Travelling is the best time to find ourselves and meet new people. Comoros Islands are perfect to do so! Right now, most people don’t know what’s the country has to offer. But I assure you it will be worth your money! If you are looking for special hints, key facts and tips, you’ve come to the right place.
Accommodation and Schools
First hint: check the validity of your identity papers (passport and ID card). Make sure they both have several months left before expiry. If it’s not the case, renew them early.
In Comoros, you will be delivered two visas, one at your arrival (at Prince Said Ibrahim airport) and another when you leave. If you plan to stay less than one month and a half, it will cost you 30 Euros. Just remember: the more you stay the pricier your visa will be.
Second of all, you have to make sure there is an embassy or consulate of your country in Comoros Islands. Most of them will be located in Moroni (capital).
Real-estate is not well developed in this country. So if you are looking for a place to rent, you must think of it way ahead before you go. Check for private owners, professionals or hotels. If you’re lucky you can be invited to be part of a family as a guest of honor so you won’t have to pay anything! Another key advice: check if the house you are looking for is well located (is it in the capital or in an isolated village?). A key fact: most of the stores and facilities are located in the capital.
Comoros Islands offer both public and private schools. You can also find a French school located in Moroni. School year starts in October and most of classes end in the beginning of the afternoon. So it will be perfect to spend quality-time with your family and love-ones! NB: There’s only one university: the University of Comoros. It can be interesting if you’d like to study nature or science. Wildlife and ecosystems in Comoros are diversified. That would be a great experience to have as an internship abroad or if you wanna make advanced researches on a specific topic.
Comoros is a developing country. You can go as an intern or volunteer in NGOs. If you are going with a personal project and want to set up a company, you must be well-prepared. Check for the chamber of commerce first, look for partnerships before you leave and think about how much you are willing to invest.
Culture and language
Comoros are well located in the Indian Ocean and offer great places to discover. These Islands are not very urbanized. They possess sandy beaches, an astonishing biodiversity, waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes. Ngazidja is the most urbanized Island and where the capital is located. You will also find the Karthala volcano. Comoros is a Muslim country and is very tolerant towards foreigners. It’s well-known for the warmth of its community. A traditional way to greet guests is to offer a flower necklace as a welcoming sign to the community!
You’ll find only two seasons: Dry season and hot & wet season (with heavy rain). Dry season: from May to October. Hot & wet: from November to April. Tourism is not developed yet. It can be very interesting if you’re looking for something…let’s say unusual and far away from mass tourism’s clichés. The country is crowded from June to August and in the last weeks of December. Comoros is a French speaking country. People also speak Comorian, Swahili, English and Arabic. The currency is the Comorian francs. 1 Euros = 500 Comorian francs.
Cost of living in Comoros Islands tends to be very high because most of goods are imported and lack of competition when it comes to services. On the other hand, if you’re looking for local goods (exotic fruits or tuna for example): you’ll see that prices are not expensive at all from a tourist’s perspective.
NB: These Islands have to face off fuel poverty with daily power-cuts and suffer lack of sanitation.
Quick Tips for Sorting Your Affairs
- Take out some photographs for immigration paperwork.
- Check your driver’s license.
- Contact a moving company that can safely transport your belongings to Comoros (prefer air freight) or look for storage.
- Pay a visit to your doctor for a complete check-up and ask for any vaccinations you may require (prevalence of diseases such as yellow fever, paludism and tourista). Ask for a copy of your medical records.
- Consult with a tax adviser to ensure that your financial situation is in order.
- Have some of your money exchanged for Comorian Francs and Euros before you leave home.
- Mosquito nets and insect repellent products are required. If aromatherapy is more your thing: you can bring essential oils with you.
- Bring a first emergency kit with you.
- Subscribe to an International insurance ( check for full coverage, repatriation & travel assistance services that are available 24/7)
- If you happen to have pets, you have to know that veterinarian services are not very developed.
- Banking is not well-developed either. There are less than 10 banks for all the country. Cash payment is a commonly use in Comoros.
- In Comoros, drinking water is not safe. Boil it first and look for water purification methods (water filter & treatment). Also make sure that your food is well cooked before eating.
Only a few airlines are serving this country. There is no direct flight to Comoros and only a few departures from Europe and Africa. A funny thing to remember one way flight ticket is pricier than a round trip flight ticket.