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Overview

Scattered across a brilliant blue patch of ocean east of Mozambique, the Comoros islands are perhaps the most African of the Indian Ocean islands. In character, these isolated tropical isles are more like neighboring Madagascar than the indulgent resort islands of the Maldives or the Seychelles, but they share a similarly rich colonial history - the islands were French colonies until 1975, and Mayotte is still under French administration. On the four main islands (Grande Comore, Moheli, Anjouan and Mayotte), you’ll find everything you would expect from the Indian Ocean - whispering palms, idyllic beaches, coral reefs, jungles, volcanoes and ...

Scattered across a brilliant blue patch of ocean east of Mozambique, the Comoros islands are perhaps the most African of the Indian Ocean islands. In character, these isolated tropical isles are more like neighboring Madagascar than the indulgent resort islands of the Maldives or the Seychelles, but they share a similarly rich colonial history - the islands were French colonies until 1975, and Mayotte is still under French administration. On the four main islands (Grande Comore, Moheli, Anjouan and Mayotte), you’ll find everything you would expect from the Indian Ocean - whispering palms, idyllic beaches, coral reefs, jungles, volcanoes and spice plantations - but without the big resort razzmatazz of Mauritius or the Maldives. Add in a scattering of colonial relics and a vibrant Islamic culture and its easy to see the appeal. However, don’t expect too much in the way of tourist infrastructure - the islands are economically dependent on cocoa, vanilla and ylang-ylang, and development has been held back by the fragile political situation. Because of this, almost everyone visits on an organized tour.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to October, avoiding the rains and winter cyclones