Cape Verde (Republic of Cape Verde). Island nation off the western coast of Africa. Capital – g.Praya (94.76 ths., 2000). Area – 4,033 sq. km. Administrative-territorial division – 17 municipalities. Population – 412,14 thousand. (2003 ).
Official languages – Portuguese and Creole (kriulu). Religion – Christianity and African traditional beliefs. Currency – eshkudu Cape Verde. National Day – July 5 – Independence Day (1975). Cape Verde – a member of the UN since 1975, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1975, the African Union (AU) in 2002, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (PALOP) since 1996.
The country is located in the archipelago of Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic Ocean at a distance of approx. 455 km from g.Dakara (Senegal) – the most western point of the African continent. Archipelago – part Makronezii (there also includes the Azores, the Canary, Desert Islands and Madeira Island).
Consisting of 18 islands and cays (Boavista, Brava, Branco, Grundy, Shower-Passarush, Luis Carneiro, Mayu, never, Sal, Sao Vicente, Sao Nicolau, Santa Luzia, Santa Maria, Santo Antao, Santiago, Sapadu, Shem and Fogo). The largest island – Santiago (991 sq. km).
Attractions Cape Verde
Tourists are attracted by the sandy beaches of the islands of Boavista, Maio and Sal and picturesque mountain scenery on the islands of Brava, Santo Antao, Santiago and Fogo. Favorable climatic conditions allow you to take tourists all year round. In the development of tourism to invest as local entrepreneurs and foreign investors (in 1998 was invested 74% of all foreign investments).
Major foreign investors – Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and France. Popular hotel complexes in g.Tarrafal, on the islands of Boa Vista, Maio, Sao Vicente and Santo Antao. In 1999 on the island of Sal, opened its first five-star hotel.
Number of tourists ( Portuguese, Germans, Italians, Dutch, Americans, French, South Africans and others) increases annually 20 thousand people in 1993, 67 thousand people in 1999. In 2000 the country was visited 83.3 ths., and income from tourism amounted to 40.8 million dollars.
The village Cidade Velha (means “old town”, is based on the island of Santiago in the 15th century, is listed as the UNESCO-protected historic monuments), the tower “Belen” and Maritime Museum in Mindelo, the ethnographic museum in g.Prae. Planning to travel across the country, should be considered national holidays: January 20, May 1, July 5, November 1.
Nature Cape Verde
Volcanic island. Relief predominantly mountainous nature. Plains are on the islands of Boa Vista and Maio Sal. The coastline of the islands (1,053 km) is very rocky and indented. The archipelago is located in one of the seismic zones of Africa, the most frequent earthquakes on the island of Brava.
The highest point of the archipelago – Fogo active volcano (2829 m), located on the same island (the last eruption was in 1995). There are two groups of islands – the northern windward (Barlavento) and southern leeward (Sotavento). Minerals: basalt, tuff, limestone, kaolin, pumice, pozzolan, and salt. On the islands of Brava and Santo Antao are mineral springs.
Climate – dry tropical (hot). The warmest time of the year – August-September, the coolest – January-February. The average annual temperature is +22-26 °C. Average annual rainfall – 100-300 mm, Substantially all of it falling in the mountains. Vegetation is sparse.
Flora includes 450 native plant species and 150 imported. In the mountains grow acacia bombardeyra, cypress, pine and eucalyptus trees in the valleys – almonds, coconut and date palms. There are baobabs, the dragon tree and mango. The greenest island of the archipelago – Brava, sometimes referred to as the island of flowers. Deforestation has led to the virtual disappearance of rivers, their beds are filled with water only during the rainy season.
Fresh water sources – wells, drilling rigs and desalination plants. Fauna – diverse world of birds (Egret, coach, kingfishers, sandpipers, gulls, quails, parrots, falcons, flamingos, frigate) and many kinds of lizards. Most species of animals brought settlers – livestock, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, monkeys and dogs.
Diverse world of butterflies and insects. Water islands are rich in fish (barracuda, mullet, salmon, mackerel, sole, moray eel, herring, tuna). Lots of sharks, lobsters and clams. There are whales and sea turtles.