Introduction: Comoros is one of the poorest countries in the world and has no tourism due to its political situation in the past years. I arrived in Moroni International Airport with low expectations, but after my visit, I can honestly say, everything exceeded my expectations. Fantastic people and incredible beaches. It started with the smooth immigration process, then hitchhiking easily to my hotel. Exploring the main island called Grand Comoro by hitchhiking was amazing. The locals don’t speak English and will laugh at you for not speaking French. They are honest people, not asking for money or anything like in most poor countries.
(Picture: Beach at Itsandra Beach Hotel)
Also, not once did anyone ask me for money. One of the drivers offered me money to a taxi, but I refused and explained I just like hitchhiking. It seems that people are happy despite having little or nothing, and that is interesting to experience. If you are looking for an unspoiled paradise with no tourists, Comoros is one of the few places left on the planet.
1. Visa: Bring Euros for your visa. A 45-day visa cost 30 Euros or 50 Dollars on arrival. 30 Euros are only 38 Dollars so you can save 12 by bringing Euros. The visa took less than five minutes and filled a whole page. No passport photos needed.
2. Hitchhike! – Hitchhiking in Comoros is easy, and the locals are very friendly. Cost of living in Comoros is very low and if you don’t get a ride you can always take a shared taxi. Depending on your distance, it will cost you between 500 to 1,500 local (50 cents and 1,50 euros). Remember to change money as Euro coins are not accepted.
3. Hotel: The best place to stay in Comoros is by far Itsandra Beach Resort. It’s small and has a fantastic little beach. The hotel is a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts and its of surprisingly good quality.
4. Sightseeing: Try to avoid the capital of Moroni. There is not much to see besides local markets and a few buildings. It is dusty and hectic on the main street, and you might just run away to get out of there like I did. The main attraction is the nature, beaches and an active volcano. I didn’t visit the volcano as it takes a whole day, and you need a
guide that Wikitravel has reported to be 100 Euros. I hitchhiked all the way to the north of Grand Comoro where some of the country’s best beaches can be found.
5. Don’t be afraid to take photographs! In many other 3rd world countries, people get upset if I take a photo of a building or a beach, but in Comoros the locals found it cool. The first times I always asked if it was OK and always “Oui oui” with a smile.
6. Ticket: My flight was sponsored, but I talked to locals that managed to get a much cheaper plane ticket with travel agencies in Kenya.