Cape Verde Island

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The Republic of Cape Verde is definitely an island nation, spanning an archipelago of 15 islands located within the central Atlantic Ocean, 570kms off the coast of Western Africa. The islands, covering a combined region of somewhat over 4,000 kms2, are of volcanic origin and while 3 of them particularly Sal, Boa Vista and Maio are pretty flat, sandy and dry, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have much more vegetation. Due to the infrequent incidence of rainfall the general panorama is not especially green, because the country's name suggests. Nicely, in Portuguese “verde” indicates “green”.

Currently, the Cape Verde's economic system is largely service-oriented having a developing concentrate on tourism and foreign investment, which advantages from the islands' warm climate throughout the year, various panorama, welcoming individuals and cultural richness, particularly in music.

There's no shortage of live Cape Verdean music which can be heard on the streets, in bars and in clubs. Music is an integral part of daily life in the islands and local musicians hope to comply with within the footsteps of their internationally known compatriots such as Cesaria Evora.

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» Flora Fauna
Cape Verde has fewer fauna than just about anywhere in Africa. Birdlife is a little richer (around 75 species), and includes a good number of endemics (38 species)! The frigate bird and the extremely rare razo lark are much sought after by twitchers. The grey-headed kingfisher is more common though with its loud call.

Divers can see a good range of fish, including tropical species such as parrot fish and angelfish, groupers, barracudas, moray eels and, with luck, manta rays, sharks (including the nurse, tiger and lemon) and marine turtles. Five species of turtles visit the islands on their way across the Atlantic. Nesting takes place all through the year, but in particular from May to October.

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Must visit places

  1. Sal
  2. Santiago
  3. Brava
  4. So Vicente

The islands’ spectacular scenery is ideal for hiking.
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The volcanic island of Fogo offers good hikes with excellent views, while the scenery on Santo Anto is particularly lush. Ribeira Grande Mountain on Santo Anto takes a day to climb and it is advisable to take a guide. There are also excellent walks on Brava and So Nicolau. Bird watching trips can be arranged.

» Activities
The islands are fantastic for a wide range of water activities including sailing, sport fishing, diving and spear fishing and windsurfing. The wind of Cape Verde also brings some benefits, for example lower humidity and the islands are especially popular for kite and windsurfing.

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  1. Sailing
  2. Walking
  3. Fishing
  4. Bird watching
  5. Festivals
  6. Wind / Kite Surfing / Boarding
  7. Horse Riding Tours
  8. Trekking
  9. Tennis
  10. Mountain Biking Cycling
  11. Diving

» Official language: Portuguese

» Weather: Cape Verde’s climate is pleasantly tropical with yr round average temperatures between 26 and 30 C, uninterrupted sunshine from November to May and a rainy season between the months of June and October, when sudden but spectacular rainstorms can punctuate the hot sun.

» Currency: The official currency of Cape Verde is the escudo, abbreviated CVE and indicated with a dollar symbol after the amount. The currency is fixed against the euro at 110$ per euro.

» Food: Cape Verdean cuisine is mainly fish, so the fish lovers are really going to enjoy their dinner. A specialty of the islands and should be tried at least once is 'Cachupa'. Other nearby specialties includes goats’ cheese, jams and semi dried fruits, all excellent for those with the sweeter tooth. There's an abundance of fruit available like mangoes, bananas, papayas and guavas. Bottled water is widely available and should be drunk at all times. Milk should also be boiled before use as it may not be pasteurized.

As the islands are now opening up to the European holiday market, there are an increasing number of restaurants and bars offering meals for the European palette. A meal for 2 to include local drinks ranges from 12 Euros to 25 Euros but do remember to leave a tip.

» Drink: Wine is available, largely imported from Europe; however Fogo Island produces its own wines which are very drinkable. Beer, the nearby one is called Strela and the others are imported brands mainly from Portugal.

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Get In
» Visa
If you are arriving from a nation with a Cape Verde embassy, you will be required to purchase a Visa in advance. Otherwise a visa can be purchased on arrival.

» By Plane
Cape Verde has international airports on the islands of Sal, Santiago, Boa Vista and So Vicente. Not all the connections are visible to travel booking websites; it is generally worth checking with a travel agent.

» By boat
There are only rare, expensive connections to the mainland.

Get Around
Timetables in Cape Verde are not to be taken too seriously. This is important to consider if you decide to do some island-hopping. Because of weather and other conditions flights may be delayed or canceled.

» By plane
If you can afford to wait until you arrive, domestic tickets are cheaper if purchased in Cape Verde.

» By boat
There are ferry services between the islands. Depending around the distance between the islands you are going from and to, flying could be significantly shorter but also significantly more expensive.

» By taxi
Nice, new taxis are available within the major cities and are metered. Aluguers, which are generally either open back pickup trucks with bench seats or 15 passenger Toyota vans, tend to travel between much more rural destinations, especially on Santa Anto.

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