Moroni, capital city of Comoros
Moroni makes visitors feel like they are in an entirely different world. A romanticised Arabia where the air is heavy, the capital of Comoros is filled with white-robed men, women in colorful wraps and narrow streets lined with traditional cafes and shops. Although there are few traditional tourist attractions, the city's beauty more than makes up for the lack.
The Volo Volo market is worth a visit for handicrafts and souvenirs. There, visitors can shop for locally grown spices, products made from coconuts or handmade tools from local artisans and craftsmen.
The most interesting district in Moroni to explore is the Medina section, near the Friday Mosque and the port. The winding alleys snake through ancient buildings, and the neighborhood is cooler than other parts of the city because the closeness of the buildings gives shade.
The capital is a good jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the island. Not far from the city is the Karthala volcano, one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. When the volcano is calm, visitors are welcome to trek to the peak, but the two-day climb is difficult.
One of the island's oldest settlements, Iconi, is just a short taxi drive south of the capital. Visitors can explore the volcanic crater, shop in the bustling town center and look out over the sea from incredible cliffs. The nearby village of Mbachile is also worth visiting for its coastal beauty.
The southern coast of the island is home to Coelacanth Marine Park, known for its steep underwater cliffs. An education and conservation center is underway to teach visitors about the region's rich marine life.
There are a few restaurants within the capital that serve international cuisine, but do not leave Comoros without sampling at least a few traditional dishes. Seafood is in abundance because of the island's location in the Indian Ocean, and fresh fruits are used in many dishes. The major fruits included in the cuisine include pineapple, banana, paw paw and avocado. Spices like saffron, cardamom, coriander, cloves and cinnamon are also common ingredients, adding flavor and color to many traditional meals. A typical dinner or lunch almost always includes rice and meat, but Indian-influenced foods like curries, lentil soups and chapattis are also popular.
Visiting Comoros during traditional festivals and celebrations is always a treat. The people of Moroni celebrate major Islamic holidays, like the New Year in February and Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan. There is always a big festival to celebrate Independence Day on July 6. Locals honor the past and celebrate their culture through feasts, music performances and traditional dances.
The best time to visit Moroni is during the cool season from April until November. During the hot and humid season, cyclones occur regularly and rainfall is heavy. January is the wettest month of the year, and rainfall averages between 27 and 35 centimeters. During the wet season, the average temperature in Moroni is between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius but drops to about 19 degrees Celsius from May to October. Visit in August, September or October to catch the best weather on the island.
Moroni Geographical Location
Moroni is located on the western coast of Grande Comore, the largest of the Comoros islands.
The population of Moroni is 60,500 and is the largest city in Comoro.
Arabic and French are the official languages of Comoro with Comorian, a blend of Swahili and Arabic, being the most popular throughout the islands.
Moroni Predominant Religion
- 98% Sunni Muslim
- 2% Roman Catholic
The official religion of Comoro is Islam while the constitution, updated in 2001, provides freedom of religion.
The Comorian Franc is the official currency of Comoro.
Moroni experiences hot temperatures and heavy precipitation throughout the year. It does become slightly cooler between June and October with less rainfall.
Moroni Main Attractions
- Venredi Mosque
- National Museum of Comoros (CNDRS Museum)
- Moroni Beach
Other Attraction in Moroni
- Arab Quarter
- Mount Karthala
- Central Marketplace
- Itsandra Beach