largest island of the Comoros

Grand Comore is the largest island in the East African island nation of Comoros, and location of the capital.

Fishing at Grande Comore
The old volcanic crater of Lac Salé


  • 1 Moroni - the capital

Other destinations




Get in


You can reach the island by plane at Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport (HAH IATA) near Moroni, from both international destinations and the other Comorian islands.

Freighters accepting passengers from Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam (in Tanzania), Mahajanga (in Madagascar) and the other Comorian islands also arrive to Moroni.

Speedboats to Moheli leave from Chindini on the southern coast.

Get around

Map of Grand Comore

By shared taxi


Shared taxis are nearly always available (except late at night and during a taxi strike) around Moroni. Rates start at CF200 per person (Comoros francs) for a ride within a town, and CF250 for nearby towns like Moroni to Iconi. Taxis between Hahaya (the airport) and Moroni cost no more than CF500 (~€1). Tourists have been asked for €20.

Taxis also run to nearly everywhere on the island, with varying frequency. Be careful when going to southern, northern, and eastern destinations (especially eastern) as taxis may stop running as early as 15:00. Everything slows down on Sundays and holidays, so taxis are less frequent.

By bus


Buses between Moroni and different villages in the island run only during the morning. There is no schedule as buses depart "when full", although there seem to be enough passengers to not make you wait long. For better luck, head to the station early in the morning when there is more activity.

Vehicles fit about 20 people, four per row, so expect an uncomfortable, squashed, and hot ride, though interesting. You may need to be assertive and dive in at your first chance if there are a lot of people waiting for the bus.

By car


If you wish to rent a car (self-driving), expect to pay around €40 for a small car and €50 for a 4WD per day, fuel not included. The big tour around the island can be done in one day, and the road is not too bad. The section between the airport and Mitsamiouli was being paved in October 2018.

Hitch-hiking is very easy and very safe on Grand Comore. Wave your hand rather than putting out a thumb. Locals do it frequently and you always meet friendly people. Of course, some people may try to charge you for the ride, so be sure you specify that you are seeking an "auto-stop".

  • 1 Karthala volcano. One of the largest and most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the possibility that water inside the volcano could be heated and explode resulting in the volcano exploding and rock raining down. Eruptions occurred in 2006 and 2007. When the volcano is calm it is a hiking destination, though supposedly a difficult two-day climb to the top.    
  • 2 Lac Salé. Also known as Lake Niamawi. A saltwater crater lake on the northern coast  
  • 1 Iconi. One of the oldest settlements on Grand Comore. A short taxi ride south of Moroni. Medina-style town center. Sea cliffs from which women leapt to their deaths in the early 19th century rather than being kidnapped by Malagasy pirates and sold into slavery. Parasitic volcanic crater.    
  • 2 Mbachile. A small village a 1/2-hour walk along the coast south of Iconi. Quiet beaches, pretty village    
  • 3 Itsandra. White sand beach and medina neighborhood. Restaurant on beach. A short taxi ride north of Moroni    
  • Coelocanth Marine Park. The second marine park in the Comoros is on the southern coast adjacent to coelocanth habitat (steep underwater cliffs).
  • East Coast. Difficult access (must be aware of when taxis stop running) with beautiful coastline close to Karthala volcano. Chomoni is a local tourism site with white sand beach and huts on the beach for picnics
  • Volo Volo market. The largest market on the island; you can buy food, clothing, electronics, and other goods there; it is located in the center of town near many other shops, a few pharmacies, restaurants, and the hospital where you can get malaria testing done for CF1000.
  • Nassib Bakery. 1/2 a block from Volo Volo and has delicious pain au chocolat, sandwiches, pizza, decent coffee, and porch seating where one can people-watch.
  • Medina section. Near the port and the Friday Mosque. It is composed of winding alleys between ancient buildings and provides a fascinating glimpse into local life. The closeness of the buildings also provides shade during the hot day.
  • Badjanani Mosque. One of the oldest mosques in the Comoros and is religiously important to Comorians for its age and largeness (the more people pray together in one place, the more powerful the prayer). It sits on the harbor adjacent to a boat-building yard, the medina, and freighters.
  • Club des Amis. A night club in Iconi, more relaxed and larger than Le Rose Noir.

Don't forget to hit the beach, being mindful of Comoros social decorum (see Respect under main Comoros page):

  • 1 Buuni Beach, east side of island.
  • 2 Ivoini Beach, northern tip of island.

Chez Babou restaurant, Oasis district, north of Volo Volo. Quality Indian food and ice cream.

Cafe de la Paix, Ambassadeur district, south of the hospital in Moroni. A large menu of Indian ocean cuisine. It is better to ask what is available than to order from the menu.

For local food in the day time, try any of the small restaurants around Volo Volo market or near the Friday mosque in Gobadjou district. The best time to eat in Moroni is after the sun goes down. small bungalows along the coast make meat kebabs (mshakiki) for CF50. Local custom is to order 10 at a time along with grilled bananas, cassava, or bread fruit.





A great hotel is Comoros Del Toro


  • CNAC (Itsandra)
  • Hotel des Iles de Paradis (near Volo Volo)
  • Pension Fatima (Moroni)


  • Hotel Moroni (Moroni)
  • Galwa Hotel (near Mitsamiouli on Grand Comore)

Stay safe


Go next





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