Comoros: The Perfume Islands of the Indian Ocean

Nestled in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Comoros Islands are a hidden gem of tranquility and natural beauty. Comprising three main islands—Grande Comore, Mohéli, and Anjouan—along with numerous smaller islets, this archipelago offers visitors a unique blend of pristine beaches, lush forests, and vibrant culture.


The Comoros Islands are located off the eastern coast of Africa, between Madagascar and Mozambique. The archipelago is of volcanic origin, with rugged landscapes characterized by steep mountains, deep valleys, and fertile plains. The islands are renowned for their lush vegetation and fertile soil, earning them the nickname “The Perfume Islands” due to the abundance of fragrant plants such as ylang-ylang.

Culture and People:

The people of Comoros are predominantly of mixed African, Arab, and Malagasy descent, with influences from centuries of trade and migration. Islam is the dominant religion, and Arabic and French are the official languages, though Comorian—a Swahili dialect—is widely spoken. Traditional music, dance, and storytelling are integral parts of Comorian culture, with cultural festivals such as the Mwaka Kogwa celebrating the islands’ heritage.


The history of Comoros is marked by a legacy of trade, colonization, and cultural exchange. The islands were once part of the Swahili coast trading network, serving as a hub for Arab and Persian merchants. European colonial powers, including France, exerted influence over the islands in the 19th century, before Comoros gained independence in 1975. Since then, the country has experienced periods of political instability and economic challenges.


Comoros’ economy is primarily based on agriculture, with crops such as vanilla, cloves, and ylang-ylang being major exports. Fishing and tourism also contribute to the economy, with visitors drawn to the islands’ pristine beaches, coral reefs, and lush landscapes. However, limited infrastructure and reliance on imports pose challenges to economic development.

Wildlife and Conservation:

Comoros is home to a variety of unique and endemic species, including the Coelacanth—a prehistoric fish thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in Comorian waters. The islands’ rich biodiversity also includes diverse marine life, coral reefs, and bird species. Conservation efforts are underway to protect Comoros’ natural heritage, with initiatives focused on marine conservation, reforestation, and sustainable tourism.


Comoros’ unspoiled beauty and warm hospitality make it a paradise for eco-tourists and nature lovers. Visitors can explore pristine beaches, snorkel or dive among colorful coral reefs, or trek through lush rainforests to discover hidden waterfalls and volcanic craters. Cultural attractions, such as historic mosques and traditional villages, offer insight into Comorian life and traditions.


Comoros’ allure lies in its untouched landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and relaxed island lifestyle. Whether seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, visitors to Comoros are sure to be enchanted by the islands’ natural beauty and warm hospitality, making it a truly unforgettable destination in the Indian Ocean.

About Comoros

Comoros (alternatively the Comoros ) ( Arabic : جزر القمر ), formally the Union of Comoros , ( Comorian : Udzima wa Komori , French : Union des Comores , Arabic : الاتحاد القمري ), is an island state of the island group of the same name in the Indian Ocean beyond East Coast of Africa , on the northern end of the Mozambique Canal between Northeast Mozambique and Northwest Madagascar. Other countries in the vicinity of the Comoros are Tanzania in the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast. The capital is Moroni on the Grande Comore .

With an area of ​​1862 km² (excluding Mayotte ), Comoros surface is the third smallest African nation. The population is about 798,000 (excluding Mayotte). Its name derives from the Arabic word قمر qamar (” moon “). The archipelago is known for its versatile culture and history, where the nation was formed at the intersection of many civilizations. It is the southernmost member of the Arab League . Also on the disputed island of Mayotte, the only official language is French : “The Union of Comoros” has three official languages: Comorian , Arabic and French.

The country officially consists of the four islands of the volcanic Comorian archipelago : northwestern Grande Comore or Ngazidja, Mohéli or Mwali, Anjouan or Nzwani and southeastern Mayotte or Maore, as well as many smaller islands. But the government of the Comoros (or its predecessors since independence) has never managed the island of Mayotte, which France uses as an overseas department . Mayotte was the only island in the archipelago that voted against independence from France in 1974; the latter vetoed the UN Security Council resolutions that would confirm the sovereignty of the Comorosacross the island. In addition, a referendum on March 29, 2009 that Mayotte is becoming a French overseas department in 2011 has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the people of Mayotte.

The Comoros are the only state that is a member of all of the following: the African Union , Francophonie , the Islamic Conference Organization , the Arab League and the Commission de l’océan India . The country’s history has been characterized by several coups since independence in 1975. As of 2008, about half of the population lives below the international poverty line of $ 1.25 per day.


The Comoros is located in the Mozambique Canal northwest of Madagascar. The country consists of dmera islands where the largest are Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Nzwani (Anjouan). The Comoros also claims the island of Mayotte (Mahoré), which, however, remains a French one.

The Comoros consists of three major volcanic islands, french Mayotte excluded, as well as a number of small islands. All islands are surrounded by coral reefs. The island of Ngazidja is located in the far northwest and is the largest of the islands.

In the south of the island there is the active volcano Kartala. It is a shield volcano that had erupted in 1972. North of the volcano is a plateau of 610 m.a.s.l. Nzwani is the second largest island. It has triangular shape. Even that island has higher mountains and the soil is fertile but heavily eroded. Mwali is the third main island. It consists of a plateau of basalt and is located at approximately 310 m a.s.l. but has a highest point reaching 800 m a.s.l.