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Comoros Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Union of the Comoros
Capital City: Moroni
Language Spoken: Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)

Comoros Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

12 10 S, 44 15 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards

cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano

Natural resources

NEGL

Land use

arable land: 35.87% permanent crops: 23.32% other: 40.81% (2005)

Environmental current issues

soil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation

Climate

The climate is tropical and very warm. Coastal areas are hot and very humid, interspaced with rains and seasonal cyclones (January to April). The upland areas are cooler, particularly at night, and have higher rainfall. The rainy season is from November to April. Required clothing Lightweight cottons and linens with waterproofing during the rainy season. Warmer garments and rainwear are needed for the mountains.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+3

Population

690,948 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.7% (male 148,009/female 147,038) 15-64 years: 54.3% (male 185,107/female 190,139) 65 years and over: 3% (male 9,672/female 10,983) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 18.6 years male: 18.4 years female: 18.9 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.87% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

36.93 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.33 years male: 60 years female: 64.72 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.03 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Lightweight suits or shirt and tie normally worn for business meetings. French is the language of business and daily life in Comoros, although some Arabic and Swahili are spoken. English is seldom spoken. Office hours are generally 0730-1430 Monday to Thursday; 0730-1100 Friday; 0730-1200 Saturday.

Crime

Petty crime is a problem on all of the islands of Comoros, but violent crimes are rare. Visitors should carry only the cash and credit cards they need in a given day to protect themselves from pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Valuables should be stored in a hotel safety deposit box if available.

Hotels

The resorts of Le Galawa and Itsandra Sun, both on Grande Comore Island provide adequate accommodations, however, there are only a few South African-operated hotels, located mostly in Moroni, which handle the needs of traveling business people, government officials and other visitors. Hotel managers sometimes ask visitors to share rooms but this is not advised.

Communications

Outgoing international calls must be made through the international operator and the country code is 269. Fax and telex services are offered at some resorts. Mail to Western Europe takes at least a week and mail elsewhere may take much longer.

Electricity

is a 220 Volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity shortages occur.

Plug Types

C,E

Food And Dining

Restaurants serve good food with spiced sauces and rice-based dishes. Things to know: There may be restrictions on drink within Muslim circles.

National specialties:
? Cassava.
? Plantain.
? Couscous.
? Barbecued goat meat.
? Seafood.
? Tropical fruits. Tipping : Normally 10 per cent.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months required by all.

Visas

Required by all except those continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft without leaving the airport and holding documents certifying onward/return travel.

Types of visa and cost

Ordinary: Euro ?10.

Validity

Two weeks .

Application to

Visas are issued on arrival in Comoros or by some of their diplomatic representations, such as Antananarivo, Cairo, Paris and London for ?10.

Application requirements

(a) Application form (provided at airport). (b) Valid passport with at least three months' remaining validity. (c) Two passport-sized photos for visas issued outside the country. (d) Fee (payable in Comoros Francs, Euros or US Dollars only). (e) Return/onward tickets.
Note: Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require evidence of parental responsibility before allowing them to enter the country. For further information, contact the Comorian Embassy in Paris (see Passport/Visa Information).

HIV entry requirements

Test required for anyone applying for a work permit

Departure tax

None

Embassies

Abdulsamad Abdulrahim, Consular General

25 Lander Grove, Manchester, M9 6LN
Tel: 0778 724 0858
E-mail: [email protected]
Facebook: Comoros Consulate Manchester
Twitter:@CosmorosConsulat

Honorary Consulate of the Comoros in the UK

Flat 6, 24-26 Avenue Road, London NW8 6DU, UK
Tel: (020) 7722 1146.
E-mail: [email protected]

Permanent Mission of the Comoros to the United Nations

866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 418, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: (212) 750 1637.
Website: www.un.int/comoros


Most visits to the Comoro Islands are trouble-free but travellers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
The Comoro Islands are generally crime-free, but travellers are advised not to walk around town centres unaccompanied at night and to take sensible precautions against pick pocketing and mugging. Travellers should keep a copy of their passport with them, and if possible keep the original in a safe place (such as a hotel safe or deposit box).
The Union of the Comoros is predominantly Muslim, and it is important for visitors to respect the customs associated with Islam. Whilst Comorians are tolerant towards other cultures (for example, alcohol is not banned and is available in hotels and restaurants), they expect moderate behaviour from non-Muslim visitors, such as non-consumption of alcohol in public places, and modest dress in public. Homosexuality is not illegal in Comoros. Sex with minors is. Anyone found guilty of drug smuggling or possession will be imprisoned for four to five years. On release, the person will be fined (in proportion to the quantity of drugs seized) and then deported.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

Comoros Franc (KMF) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of KMF10,000, 5000, 2500, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of KMF20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 20 centimes. The Comoros Franc is part of the French Monetary Area and Euros are also commonly used. The Comoros Franc is tied to the Euro.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import and export of either local or foreign currency.

Banking hours

Mon-Thurs 0730-1300; Fri 0730-1100.

Currency exchange

Foreign currency may be exchanged in banks in the towns. Banque Nationale des Comores is the only established bank on Grande Comore. Banking facilities are very limited on the other islands.

Credit cards

There is limited acceptance of most international credit cards (mainly in upmarket hotels), but check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. Some hotels and restaurants will accept foreign currencies, mostly Euros and US dollars. Change may be given in local currency.

Travellers cheques

The Banque Internationale des Comores (BIC) is the only bank that will change travelers cheques. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers cheques in Euros.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Anjouan Island71+ 4 digits
Grande Comore Island7+ 5 digits
Moheli Island72+ 4 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

 

Medication Availability

Medication in short supply and even when available is often out of date or heat damaged and therefore should be avoided Medication Availability

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Comoros

Medical facilities

Medical facilities in Comoros are poor. Travelers should bring their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Dengue fever - occurs Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Malaria - prevalent Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - prevalent Relapsing fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Guinea-worm infection - occurs Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

None

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
H?pital El MaaroufMagoudjou BP 17 Moroni

Media

Press: There is no single national newspaper. Although several private newspapers criticize the Government, self-censorship is reportedly common. The main (weekly) papers are Al Watwan (state-owned) published on Grand Comore, Kuesi published on the French island of Mayotte and La Gazette des Comores (independent). L'Archipel (independent) is published monthly. There are no English-language newspapers. Radio/
TV: There is a national radio station, Radio Comoros, and a national TV service. RFO Mayotte, run by French public radio and TV, broadcasts French and locally-produced radio and TV programs from the French island of Mayotte and can be received in parts of the archipelago. Other radio stations include: Radio Dziyalandze Mutsamudu (RDM), an FM station on Anjouan, which relays Radio France Internationale and Radio Ngazidja, the official station on Grand Comore. Local radio and TV stations operate without overt Government interference.

 

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