The Comoros islands are wrapped in a fragrant blend of ylang-ylang oil, Arabic aesthetics, African warmth and French chic. Not only this, but they have a colourful history of sultans and soothsayers, plantation owners and eloping princesses.
Following a visit by the Undiscovered Destinations team our tour now includes an extended stay at the excellent Laka Lodge. Located on the beautiful island of Mohéli we were very impressed with the lodge's accommodation and the National Marine Park location. With comfortable beach front bungalows, good food and service and the most amazing of settings we know our travellers will be equally impressed. Why not ask us about a tailormade itinerary, with a longer stay on Mohéli.
We visit the three islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli, exploring charming local villages and beautiful beaches, with plenty of optional excursions on offer from whale-watching to hiking through rainforests to climbing a volcano. Or simply relax and let the easy charm of the Comoros Islands work its way into your soul.
Fitness ●●●○○ | Off the Beaten Track ●●●●○ | Culture ●●●●○ | History ●●○○○ | Wildlife ●●●○○
- Visit all three of the Comoros Islands; Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli
- Climb Mount Karthala volcano
- Spot the Livingstone Fruit Bat - the largest bat in the world
- Search for whales and dolphins in Le parc marin de Mohéli
Accommodation: Comfortable hotels
Included Meals: Daily breakfast (B), plus lunches (L) and dinners (D) as shown in the itinerary
Start Point: Moroni
End Point: Moroni
Transport: Private car and/or minibus, local flights
Countries: Comoros Islands - Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli
Tour Itinerary Notes
While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day itinerary as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built in. Overnight stops may vary from those suggested and on occasions alternative accommodation, of a similar standard to that named below, will be used.
Our guides are a key strength, chosen for their knowledge of and passion for the areas in which they work. All of our guides are carefully hand-picked, and are not just passing through these countries, but are usually locally born. Unlike some companies it should be noted we do not send a guide or tour leader from Undiscovered Destinations in the UK as we have every confidence in our locally appointed representative who is responsible for operating the tour on our behalf. Where possible you will have the same guide throughout your trip but on occasions it may be necessary to change the guide at one or more points during the tour.
Day 1 - Moroni
Arrive in Moroni, capital of the Comoros Islands. The rest of the day is free to relax after your long flight or explore the town. Overnight Le Moroni Hotel or similar.
The sleepy capital Moroni is a delightful little town perched on the edge of the Indian Ocean and often surrounded by fishing boats in its harbour. The old quarter of the town is a maze of narrow streets that are fantastic to explore, and many buildings still have the traditional carved doors, reminiscent of those that can be found on Zanzibar. Moroni’s main feature is its ancient Friday Mosque, while its market is a great place to wander around to observe scenes of daily life. Once an important trading town on the Indian Ocean, Moroni has slipped quietly into a forgotten existence where tourists are rare and visitors are treated as a curious novelty. The views out to sea as the sunsets, over tiny ships heading out for an evening’s fishing, are unforgettable.
Day 2 - Full Day Exploration of Grande Comore
Full day tour of Grande Comore with private car/driver and English speaking guide, including visits to Mitsaniouli village, a Ylang-Ylang plantation, Lac Salé (salt lake) and Chomoni with its excellent beach. Overnight Le Moroni Hotel or similar. (BL)
Officially known as Ngazidja, Grande Comore is the largest of the Comoros Islands but has no rivers or waterways at all – all water is gathered via wells or as rainwater. Prior to the arrival of the French, it was divided up into several sultanates. Grande Comore is dominated by Mt Karthala, which at 2361m is the largest active volcano in the world. The island has around 315,000 inhabitants, most of whom are of Arab or African descent.
Day 3 – Anjouan
Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Anjouan. On arrival you will be met and taken on a guided tour of the island, widely accepted as the most beautiful of the three islands which make up the Union of the Comoros. Overnight Al Amal Hotel or similar. (BL)
Anjouan seems to sit uncomfortably within the Comoros nation. In 1997 it declared itself an independent nation, and then asked to be re-integrated into France, but following French refusal re-joined the Comoros in 2002. Not entirely happy with this though, it announced once more its independence in 2007, prompting military action from the Comoros, although it now has a semi-autonomous status. Anjouan is a pretty little island which is the world’s principal exporter of ylang-ylang oil, an ingredient found in most perfumes. The island is heavily forested with beautiful beaches and small villages dotted here and there, and like Grande Comore its centre culminates in the peak the 1600m Mt Ntingui.
Day 4 – Anjouan
A free day to simply relax or independently explore the island’s capital, Mutsamudu. Overnight Al Amal Hotel or similar. (B)
Day 5 - Mohéli
Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Mohéli. Depending on the airlines’ schedule a connection may be required in Moroni. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Laka Lodge, a small and intimate resort with its own beach. There are a number of optional excursions available including trips to some of the smaller islands nearby, and evening visits to watch turtles lay their eggs in the sand. Overnight Laka Lodge. (BD)
Mohéli is the smallest of the four islands of the Comoros archipelago, and is the wildest and least populated island of the Union, but also the most scenic and well-preserved, the true ‘Pearl of the Comoros’. Nature lovers will like it here – its flora is rich and includes different species of orchids and endemic palms, while animal life includes turtles, the Livingstone fruit bat (the largest bat in the world), whales, dolphins and dugongs. Beaches are pretty and plentiful, especially on the south coast, and you will have long stretches just for yourself. All in all a true island paradise.
Days 6-7 – Mohéli
Two free days to enjoy this beautiful island. We have not pre-arranged any sightseeing or activities as Mohéli is very easy to explore independently or optional excursions can be arranged directly with the lodge. Relax and enjoy the different pace of life and meet the friendly local people. If you are feeling a little more energetic, you can arrange a guided hike across the island on tracks of virgin rainforest. Alternatively you can cycle around the island, on virtually empty roads. Then of course there are the beaches. Two of the most beautiful are Sambadjou and Nioumachoua. You can also snorkel to discover the rich marine life or even go whale and dolphin watching. Finally at certain times of the year you may be lucky enough to see giant turtles lay their eggs at night on Itsamia beaches. Overnight Laka Lodge. (BD)
Day 8 – Moroni
Return to Moroni with free time to explore this charming town further. We stay at a resort a few kilometres out of town, with its own private beach. Another chance to soak up the sun and swim in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Overnight Royal Itsandara Hotel or similar. (B)
Day 9 - Free day in Moroni or Mt Karthala climb
Today you have the option of leaving Moroni for a climb to the summit of Mt Karthala (2,361m). Although it is possible to do the climb in just one long day, we recommend that you camp at the summit in the crater itself and return the next day. For those not wishing to make the climb, you will have today and the next day to relax or perhaps enquire locally about the options to dive. Overnight Royal Itsandara Hotel or similar / camping. (B – Hotel, BLD – camping)
Mt Karthala is the largest active volcano in the world, and erupts on a fairly regular basis – the last time being in 2005. The climb can be challenging and should only be attempted if you are reasonably fit. It will take about seven hours depending on your personal fitness. Although the slopes are normally blanketed in thick mist for much of the day, the summit and crater are frequently clear, rewarding you with the most spectacular of early morning sunrises. It should be noted that we only recommend attempting the climb during the dry season (between April and November). We will arrange for all camping equipment and supplies to be provided as well as a porter.
Day 10 – Moroni
Your last day in the Comoros to either relax and unwind or take the opportunity to explore more of Grande Comore. Overnight Royal Itsandara Hotel or similar. (B)
Day 11 - Moroni
Tour ends. (B)
Arrival and departure transfers
Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
Any airport taxes