‘Unsophisticated,’ ‘earnest,’ ‘understated’: all words used to describe Cape Verde, and all meant in the best ways possible. If you’re looking for a trip free of pretence then you can’t beat a holiday to Cape Verde, where the charm is in the laidback culture and welcoming locals.
Here are some activities that make these islands special no matter what your time of life is.
Humpback whales migrate between high-latitude feeding grounds and low-latitude breeding grounds every year, and the Cape Verde islands are one of two breeding ground locations for them in the North Atlantic. Organized tours are available on the southwest part of Cape Verde, where during March and April you’re likely to hear the mating call of a male humpback.
Cape Verde is home to the third largest nesting population of loggerhead turtles in the world, which provides you with ample opportunities to see them in their natural habitat. During July, August, and September female loggerhead turtles come out from the ocean and lay their eggs in the darkness. The whole nesting process is a sight to behold, from the turtle’s emergence from the ocean to the eggs being dropped into the hole the mother has created. You do want to make sure you use a reputable agency though, as there are many illegal tours operating that can harm the turtles.
Take a swim in a salt mine
The oldest island in Cape Verde has had many faces. It was originally called Llana, when it was discovered by the Portuguese in the 1400s, but after the salt mines were discovered it took on the namesake, Sal. Today, these mines are mainly used for tourists and travellers, but they’re still a fine sight. A short walk through a darkened tunnel leads into the salt ponds, where water that is 26 times saltier than seawater awaits. The feeling of buoyancy is incredible, as sinking is almost impossible.
Sample the cuisine
Images by BigMikeSndTech, used under Creative Commons licence.