East Africa

Comoros Travel Overview

GENERAL

Official name of the state

Islamic Federal Republic of Comoros.

Capital

Moroni.

Geography

According to a2zgov, the Comoros archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean, northwest of Madagascar. It consists of four main islands of volcanic origin surrounded by coral reefs: Njazidja (Grande Comore), Nzwani (Anjouan) and Mwali (Moheli). Mahore (Mayotte), which is under French administration, is claimed by the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros.

Government

Islamic Federal Republic since 1982. New constitution from 2001. Unicameral parliament with 43 members; Legislative period: 6 years. The government formed by the RND party was overthrown after the military coup in April 1999 and parliament was dissolved. Independent since 1975 (former French colony).

Head of state

Azali Assoumani, since May 2016.

Head of government

Azali Assoumani, since May 2016.
Electricity

220 V, 50 Hz.

Time zone

Eastern Africa Time: CET +4

TRAVEL WARNING

Country-specific safety information

Piracy on the high seas

There is still a risk of pirate attacks and capture off the coasts of Somalia and its neighboring countries as well as in the adjacent waters. Ships deep in the Indian Ocean (around the Seychelles and Madagascar) and off Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Yemen and Oman are also at risk of being attacked and hijacked. Skippers in the aforementioned areas are strongly advised to exercise the utmost caution.

Despite international efforts to curb piracy, the number of pirate attacks remains high; effective protection cannot be guaranteed. Skippers in the endangered waters are strongly advised to register with the Maritime Security Center at external link, opens in new window www.mschoa.org.

The domestic political situation in the Comoros is currently fragile.

Poverty-related crime must be expected in the Comoros anytime and anywhere.

Comoros Travel Overview

Currency

1 Comorian franc * = 100 centimes. Currency abbreviation: KMF (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation to the denomination of 10,000, 5000, 2500, 1000, 500, 100 and 50 KMF. Coins worth 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 KMF. Centimes are not in circulation.

[*] The Comoros Franc is part of the French currency area and is issued by its own central bank. The Comoros franc is pegged to the euro. The euro is legal tender alongside the Comorian franc. CFA Francs are also legal tender.

Credit cards

Accepted in most hotels, restaurants and by international car rental companies (especially Visa). Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.
ATMs

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Some ATMs exist mainly in the capital Moroni, but they are not always functional.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Mon-Thu 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.-11 a.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of local and foreign currencies is unlimited.

Currency Exchange

The exchange of foreign currencies is possible at banks in the cities on Grande Comore. Exchange options are very limited on the other islands. Some hotels offer exchange at lower rates than the banks. It is advisable to take euros with you in cash.

LANGUAGE

Overview

The official languages are Arabic and French. Comorian, a language related to Swahili, as well as some Bantu languages are also spoken.

 

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING

Overview

The following articles can be imported into the Comoros duty-free (people over 18 years):

400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco;
1 bottle of alcoholic beverages;
1 bottle of perfume.

Import restrictions

Plants and potting soil only with import permit from the Service de l’Agriculture of the Comoros and a phytosanitary certificate.

COMMUNICATION

Phone

International direct dialing.

Cellphone

GSM 900. The main network operator is HURI, a subsidiary of the Société Nationale des Postes et Télécommunications (SNPT). The reception / transmission area covers almost the whole country.

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes at least a week to travel. Post offices are open Mon-Thu from 7.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., Fri from 7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and Sat from 7.30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Radio

Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.

SHOP

Overview

Gold, pearl and shell jewelry, woven fabrics, embroidered caps (koffia) and slippers, carved chests, wooden reliefs, portes-cran (lecterns) as well as pottery and wickerwork. Shop opening times: i. A. Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

CULINARY

CULTURE

Religion

Islam is the state religion (98% Muslim); Catholic minority (2%).

Social rules of conduct

Religious customs should be respected, especially during Ramadan (more information in the Islam chapter in the appendix.) Clothing should be reserved. Tip: 10% is common.

CLIMATE

Best travel time

Very warm tropical climate. Hot and very humid on the coasts; frequent rainfall and seasonal cyclones (January to April). In the higher elevations it is cooler, especially at night, with a lot of rainfall. Rainy season from November to April.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +269 Area (sqkm) 2235 Population 780971 Population density (per sqkm) 349 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 17