Comoros Travel Information
Local time is GMT +3.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are most common.
French, Arabic and Comorian are the official languages.
There is a risk of malaria throughout the year, and dengue fever outbreaks occur. Travellers should protect themselves against insect bites as far as possible and take a malaria prophylaxis. No vaccinations are required to visit Comoros but vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid are recommended. If you are spending a lot of time outdoors where you may be exposed to wild animals then a rabies vaccination might be worthwhile. Visitors should drink bottled or boiled water as a preventative measure. Medical facilities are limited and medications may not be available. Travellers are advised to bring their own personal medical kit, all required medications, and to take out comprehensive travel insurance.
Tips of 10 percent are appreciated for good service.
The islands are relatively crime-free, but visitors should be aware that muggers and pick-pockets will target those who look like they are carrying valuables. It is not advisable to walk around alone at night, particularly in the town centres. Cyclones occur between January and April, and Le Kartala volcano on Ngazidja is active and erupts periodically. It is advisable to check on the situation before visiting that part of the island. Foreign governments have, in the past, issued warnings relating to the unstable political situation and it is a good idea to check up on current travel alerts before travelling to Comoros. All political demonstrations and street protests should also be avoided.
The islands of the Comoros are largely Muslim and visitors should respect local traditions and sensitivities, especially during the month of Ramadan. Women in particular are advised to dress conservatively, covering shoulders and legs when away from the beach and their hotels.
The slow pace of island life is a typical aspect of doing business in the Comoros, where nothing happens too quickly or professionally (French Mayotte is more Western in its approach to punctuality and efficiency). Business dress is tidy but fairly casual, although, as it is an Islamic country, women are expected to dress conservatively. Women are traditionally subservient to men and do not generally hold key positions in business in the Comoros, so visiting businesswomen may find that they are not treated with the same respect as their male counterparts. Business is usually conducted in French, and sometimes in Arabic, but few people speak English. Business hours are generally 7:30am to 2:30pm Monday to Thursday (with some businesses staying open to 5:30pm), Fridays until 11am (Islamic holy day), and Saturdays from 7:30am until 12pm. During the holy month of Ramadan very little business is conducted.
The international dialling code for the Comoros is +269. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). Wifi is limited, but can be accessed at a few hotels, although the internet speed is quite slow. A local SIM card can be purchased to avoid paying high international roaming fees.
Passengers of 18 years and older can bring 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500g tobacco, one bottle of alcohol and one bottle of perfume without paying customs duty.
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