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The Undiscovered Cape Verde Islands

World  (tags: Africa, Cape Verde Islands, people, places, travel )

- 1765 days ago -
The republic of Cape Verde is an island country located in central Atlantic. This country is spanning an archipelago of a total of 10 islands and it is located 570 kilometers off the West African Coast.

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Kit B (276)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 10:10 am
Map Credit: and National Geographic

(Okay -- they are undiscovered but not a hot spot for most visitors)

The republic of Cape Verde is an island country located in central Atlantic. This country is spanning an archipelago of a total of 10 islands and it is located 570 kilometers off the West African Coast. All the islands of the country are of volcanic origin and have a combined are of 1500 square meters. Three of the islands are fairly flat; these are Sal, Boa and Maio. They are also sandy and dry while the remaining seven are rocky and have more vegetation than others.

5 Facts You Might Not Know

1 The islands were previously inhabited after being colonized the Portuguese in the 15th century. They were used for slave trade in the Atlantic because of the geographical location advantage. Some of the famous people who visited the islands were Sir Francis Drake who was a corsair under the British crown and Charles Darwin who was on an expedition in 1832.

2 Due to the isolation of Cape Verde, there are a number of endemic species of birds and reptiles all which are endangered by the encroachment of humans and human development. Some of the endemic species of birds include Alexander's Swift birds, the Bourne's Heron, Rosa Lark, the Cape Verde Warbler and the Iago Sparrow. These islands are also breeding areas for sea birds.

3 The common and most successful tourist attraction in Cape Verde is bird watching. This is due to the various numbers of species of birds that reside in the islands. There are at least 4 unique species of birds in Cape Verde. The islands also have great views and beaches for tourists who want to enjoy the waters of the Atlantic.

4 Cape Verde is common with turtle watching because of the many sand dunes that are formed besides the beaches that form great places for the turtle eggs and nesting. It is also interesting to know that every year from May to September, 3000 loggerhead turtles come from ashore on Cape Verde's beaches.

5 Anyone who wants to have a legal marriage in Cape Verde it is possible. However, it is required that the tourists be there for over 30 days before getting married.

Ten fun facts about Cape Verde

Fact 1 The official name of the country is Republic of Cape Verde. The monetary unit is Cape Verdean escudo.

Fact 2 This archipelago contains a cluster of 10 islands that form a horse-shoe shape and the combined area they cover is a little more than 4,000 square kilometers.

Fact 3 The island of Santiago is the largest in terms of area and also in terms of the population. The capital city Praia is situation on this island.

Fact 4 Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal on 5th July, 1975.

Fact 5 The ethnic groups are Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28% and European 1%.

Fact 6 The languages spoken in Cape Verde are Portuguese and Criuolo. Cape Verde has an exotic unique Creole culture which has absorbed influences from Brazil, Portugal and musical vibes from Senegal.

Fact 7 Cape Verde has a temperate climate with warm, dry summers and little precipitation through the year.

Fact 8 The highest point in the archipelago is Mount Fogo, a volcano reaching 2m829 m in height. The lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean at sea level.

Fact 9 The religion in this country is mainly Roman Catholic infused with indigenous beliefs and Protestant. The literacy rate is 77%.

Fact 10 Despite its lack of natural resources the country has shown remarkable developmental growth and stability over the years.

Cape Verde Food & Drink

The result of a marriage between African and Portuguese cuisine, traditional Cape Verdean food features a wide array of interesting and savoury dishes. Naturally, fish and seafood play a key role in many of them, with fresh tuna being the most widely consumed fish locally, while lobster, squid, and a variety of shellfish are also in abundance.

The star and the most popular traditional dish is the Cachupa. It can be made from a mixture of corn, different meats, beans, sausages and vegetables.

The typical alcoholic drink in Cape Verde is Grogue, which is made from sugar cane. Cape Verdeans also drink a lot of tea, which is commonly served with couscous, corn paddies and tropical fruit jams.


Cachupa is a staple food in Cape Verde. It is said that one can measure the economic well-being of a family by seeing what they put in their cachupa. While in times of abundance or on special occasions, such as weddings, cachupa will be full of sausage and rich meats and vegetables; in the countryside, people tend to grow the basics of the dish, like mandioca, beans and a few vegetables, and make a much more modest cachupa. The rich cachupa with a lot of meats and sausage is called a Cachupa Rica.

Cooking cachupa can take a long time of boiling, which makes it expensive for Cape Verdeans, because of the scarcity and high prices of local fuels. In the countryside, the gathering of firewood for the cachupa is a common activity.

For Cape Verdean immigrants a meal of cachupa is a social occasion, used to remember and share stories about their homeland. It is also common to serve leftover cachupa in the morning, for example in cachupa ku ovo strelado, which consists of browned onions with cachupa and a fried egg, to make a breakfast of champions.

Considered a relative of cachupa, a local version of the Brazilian Feijoada (basis of black beans, tasty sausage and rice) is also common in Cape Verde.

The Mighty Grogue

Brought from the Caribbean and cultivated and harvested by slaves, sugar cane is used to make grogue. The word grogue comes from the nickname given to sailors to an Admiral in the Royal Navy, who had started watering down their rum. Soon enough, people started calling the drink itself grogue.

