FAQ about The Republic of Cabo Verde
Are you looking for more information on the Republic of Cabo Verde? We have put together a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about this archipelago. Of course, you can also find the corresponding answers here.
Where are the islands of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) located?
On a map, you will find the ten Cape Verde islands off the west coast of Africa. They are located more than 550 kilometres west of the coastline of Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia. The Cape Verde archipelago itself has a horseshoe-like shape, with the open part of the horseshoe on the western side. The islands are divided in two groups. Four islands form the southern group and are called the Sotavento Islands (Sotavento is Portuguese for "leeward"). This group includes the largest island of the Republic, which is called Santiago and hosts the Republic's capital city of Praia. The six islands that form the northern group are called the Barlavento Islands. They include the second-largest and most western island of the archipelago called Santo Antão. Among the Barlavanto (meaning "windward") islands you can also find the popular kitesurfing and windsurfing hotspot São Vicente.ture and authenticity.
What is the difference between Cabo Verde and Cape Verde?
Cabo Verde is the official name for this archipelago, but other than that, there is no real difference between Cabo Verde and Cape Verde. They both refer to the same group of islands. This might be a bit confusing, which is perfectly understandable, since it was not so long ago that the official name of the archipelago was changed. On October 24 2013, it was announced during a United Nations meeting that the country from that moment on would officially be called The Republic of Cabo Verde, or República de Cabo Verde. As this change from the more popular anglicized name of "Cape Verde" is only a few years old, many people still refer to the Republic of Cabo Verde as Cape Verde.
What are the main languages in Cape Verde?
Portuguese is the official language in the Republic of Cabo Verde. You will find that it is used mostly for official matters, such a governmental and educational purposes. On the "streets", Cape Verdean Creole is the language of choice as it is spoken by almost all inhabitants of the islands. This language is also called Kriolu and is a Creole dialect continuum based on Portuguese. Kriolu is spoken by over one million people worldwide. It has gotten more popular since the independence from Portugal. You will find local differences and variants on every island. For instance, on São Vicente you can find Kriol de Sonsent (Creole of Saint Vincent), which in Portuguese is called Crioulo de São Vicente.
What does Cabo Verde mean?
Cabo Verde is the Portuguese name for the Cape Verde islands. The original full Portuguese name of these islands is "Ilhas de Cabo Verde". This means "Islands of the Green Cape", which refers to the position of the islands relatively close to the green western tip of Africa. Although this coast line is far away (roughly 570 kilometres), it still is the land mass closest to the islands of the Republic of Cabo Verde. Halfway the fifteenth century, Portuguese explorers christened the westernmost tip of Africa "Cap-Vert" ("Green Cape"). As they later discovered the group of islands off the coast, they gave these islands the same name, hence the current name of this archipelago.
How is the weather in Cabo Verde?
The weather on the Cabo Verde islands is excellent all year round. The climate in the Republic of Cabo Verde is milder than anywhere on the African mainland. This is because the islands are surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and the colder water moderates the temperatures on the islands. Maximum temperatures are very stable throughout the year, ranging from around 25 degrees Centigrade at the beginning of the year, to 30 degrees Centigrade in August and September. On average, the temperatures do not drop below 20 degrees Centigrade, not even at night. The ocean water is also warm and has a very stable temperature of 22 to 25 degrees Centigrade. It does not rain much on the islands, as the archipelago is situated in the middle of the cool Canary current. This results in arid conditions, except on higher ground on more mountainous islands such as Santo Antão. Still two seasons are distinguished: a rainy season (roughly August through November) that is slightly warmer and a bit wetter, and a dry season (December through July) which is slightly cooler and more windy.
What is the best time to visit the Republic of Cabo Verde?
Depending on your particular needs and wishes, the dry season is the best period to visit the Republic of Cabo Verde. Roughly from October to June is the best time to visit one or more islands of this archipelago. This makes the Republic of Cabo Verde the perfect destination to get rid of your winter blues. In October, November and December, there is a slight chance of rain, though on average it does not rain more than ten millimetres per month. The dry season also is more windy, which makes it the period of choice for windsurfers and kitesurfers. You also don't want to miss big celebrations in the Republic, such as the Carnival celebrations on São Vicente in February or March.
What is the main religion in the Republic of Cabo Verde?
As the Cape Verde islands are a former Portuguese colony (peaceful independence was gained in 1975), it is not surprising that most Cape Verdeans are Roman Catholic. In 2010, 77% of the population considered themselves Roman Catholics. 5% said that they were Protestant, with the largest Protestant faction being the Church of the Nazarene. The number of followers of Islam (2%) and other religions (1%) is limited amongst the total Cabo Verde population of over 500,000. 11% of the inhabitants of the archipelago do not consider themselves religious.