Fun Facts about the African Island of Cape Verde
Cape Verde also referred to as Cabo Verde, is an African island country found in the Atlantic Ocean, stretching over an archipelago of ten volcanic island nations on a volcanic island off the northwest coast of the continent. It was an uninhabited island that was first discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century.
Below are some interesting facts about Cape Verde.
- Known for its Creole Portuguese-African culture and morna music, this strikingly beautiful country is part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, about 570 kilometers off the West African coast, near Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania.
- Half a million people live here, and most of them live on the main island of Santiago.
- The largest island in the country, Santiago is home to its current capital city, Praia, and the old capital, Cidade Velha.
- Cape Verde is named after Cap Vert, which means Green Cape in Senegal, the western most part of continental Africa.
- The islands are divided into two parts - the Barlavento islands which are windward and the Sotavento islands found on the leeward side. The Barlavento Islands include Sao Vicente, Santo Antao, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista; the Sotavento Islands are made up of Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.
- The island of Maio, which is Portuguese for May, was named after its first sighting on May 1st, 1460. Not only is it known for its beautiful beaches, but it is also popular for its big forest, which is unusual in Cape Verde.
- The island of Santa Luzia is uninhabited, which means you can only visit from Calhau. On the east coast of Sao Vicente Island, you can rent a fishing boat for the day and make your way across this two hour crossing. This island is celebrated for its beautiful white beaches and high sand dunes.
- Portuguese is the official language but people also speak Crioulo, an Africanized Creole Portuguese.
- Cabo Verde is the 3rd largest nesting site for Loggerhead turtles and it is illegal to capture turtles which are endangered species in the country, between June and February.
- Brava is a little island known as ‘the Garden Island’ of Cabo Verde because there are many tropical plants and flowers. It has no beaches, just high cliffs, and you can visit it and hike the mountains.
- Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
- Cape Verdeans typically eat a big lunch and a smaller supper. The national dish on these islands is Cachupa, which is a stew made up of beans and meat or vegetables.
- Cape Verde is a lusophone country, with Portuguese being their official language.
- It is the 166th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 4,033 square kilometers (1,557 square miles).
So, there you have it, some interesting facts about Cape Verde!