Comoros

About Comoros

Located in a strategic position at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, the Comoros Islands once played a major role in a thriving world economy of the western Indian Ocean. Now they are a holiday paradise with great opportunities for diving, swimming and eco-tourism.

The archipelago is the result of volcanic activity. The four major islands: Ngazidja the largest island with the capital city Moroni, Mwali, Nzwani and Mayotte - still part of France and also known as Maore, are of varying age with distinct topograhical characteristics. Mayotte, the oldest of the islands, is highly eroded with slow, meandering streams. Ngazidja, the youngest of the islands, is closest to Africa, has a massive volcano, and marked by fresh lava flows. In October, 2000, the volcano showed signs of increased seismic activity.

The islands possess a variety of animal life with several species unique to the Comoros or rarely found elsewhere. The famous Coelacanth, a fish once thought to be extinct for millions of years, is found very much alive in Comorian waters. Livingstone's flying fox, a giant fruit bat with a wing span over four feet, is found nowhere else in the world. Several varieties of insects, including the butterfly pictured at left, and over a dozen species of birds are unique to the islands. Many of these species are now being threatened with extinction.

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