Lighthouses of the Union of the Comoros
The Comoro Islands
are a group of islands in the Mozambique Channel midway between Madagascar
and the African continent. The four major islands are Njazidja (Grande
Comore), Mwali (Mohéli), Nzwani (Anjouan), and Mahoré (Mayotte).
France acquired control over the islands one by one over a long period
between 1841 and 1909, and the islands became a French colony officially
in 1912. Independence was planned for 1978 but in 1975 the Comorian parliament
declared independence unilaterally. Deputies from Mayotte abstained, however,
and Mayotte has remained part of the French community, now as an overseas department. The other three
islands comprise the Union of the Comoros.
The country has three ports: Moroni on Grande
Comore, Fomboni on Mohéli, and Mutsamudu on Anjouan. It appears that each port has its own port authority, which is presumably responsible for navigational aids on its island. Currently two lights on Nzwani (Anjouan) are the only Admiralty listings for this country.
Lighthouses of Mayotte are listed on a separate
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers
are from Publication 112.
- General Sources
- World of Lighthouses - Comoros
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Online List of Lights - Îles Comores
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Moroni Light, Grande Comore, October 2013
ex-Panoramio Creative Commons photo by David Stanley
- Njazidja (Grande Comore) Lighthouses
- * Suadzu Islet Range Front
- Date unknown. Inactive since 2013.
6 m (20 ft) square cylindrical white concrete tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite
view. Located on an islet, now joined to the mainland by a breakwater, on the waterfront in Moroni. Site open, tower
closed. ex-Admiralty D6904; ex-NGA 32744.
- * Moroni (with Suadzu Islet Range Rear?)
- 1904. Inactive at least since 2016.
22 m (75 ft) square cylindrical masonry minaret with a lantern at
the top. Entire building painted white. David Stanley's photo is above, Lightphotos.net has a photo, a 2010 photo, a 2007 closeup photo
and a 2004 view
are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. A 1998 view from the sea (no longer online) showed the tower with a red light; this is apparently the Suadzu Islet Range Rear Light, listed then as a quick-flashing red light. Located on the waterfront in Moroni, the national capital
and principal town of Njazidja (Grande Comore). Site open, tower
closed. General light: ARLHS COM-002; Admiralty D6902; NGA 32752. Range Rear Light: ARLHS COM-003; ex-Admiralty D6904.1; ex-NGA 32748.
Nzwani (Anjouan) Lighthouse
- * Vigie
- 1903. Active; focal plane 84 m (276 ft); quick-flashing white light.
5 m (17 ft) square cylindrical concrete (?) tower, painted with black
and white horizontal bands. No lantern; the light is shown through a
rectangular opening. The light has not been found in Google's satellite view of the port. Originally this was the rear light of a range.
Located on the waterfront of Mutsamudu, on the
northwest coast of Nzwani (Anjouan). Site open, tower closed. ARLHS
COM-004; Admiralty D6882.1; NGA 32732.
- Vigie Jetty (1 and 2?)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red light occulting twice every 5 s. NGA describe this as a "hut, red lantern." An August 2018 drone view by Kamal Ali shows a square tower with a short mast, but the light has been moved apparently to a taller post painted with red and white horizontal bands. A similar post light is seen farher down the jetty. Google has a satellite view. Ali also has a distant view from the sea taken in 2015. Located at the end of the main pier at Vigie. Site and tower closed. Admiralty D6883; NGA 32736.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: Mayotte | West: Mozambique
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Posted October 30, 2005. Checked and revised October 9, 2019.
Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.