Three reasons to visit Cape Verde islands
On the westernmost point of Africa lies an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the midst of the Atlantic ocean. With an alluring cultural mix between Creole Portuguese-African heritage, the Cape Verde islands are one of the world’s most underrated destinations. Somewhere in between the western and the developing world, the region has evolved from the dark past of slave trade history, making it a very poignant place to visit. Throw in some pretty amazing landscapes and wildlife, enviable sunny weather nearly all year round that allows for many activities, even during winter, and numerous island destinations in one. And there you have it. Cape Verde islands are most suited to the adventurer or nature enthusiast type of travellers and those who seek to discover an alternative off the beaten track place. Although there are more than three reasons to visit Cape Verde islands, here are the top three that will guarantee a fulfilling island holiday, any time of year.
THE LANDSCAPES AS POPULAR SITES
The diversity of Cape Verde landscapes includes volcanic terrains, ocean cliffs, mountainous ranges, lovely beaches, endless green fields, rainforests and jungles. Depending on the level of exploration each traveller is comfortable with, Cape Verde islands can deliver a range of experiences, from many natural sites to various cultural attractions. For example, on Fogo Island, the volcano of Pico do Fogo is perhaps the most awe-inspiring natural site as it is not every day that visitors can see an impressive volcano crater up close and personal. On Sao Nicolau island, Monte Cintinha is a mountain covered in a verdant veil that takes your breath away at first sight. On San Antao, the Cova crater combines the aggressiveness of volcanic beauty with fields of endless green, making for a beautiful visual contradiction. On the same island, visitors can also explore the fields of sugarcane plantations that are an integral part of Cape Verde’s agricultural production. While in Cape Verde you should definitely sample the local sugarcane juice rum varieties.
THE WILDLIFE & NATURAL RESERVES
Cape Verde’s wealth of biodiversity will definitely astound any visitor who shows an interest in nature. Plentiful in nature reserves and natural parks that are brimming with an intriguing specimen of indigenous flora above sea level, Cape Verde islands are similarly rich underwater, more so for their marina fauna. Visit the Monte Verde reserve on Sao Vincente island, or the Monte Gordo park on Sao Nicolau island to discover the vast plethora of vegetation and wildlife; choosing to discover these places will make you feel like you are taking part in a documentary! The endemic birds of Cape Verde count more than 150 species, so it a perfect destination for bird watching. The marine life of these islands includes the endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles as well as docile sea mammals such as dolphins and whales in addition to many tropical fish species. Which brings us to the various activities that visitors can engage in whilst in Cape Verde.
THE ACTIVITIES & CULTURE
The aforementioned landscapes and natural reserves are accessible with some effort on your part. There are low difficulty trekking and hiking trails that take you through the breathtaking scenery and can easily be arranged by choosing one of the many tours available on each island, however if you choose to discover Cape Verde islands by cruise you can opt to take the various optional guided excursions that will reveal the best highlights across the islands. For the sea lovers, snorkelling and diving will give you the opportunity to meet the above-mentioned sea life up close and personal while the thrill seekers can take advantage of the great weather conditions that make the Cape Verde islands ideal for sup, wind, kite and body surfing.
The local culture is alive with the beautiful morna music, dancing, street art and many colourful local markets with Cape Verdeans greeting potential buyers browsing their wares with a warm smile. It should be noted that the country’s future economic prospects heavily depend on the encouragement of tourism, so during your visit budget some petty cash for spending on the local products. For immersing into the local history, visit the cultural landmarks of San Tiago island such as the Fortress of Real de São Filipe, a place that offers visitors great views onto the Atlantic Ocean. Another attraction on this island is the Museum of Maritime History that harbours many findings from the surrounding area’s many shipwrecks.