazidja, Mwali and Ndzuani.
  • American Corner in Moroni.

Best places to find international newspapers, books, internet access, exhibitions and meet other expats.

Author Credit:

Houssnati Baraka
Blog: alternativecities.wordpress.com
Twitter: @barakahoussnati

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