Exploring the Unique Charm of Comoros

Positioned at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, the Comoros archipelago is a hidden gem nestled between Madagascar and Mozambique in Southern Africa. With its land covering an area of 2235 square kilometers, all of which is land as there are no inland water bodies, Comoros presents a fascinating blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and unique geography.

Geographical Marvel

The country’s coastline stretches over 340 kilometers, offering breathtaking views and pristine beaches that attract adventurers and solitude seekers alike. Its tropical marine climate, with a rainy season spanning from November to May, complements the lush, green landscapes and the vivid hues of the Indian Ocean. The terrain is predominantly characterized by volcanic islands where steep mountains transition into gentle hills. Among these natural wonders, Karthala stands tall as the highest elevation point at 2,360 meters, promising awe-inspiring vistas and challenging treks for the adventurous.

Natural and Human Landscape

Comoros’ natural resources may seem limited with fish being the primary bounty, yet the country boasts a remarkably high percentage of agricultural land, constituting approximately 84.40% of its territory. This fertile land yields vanilla, cloves, ylang-ylang (a key perfume essence), coconuts, bananas, and cassava (manioc), forming the backbone of its agricultural sector. Despite only 1.40% of the land being covered by forests and a mere 1.3 sq km being irrigated as of 2012, Comoros nurtures a rich biodiversity and a vibrant culture around its agrarian lifestyle.

Population and Urbanization

With an estimated population of 846,281 as of July 2020, Comoros is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. The distribution reveals that the capital city, Moroni, located on Grande Comore, is the major urban center, yet Anjouan emerges as the most densely populated among the three islands. Urbanization may be modest, with only 29.40% of the population living in urban areas in 2020, yet the communal life thrives with bustling markets, historical sites, and vibrant streets.

Economy and Livelihood

The economy of Comoros is intimately linked with its natural environment and resources. Fishing, tourism, and the distillation of perfume from ylang-ylang flowers constitute the core industries. The agricultural products not only fulfill domestic needs but also find their way to international markets, with vanilla, ylang-ylang essence, and cloves being the primary exports. Remarkably, Comoros maintains a diverse range of export partners, including France, India, Germany, and several others, underscoring its global trade connections.

Imports are crucial for sustaining the island’s demands for foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement, construction materials, and transport equipment. The United Arab Emirates, France, and China top the list of import partners, reflecting a blend of geographical proximity and strategic economic ties. Despite these international linkages, the country faces challenges, such as electrification, with approximately 200,000 individuals lacking access to electricity as of 2017.

Culture and Language

The cultural fabric of Comoros is as rich and diverse as its natural environment. Arabic, French, and Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic) are the official languages, painting a picture of the country’s historical layers and its crossroads of civilizations. These languages not only serve as a medium of daily communication but also carry the essence of Comorian identity, embodying its traditions, music, literature, and culinary heritage.


Comoros stands as a testament to the resilience and vibrancy of island nations. Its stunning landscapes, rich cultural tapestry, and the warm hospitality of its people offer a compelling invitation to those seeking to explore one of the world’s less trodden paths. With a GDP per capita of $1,600 as of 2017, the country is on a journey of development and discovery, facing its challenges with grace and looking towards a future where it can share its unique charm with the wider world. The Comoros Islands beckon as a destination for those eager to experience the unspoiled beauty and the enduring spirit of its people.

Country data

Country Code CN
Region Africa
Surface 2235 sq km
Land Surface 2235 sq km
Water Surface 0 sq km
Agricultural Surface 84.40%
Forest Surface 1.40%
Lowest Elevation Point n/a
Highest Elevation Point Karthala 2,360 m
GDP / capita $1,600 (2017 est.)