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Comoros - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Union of the Comoros. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to limited medical facilities and emergency or roadside assistance, as well as unsafe public transportation.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Although infrequent, petty crime such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft from unlocked cars occurs. Exercise caution in crowded outdoor markets, parks and beaches. Ensure that personal belongings and your passport and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid walking alone at night.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Roads are narrow and poorly lit. Most urban roads are paved, but many rural roads are not. Exercise extreme caution when driving at night. Emergency and roadside assistance is non-existent. In the event of an accident, you should proceed to the nearest police station.
Taxis and car rentals are available and preferable to public transportation.
It is possible to travel between the islands by boat. You should avoid boats that are in poor condition or overcrowded, as there have been incidents of boats capsizing.
Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited. Telecommunications are unreliable. Water shortages and power cuts occur.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Comorian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Mission of the Union of Comoros, based in New York for up-to-date information.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Comoros, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
- Tourist visa: Required (available on or after arrival)
- Business visa: Required (available on or after arrival)
- Student visa: Required (available on or after arrival)
Canadians must obtain a visa to visit the Comoros. You may obtain a 45-day tourist visa on arrival at the Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport in Moroni or at other points of entry. Consult the Permanent Mission of the Union of the Comoros to the United Nations’ passport and visa page for more information. If required, your visa may be extended in Moroni.
Additional entry requirements
Canadians must present an onward or return ticket at the point of entry.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are basic on Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli islands. Medical supplies and prescription medication are limited and the frequent interruption of electricity and water supplies can affect hospitals.
Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Always carry photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s licence, as local authorities can ask you to prove your identity.
There are strict penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs. Convicted offenders can expect a mandatory minimum five-year jail sentence, heavy fines and deportation.
It is illegal to be inebriated in public. Convicted offenders are subject to fines and possible imprisonment.
Photography of military installations, government buildings, public installations (such as ports and train stations) and monuments is illegal and may result in a penalty, including detention and arrest. Authorities could also confiscate your photographic equipment. Do not take photos of Comorans without permission.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Comoros. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Comoran citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Comoran passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Dress and behaviour
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2017, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 27.
Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Shorts and revealing clothing should not be worn.
An International Driving Permit is required.
The use of a seatbelt is mandatory for drivers and passengers in the front seat.
The laws of the Comoros prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
Convicted offenders can face up to five years imprisonment and heavy fines.
LGBT travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to the Comoros. See Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travel for more information.
The currency is the Comoran franc (KMF).
The economy is mostly cash-based; however, automated banking machines are not widely available. Banking facilities are minimal, with only one established bank on Grande Comore. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The Comoros archipelago is in an active seismic and volcanic zone.
Cyclones and northeastern monsoons can occur during the hot and humid season, which generally lasts from November to April.
Monitor local news for information on regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 17
- medical assistance: 269 772 03 73
- firefighters: 18
There is no Canadian government office in the Comoros. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Dar Es Salaam - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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