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Comoros Discovery
11 days
- Trip code COM

Comoros Discovery

We have just recced the Comoros and are in the process of creating a polished itinerary, to depart in 2018. If you are interested in a trip to these exciting islands, please give us a call and register your interest. We will then let you know when the trip is on sale. The islands are better known for their natural beauty and we will visit the medinas and Arab Quarters of small towns, as well as enjoying coastal walks, rainforest tours and snorkelling over pristine reefs. This is a chance to be one of the first to discover these mysterious islands, meet the welcoming local people and relax on idyllic beaches, overlooked by looming volcanos.

Trip highlights

  • Grand Comoros - Discover a huge active volcano and tour the spice plantations
  • Underwater Marine Park - Snorkelling and swimming in clear blue waters
  • Arab Quarters - Exploring citadels, medinas and the Sultan's Palace
  • Recce - Be part of a recce trip and have your say on how this trip runs in the future
  • Comoros - Visiting an archipelago that rarely sees travellers
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Moderate
Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.
Group Size:
8 - 12
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip starts in Moroni

Trip starts in Moroni on Grand Comore, the largest of the three islands that make up the Comoros. This little known and visited archipelago has been a melting pot of cultures for hundreds of years as it sits in between mainland Africa and Madagascar, all of which played a major role in the Swahili slave trade. This evening, after checking in and freshening up we will visit the harbour area of Moroni, a miniaturised Arabian town, stranded in the Indian Ocean. If we're lucky we'll see a true African sunset, watching the huge sun race towards the ocean as we eat our dinner of freshly caught seafood in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin de la Paix(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Explore the Arab Quarter of Moroni, visit a spice plantation

This morning we will explore the narrow streets of the Arab Quarter of Moroni, where we will see white robed men playing dominos and ladies wearing beautifully coloured wraps. Comorians rarely see visitors so it is easy to meet and talk and they are genuinely keen to welcome you to their islands as we walk through the ancient medina. We will then drive to the village of Iconi, the oldest settlement on Grand Comore and its former capital. Iconi has a rich history of pirate attacks and there are certain plaques in the village commemorating various raids over the years; whilst here we will also visit the 16th century Sultan's Palace. Our final stop of the day is to the spice plantation at Kafouni to learn about the range of herbs and spices grown in the south of the Island.

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin de la Paix(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 3 - Boat trip to island of Moheli; trip to Lake Boundouni

Today we leave Grand Comore and board a boat to Moheli, the smallest but reputed to have the most natural beauty of the three islands. Here we find rainforest, lakes, rugged coastlines with quiet beaches and a large underwater national park. Upon arrival, we will make our way east to Itsamia, close to Lake Boundouni, a bird watcher's paradise that we will explore on foot. Itsamia is on a beach, along a stretch of coast line that is well known for nesting turtles, which are protected here. There is a turtle protection organisation here that we will visit and hopefully see some turtles this evening. For the three nights on Moheli we will be staying in a hotel in Fomboni.

Accommodation: Le Relais de Singani Hotel(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 4 - Full day tour of the Moheli underwater Marine Park

We will journey over to the south of Moheli this morning and board a boat to spend the day exploring the protected marine park. A stunning area surrounding five islets which rise out of the clear turquoise water. On our trip today we will hope to spot whales, dolphins and the mysterious dugong, a large mammal which is related to the manatee. There will also be opportunities to snorkel and see the array of multi coloured fish found here, as well as enjoying the coral reefs. We will be able to wander around some of the small islets where we can eat our picnic lunch. As there are no rubbish facilities on the islands we will take away everything that we have brought with us.

Accommodation: Le Relais de Singani Hotel(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5 - Free day to take a coastal walk or visit the Arab town of Fomboni

Today is a free day to either relax or take one of the optional activities available. From the small village of Oullah, there is a three hour guided walk through the forest to see the roosting sites of the livingstone bat, the largest bat in the world. The walk is steep and slippery at times but is a fantastic experience to venture deep into the forest. Another option today is a full day walk to the coastal village of Miringoni. The walk is around 3 hours each way and follows the beautiful coastline one way and then it is possible to return via the thick vegetation of the forest.

Accommodation: Le Relais de Singani Hotel(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 6 - Boat journey across to the scenic island of Anjouan

We board a boat and take a couple of hours as we cruise over to the island of Anjouan. If Moheli has the most natural beauty, then Anjouan can probably claim the title for most idyllic. It is a quintessential tropical island, with empty beaches lined with palm trees and plantations filled with bananas and perfumed spices. We will stay in the south of the island in a small village named Moya, which sits on a beautiful beach with tranquil waters protected by a barrier reef. Depending on our arrival time we may have time to take a walk around the surrounding areas or just have a dip in the sea and relax on the beach.

