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The Comoros Islands Have a Colourful History

Aug 18, 2007
The Comoros islands are wrapped in a fragrant blend of oil, Arabic aesthetics, African warmth and French chic. Not only this, but they have a colourful history of sultans and soothsayers, plantation owners and eloping princesses.

Comore is studded with grassy plains, the remnants of a rainforest, and Mt Karthala, an active volcano still belching and burping away. Palm trees, beaches of black lava or white sand, and young coral reefs fringe its shores.

The west coast of the island is lined with resorts where suites and casinos, ambient bars and French restaurants are the go. The coastline on the east side of Comore is wilder and more untamed than on the west. A camping trip round the east coast is always a good idea.

In the northeast corner the first beach is Bouni It is now a sleepy village with two stunning beaches.

Down the coast is Chomoni. This sheltered bay has an unusual mix of chequered black lava and white sandy beaches, and bungalows with basic facilities for hire, which is probably the best accommodation option.

The southeast corner is the town of Foumbouni, the third largest community on Comore. The sands are whiter and brighter than anything youll find and is one of Comores best kept secrets. Few tourists come here and the locals are still a little bamboozled at the sight of foreigners.

Mayotte remains a French territory. Although Mahorais seem quite happy to enjoy the financial and political advantages being French affords, Mayotte is not just a petite French, its petite, petite, and if you scratch the surface of a Mahorais youll find more Comoran than French underneath.

Mayotte consists of three islands the largest, with the capital city of Mamoudzou, is Grande Terre Pamandzi, or Petit Terre, is far smaller than the big island. The smallest, the rock of Dzaoudzi, is little more than a poor mans Rock of Gibraltar connected to Petit Terre by a highway.

It is the oldest of the islands and is therefore ringed with coral reefs, Mayotte is a popular place for fishing, diving and boating. In fact any activity with water as the main ingredient will be available on Mayotte. Thats the good news. The bad news is that its an expensive getaway destination with everything, apart from public transport, bound to make your wallet that much lighter. Visitors dont even have the downmarket option of camping, as it has been virtually outlawed.

Friday worship takes place in the magnificent new Friday mosque next to the port. In between prayers, the steps outside the mosque serve as a meeting place for the towns men folk, many dressed in the traditional long white robe. To see the interior, you have to be male, appropriately dressed in long trousers and have washed your feet beforehand.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Comoros Islands Rental Site
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