The Comoros is a developing island nation located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. Facilities for tourism are limited, and telecommunication links are extremely unreliable.
A passport and onward/return ticket are required. A three-week entry visa, which may be extended, may be obtained upon arrival at the airport. Travelers should obtain the latest details from the Mission of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, 420 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022; telephone number (212) 972-8010, fax (212) 983-4712. Overseas inquiries may be made at the nearest Comorian or Senegalese Embassy or Consulate.
Access to Anjouan, Comoros’ second largest island, which declared itself independent in 1997, requires prior permission from authorities in Anjouan.
The Comoros Islands have experienced frequent strikes and civil unrest, resulting in violent clashes between police and demonstrators. Although foreign residents and visitors have not been targeted, the potential for further outbreaks of civil disorder remains high.
Anjouan, the second largest island in Comoros, declared itself independent in 1997. There has been fighting between various armed groups since December 1998. U.S. citizens are urged to defer non-essential travel to Anjouan, while U.S. residents are urged to review their own personal safety in determining whether to remain on the island.
In April 1999, there was a coup d’etat on Grand Comore following a week of violent protests against Anjouanais residents there. Although the situation on Grand Comore has calmed, the potential for further outbreaks of violence exists.
U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
Petty crime is common. Pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and various types of scams are the most common forms of crime confronting U.S. travelers in crowded market areas, beaches and parks.
Medical facilities in Comoros are poor. Travelers should bring their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States.
Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor, or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Travelers to Comoros are strongly urged to consider supplemental medical/travelers’ insurance as these policies are inexpensive when compared to the costs of a medical evacuation.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Comoros is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Roads are generally adequate, but are narrow and poorly lit at night. Travelers should exercise extreme caution when driving after dark. Taxis or a rental car and driver are preferable to public transportation.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the laws of Comoros, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Comoros are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines
The United States has no embassy in Comoros, but has a liaison representative in Moroni, who can be contacted at Quartier Oasis, P.O. Box 720, Moroni, telephone number (269) 73-00-11, fax (269) 73-00-12. U.S. citizens in Comoros are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius. Registration information and forms may be collected at the liaison office in Moroni and forwarded to the U.S. Embassy, consular section, Rogers House, fourth floor, John F. Kennedy Street, Port Louis, Mauritius; telephone numbers (230) 208-9764 through 208-2347; fax (230) 208-9534. The Embassy homepage is located at http://usis.intnet.mu; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.