Cape Verde: The African Heart-Stopping Paradise on EarthAdmin | Posted On : 30/11/2021
Forget for a moment those big names and countries in Africa if you are planning for an enriching vacation to Africa. Yes, not that countries like South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana etc. do not have much to offer; they sure do. But why not try something more seductive, exotic and unique? Think of a country that offers different kinds of vacation experiences. Welcome to Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, the official name in Portuguese.
Why Cape Verde?
Although discovered by the Portuguese in 1456, Cape Verde became independent from the Portuguese only in 1975. With seductive blue beaches, breathtaking mountains, tranquil seaside villages, coupled with amiable and hospitable people, the captivating island, which is made up of an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands chain, offers what a very few countries possess. Situated in the central Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde, which is about 630 km to Dakar, Senegal, is an epitome of contrast, as each island of the country possesses distinctive charms and uniqueness, making Cape Verde and all its beautiful islands a must-visit destination. The majority of Cape Verdians are descendants of European settlers, and African slaves brought to the islands; that makes the country a melting pot of the diversity of race and culture.
Ten unique islands: Endless enjoyment
Although Cape Verde is made up of 10 islands, each with its idiosyncratic characteristics, the country’s three biggest islands are Santiago, which covers an area of 991 km2. Santo Antao follows this with 779 km2. Cape Verde’s third-largest island Boa Vista measures 620 km2.
What makes Cape Verde a tourist paradise? Many. It is a melting point for cultural diversity, apart from having warm temperatures throughout the year, making it a perfect island to escape the chilly winter weather. Of course, which island you choose to visit depends on where your interest lies. Are you into hiking, wind/kite surfing or the beach type? Are you one of those mountain climbing enthusiasts? Cape Verde is a perfect destination for you.
With the beautiful blend of African and Portuguese cultures due to its historical past, San Tiago island offers the kind of cultural diversity rare in many countries. These diversities are typically visible in architecture, such as the colonial buildings in Mindelo, on Sao Vicente, and cuisine, a blend of African food and seafood. Furthermore, Sao Vicente offers a perfect destination for music, art and culture lovers. Are you looking for the country’s great musicians, writers, art collections or colonial architecture? Sao Vicente is the right place for you.
For those who are beach addicts, Sal is a perfect destination. Its magnificent golden bright blue sandy beaches earn Sal’s beach the lover’s paradise. That does not mean that other beaches on other islands of Cape Verde are far from being stunning. Even though Boa Vista offers 55 km long irresistible beaches, it is equally paradise for those who seek total relaxation and escape from the hassles and stress that come with everyday life.
Like on the beaches of Sal, a name coined from the salt lake in a volcanic crater, Boa Vista is a perfect destination for (kite) surfers due to the steady, solid winds. Apart from the fact that the water of the salt lake is 26 times saltier than the sea, another noticeable thing about Sal is that it equally offers 15 species of shark, five species of turtle, amongst them the endangered loggerhead turtles. You can also find the same species of turtles on Santiago and Boa Vista.
Are you adventurous? Head to Fogo, where the thrilling sight of an active volcano is worth the trip. The rich black soil from the volcano provides natural manure for agriculture. Hence Fogo island is well known for its grapes and wine production.
Santo Antao offers the greenest nature and panoramic views of the mountains on Cape Verde. But one cannot talk about nature without mentioning Santa Luzia, the smallest island of Cape Verde, which was nearly uninhabited for almost two centuries. Visit this truly great part of Cape Verde and have yourself a treat of nature.
A trip to Brava, the island with a minor population, offers you flowers, mountainous scenery, and more. The island is another signatory proof of Cape Verde’s beauty.
Even though Cape Verde is reminiscent of beauty, it does not possess natural resources. Mostly covered by mountains, ocean, volcanoes and other natural beauty, only just ten per cent of Cape Verde has been suitable for agriculture. Hence, tourism, which has contributed immensely to the economy, is predominantly the country’s source of income.
Best time to visit
When is the best time to visit Cape Verde? It all depends on your area of interest; however, a visit between November and June provides you with an excellent opportunity to enjoy most of the white-sand beaches the islands can offer. Other advantages of choosing this year period are friendly climate, generally around the mid-to-high twenties, and minimal rainfall.
Yes, every tourist wants to feel safe where ever they visit. Cape Verde is hardly an exception. Generally, the country is very safe. The islands are serene and stress-free. The crime rate is low, much lower than in mainland West Africa. Furthermore, it is quite safe to travel to Cape Verde solo. Of course, there are minor petty crimes – especially in big cities – just like you have in other countries or cities globally. That said, some degree of precautions wouldn’t be a bad idea. Avoid dark places or walking alone at night, as this might attract some unnecessary attention.
All in all, Cape Verde is truly a virgin, the unspoiled island of Africa for those who look further. With its abundant nature, stunning mountains, seductive beaches, arts, architectural masterpiece, coupled with unbelievably friendly inhabitants, your trip to Cape Verde is worth every single effort and cent spent.
Name: Cape Verde
Currency: Cape Verdean escudo. Both Euro and dollars are widely used. Note: it’s illegal to take the local currency out of the country
Population: 560,349, (2019 estimate)
Official language: Portuguese. However, Creole is widely spoken due to the historical past. The booming in tourism has equally necessitated the use of English too.