Cape Verde is an island country, an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Its opposite Mauritania and Senegal, off the western coast of Africa. Its total area is 1,557 square miles and the capital and largest city is Praia. Cape Verde is divided into two districts: the Barlavento Ilhas, the northern islands and Ilhas de Sotavento, the southern islands. These districts are further divided into 22 municipalities, called concelhos.
Cape Verde is a stable democracy. The president is head of state and is elected by popular vote and the prime minister is head of government and proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. Current president of Cape Verde is Pedro Pires prime minister José Maria Pereira Neves (2010).
On the island Santiago, about 6 miles west of Praia is the ancient capital of Cape Verde, Cidade Velha, this was the first city built by the Portuguese. Here is the Old Fort Real de Sao Felipe, from where you have a wonderful view. The most picturesque spot of the island is Pedra do Lume, the crater of the earlier volcano. In 1804 they created a tunnel to get in there. In the historical center of the city of Sao Filipe on Fogo Island, are still buildings that recall the days of slavery.
The culture of Cape Verde reflects its mixed African and Portuguese roots. It is well known for its diverse forms of music such as Morna, a melancholy and lyrical song , sung in Cape Verdean Creole.
And a wide variety of dances, like the soft dance Morna, the passada and the Funaná, a sensual mixed African and Portuguese dance.
In general, the Cape Verdean cuisine is Portuguese oriented. The national dish is Cachupa, a corn dish with different kinds of beans. A very popular fish stew is Caldo de Peixe. Also very popular is Pastel com diablo dentro, a pancake of potato and maize flour which fresh tuna, tomatoes and onions are rolled. This is completely fried and served hot.
The bay Tarrafal on Santiago has a sandy beach and there are small colorful fishing boats. Tourists come here especially to the beautiful beaches and water sports. There are possibilities for a beginner to get instructions. You can find wind surfing, fishing and diving. The beaches of Tarrafal are really worth a visit, they consist of black lava sand, that even seems to have a healing effect. Along the beaches you will find many bars and clubs. Di Nos is the best nightclub in Praia. The nightclubs in Sao Vicente are open every evening during the summer. You hear the swinging rhythm of the music sounds out of the bars and clubs.
Citizen or EU, US, Australia, Canada and Great Britain need a valid passport and a visa to travel to Cape Verde. The passport must be valid until half years after the return and the visa must be requested in advance and approved by the embassy or consulate.