Cape Verde (Portuguese: República de Cabo Verde) is a country in West Africa. It is located on the archipelago and includes 18 islands which are divided into the Leeward Islands (Portuguese: Sotavento) and the Windward Islands (Portuguese: Barlavento). The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean.
Diving is gaining popularity here. There are a lot of shipwrecks, caves, cliffs and reefs in this area which are a habitat for fishes, crabs and octopuses. Another place of interest is the harbour in the crater of an extinguished volcano near Mindelo in the northwest of Sao Vicente coast. The average depth ranges from 6 to 30 meters, the maximum depth is 40 meters. All this makes Cape Verde a paradise for divers.
There are over 20 sites for exciting diving on volcanic São Vicente Island. They are open all year round. Porto Grande Bay in Mindelo is especially attractive.
Boa Vista Island offers 55 km of shoreline, no crowds and enjoyable diving. The crystal clear turquoise coastal water is home for dolphins and turtles.
There are a lot of dive shops on the islands. They offer services for everyone from a beginner to an experiences diver. For example, Cabo Verde Diving Club on Sal Island provides night diving and a diving torch.
In March the air temperature in Cape Verde ranges from +23 to +25 ˚С and the water temperature is between +21 and +23 ˚С. The dry season continues and there no precipitation. In May the water temperature remains at +22 ˚С.
In June and July, the air warms up to +26 or +28 ˚С, and the water off the coast heats up to +24 or +25 ˚С. August brings the first rains with it. The air and water temperature raises by one degree.
In September the wet season begins in Cape Verde. The air temperature reaches +30 ˚С and the water temperature warms up to +27 ˚С. In October the rains become short. In November the air temperature is between +27 and +28 ˚С and the water is 26 °C warm.
The average air temperature from December to February is around +25 ˚С, and the water temperature ranges from +23 to +25 ˚С. At his time Santiago Island (Portuguese: Ilha de Santiago) is the warmest place. There are no rains.
On Sal Island divers can visit the Blue Eye, the only natural pool inside a cliff, and 19 other dive sites. There is also a wreck of the bulk carrier Santo Antao, which crashed into a submerged reef in winter 1966. Here you can see parrotfish, porcupinefish, eels and other sea dwellers.
Crime rate in Cape Verde is low. You can walk safely in tourist areas, such as Sal and Boa Vista Islands. However, you should be careful in other regions, as there have been more crimes reported recently. A trip to Cape Verde is very risky for pregnant women because of the spread of Zika virus. There is a danger of catching tuberculosis. Problems with drinking water sometimes cause intestinal infections outbreaks. Healthcare is generally better than in other African countries, but still leaves much to be desired.
There are few dangers in Cape Verde. Besides the scorching sun, there can be big stones under water. So be careful when diving. Coral reefs fascinate with their beauty but watch your step as the shards can easily hurt you. Sharks are also found here.
National dishes of Cape Verde are quite simple. The ocean waters are rich with seafood and fish, so they make up the basic ingredients of many local dishes. The restaurant menus mainly include tuna and rockfish. The local national dish is Cachupa. It is cooked with corn, beans, fish, pork, beef, pumpkin, chicken and cabbage. The more ingredients it contains, the 'richer' it is. Fish soups and banana rolls are also popular.
The most common alcoholic drink is beer and ponche, the popular soft drink is fresh fruit juices. Only bottled water should be consumed.