comoros, Travel

Humpback Whales in Moheli Comoros

 

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It is that time of the year again, when the humpback whales have arrived to Mohéli, Comoros. A remote, isolated island in the country of Comoros located in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar. These clean, calm and safe waters have been the birthing ground for Humpback whales for as long as the locals remember, and every year from July to October pregnant mama’s travel all the way from Antarctica to give birth here.

Photos by the ever talented Philipp Oppermann.

Humpback Whale Migration

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How to, Travel

How To Relocate A Sea Turtle Nest

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Mother nature knows best, and in her infinite wisdom a balance of life and death has been created on our planet. Unfortunately due to human kind breaking out of it’s mold and conquering just about every corner of our earth, whether its physical presence in the harshest desert landscapes, drilling for oil deep beneath the ocean or separating ourselves from nature with impressive buildings and creations. Our success has come at a steep price for many species on this earth, and we are currently living through the Holocene mass extinction. The next mass extinction since Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, where no tetrapods larger than 25 kg except the leatherback turtle and crocodile survived.

The IUCN (International Union Conservation of Nature) monitors the population levels, health, distribution and projection of animals and decides to award them one of the 7 labels. Ranging from least concern to extinct. Sea turtles, who are sleek and elegant however have been hunted for their flesh and eggs by several cultures worldwide, are all on the endangered species list. There are 7 species of turtle, and none of them have escaped the effects of human expansion. That is why, whenever we see an injured, trapped or struggling turtle, it is our responsibility to help.

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Green Sea Turtle Status

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comoros, Travel

Vegan Food in the Comoros

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When I first got the job offer to work on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, I was extatic and mildly hesitant. Of course I immediately asked my boss whether there would be sufficient plant based options and he replied with “We have our own organic garden, but mostly everyone eats fish”. The job and the opportunity was simply too incredible to give up, so I figured I would move there and see what the food has in store for me.

What I found out, was unexpected and absolutely astonishing, not only do the Comoros Islands, which are located north of Madagascar and East of the Mozambique coast, have plant based food. They have an exquisite selection of exotic, tropical, unique starches, fruits and vegetables. Therefore, not only do I urge anyone who has not heard of this location to pick up an Atlas or search in Google maps, I highly encourage you to mark the spot as your next holiday destination.

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comoros, Travel

Essential Information For Visiting Comoros

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One of my biggest questions when packing up my life to move to Moheli, Comoros to work as a Scuba Diving Instructor at Laka Lodge. Was

“Is There Wifi?”

I have already written about Laka Lodge and all their amenities there, which you can check out here, but what about the rest of the country? What does travelling here entail? Is it really the end of the world in a jungle? Or can you stream Netflix? What food is there? How can you get around?

So lets start with the number one question most modern, digital natives have every day. Is there WIFI?

The Comoros is comprised of an archipelago of three islands. Grande Comore, the capital islands and the largest in size. Moheli, the smallest and often considered the heart of the Comoros with astonishing rainforest and National Park and Anjouan, the bustling port island with colourful people and a population similar to Grand Comere.

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How to, Travel, Volunteering

Saving Baby Turtle Hatchlings

After conducting a discover scuba dive from Laka Lodge, I offered my students whether or not they would like to have a walk on the beach. Completely unknown to me, this small decision would lead me to one of the best days of my life. Today, I would like to share with you how I helped 19 tiny turtles, to make their way across their first obstacle in life and enter the oceans.

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Eco Friendly Companies, Travel

Moheli Laka Lodge Eco Resort

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A welcoming sight of green, trees, paved paths and thatched huts in the distance greeted us. We were told that this is really indeed paradise, and I managed to process that this is where I am going to be living for the next nine months. The car rove up the cobbled path to the biggest building, which had a roof made out of pleated bamboo leaves. Inside I could see a couple of people sitting, my boss and supposedly the managers of the resort, waiting for me to arrive. I felt an enormous relief as I stepped out of the van. The luggage was whisked away to its various destinations, my backpack was taken from my sweating and aching shoulders and a cold coconut was placed in my hands. Is it possible that paradise does exist?

Of course, as soon as I was settled at the bar making the first introductions and drinking my coconut, a raincloud with pouring rain came over. I waited in the main restaurant until the main rains have passed, and then set out of a tour of the property. The restaurant is a 15x15m square structure, with white cement beems supporting wooden poles. The roof itself is made out of their traditionally braided palm leaves, giving the entire room a jungle vibe. Big white orbs hang gently in the breeze, which will light the restaurant with a calming yellowish light in the evenings.

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Once the rain had stopped, I was lead to my little beach front bungalow room. The first in a row of bungalows, it has a little porch with some comfortable chairs, a double bed with an overhanging mosquito net, a set of cupboards and a bathroom tucked away in the back. Luckily, my luggage is 70% dive gear, so I do not need much space for my belongings.

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Travel

Flying Ethiopia, Moroni to Moheli, Comoros

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Skip forward a few days and I am sitting on the ground, in the restaurant room in Laka Lodge. I have been on another two planes, in a van and even underwater. It feels as if I have not had a moment to think ; let alone sit down and write about the experience. Last time we left off checking whether I had lined up for the correct flight at the airport in Addis. Turns out, yes I was, and despite not having the sign, the plane was flying to Nosobi with a stopover in Moroni. Turns out, it was good I asked since when we landed in Moroni, an Italian couple disembarked thinking they had reached Madagascar. (Signage and explanations were noticeably absent at both the airports and flight itself.

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When in doubt, ask someone, people will be able to give you the correct information about your flight.

When we were finally on route, a basic vegan meal placed in front of me, I was getting ancy to touch down. The Island of Grand Comoros loomed out from beneath the clouds, and from a bumpy plane, I managed to see a snippet of the overpoweringly green shape against a rainbow of blues.

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Travel

Moving To a Tiny Island in the Indian Ocean

Since the middle of March, when I first took this job, I have heard many words describe the journey I am about to embark on.

Crazy” “Lonely” “Incredible” “Once in a Lifetime” “isolated” “Experience”  and so on.

Sitting on the floor of a packed Ethiopian airport, all these words are repeating themselves in my head and creating one of those world cloud representations of data.

The truth is, I nor no one I know, has ever been to the Comoros and despite being friends with many well travelled people, no one has quite managed to describe the experiences they have had in isolated islands or parts of the world. The feeling I have now, is not as if I am about to get onto a plane, but on the contrary : I feel as If I am entering a time machine. A machine that will transport me so far beyond the world I know, where I will merely glimpse snippets of ‘normalcy’ on this 9 month journey.

I’m going to a place with no shops, cinemas, cafes, crowded streets, crosswalks, ice cream trucks, Happy Cow reviews or just about everything I have become accustomed to by living in Australia and Europe.

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