Where is Cape Verde Located? 10 Cape Verde Facts You Don’t Know.7 min read


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Looking for where is Cape Verde Located? Here are amazing Cape Verde Facts You probably Don’t Know. The flag of Cape Verde has a blue field with three horizontal bands of red and white in the lower portion of the flag and ten stars in a circular pattern overlapping the bands on the left side. The blue represents the ocean and the sky, the white represents the road to construction and development of the nation and the red represents the effort of the people. The ten stars represent each of the ten main islands that make up the nation.

Cape Verde is located off the west coast of Africa about 400 nautical miles from Senegal. Cape Verde is in the southernmost part of the Macaronesia ecoregion in the archipelago’s all along the coast of Africa including the Canary, Mandeira and Azores Islands. Cape Verde is the only fully sovereign state in these islands and the rest are owned by either Spain or Portugal. The country is made up of a cluster of ten main islands shaped into a sideways V or a horseshoe. Furthermore, the islands are regionally split up into two separate groups, the upper Barlavento islands which include Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista as well as the lower Sotavento islands which include Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

The Island is split up into 22 municipalities and only four Islands have multiple municipalities and home to about one-fifth of the entire country’s population. The capital Praia is located on the lower and largest island in Santiago. Santiago in itself has about 40% of the population of the entire country and the next most populous one is Sao Vicente. The least populated one being Santa Luzia which has no permanent population and is home to a Nature Reserve but is still considered one of the main islands.

Cape Verde also has many minor islands and islets that they don’t really talk about much like llheu Branco, llheu Raso, llheu Rabo, de Junco off South Island, llheu de Sal Rei, and in llheu de Cima off Brava. Cape Verde the eastern islands of Maio, Sal and Boa vista are flat and arid with a desert like terrain whereas the western islands are generally rockier hosting substantially larger portions of vegetation. The reason for this is that even though the islands are off the coast of mainland of Africa, Cape Verde is still affected by the Saharan arid belt which is part of the Sahel.

The hot dry eroding Harmattan winds meander all the way off the coast and sweep across the easternmost islands of Cape Verde that’s why these three islands are dry and desert like. The western islands however although still relatively dry still have steep hills and mountains that harbor trees and grasses and bushes and plants this is also where most of the agricultural sector can be found most notably on the greenest island Brava. With the lack of water sources arable land only makes about ten percent of the country. The soil is good but when sparsely times rainfall does come it typically comes in the form of violent storms that wash off the topsoil from higher grounds into the sea.

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The strange thing is the country doesn’t receive cold streams hence that typically affect the rest of western Africa so even though the temperature is generally cooler the water is still warm. The issue with that though is that it makes Cape Verde the perfect factory for creating hurricanes. Even though Cape Verde are almost never really affected by hurricanes, Cape Verde’s warm waters and cool air breeds some of the most violent and intense western boundary that eventually hit the Caribbean and east coast of North America.

Cape Verde only has three volcanoes only one of which is still active on Fogo Island. The highest peak in the country Pico do Fogo last erupted in 2014. If you look at Fogo Island it’s pretty creepy because you can tell how big the volcano used to be until the caldera disintegrated into a massive crater with flanks and fissures to the east that dispersed into the sea. Despite the lush green areas Cape Verde do lack a lot of resources and the majority of the economy is service-oriented.

Cape Verde has a little bit over half a million people with about two out of every five people living on Santiago Island. The country’s ethnic makeup is pretty unique in that kind of like Brazil the country experienced a whole societal generation shift in which they created a whole new race. As a former Portuguese colony and short-lived Portuguese province overseas, Cape Verde has absorbed not just a lot of Portuguese influence but blood too. Inter marriages and relations between the Portuguese and Cape Verde commenced over hundreds of years ago and eventually led to the country experiencing an entire people group of mixed ancestry. Many of these people are referred to as Mesticos or the Creole.

Many have claimed that Cape Verde and Creoles are some of the most beautiful people in the world with features that you pretty much can’t find anywhere else. It’s not uncommon for a person to have dark brown skin hinting at the African ancestry but with blonde hair and blue or green eyes and slight dramatic features. Creoles make up somewhere around 80 percent of the population whereas Africans make up about 23% the remaining 2% being mostly whites but a sizable community of Asians and Arabs exist as well. Sociologically speaking Cape Verde is almost like a cross between Brazil and Haiti in which ethnically they’ve kind of developed their own racial identity but also, they’ve created their own creole language. The problem is unlike Haiti though, Cape Verdean Creole had problems with becoming standardized and especially since the dialect differed from island to island. There’re actually more Cape Verdean people living outside of Cape Verde than in it.

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The US alone has a population of Cape Verdeans mostly along the New England coast that almost matched the entire population of Cape Verde itself and around 500,000 and that’s just the U.S.  We have hundreds of thousands of Cape Verdeans living in other places abroad like Angola, Portugal, Senegal France, Spain, Italy and even Luxembourg for some reason and that’s just a generation after 1975. Prior to independence Cape Verdeans had Portuguese passports so it’s hard to get an exact number but overall these guys know how to spread out.

Cape Verde had a distinct culture yet they were heavily influenced by the Portuguese. The education system the second best in all of Africa after South Africa does follow the Portuguese format however in 2010 all universities switched to the four-year American bachelor degree program instead of five years which made students very happy island. Individually, you may see a slight contrast between people in each area. Due to the high diaspora population each island kind of chooses which country it wants to be prevalently influenced by. Some lean more towards Portugal, some towards the US, some Netherlands and even Brazil. This has led to a renaissance of innovatively produced Cape Verdean music and dance the hallmark national tone being the Morna of melancholy rhythm typically sung in Creole.

Nonetheless, leading poet Jorge a Barbosa summarizes the islands in his 1935 publication of archipelago. Cape Verde is incredibly unique in that it has such a cross-cultural complexity, it’s not quite African and it’s not quite Portuguese yet it’s somewhere half of each hence African. They’re proud of it and they’ve long thought of themselves of having the best of both worlds between Europe and Africa.

Portugal is a key player in Cape Verde’s inner circle not just because of their ancestry but because of their support diplomatically and economically. Even after Cape Verde gained independence, they still remain close and appreciated each other’s company. The U.S has the largest Cape Verdean community outside of Cape Verde and has historically invested in the country’s welfare even before independence.

Out of the ten international destinations that their national airline flies to, two of them are actually in the U.S one in Boston and one in Providence Rhode Island. Lusasphere nations like Brazil and Angola and Sao Tome and Principe get along with Cape Verde as trade and travel between these nations is not uncommon.

The best friend of Cape Verde would probably be Guinea Bissau. These two countries actually were part of the same country after independence but then after a coup in Guinea Bissau in 1981 the two countries split but still remain closing ties. They have similar Creole cultures, languages and backgrounds and to this day Cape Verdeans consider Guinea Bissau their brother country. In conclusion, you have a beautifully mixed people living in a beautifully mixed culture on a sociopathic chain of islands that shoots out hurricanes.