Cape Verde or Cabo verde, is an island nation on an archipelago of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwestern coast of Africa. The island is about 600 km west of Senegal. The Island shares maritime borders with Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, and Senegal.
Cape Verde is divided into two island groups; the Barlavento (windward) islands with the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista and the Sotavento (leeward) islands with the islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.
Cape Verde’s population of 525,000 (2015 census) are descendants from the first permanent inhabitants in the late 15th-century; Portuguese colonists, West African slaves, and some Italian traders. The archipelago was the first European settlement in the tropics. Today it is one of the most developed democratic countries in Africa.
Largest city and the capital is Praia, located on Santiago island. Spoken languages are Portuguese (official) and Kabuverdianu (a Portuguese based Cape Verdean Creole). About 95% of the population are Christian.
Why Cape Verde Is A Choice Destination
Cape Verdean weather rarely shifts from the upper 20°C at any time of year. The nearest it comes to a vast swing in temperature is the five-degree gap between the January average of 25°C and the 30°C that defines September. The hours of sunshine are between five and nine hours a day in cape verde.
Soul Griping Music
Cape Verde’s cultural gift to the world is morna; a lilting, rhythmic form of music which slipped into life on the archipelago at some undefined point in the 18th century. Its spiritual leader is Cesaria Evora; a singer nicknamed the “Barefoot Diva” who hailed from Sao Vicente; and was so loved that, since her death in 2011, its airport has been named after her. Her powerful voice and grasp of melody lingers in her birthplace, the island capital Mindelo. Therefore live performances are very regular in the island.
Carnival Cape Verde
Cape Verde celebrates carnival on every island. However the festivities are the greatest and most exuberant on the islands of Sao Vicente and Sao Nicolau. Also, It belongs to one of the largest annual events in Cape Verde. At Sao Vicente carnival is taking place in Mindelo and Sao Nicolau in Ribeira Brava. During carnival, the streets on these islands are very lively. The people do everything to dress up. Therefore, There are parades and lots of parties. Given the great reputation of carnival on Cape Verde, there is a huge demand for airline tickets and accommodations. Therefore, carnival is celebrated in Cape Verde between February 1st and March 7th.
“Mythical” Abandoned Airport
If you want to venture truly off-grid, the islet of Brava is your obvious port of call. “Port” being the pertinent word here because, as with Santo Antão, you can only reach it by boat. Not that it doesn’t have a runway. Esperadinha Airport sits on its west coast next to the hamlet of the same name. It occupies one of the only flat pieces of land on the island; a precarious location on a narrow promontory on the edge of the water. Too precarious, in fact. Opened in 1992, the airport ceased operations in 2004 because the strong winds which swirl here make it too dangerous for planes to land. You can, though, stroll along its deserted tarmac.
End Of The Continent
São Vicente’s neighbour Santo Antão is an outpost. It is the most westerly segment of the archipelago and; depending on how specific you want to be about geography – the most westerly point in Africa as a consequence. It certainly feels like the end of a continent.
Black Sand Beaches
Saharan deposits give the two easternmost islands (Sal and Boa Vista) incredible white sand strands framed by coastal dunes and salt flats. At the other extreme are the gorgeous black sand strands of Fogo and Santo Antão.
While there may not be a lot of beach side amenities at some of the more secluded shores, there’s a very good chance that yours will be the only towel on the sand.
Cape Verde And Its Street Art
More than 500 years of cultural fusion has endowed Cape Verde with a rich and varied architectural heritage. Styles range from Portuguese colonial forts and churches to conical funco huts made with volcanic stone and sobrado colonial mansions transformed into museums, boutique hotels and restaurants.
Full of colorful buildings, the islands have morphed graffiti into a national art form, with municipalities inviting artists to decorate walls and buildings.Some of the most impressive works can be found in Ribeira Grande on Santo Antão and São Filipe on Fogo. Festival Sete Sóis Sete Luas, which takes place on Santo Antão in November, has a street art component that complements local music and food.
Cape Verde produces several indigenous libations including surprisingly tasty red and white wines, and grog that harkens back to the days of sail. Introduced by Casimir, Comte de Montrond (an exiled French aristocrat) in the 1870s, the vines are grown exclusively in the dark volcanic soil of Fogo island caldera.
Vintners in Chã das Caldeiras village produce around 140,000 bottles per year, which visitors can sip with the volcano looming in the background at places like Casa Marisa bodega.
A throwback to the archipelago’s hardcore maritime days, grogue (84 proof rum) is made from sugar cane by a small, family run distillers on Santo Antão island. Meanwhile island cuisine offers a melting pot of Iberian and African dishes, ingredients and cooking styles.
Cachupa, the national dish, is a tasty blend that often mixes corn, beans, plantains, yams and some kind of meat or fish, drawing inspiration from Africa.Fresh off the boat seafood is another specialty here, while a goat cheese pastry called pudim de queijo (goat cheese wrapped in sisal) is among the dairy delights.
Water Sports And Cruises In Cape Verde
Cruise companies have finally discovered Cape Verde.Zegrahm Expeditions, the Seattle-based adventure cruise company, introduced a “Sea to Sahara” itinerary this year that includes four of the islands. Noble Caledonia, Variety Cruises, Ponant and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are among the other companies that now offer Cape Verde cruises and itineraries often combine it with the Canary islands.
A place surrounded by the deep blue sea are expected to have great water sports. As a result, Cape Verde doesn’t disappoint in that regard. With a steady wind blowing from the Sahara; Sal island is a hub for windsurfing, kite surfing and good old “hang ten” board surfing. Named one of the world’s top winter scuba destinations; the rich Atlantic waters around the islands teem with sharks, rays, turtles, tropical fish and migrating whales. Outfitters like Scuba Caribe and Cabo Verde Diving offer a number of underwater options in the islands.