Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Moheli, Comoros

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 1st September, 2018

6E4F7BFF-0C57-432F-A345-8D95C454E17CFew countries not in conflict have managed to stay off the tourists’ radar, but the Comoros, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, between Mozambique and Madagascar, is one. This is partly because the necessary infrastructure is not there, unlike on the island of Mayotte, which is geographically and historically part of the Comoro Islands, but is administered by the French (the former colonial power), which is a sore point with locals in the independent nation. Of the three other main islands in the archipelago, Moheli is the smallest and least populated, as well as the most verdant. Much of the terrain is still covered in forest, but elsewhere there is clove production and distilleries processing the ylang ylang that plays such an important role in the global perfume industry. Though much of the island is mountainous, there are also many glorious beaches; where one will often be the only person there, apart from the odd fisherman or farmer. I guess that idyllic situation for visitors prepared to rough it a bit won’t last for too much longer — Madagascar is now rapidly developing its tourism potential, for example — but in the meantime Moheli, like the rest of the Comoros, offers a respite from the modern world, as well as a source of inspiration for writers like myself.

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