Cape Verde


Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde in Portuguese) is an archipelago of 10 islands and several islets in the North Atlantic Ocean some 672 kilometers (417 miles) off the coast of Senegal, West Africa. The terrain is generally volcanic, steep, rugged, and rocky. The highest point is Pico do Fogo at 2,829 meters (9,281 feet). The islands are divided into Leeward (Sotavento Islands) and Windward (Barlavento Islands).

Environmental issues include soil erosion, deforestation, water shortages, desertification, illegal beach sand extraction, and overfishing. Deforestation has been largely due to the demand for wood as a fuel. Environmental damage in general has threatened several species of birds and reptiles. The Global Environment Facility operates a website for their Small Grants Programme in Cape Verde, GEF SGP Cabo Verde. The Cape Verde directorate general for environment, Direcção Geral do Ambiente, operates an environmental information system, Sistema de Informação Ambiental. Plataforma das ONG is an online platform supporting non-governmental organizations in Cape Verde. Local environmental NGOs include the association for the defence of the environment and development, Associação para a Defesa do Ambiente e Desenvolvimento, and the Maio biodiversity foundation, Fundação Maio Biodiversidade.

The ministry of environment, housing and spacial planning, Ministério do Ambiente, Habitação e Ordenamento do Território, operates a website for protected areas, Áreas Protegidas de Cabo Verde. Types of protected areas include nature reserves, natural parks, protected landscapes and natural monuments. Noteworthy parks include Monte Gordo, Parque Natural do Fogo (including Chã das Caldeiras), and Serra da Malagueta. Protected landscapes include the salt crater at Pedra de Lume. Birding sites, Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, include Curral Velho, Lagoa de Pedra Badejo, and Lagoa de Rabil.

Seaturtles are of particular concern in Cape Verde. SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerhead seaturtle habitat, and needs volunteer help. The Turtle Foundation also works in Cape Verde, and organizes volunteer opportunities with GEOMAR. Whale watching excursions are available from King Boa and Seawatch Cabo Verde.

Capverdescape, Naturalia, and Vista Verde Tours specialize in ecotours, including hiking. Afrikitesurf, Angulo Cabo Verde, and Surf Zone Cabo Verde focus on watersports, particularly windsurfing and kitesurfing. Scuba diving operators include Cabo Verde Diving, Orca Dive Club, Scubateam Cabo Verde, and Sunfish Scuba Diving Academy.



The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves, and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Cape Verde achieved independence in 1975, following the fall of the fascist regime in Portugal.

In 2009, Cidade Velha, the historic center of Ribeira Grande, was inscribed as World Heritage. In 2004, 5 other sites were added to as Tentative Lists of World Heritage, including Le Plateau de la ville de Praia, La Saline de Pedra Lume, Cova e Montantes de Ribeiras da Torre et do Paul, Ville de Sao Filipe, and Camp de concentration de Tarrafal. There are no registered ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) members for Cape Verde. In terms of living culture, Cape Verde is know for its music. There are at least 2 popular music festivals, Festival de Música da Baía das Gatas and the Kriol Jazz Festival.

Cape Verde has the magic formula of sun, sea and sand. In 2012, the World Travel and Tourism Council included Cape Verde as one of the top ten fastest growing destinations, with considerable mass tourism infrastructure under development – such as resorts, airports and water desalination plants. Portal do Turismo de Cabo Verde is the official tourism website, apparently managed by the directorate general of tourism, Direcção Geral de Turismo. Morabeza is on a mission to discover and promote sustainable tourism in Cape Verde. Interesting places to stay include Casa Café Mindelo, Migrante Guesthouse, and Spinguera Ecolodge.

Cabo Verde Fast Ferry links major islands; otherwise, inter-islands flights are available. Transportes Aéreos de Cabo Verde is the national airline, and flies domestically between islands, as well as internationally to Africa, Europe, and North America.


  • Residents’ Attitudes towards Tourism Development in Cape Verde Islands by MA Ribeiro, P Oom do Valle, JA Silva, 2013
  • Analysis of community-based tourism in Cape Verde. A study on the island of São Vicente by T López, 2012
  • Community-based Tourism In Islands: The Case Of Boavista (Cape Verde) by SMS Cañizares, AM Castillo, 2012
  • Resident’s perceptions and attitudes about the impact of tourism on the island of Santiago (Cape Verde) by AM Castillo Canalejo, M Osuna Soto, 2012
  • Sun and beach tourism: Analysis of demand in Boavista (Cape Verde) by AM Castillo, 2012
  • Tourism And Socioeconomic Development In Cape Verde by AMC Canalejo, T López, 2012
  • Community-based Tourism In Cape Verde–A Case Study by T Lopez, 2011
  • Community-based tourism and local socio-economic development: A case study in Cape Verde by T López, 2011
  • A study of tourism development in Cape Verde from the policy perspective by OLC Fernandes, 2010
  • The effects of tourism, beachfront development and increased light pollution on nesting Loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta (Linnaeus, 1758) on Sal, Cape Verde Islands by H Taylor, J Cozens, 2010
  • Marine eco-tourism in Cape Verde: its potential for sustainable development and conservation of marine biodiversity by SE Merino, S Berrow, TJ Hayden, DA Murray, 2006
  • Sustainable tourism in Santa Maria, Sal, Cape Verde: a SWOT analysis by F Slater, E Chadwick, TJ Hayden, DA Murray, 2006
  • Resort Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development: The Italian Experience in Cape Verde by G Ariguzo, L Lessassy, D White, 2004
  • Organisation and management of tourism in developing countries: The case of Cape Verde by C Wihlborg, 1996
  • Climatic conditions for coastal tourism in Santiaga (Cabo Verde): application of two classification systems by E Correia, 1993
  • Tourism in the Third World. From criticism to a strategy. The Cape Verde example by S May, 1985

Cape Verde Data