Accommodation: Moya Bungalows(or similar)

Standard Bungalow
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 7 - Guided walk through rainforest to crater lakes and back to the coast

Today we plan on walking in the highlands of Anjouan to discover the rainforest and crater lakes on the slopes of Mt Ntingui. The highlands are the coolest part of the island so are perfect for walking and offer spectacular views of Lake Dzialandze and Lake Dzialaoutsounga, the two crater lakes, ringed with trees that we will explore today. Including lunch the walk will take around 6-7 hours. Those not wanting to go on the walk can swim in the sea, enjoy one of the many beaches in the area or take a shorter local walking trail. Moya is also well known in the area for its enormous lobster, cooked with vanilla or coconut sauce, a local specialty and definitely recommended. There are also many small restaurants in the area will fry up freshly caught fish on demand.

Accommodation: Moya Bungalows(or similar)

Standard Bungalow
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 8 - Visit ancient settlement of Sima and explore citadels of Mutsamudu

Driving to the east of Anjouan, we come across Sima, possibly the oldest settlement in the archipelago; it has a 15th century mosque that was built on top of an 11th century mosque which is still standing today. After wandering through the village and admiring the mosque we head to the deserted Sombe Beach for a quick swim and to eat our picnic lunch. We drive north and enter Mutsamudu, the capital of the island where we will take a short tour of the medina and citadel, originally built by the British to guard against pirates. As we stroll through the medina we will see the covered bridges, built to allow high born Swahili women to visit friends without having to dress conservatively. After a couple of hours in the relative hustle and bustle we make our way back to our seaside paradise in the south of the island.

Accommodation: Moya Bungalows(or similar)

Standard Bungalow
Meals Provided: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 9 - Ferry ride back to Grand Comore

We leave Anjouan today and take a ferry back to Grand Comore. This is a scheduled ferry, giving us the opportunity to talk with locals making the same crossing who will no doubt be intrigued by having us on board. In all of the Comoros, life moves slowly and times are not strictly adhered to, so we know that the trip will take around 3 hours, however we cannot be sure at what time we will leave! So today's plan is flexible with regards to activities, but we will be staying in Moroni for the last two days of the trip. Today there should be time to eat a Comoron curry, made with coconut milk and lots of fragrant spices served on a bed of cassava, normally followed by fresh tropical fruit such as mangoes or lychee for dessert.

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin de la Paix(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Day 10 - Discover volcanos, salt lakes, Dragon Rock, lemurs and fishing villages

Today we have a full day exploration of Grand Comore, starting off in the foothills of Mt Karthala, one of the largest active volcanos in the world. We will take a short walk on the slopes and then continue north to a panorama of La Grille's 7 volcanic cones. We head to the east coast and wander through unspoilt and little visited fishing villages and have lunch in a local restaurant. Our next stop is Dragon Rock, a series of rock formations, easy to walk up which offer stunning views of Turtle island across the bay. Our final visit of the day is to a salt lake, legend has it that a sorcerer created the lake(by flooding a village) after being refused a drink by the villagers; so it is now customary to be offered a coconut to drink if a villager sees you at the lake!

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin de la Paix(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 11 - Trip ends in Moroni

Trip ends today after breakfast in Moroni.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

2018 Departures Coming Soon

We've got brand new 2018 departures coming soon. To ensure you hear about them first, sign up below and we will email you when they go live.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 9
  • Lunch: 2
Transport
  • Bus
  • Ferry
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Local Guide(s)
Accommodation
  • 3 nights standard bungalow
  • 7 nights standard hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Budgeting and packing

Clothing

Comoros is a muslim country so dress should be appropriate. Women ar expected to cover their legs and shoulders when away from the beach, a headscarf is optional. Clothing should be lightweight and you will need a swimming costume.

Footwear

Lightweight walking bootshoes are useful for exploring the islands. Sandals for relaxing and beachwear.

Luggage

15Kg

Luggage: On tour

One main bag - either a holdall, soft bag or suitcase, plus a daypack.

Equipment

Take a small torch, water bottle, sunglasses, sunhat, suncream, insect repellent, binoculars if planning to birdwatch and a beach towel. Bring a lightweight rainjacket just in case.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tour Leader: At your discretion you might consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Ferry

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Most nationalities require a visa to enter the Comoros. Visas are issued on arrival and cost 30 Euros.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option

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