Where are the Comoros?

The Comoros Archipelago is a paradise in the Indian Ocean at the northern entrance of the Mozambique Canal between Madagascar and Africa. The four islands of the archipelago, from east to west (Mayotte, Anjouan, Moheli, Grande Comore) rise on a submarine ridge of volcanic origin dating back 8 million years. Around the year 800, the Comorian Islands were under the influence of seafarers and traders from Africa and the Arabian Gulf. The descendants form the population of the Comoros. France established its first colony on the island of Mayotte in 1843. In 1886 the other islands also became French protectorates, which were united with Mayotte in 1912 to form a colonial unit. This was subordinated in 1914 to the governor general of Madagascar.

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The Islands

Located between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, the Comoros archipelago is largely covered with rich equatorial vegetation. The 4 islands of the Comoros archipelago are created to experience the wonders of nature. Although each island has an authentic culture and charm, they are all bordered by white sand beaches surrounded by polished granite rocks and palm trees.

A real dream setting, more than half of the Comoros territory is made up of protected areas where fragrant flora, colourful birds, fish of all kinds and sea turtles live side by side. An idyllic environment, almost like out of a dream.

It is known as the archipelago of perfumes, enjoys a remarkable beauty and is full of tourist attractions with a fauna and flora that is unique to its island character. The Comoros are indeed the land of vanilla, jasmine and especially ylang ylang

Discover the cultures

The archipelago, the world’s largest producer of Ylang-Ylang, is obviously the ideal place to discover the culture of this white flower with its strong scent, whose essence is used to fix perfumes. The main production areas are south of Grande Comore (in Mitsoudjé and Singani) and in Anjouan, where you can visit the Bambao distillery. Comoros Islands are also an important exporter of vanilla and cloves. Vanilla is a type of orchid and is correspondingly demanding. It needs supporting plants on which it can wind its way up. This is why vanilla grows in Comorian mixed forests together with other cultivated plants and deciduous trees, for example on ylang-ylang trees.

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A Comorian wedding

The Big Wedding of the Comoros is a distinctive ritual often used to distinguish the social status within the Comoros. Traditionally, those who could afford a large wedding were allowed to participate in public affairs and were sometimes given preferential treatment. Today the ritual is more flexible – less a prerequisite for the further development of social status. The ritual can extend over two weeks and deserves the title of the longest wedding celebration in the world.
The bride receives many gifts in jewelry and silk, and entire communities are invited to feasts. After the Great Wedding, the man is allowed to wear the dragila, a long embroidered tunic, a testimony that he has gone through the ritual. Many weddings (Grand Mariage) are held in July and August. As a tourist you are welcome to participate in this great event.