Cape Verde comprises a group of islands (10 main islands and about 8 islets) of the Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal and is in West Africa. Each island is different. The easterly ones are flat and sandy, the westerly ones mountainous, with dramatic volcanic peaks. Take a look at the map.
During the last century, severe droughts cut the islands' grain crop by 80% and caused the deaths of 200,000 people which prompted heavy emigration. Today, more people with origins in Cape Verde live outside the country than inside it. Nonetheless, Cape Verde enjoys a per capita income that is higher than that of many continental African nations.
Tourism is now on the rise, but there are concerns that it poses a threat to the Cape Verde's rich marine life. Cape Verde is an important breeding site for many species of turtles, including leatherbacks and hawksbills which congregate and come ashore in May. Cape Verde is also a known breeding ground for humpback whales and sitings are common, especially in March. But, better than that, when under water, you can hear the strange, haunting sound of humpbacks singing, a sound so mesmerising it stops you in your tracks.
- The island of Sal for wrecks, reefs and cave diving. The deep Cape Verde waters offer volcanic lava shoals falling sheer away to reveal caves and cracks full of tropical fish.
- At Burracona in the North, there are caves at 22m, with two entrances. This natural grotto is made out of black basalt so the lighting efffects are fantastic.
- Selena's Arch at Ponta do Sol - a reef going from 15m to 25m with a host of extremely large cornetfish.
- From April to November, there is little wind and the water is very clear, except in plankton build-up. Visibility is up to 40m except during the September equinox.
- Sal is the island with the most easily accessible diving. Almost all the dive sites are a few minutes' boat-ride from the wide, sandy beach and a handful of well-organised dive centres.
- Be ready for strong currents. There's nothing between these islands and Brazil!
|Currency:||Cape Verde Escudo|
|Climate:||Temperate, the rainy season is August to October|
|Diving season:||Year round|