Moroni is the capital and largest city of the Comoros with around 75,000 people living in this city which has been the capital of the country since 1962. The city is located on the western coast of Grande Comore island (the most northern island of the country) and forms the administrative, cultural and economic heart of the country and functions as a major port with connections to neighbouring islands as well. Although there are some places to stay and eat in the city, there really is not much for visitors to spend more time here.
Both New Year’s Days (January 1st and the Islamic New Year) are celebrated with much gusto in the Comoros. The Islamic New Year is of particular interest as it is marked by a wide range of activities that embrace the local culture and traditions, including religious rituals.
Comorian independence is celebrated every July 6 to commemorate the nation’s freedom from colonialism. Like other events on the islands, the festivities are marked with good food, cultural presentations and merriment.
Eid al-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice is a celebration of Abraham’s willingness to give up his son (Ishmael) in obedience to God. It is an annual Islamic holiday observed by Muslims around the world and Comoros is no exception.
This feast marks the conclusion of the month-long fast (Ramadan) and is celebrated with all kinds of rituals, prayers, gifts, and lots of ceremonial food.
Christmas Day is observed by the Roman Catholic minority living in the Comoros with festive gatherings of friends and families.
The climate of Moroni is tropical with hot and humid weather year round and a rainy season from November to May. Temperatures usually hoover around 30 °C during the day and still above 20 °C at night and a regular sea breezes is a welcome feature sometimes. Occasionally though this breeze turns into a hurricane in the December to February period, so avoid going here during these months.
Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport (HAH) near Moroni receives a number of international flights. International destinations include Comores Aviation flights to and from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Nosy Be in Madagascar. Yemenia flies to Sana'a and Dar es Salaam and Nairboi is served by Kenya Airways and Mombasa with African Express Airways.
There are three taxi-brousse stations in Moroni. The northern taxi-brousse station, near the new market in Volo Volo, serves the north and east. Vehicles here go to Itsandra (20 minutes), the airport at Hayahaya (30 minutes), Mitsamiouli (one hour), and as far as M’beni on the northeast coast. For destinations in central Grande Comore, mainly Chomoni (40 minutes), taxis-brousses leave from the Chalima terminal, which is hidden away in the labyrinthine old town. To southern destinations such as Foumboni, taxis-brousses leave from the southern taxi-brousse station at Place Cobadjou, near the New Friday Mosque.
There are no official passenger service to and from Comoros but there are quite a few options to travel on cargo ships. For example, it is possible to travel to and from Madagascar and the Comoros by boat. You will need a lot of time and patience but it's doable. You might even be able to you find a ride on a yacht as a crew member. It's a tough journey so be prepared and take seasickness pills with you. Mombasa (Kenya) and Zanzibar (Tanzania) are the main places to look for cargo boats to Madagascar or the Comoros if you are coming from eastern Africa. It’s also sometimes possible to find passage on a yacht heading from South Africa, Réunion or Mauritius and in extreme cases all the way from France to Mayotte or Madagascar. But that's only for the sea enthusiasts who want to avoid flying at all costs (or time).
See also International Telephone Calls
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