Cape (Cabo) Verde Islands
The Cape (Cabo) Verde islands are an archipelago located in the Northern Atlantic Ocean to the west of Senegal. There are 9 main islands, including St. Antao, St. Vicente, St. Nicolau, Sal, Boavista, Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. The islands were discovered an colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and became a trading center for African slaves. The islands sought independence in 1975, and now its inhabitants are of both Portuguese and African descents. The islands have a tropical, temperate climate and tend to have warm, dry summers. The rainy season is during August, September and October, and from year to year and island to island the rainfall is quite unpredictable.
The islands are an exciting vacation destination for the seafood lover, and many travel to the islands because there is fine seafood abound including abundant shellfish – lobsters, various kinds of crabs – and permanent species of fish such as the dory, the sawfish, the victor fish, the moray and the grouper. Some specialty dishes of the region include “Arroz de cabidela de marisco à dadal," which is a special shellfish dish made with rice, and "guisado de percebes" or grilled lobster. There are also many migratory aquatic species in the waters surrounding the islands such as the tuna, dolphins, whales, sperm whales and killer whales. Interestingly, there are turtles which are considered endangered species in the rest of the world yet lay their eggs on the beaches of Cape Verde, as the islands happen to be the preferred habitat for the different species.
As far as culture, the islands are rich in local handicrafts (which make great souvenirs), local food and drink, dancing and rituals, and cultural events such as Carnaval (which has Portuguese and Brazilian roots). There are also long, sandy beaches with many tourist complexes which offer instructional water sport activities, and volcanoes to discover by foot and automobile. Finally, tourists interested in nightlife can explore many of the island’s spirited discotheques. There is clearly a ton to do on these islands, and if you are interested in more information, check out Cape Verde Islands.