Safety and security

Crime

Crime levels are low, but you should take sensible precautions against pick-pocketing and mugging. Avoid walking alone at night on beaches or in town centres. Safeguard valuables and cash. Use hotel safes, where possible. Keep copies of important documents, including your passport, in a separate place. Although uncommon, sexual assaults have occurred.

Local travel

Facilities on Anjouan are basic. Visitors to the island usually stay in Mutsamudu. Mohéli has few facilities for tourists. On Grande Comore (also known as Ngadijza) there are a few hotels of an acceptable standard in or near the capital Moroni.

Road travel

On Grande Comore, the main round-island road is of a reasonable standard, but some other roads are in a poor condition.

You may use either a UK Driving Licence or an International Driving Permit for up to three months. Consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (telephone: + 269 744 100 or email: mirexcab@yahoo.fr if an extension is required.

Air travel

The European Commission has banned all Air Service Comores flights, except one aircraft (type LET 410 UVP, with the registration D6-CAM), from operating within the EU due to safety concerns. FCO staff and their dependants have been advised to avoid flying on all Air Service Comores aircraft subject to the EU ban.

Air Madagascar operates flights from Madagascar to Comoros. Air Madagascar has been removed from the list of airlines banned from operating within the European Union. However, staff at the British Embassy in Madagascar are advised to use an alternative to Air Madagascar if a safer mode of transport is available.

A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

Sea travel

You can travel between the three islands by boat. Take care at all times when travelling by boat and avoid travelling on vessels that are clearly overloaded, in poor condition or without life jackets. Overloaded ferries have capsized in Comorian waters, sometimes with significant loss of life.

Recent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden highlight that the threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains significant. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue. The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom. For more information and advice, see our Piracy and armed robbery at sea page.

Political situation

President Azali was reinaugurated on 26 May 2019.

Some violent incidents occurred during the election period in March 2019. Political demonstrations and other protests may still occur. You’re advised to avoid crowds and demonstrations throughout Comoros and to obey local security instructions.

As a result of its colonial history and the ongoing political debate regarding the separate status of Mayotte, there are regular reports of demonstrations and there is anti-French sentiment throughout Comoros. Remain vigilant, maintain a low profile while moving around and avoid any crowds or political gatherings. Monitor local media to keep up to date with local developments. Avoid taking pictures of official buildings.