What to pack for the Comoros Islands
Packing for the Comoros Islands can be challenging but making sure you have some lightweight clothing, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellant in your suitcase is a great way to start. The Comoros Islands is pretty much like any other tropical destination you've been to - you know it's going to be hot; you know you're going to spend time in the water, and you know you're going to explore as much as you can. With this in mind, as long as you're packing breathable clothing and swimwear, lots of sun-protective items, and a reliable backpack, you can't really go wrong.
To make this a certainty, we've put together a list of clothing items, essential items, and nice-to-have items to ensure you're fully prepared.
1. Lightweight clothing
The Comoros Islands can get extremely warm, especially during the hot and humid season, so the more clothes you pack that are lightweight the better. This can include shorts, t-shirts, pants, and dresses that are made from materials such as linen and cotton. The last thing you want when it's 88°F(31°C) outside and you're sweating profusely is something that's going to stick to you.
Since you'll be walking around in lightweight clothing thanks to the high temperatures on the Comoros Islands, it makes sense that your feet would want a little freedom and air circulation too. Packing at least one pair of sandals is a must for those lazy days around the hotel pool or by the water where the hardest decision you'll have to make is what time you want to have dinner later.
3. Comfortable walking shoes
If you don't want to spend all your holiday time in the confines of your hotel (we highly suggest you don't), then you'll need a comfortable pair of walking shoes to protect your feet while you tackle the tropical wilderness on the islands. You might have noticed the emphasis on the 'comfortable' - it's a really good idea to break your shoes in (if they're new) before your trip starts to avoid getting blisters half an hour into a 5-hour round-trip walk.
4. Waterproof jacket
While the Comoros Islands are a tropical destination, that doesn't mean they're exempt from experiencing a light shower or two, even during the dry season. To make sure you're prepared for potentially unexpected weather patterns, it's a good idea to pack a waterproof jacket or other items of waterproof clothing, so that you can still go outside and explore the islands regardless of whether it's raining.
This one's a no-brainer. You simply can't travel to a bunch of islands surrounded by crystal clear water full of diverse reef systems and brightly colored tropical fish and not want to explore it. Better yet, don't just pack one bathing suit - pack a couple. The chances you'll be swimming every single day are high, especially when the weather's hot year-round.
6. A hat
Being sun smart in a destination like the Comoros Islands should be high on your priority list considering the UV Index can get to a high of 11+ during the hot and humid season. In order to protect your head from the sun's rays, pack a hat that fits snugly so that it doesn't fly off in a sudden gust of wind and one that fully covers your face and neck (not a cap) so that your neck doesn't get burnt.
7. Reusable drink bottle
While it's not recommended you drink the tap water on the Comoros Islands, there are still plenty of spots where you can fill up a reusable drink bottle with filtered water, so pack one. It's cheaper for you and better for the environment - a win/win situation.
Your risk of getting skin cancer increases as the UV index gets higher but if you put on sunscreen before you go outside then you don't have to worry about it. With that in mind, it's best to pack a couple of tubes of sunscreen with you to avoid running out and having to buy it at a local supermarket (which is easy to do albeit a little inconvenient).
9. Insect repellant
It's well known that if you're traveling to a tropical destination, you might come across a few flying or scuttling insects that'll instantly be attracted to you, especially during the humid season. Whether it's mosquitos in the middle of the night or unidentified bugs during the day, packing a good quality insect repellant and sufficiently spraying it on your body should be enough to keep them away.
10. Backpack/day bag
We can almost hear you ask, "but how am I going to keep all this stuff on me when I'm out and about"? and we're glad you asked that because the answer is very simple - pack a backpack or day bag. But not one that's going to take up a lot of room in your suitcase. All you need is a small to medium-sized bag that'll hold all the essentials without being too uncomfortable for you to carry for long periods of time if need be.
11. A camera
While not technically essential (iPhone cameras these days are so good you can hardly tell what's been taken on a proper camera and what hasn't), cameras are still well worth traveling with if you want to get a little more professional with your photos. After all, the landscapes and lush wilderness of the Comoros Islands deserve some superior setting options.
Snorkeling is a big thing in the Comoros Islands and that makes sense considering the beautiful and diverse reef systems that surround them and snorkeling is the best way to explore them fully. While there are plenty of places where you can rent a snorkel, if the thought of putting your mouth over something that other people have also put their mouths over (even if they've been properly cleaned in between) doesn't do it for you, packing your own snorkel is the best way to go.
13. Comorian/French guidebook
English is not readily spoken on the Comoros Islands outside of the capital city on Grande Comore and at other big hotels, so if you want to communicate easier with the locals then pack a Comorian/French guidebook and carry it around with you. This will go a long way in helping you show respect for Comorian culture but also ensure you don't end up in any situations you can't talk your way out of.
14. A torch
This one's more of a safety precaution as there are still some areas on the Comoros Islands that don't have adequate street lighting. If you plan on being out after dark and don't want to be held captive by your phone's battery charge, pack a small torch with you.
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