Comoros has no land borders and is nearest to Tanzania, the Seychelles and the nations that neighbour stretch of water known as the Mozambique Channel. When the contested island of Mayotte is not included (France still has administrative control as the island voted against independence in 1974), the islands are the third-smallest African nation and feature a whole host of different cultures thanks to its location at the crossroads of ancient trade routes.
The islands of the Comoros were formed by volcanic activity, with the shield volcano Mouth Karthala on Ngazidja one of the most active in the world. Three eruptions were recorded in the past 25 years, with the most recent of these occurring in 2005. Situated on Ngazidja is also a small patch of rainforest that is home to gibbons, lemurs and highly endangered fruit bats among many other species.
The climate of the islands is mainly tropical with two seasons distinguishable by their relative raininess – the drier of which is between May and November. Temperatures are high in the wetter months though and can average 30C in some months.
Agriculture is popular in the Comoros, with vanilla, cloves, coconuts, bananas and cassava all produced while perfume distillation and tourism provide further work and income for its residents.