Nioumachoua[dead link] is the second-largest town in Moheli. In the south of the island, it is the base to explore Moheli Natural Park.
There is a regular bus service from Fomboni. Buses start running at 7AM from the market, one way ticket costs FC750 and it takes around two hours.
Buses departing from Nioumachoua leave at 5AM, it is important to reserve you seat with the driver the day before. All buses departing from Nioumachoua have Fomboni as final destination, but they can drive from east or west road. The west road is longer than the east road, but it is in much better conditions.
Travelling from Nioumachoua to Itsamia by bus is tricky. The easiest is travelling back to the capital, Fomboni, and then taking a new bus or shared taxi to Itsamia (shared taxis to Itsamia cost FC500). It can happen that no taxi driver wants to drive to Itsamia, as it is far away. In this case take a taxi to Wanani or Kangani. Wanani is just 12 km to Itsamia, 9 km Kangani-Itsamia, from here try to catch a taxi, hitchhike or just walk. Another option is taking the bus back to Fomboni but stopping in Wanani (12 km far from Itsamia). From here you can try to catch a taxi, hitchhike or walk. There are not many cars to hitchhike, but the few that are around take passengers easily.
Shared taxis from Fomboni to Nioumachoua run all day long. Take in consideration that due to the fuel shortage and the conditions of the road finding a taxi to travel between the cities in the south can be difficult and expensive (up to FC12,500). Otherwise in Nioumachoua there are a couple of private cars that for a price will take wherever you wish. Take in consideration that the fuel is expensive, so private cars are expensive as well. By November 2018 one litre of fuel costs FC1,000.
If you are based in Nioumachoua a very good option is renting a motorbike for yourself. Renting a motorbike costs FC7,500 per day.
By rented car
Renting a car without driver is very difficult, it cost FC20,000 per day. But the real problem is to convince someone to rent you a car, locals don't trust a lot on tourist's skills in these roads.
You can travel to other cities in the coast with fisherman boats, every trip may cost more than FC10,000 depending on how far you wanna go. Prices might look a bit expensive, but fuel is expensive.
- Whale watching from July to October
- Coral reefs and inhabited isles
- Fishing on the reef with local fishermen
- Livingstone bats (giant fruit eating bats endemic on Moheli)
- Boating, sailing, canoes and kayaks, bikes
- Hiking in coastal and primary rain forest
- Civets (small wild leopard type cats)
- Bird Watching (endemic species!)
- Traditional villages
- Local artisanal (carpets from sisal, potteries, embroideries)
For every activity at the Natural Park a fee of FC2.500 is required. Importantly, the fee permission is paid per person just once as it lasts for three months.
- Humpback whales watching. can be done from August to middle November Hiring the trip with the local association costs FC35.000 per boat, to share between the tourists in it. Laka Lodge charges FC20.000 per person with a minimum of two travellers.
- Snorkeling in coral reefs and inhabited islots. You can snorkel pretty much everywhere, although the more isolated the best If you forgot to bring you own snorkeling equipment in Laka lodge masks and tubes are rented for FC2.500.
- Kayaking. Take the chance to explore the virgin beaches of Moheli natural park on your own Laka lodge rents kayaks for FC5.000 per day.
- Watching Livingston bats. , these massive animal are endemic from Comores Islands and famous for being the biggest bats in the world. The excursion to watch them includes a 1 hour hike, what is good excuse to learn about local agriculture and medicinal plants from the local guides. This is an impossible excursion to be done without a guide, as Livingston bats are not easy to find The association from Nioumachoua charges for the transport (FC7.500 for motorbike with driver, FC12.500 a car with a driver) and the association from Oualla 1 charges the park fees and guide (FC2.500 per person). The same excursion can be hired in Laka Lodge (FC10.000 per person, minimum 2 people).
- Camping in the Natural Park. If you have your own tent don't miss the chance of exploring and sleeping in the of the island, plus if you don't have snorkelling equipment you can rent one in Laka lodge The association organises trips, it costs FC20.000 per boat to get drop at one is the islots and picked up the day after.
- Tour in the islots. The community bungalows organised trips to discover the whole Natural Park by boat, bring your snorkel equipment The association organises trips, it costs FC30.000 per boat to visit all the Natural Park.
- Visiting an islot. If visiting all the park sounds extenuating, the other option is sailing to one of the islots, enjoying it for half day and coming back after the association organises the trip The association organises trips, it costs FC17.500 per boat.
- 1 Saurakh Restaurant. The only local restaurant in town is just in front of the entrance of Laka lodge. It can be easily missed as there is no panel or advertisement but an old cartel laying on the floor against the wall.
- Community bungalows, Nioumachoua (At the western point of the beach, next to the last two big baobabs), ☏ +269 3622633, +269 4396011, firstname.lastname@example.org. These three bungalows where built up in collaboration with the European Community with the pursue of helping the local community to develop a model of tourism, alleviate poverty and promote environmental conservation. Bungalows are run by a group volunteers from the village which form a management group that is elected democratically every two years. All them are volunteering, only the cooker is an employee. Since there is no taxes system anywhere in Comoros the incomes from the communitary bungalows reverts on the village. For example, at the school behind the bungalows the orphans from the village get their education granted, the association has built up the library and by November 2018 the hospital was being renovated with the funds from the bungalows. Although the bungalows need a bit of restoration, the unbeatable location right on the beachfront and the views from the rooms have no competitors. The staff is really friendly and helpful and they organise for you all excursions and trips. By November 2018 internet was on process to get installed Bungalows cost just FC8,000 per night with breakfast included. Meals cost FC2,500.
- 1 [dead link] Vanilla lodge, Nioumachoua (Pay close attention to the location as it is not where booking.com shows on the website. The right location is on the road to Oualla, 1km after the path signalled by the panel at the entrance of Nioumachoua), ☏ +269 356 34 88. Check-out: 11:00. This lodge is surrounded by nature. It offers comfortable, clean and cozy rooms. Most of them with views over the rainforest, many others with amazing sea views. The restaurant offers very good meals for a very fair price (FC4,000 per meal). Good internet connection available. Rooms from FC12,500.
- 2 Moheli Laka Lodge, Nioumachoua (30 km from the airport), ☏ +269 7726038 (land line), fax: +421220812027, email@example.com. Check-in: 10am, check-out: 2pm. Restaurant, "Whale bar" and three beaches, facing the inhabitated coral reef, isles. Family and child friendly. All hiking and boating services available (whale watching from July to end of October, fishing, coral reef snorkeling, waterfalls of Meringoni, Livingstone bat reserve, ponding by green sea turtles at night, hiking in coastal and primary forest, canoes, kayaks, bikes, ping-pong, badminton, beach volleyball, etc.) Ask for Mr. Ally Youssouf, manager. 160€ full board. Restaurant, mains from 7€, starters from 4€. Reduction for children under 10 of 5€ per meal.
- Itsamia is a beautiful villa at the eastern point of the island, where green turtles come to bury their eggs.
- Oualla 1 and Oualla 2 used to be the same village, but in the 90s a massive inundation forced the inhabitants of Oualla 1 to leave behind their homes and resettle themselves in a nearby area, since then called Oualla 2. The most protective people of Oualla 1 stayed during he flown, meanwhile the ones who left founded the new city stayed until today. In such way the families of Oualla split up in two. Oualla is the main base to explore the rainforest in search of the famous Livingston bats, one can stay in the communitary bungalows of Oualla 1. By November 2018 the bungalows of Oualla 2 were closed do to restoration.