Comoros: Wildlife Expedition


Join the few lucky souls who have ever visited Comoros, a small archipelagic country off Africa’s east coast. On this 9-day wildlife expedition, split your time between two islands and encounter the many sea and land critters that call these islands home, including green sea turtles, Livingstone bats, humpback whales, lemurs, sharks, tropical fish, manta rays and more. Learn from local guides, wildlife experts and national park eco-guards who reveal insights into ongoing conservation efforts and how island communities and their visitors play a role in protecting these fragile ecosystems. Along the way, you’ll meet Comorians eager to share the vibrancy of these remote islands, leaving you to wonder why it took you so long to discover this hidden gem.

9 days, from

$3,217

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

4
Trip code: YCSO
Style: Original
Theme: Expedition

Details

Countries Visited:  Comoros
Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights), Basic Beach Bungalow (1 night), Lodge (4 nights)
Transportation: Private Vehicle , Boat , Plane
Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 7 lunches
  • 5 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12
Minimum Age: 15

  • Explore the Mwali UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, home to the second highest marine diversity in the world. Spot humpback whales and spinner dolphins; snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, parrot fish, manta rays, wrasses, fusiliers, reef sharks and maybe even dugongs.

  • Take a short a hiking experience in the subtropical tropical rain forest to observe one of the world’s largest bats, the critically endangered Livingstone flying fox.

  • Stay in community operated beachside bungalows in Itsamia, visit one of the largest Green turtle nesting sites of the world where Turtles nest year-round and learn from various local wildlife experts about ongoing conservation efforts.

  • Enjoy a seafood lunch served in a giant clam shell at Miki’s Place, cooked for you by Miki himself, a colourful local Rastafarian, in his lean-to “restaurant” under a baobab next to the sea.

  • Walk among homesteads, meeting villagers with beautiful welcoming smiles, and stroll through the surrounding gardens to see how local foods are produced.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Moroni

Karibu! Welcome to Comoros! On arrival at Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel, ready for your adventure to begin at 6pm with an important welcome meeting. Then perhaps enjoy dinner in the oasis of the hotel grounds and learn more about this fascinating country from your local leader.

A complimentary shared group transfer is included if you're arriving today.
Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel.

Day 2: Moheli

After breakfast, catch a short flight to the island of Moheli. In 2020, this island and its surrounding waters were designated by UNESCO as Mwali Biosphere Reserve in an effort to protect its rich diversity. You'll take a scenic drive to your beachfront accommodation, passing through tropical rainforests and alongside turquoise ocean views. Upon arrival, have lunch and head out on a village walk among homesteads and gardens, meeting villagers and learning about the history of the village and how local foods are made. This afternoon, visit a ylang-ylang farm and learn all about how essential oil is extracted from this tropical plant that forms the basis of Chanel No. 5 perfume and other famous fragrances.

Day 3: Moheli

This morning you'll take to the blue-green waters for some island hopping and snorkelling! These waters are part of the biosphere reserve and are home to the second highest marine diversity in the world. See the cliffs and frigatebirds of Magnougni Island before hopping off the boat on the uninhabited Ouenefou Island. Pop on your flippers and mask for some snorkelling across vibrant coral reefs among tropical fish and manta rays. Back at the lodge, the afternoon is yours to explore and soak up island life however you’d like. Wander the grounds to spot the many lemurs that often visit, or head for a swim in the lagoon often frequented by hawksbill turtles.
Early this evening sit down with a National Park Ranger and learn about the local biodiversity and ongoing conservation efforts.

Day 4: Moheli

Head back out on the water after breakfast today, this time in search of whales! Humpback whales migrate thousands of miles to the warm, shallow waters around Mohéli to give birth. If you’re lucky, you may spot some mothers with their new calves. Keep your eyes peeled for spinner and tropical spotted dolphins, too! Back at the lodge, enjoy lunch and spend the afternoon exploring or relaxing at your leisure. It’s often possible to closely observe Seychelles fruit bats, which can grow to up to 80 cm from wing to wing, within the lodge grounds.

Day 5: Moheli

Lace up and head into the subtropical rainforest on a fruit bat forest walk. Livingstone’s flying fox is one of the world’s largest bats, with a wingspan of up to 1.4 metres, but they’re a critically endangered species, found only on this island and neighbouring Anjouan Island. Follow a stream towards the mountains as your expert wildlife guide points out local medicinal trees, spices, coffee and fruit trees. After a short climb, you’ll be able to spot these giant bats sunning themselves in the trees and circling their roosts on the morning thermals. After lunch back at the lodge, the afternoon is yours to enjoy.

Day 6: Itsamia

Today you're off to the other side of Moheli to the village of Itsamia, a major sea turtle traffic hub! First up, learn about the village, its history, its turtles and how it all connects at a presentation by one of the national park’s eco-guards. Every year more than 20,000 green turtles nest on these beaches, making this stretch of sand one of the highest density nesting sites in the world. There are nesting turtles on this beach almost every night.

This afternoon, explore the village of Itsamia on a village walk and then hit the beach to spot turtle nests, where you might witness up to 100 baby turtles emerging from the sand and scurrying down to the water. After dinner, head back to the beach to try to catch a glimpse of momma turtles arriving back on the beach, lugging their 150-kg bodies up the sand in search of the perfect spot to nest and rest.

As for you, you’ll rest up in simple beachside bungalows built and operated by the local community as an economic development project. A volunteer from the community will be preparing dinner for you as well.

Day 7: Moroni

Say goodbye to Moheli as you catch a short flight back to the main island, Grand Comore. Head north into rugged and jagged geographical formations, created through millions of years of volcanic activity. Your guide will share local myths about the ancient origins of these striking land features, including Dos du Dragon, Lac Salé, the Miraculous Mosque and Trou du Prophete. At this last stop, meet Miki, a colourful local Rastafarian who will serve up a seafood lunch in giant clam shells at his lean-to “restaurant” under a baobab tree next to the sea. Miki’s colourful commentary on life in Comoros is included at no extra charge. After lunch, kick off your shoes and stroll to Maloudja Beach, where you can relax among the coconut palms or go for a dip in the Indian Ocean.

Day 8: Moroni

Visit the ancient capital of Comoros, Iconi. This historic village sits in the shadow of a steep volcanic cone, where, in the 1880s, many women jumped to their deaths to avoid enslavement by Malagasy pirates. On a village walk, see the sultan’s palace, Kaviri Djewe, built from coral limestone in the town’s centre, and the historic bangwes, open spaces where men still meet to debate and make decisions for the community. Back in Maroni, walk among the cafes and shops of the old stone town with a man who has lived his entire life in this medina. His grandfather was a noted Sufi mystic who has a small global following that comes to Comoros every year to commemorate the anniversary of his death. You’ll visit in his home, part of which has been donated to allow the expansion of the adjoining Old Friday Mosque, the most photographed monument in Comoros. The afternoon is yours to explore.

Day 9: Moroni

Your trip comes to an end today and there are no activities planned.

A complimentary shared transfer is included and departs the hotel around 1pm.
If you require a transfer at a different time this can be pre-booked prior to departure. Please speak to your booking agent to arrange this.