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Comoros Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time is GMT +3.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs and one with receptacle with male grounding pin, are in use.

Language

French and Arabic are the official languages. Comorian is the most widely spoken language however.

Travel Health

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. Cholera outbreaks occur in Comoros, but are a low risk to travellers. 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 and travel insurance should be comprehensive.

Tipping

Tips of 10 percent are appreciated for good service.

Safety Information

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 are possible 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 currently advise against travel to Anjouan due to the unstable political situation.

Local Customs

The islands 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.

Business

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). Dress is tidy, but fairly casual, and being an Islamic country, women are expected to dress conservatively. Women are traditionally subservient to men and do not hold key positions in business, so visiting businesswomen will 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 12pm and 3pm to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, and Fridays until 11am (Islamic holy day). During the holy month of Ramadan very little business is conducted.

Communications

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). International calls made within the country require operator assistance. There is limited cell phone coverage, but this is growing. The Societe Nationale des Telecommunications provides a GSM 900 network. Internet access is scarce. A few hotels provide Internet.

Duty Free

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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