Cape Verde, more than my birthplace

Cape Verde became an independent country in 1975.

Some authors attribute the discovery of the archipelago to Diogo Gomes in 1460, under the orders of D. Henrique (Henry, The Navigator).

This archipelago of ten islands was under Portuguese colonial rule until its independence on July 5, 1975. 

Tarrafal, São Nicolau, Cape Verde
Tarrafal, São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Unlocking the Soul of Cape Verde: The Vibrant Tapestry of Creole

Portuguese is the official language, with ongoing discussions about whether Creole might one day attain official status. 

Creole, the local dialect, varies significantly among the islands. 

The Creole spoken in the Leeward Islands group differs markedly from that spoken in the Windward Islands group, yet most people understand both dialects despite these distinctions.

Brava Island, Cape Verde
Brava Island

The archipelago of Cape Verde and its islands

The archipelago comprises ten islands organized as follows:

Windward Islands: Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau, Boa Vista, and Sal;

Leeward Islands: Brava, Fogo, Praia, and Maio.

Cape Verdean identity

Cape Verde bears a significant Portuguese influence but possesses a robust and distinct identity.

Beyond the official language, Cape Verde and Portugal share diversity across many aspects of life.

Each island within the archipelago encapsulates its unique world. 

Traveling through various islands of Cape Verde, one encounters distinct environments, landscapes, and cuisines.

Even in beverages, differences abound, though grog is consumed across all the islands.

I hail from São Vicente, and my roots lie there. I try not to disguise my preference for this island or Santo Antão.

Hiking the Pico Pequeno at Fogo Island, Cape Verde
Hiking the Pico Pequeno at Fogo Island

Cape Verde and its volcanic origin

With its volcanic origin, the country features primarily mountainous terrain and abundant marine fauna across its islands.

While landscapes vary significantly, the black hue of volcanic rocks is a standard feature, complemented by a diverse range of sea blues.

São Vicente Island, Cape Verde
São Vicente Island


During my travels between the islands, I’ve consistently experienced a secure environment, contrasting to Africa’s general perception of safety.

However, Santiago Island is an exception, with reports of frequent violent thefts and a noticeable lack of security.

Despite this, I’ve always felt safe on the other islands, even when visibly carrying cameras and photography equipment.

São Vicente Island, Cape Verde
Santo Antão Island

What draws me most to these islands?

Some may argue that my perspective is biased due to my birth here, but that only partially explains my deep admiration.

Initially, as an adult, I began visiting this country out of a desire to connect with my birthplace.

However, with each subsequent visit, I discovered many factors that kept me returning.

Indeed, the food, music, people, landscapes, and grog are undeniable attractions.

Yet, beyond these surface elements, a distinct way of life resonates with me deeply.

This way of life is evident across all the islands—a culture characterized by frequent smiles, a dedication to enjoying time with loved ones, and a penchant for music and dance.

As a tourism professional, I foresee the eventual discovery of Cape Verde’s beauty by the world.

For now, it remains a serene sanctuary for those seeking respite from crowded destinations, and I hope it continues to thrive as such.

David Monteiro