Grande Comore

Overview

Introduction

On the western edge of the archipelago, Grande Comore (also sometimes called Ngazidja) is a fun destination with good beaches, excellent scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and a steaming volcano.

Moroni, the national capital and a pretty town, is a great place for walking—you can see it on foot in about an hour. Sights in Moroni include the market, an interesting museum of science and history, the old town (medina) and traditional shipbuilders at work in the port.

From Moroni, take either the northern or southern coastal drive. Both are scenic, passing vanilla and ylang-ylang plantations, beaches and barely recognizable ruins of old settlements.

Dominating Grande Comore is Mount Karthala, an active volcano. A round-trip hike to the mountaintop requires at least one full day, but trekkers are rewarded with a wonderful view.

At the northern end of the island, stop to see Lac Sale, a crater lake whose sulphurous waters are said to cure certain ailments. Local legend holds that the mosque in nearby Bangoi-kouni was built in a single night.

Two nights on Grande Comore should suffice, unless you want to spend more time on the nice beaches (we think the best ones are on the windswept eastern coast).

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