Much of the grogue produced in Cape Verde is quite artisanal; it is distilled using an old oil drum. The rhythm of the pressing of the cane for the making of grogue has repeatedly become an inspiration for music, and there are some popular mournful ballads that are associated with the activity, and commonly sung while making grogue.

The process of making the traditional drink has strong cultural roots. The sugarcane is harvested in the spring, the resulting cane bundles are then transported by women to the distillery, where it is then fed in to a press known as a trapiche. The resulting rum will later be watered down to become grogue.

Cape Verdeans use grogue to make pontche, a typical drink, which includes lime and sugar. Pontche is a close relative of the ponche from the Island of Madeira.

Sugarcane plantations and grogue production are mainly found in San Antonio, Sao Nicolau and Santiago. The drink is also used in traditional remedies, which are made by adding different herbs.

In tourist areas, the typical Brazilian cocktail Caipirinha is also made using grogue, instead of the original cachaca. Click on the link to learn how to make Caipirinha

Home Brew: Strela

Strela is the most popular beer in Cape Verde, which is produced by the Sociedade Cabo-verdiana de Cerveja e Refrigerantes. The blue label beer is exported to Gambia, with plans to be commercialized in other parts of the world where Cape Verdean immigrants live. Strela is sold in many formats, from 25cl bottles to 50 litre kegs.


There are many popular desserts in Cape Verde. Most of them are made using some of the islands` tropical fruits, such as coconut, guava, mango and papaya. Among Cape Verde´s most enjoyable sweet delights are doce de papaya, cheese pudding, coffee pudding and doce de coco.

Pack your swim togs, and hiking boots - we are off to Cape Verde.

Kit B (276)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 10:12 am

NOT undiscovered, but not well known to most travelers. Sorry about the error. To me these islands seem to be a wonderful retreat from daily life.

Barbara K (60)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 11:38 am
Yes, Kit, that was quite a little vacation, and I needed it, lol. Thank you for the beauty.

. (0)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 12:25 pm
It also possesses the hanging cliff which could produce a mega tsunami. It's not a question of it but when.

divergent revolution (309)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 12:33 pm
I actually have sailed quite close but didn't stop.
Stopped in the canary islands and the Azores, which was an active volcano, last incident was the year I was born. ..beautiful, better than the canaries.
Thanks, Kit, would have stopped there but we had no wind at all on the crossing from the canaries to the Caribbean.

pam w (139)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 1:30 pm
For awhile, flights from Jo'berg stopped there to fuel before going on to New York. You walked around the airport, exercising your legs and using the bathrooms. I'll bet they had ENORMOUS water use! You could buy many beautiful postage stamps. Unfortunately, I never saw the islands during was always night.

Pat B (356)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 1:31 pm
Sounds very nice, I think I'd like to stay longer tho'. Maybe till Monday? Thanks, Kit for this.

Nicole W (646)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 2:19 pm
so lovely to travel with you Kit, thank you

Alice C (1797)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 3:23 pm
I'm going to book a flight as soon as I can afford it : )

Alice C (1797)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 3:25 pm

. (0)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 3:59 pm
their use of wind power is exemplary

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 11:28 pm
Beautiful! Now this is a place that I've always wanted to visit---love the local music and natural beauty. Cesaria Evora who died a few years ago was the most famous musician from here and her music is beautiful should anyone be interested in checking her out. Thx Kit 4 this trip!

Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 1:57 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 4:01 am
Always appreciate the locations you choose Kit. I guess this is easier to get to from Europe than the US, which explains why I have been there. Pam W, it depends on what time of year you fly if they stop or not. Natash, people should hear the music,

Anne P (174)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 7:31 am
Thank you, Kit. Cape Verde was the home of legendary singer Cesaria Evora, the "Barefoot Diva" who sadly passed away in December 2011. If you have never heard her gorgeous voice, click on this YouTube video of her famous song, "Sodade":

Kit B (276)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 7:36 am

Thanks for the music videos Anne and John, they will help enrich the learning about this country.

JL A (281)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 8:58 am
Thanks for this armchair travel treat!

Rehana VN (0)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 10:55 am
Sounds great!

Marija M (29)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 11:46 am
tks for the nice journey

Colleen L (3)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 12:35 pm
Very beautiful. Wish we could see that beauty here in the US. People destroy our beautiful ocean land. May everyone see this and think twice before they even think of trashing areas again.Thanks Kit

Birgit W (160)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 12:41 pm
Thank you Kit.

Deborah W (6)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 3:05 pm
Wonder how long -- or short -- a time it will take for exploitation, greed, corruption and destruction to take over. Seems treasures such as this, once revealed, are fair game to misuse and abuse.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 3:39 pm
Thanks for another great post.

Heather Marv (31)
Sunday August 18, 2013, 11:21 pm
Looks so peaceful. Hope they won't destroy it with hotels etc. Need to protect Nature.

Kenneth Davies (0)
Monday August 19, 2013, 7:29 am
looks nice

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 20, 2013, 9:25 am
Looks beautiful Not many places like this left that are not over run with humans along with their rubbish etc

Kit B (276)
Tuesday August 20, 2013, 9:55 am

For various and some obvious reasons the Cayman's have the money to keep the islands clean. Over run by humans, well that's another question.
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