Flag of Cape Verde

Cape Verde

The Republic of Cape Verde or Cape Verde is located on an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, 600 km (450 miles) west-northwest of Senegal. It comprises ten volcanic islands and five islets in two groups: the Balavento (Windwards) and the Sotavento (Leewards). The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and named after Cap-Vert (meaning Cape Green), now in Senegal, the westernmost point of continental Africa.

Many of the islands have spectacular mountain scenery and beautiful deserted beaches, such as Tarrafal on São Tiago (Santiago). San Filipe has a spectacular volcano and fine beaches. There are also many superb diving sites around the islands, several of which have shipwrecks dating back to the 16th century, and windsurfing opportunities are also excellent.

There are good markets on some of the islands, and a number of colourful festivals. Mindelo on São Vincente, with its Portuguese-style buildings, is worth a visit. The main local culinary speciality is cachupa, a mix of maize and beans, whilst fruits such as mangoes, bananas, papayas, goiabas (guavas), zimbrão, tambarinas, marmelos, azedinhas, tamaras and cocos are readily available. The nightlife is mainly centred around the discos in hotels and several nightclubs.

Map of Cape Verde