Comoros is the 4th smallest African country and one of Africa’s 6 island nations. Learn more fun facts about these remote islands.
1. The Comoros are a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, located about 180 miles (290 km) off the eastern coast of Africa, between northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. Its the 4th smallest African country.
2. The three Comoros islands are: Grande Comoro (Ngazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), Mohéli (Mwali). A fourth island, Mayotte, is claimed by Comoros, but is a French overseas territory.
3. The capital and largest city is Moroni on Grande Comoro island.
4. The population consists almost entirely of persons of mixed African, Malagasy, Malay, and Arab descent. Major ethnic groups: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava and Shirazi.
5. Major languages: French, Arabic and Comorian (aka Shikomori). Comorian is spoken by 97% of the population, typically as a first language.
6. Major religions: Islam (98%), Christianity (2%)
7. Comoros is the only majority Muslim country in southern Africa.
8. The Comoros islands were colonized by France in the late 19th century.
9. Comoros gained independence from France in 1975 (except Mayotte, which voted to remain under French rule). It’s had more than 20 attempted or actual coups since independence.
10. Comoros is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an economy based largely on subsistence agriculture and fishing.
11. The Comoros are known as the Perfume Islands due to the ever-present smell of vanilla, cloves and other spices. The Comoros are one of the world’s largest producers of Ylang-Ylang essence for perfume.
12. Mount Karthala, an active volcano, is the highest point at 7746 feet (2631 meters) above sea level. Its last eruption was in January 2007.
13. The Comoros are a remote destination, with a small tourism industry and minimal tourism infrastructure (outside of Mayotte). The main tourist attractions are its beaches, underwater fishing, mountain scenery, and the medina, mosque and Vola Vola market in the capital.
Cape Verde is Africa’s 5th smallest country and one of its 6 island nations. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.
1. It’s an island nation comprised of 10 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, located about 350 miles west of Senegal. The 10 islands are: Santiago, Sal, Boa Vista, Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Santa Luzia, Maio, Fogo, and Brava.
2. It’s the 5th smallest nation in Africa and the 30th smallest in the world.
3. Its capital and largest city is Praia on the main island of Santiago.
4. More than half of Cape Verde’s population lives on Santiago Island.
5. Major languages: Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole (aka Kriolu).
6. Major religions: Christianity (95%), Islam (2%), Traditional and other religions (2%)
7. Most of the population is Creole, descending from the mixture of European settlers and African slaves who were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations.
8. It gained its independence from Portugal in July 1975.
9. More Cape Verdeans live abroad (nearly 1 million) than in the country itself (about 500,000).
10. The national music is the Morna, typically sung in Kriolu. Cesária Évora, known as the Queen of Morna, was the best-known Cape Verdean singer in the world. She passed in 2011 but left a big legacy.
11. Cape Verde has a spectacular Carnival held annually on Shrove Tuesday. While all of the islands celebrate, the most popular one is in Mindelo on São Vicente island.
12. Tourism is fast becoming one of Cape Verde’s biggest sectors. Visitors are drawn to the variety of landscapes and activities, including white and black sand beaches, water sports, mountain trekking, hiking, historical sites and architecture, street art, music, local cuisine and wines, and even an active volcano.