Flag of Comoros

Comoros

The Comoros (officially known as the Union of the Comoros) is an archipelago situated in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa between northern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. The nearest countries to the Comoros are Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar and the Seychelles.

The country consists of three main islands of volcanic origin, surrounded by coral reefs: Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Nzwani (Anjouan). Although the Comoros lays claim to Mayotte (Mahoré), a neighbouring island in the Comoro archipelago, this is in fact a French Overseas collectivity.

The islands' vegetation is rich and varied providing spices and perfume essence for sale abroad. On Ngazidja (Grande Comore), the capital Moroni is a charming town containing modern government buildings, as well as old, narrow, winding streets and a marketplace. There are a number of fine mosques including the Vendredi Mosque that provides an attractive view over the town. Mount Karthala is an active volcano; the more energetic may climb to the top and then descend into the crater. Nzwani (Anjouan) island is notable for its waterfalls and abundant vegetation. Restaurants serve good food with spiced sauces, rice-based dishes, cassava, plantain, couscous, barbecued goat meat, seafood and tropical fruits.

The country was known as Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros prior to 2002, and is notable for its diverse culture and history, as a nation formed at the crossroads of many civilisations. It has three official languages: Comorian (Shikomor), Arabic and French, and is the third smallest African nation, but with one of the highest population densities in Africa. Its name derives from the Arabic word qamar (moon), as seen depicted on its flag.

Map of Comoros