Cruising to Comoros


Comoros has endured 19 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power. He pledged to resolve the secessionist crisis through a confederal arrangement named the 2000 Fomboni Accord.

In December 2001, voters approved a new constitution and presidential elections took place in the spring of 2002. Each island in the archipelago elected its own president and a new union president took office in May 2002.


Location: Southern Africa, group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Geographic coordinates: 12 10 S, 44 15 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 2,170 sq km


340 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


Tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)


Volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m


One of the world's poorest countries, Comoros is made up of three islands that have inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity, high unemployment, and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, contributes 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports.

The country is not self-sufficient in food production; rice, the main staple, accounts for the bulk of imports. The government - which is hampered by internal political disputes - is struggling to upgrade education and technical training, privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, improve health services, diversify exports, promote tourism, and reduce the high population growth rate. Increased foreign support is essential if the goal of 4% annual GDP growth is to be met. Remittances from 150,000 Comorans abroad help supplement GDP.


Airports: 4 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 4
Roadways: total: 880 km

Merchant marine

Total: 117 ships (1000 GRT or over) 522,157 GRT/738,339 DWT
By type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 85, container 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 7, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 59 (Bangladesh 1, Bulgaria 1, Canada 1, Greece 8, India 1, Kenya 1, Kuwait 1, Lebanon 3, Nigeria 2, Norway 1, Pakistan 2, Philippines 1, Russia 5, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Saudi Arabia 3, Syria 3, Turkey 10, Ukraine 12, US 2) (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Mayotte, Moutsamoudou

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Bahrain - Christmas Islands - Cocos Keeling - Comoros - Djibouti - Eritrea - India - Jordan - Kenya - Kuwait - Madagascar - Maldives - Mauritius - Mayotte - Mozambique - Oman - Pakistan - Qatar - Reunion Island - Saudi Arabia - Seychelles - Somalia - Sri Lanka - Sudan - Tanzania - United Arab Emirates - Yemen

Further Reading

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