The Comoros Islands are the perfect destination to get away from it all, as it is very remote and removed from normal reality since it is an archipelago off the east coast of Africa. It has many beautiful beaches, but for the more adventurous, there are also rainforests and mountains to hike through. If you are up for it, you can also check out Mt. Karthala, the largest active volcano in the world. As an archipelago, Comoros has Swahili culture with French and Arabic influences due to the travelers and traders that had passed through the islands. It is quite slow-paced and laid back, which is ideal for relaxation, but the getting there is a challenge for the patient and adventurous travelers.
Important and Interesting Facts About Comoros
- Comoros is located at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel. The country is situated around two-thirds of the way between northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar.
- The country’s islands are mostly volcanic with interiors that range from low hills to steep mountains.
- The islands of Comoros have on one side the Indian Ocean and the Mozambique Channel on the other. It is the Mozambique Channel that separates Africa from the country of Madagascar.
- Comoros is the second-largest producer of vanilla in the world. It is second only to Madagascar.
- The country is the largest producer of ylang-ylang, which is an ingredient used in the making of fragrance oils.
- Mahore is an island in the Comoros archipelago. The island of Mahore in Comoros is popularly known by its French name- Mayotte. The interiors of Mahore also attract the nature loving tourist. The central part of Mayotte is mountainous and is a source of freshwater streams. The seasonal attractions of Mahore include the Humpback whales that visit the area from August to September.
- Mwali is the smallest major island in the Comoros archipelago. The island is known for its unspoilt beaches and its friendly population. The mountainous interior reveals the wonders of the equatorial tropics. The Indian Ocean island of Mwali in Comoros is one of the few places in the world where the ‘Dhow’ is still built. The dhow is a kind of sail boat. Most of the dhow building activity is concentrated on Fomboni beach.
- Ngazidja is the largest island of the Comoros archipelago. It is also the island where the Comoros capital city of Moroni is located. Ngazidja is also known as Grande Comore Island. The principal attraction of the island of Ngazidja in Comoros is the active volcanic mountain known as Mount Karthala.Other attractions of Ngazidja Island in Comoros include the Vendredi Mosque. The mosque is located very near the port. Ngazidja Island also has a few hot sulphur springs.
- Moroni city. The city itself is a charming urban settlement of colonial design and broad boulevards. The narrow winding streets of Moroni have a unique charm of its own.
- Mount Karthala is the highest point in Comoros and lies in the island of Grand Comore.Frequent eruptions have shaped Mount Karthala into caldera. The mountain consists of evergreen forests, which is the habitat of various rare species of flora and fauna in Comoros.
- The Nouvelle Mosquee de Vendredi is a mosque in the Indian Ocean country of Union of the Comoros. The Vendredi Mosque is noted for its unique Comoran architectural style. The Nouvelle Mosquee de Vendredi in Comoros is situated in the country capital Moroni. The Vendredi mosque is used to hold daily prayers. Visitors to the mosque may enter the mosque in order to observe the internal architecture of the structure.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts About Comoros
- Livingstone’s Fruit Bat, discovered in Comoros by the Scottish explorer in 1863, is the world’s largest bat, with a wingspan of around six feet.
- More than 20 species of birds are also unique to the Comoros, including the Karthala Scops-Owl, the Anjouan Scops-Owl, and the Humblot’s Flycatcher.
- The Mongoose Lemur, originally introduced from Madagascar is also now found only on two islands in the Comoros.
- TheKarthala scops owl, or Comoro scops owl (Otus pauliani) is an owl endemic to the Comoro Islands. The owl is found only on Mount Karthala, an active volcano on Grand Comoro. It has an estimated population of 2,000. It is classified as “Critically Endangered” due to it being restricted to such a small area.
- TheAnjouan scops owl (Otus capnodes) is an owl endemic to the Comoro Islands. This owl is found on the island of Anjouan. This species was rediscovered in June 1992, after an absence of records dating back to 1886.
- Humblot’s flycatcheror the Grand Comoro flycatcher (Humblotia flavirostris) is a small passerine bird belonging to the Old World flycatcher The upperparts are grey-brown while the underparts are pale with dark streaks. It has a dark crown with pale streaks and the bill and feet are yellow-orange. The bird is 14 cm long. It is often silent but has a soft trilling call.
- TheComoro Rousette (Rousettus obliviosus) is a species of megabat in thePteropodidae It is endemic to the Comoros Islands. Its natural habitats aresubtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, caves, plantations, and urban areas.
- Furcifer cephalolepisis a species of chameleon that is endemic to Grande Comore. It was described by Günther in 1880. It is found in humid regions around the coast of Grande Comore and in forests in and around towns.
- TheWest Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), sometimes known as the African coelacanth is one of two extant species of coelacanth, a rare order of vertebrates more closely related to lungfish, reptiles andmammals than to the common ray-finned fishes. It has a vivid blue pigment, and is the better known of the two extant species and was long assumed to breed only in the Comoros.
- Gymnothorax hansiis an eel in the family Muraenidae (moray eels). It was described by Phillip C. Heemstra in 2004. It is a tropical, marine eel which is known from reefsaround Grand Comoro Island, in the Indian Ocean. It is known to dwell at a maximum depth of 143 m (469 ft).
- Acraea comoris a butterfly in the Nymphalidae It is found on the Comoros.
Historical and Cultural Facts About Comoros
- Comoros was frequented by travelers from Africa, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Arabia before the first Europeans encountered the islands. Arabic influence has been the strongest. The presence of Islam is recorded as early as the eleventh century.
- With the arrival of Muslim Arabs, chiefdoms evolved into sultanates in the fifteenth century.
- It is thought that early inhabitants of the Comoros islands were people of Malaysian and Polynesian origin. Colonists also came to the islands from Madagascar, the African mainland and the Middle East.
- The Portuguese arrived in the islands in the early sixteenth century.
- Domoni, located on the eastern shore of the island of Nzwani (Anjouan), for example, was described as a major trading center in the fifteenth century. It had trade contacts with Africa and Asia and we know from archaeological evidence that trade existed between the community and places as far away as Japan.
- After the Portuguese entered the Indian Ocean many European and American sailors visited the islands. These included whalers, merchants, and pirates, such as the infamous Captain Kidd. Sailors especially liked the island of Nzwani and it served as an important refueling and provisioning stop.
- T he most conspicuous social statement in Comorosis the Grand Marriage. Any man who wishes to be a full-fledged member of the community’s group of elders, or Notables, must marry off at least his eldest daughter in a Grand Marriage.
- Maternal uncles can also give a Grand Marriage for nieces. This highly expensive, multi-ceremony event lasts more than a week. Families save for it for years and can spend their life savings on providing meals and other celebrations for the entire village.
- Comorians eat mostly imported rice, usually with a fish or meat sauce. Plentiful local fish (tuna, barracuda, wahoo, and red snapper) are the main source of protein. Cassava is eaten fried, boiled, or grilled. Taro, green bananas, breadfruit, and potatoes (both white and sweet) are often served. Chicken, goat, and imported beef are popular meats. Pork is forbidden by Islam.
- Comorians spice their foods withputu, a hot pepper sauce.
- Comorian youth organize village dances. Musical tastes are diverse; people enjoy Western popular music and reggae, as well as traditional dance music.