Comoro Islands form an archipelago of four islands and several islets,
covering 2170 km², located in the western Indian Ocean about ten to
twelve degrees south of the Equator and less than 300 km off the East
African coast. They lie approximately halfway between the island of
Madagascar and northern Mozambique at the northern end of the Mozambique
Channel. The archipelago is the result of volcanic action along a fissure
in the seabed running west-northwest to east-southeast.
The four major islands are Grande Comore
(Ngazidja), Mohéli (Mwali), Anjouan (Nzwani), and Mayotte (Maore). Grande
Comore is the largest and the youngest island in the archipelago. It
is the most westerly of the islands, lying 188 miles from Mozambique.
It has an active volcano that rises to a height of 2361 meter above
sea level. Mohéli, 45 km south-southeast of Grande Comore, is the smallest
of the islands with a central mountain range that rises 790 meter above
sea level. Anjouan lies about 40 km easterly of Mohéli, has a central
peak that rises 1575 meters above sea level. It also has several swift
running streams that cascade down to long, sandy beaches. 71 km to the
southeast of Anjouan is Mayotte, the oldest of the islands. It is almost
surrounded by a barrier reef and is fairly flat with slow meandering
streams and mangrove swamps.