Comoros things to see and do

Things to see and do

Climb Mount Karthala

If you’re feeling energetic, climb to the top of Mount Karthala, the Comoros’ highest point at 2,260m (7,750ft), and then descend into the crater of this still active volcano. The vast crater, which is 4km (2.5 miles) wide in places, is said to be the largest of any active volcano in the world.

Come face to face with turtles on Mohéli

Known for its undisturbed natural beauty and tranquillity, Mohéli is the smallest of the Comoros Islands. Home to the nation’s first protected area, the Parc Marin de Mohéli, it is a favourite with nature lovers for its populations of green turtle, dolphins, whales and exotic birds.

Explore Nzwani’s Swahili architecture

Nzwani (Anjouan) Island is notable for its waterfalls and abundant vegetation. The main town of Mutsamudu is built in Swahili-Shirazi style, complete with 17th-century houses with carved doors, twisting alleyways, mosques and a citadel. The ancient capital of Domoni is also worth a visit. The best beaches are in the Bimbini area, while perfume distilleries are found at Bambao.

Go scuba-diving in crystalline waters

With limpid waters and pristine coral reefs, diving opportunities abound throughout the archipelago. The Trou du Prophète in Misamiouli on Ngazidja, Niumashuwa Bay on Mwali and Pamanzi off Mahore are particularly fine sites, often visited by grey reef sharks, barracuda and even manta rays.

Hike to Dziani Boundouni

Dziani Boundouni is a sulphurous crater-lake at the centre of sparsely populated Mohéli, which can be reached on day-walks from the island capital of Fomboni. Popular with birdwatchers, a hike here also throws up the chance of catching sight of rare mongoose lemurs in the nearby rainforests.

Hit the beach

There are many excellent beaches on the islands and Galawa Beach on Grande Comore has a diving school for those who get bored bathing. Other good beaches include Bouni, Chomoni (near a sheltered bay), Itsandra and the palm-fringed Planet Plage. Traditional canoe races are occasionally staged in the lagoon that surrounds Mahore, while visitors can watch dhows (Arab sail boats) being built on the beach at Fomboni.

Kick back in Mitsamiouli

A town in the north of Grande Comore, Mitsamiouli has a number of beaches of white sand popular with tourists, and the remains of a Royal Palace dating back to the era of the Sultans. The town is known both for its good diving facilities and for having the best Comoran dancers.

Stop off at the French island of Mahore (Mayotte)

This French-administered island is surrounded by coral reefs and has good beaches and excellent scuba-diving facilities. The town of Dzaoudzi contains some old fortifications worth visiting. Nature lovers will enjoy the forested island of Pamanzi, 5km (3 miles), as well as the waterfall at Sulu, which plunges straight into the sea.

Take in the laidback capital, Moroni

The national capital, Moroni, is situated on Ngazidja (Grande Comore). A charming town, it contains a few broad squares and modern government buildings as well as the old, narrow, winding streets and market place. There are numerous fine mosques including the Friday Mosque, the top of which offers attractive views over the town and ocean.

While away the day in Itsandra

This fishing village, 6km (4 miles) from Moroni on Grande Comore, has a fine beach and opportunities to see traditional dances performed by the local men. The town was once the ancient capital of the island, complete with royal tombs and a fortress built in the 17th century.