Cape Verde

Monday, 16 January 2012 - 01:48 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Mindelo, Baía do Porto Grande and Monte Cara © ElsondeMadrid

Mindelo, Baía do Porto Grande and Monte Cara © ElsondeMadrid

The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa. The islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi), are of volcanic origin and while three of them (Sal, Boa Vista and Maio) are fairly flat, sandy and dry, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have more vegetation. However, because of the infrequent occurrence of rainfall the overall landscape is not particularly green, despite what the country’s name suggests (verde is Portuguese for “green”). The name of the country stems instead from the nearby Cap Vert, on the Senegalese coast, which in its turn was originally named “Cabo Verde” when it was sighted by Portuguese explorers in 1444, a few years before the islands were discovered.

The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th Century, and became an important location in the Atlantic slave trade due to their geographically advantageous position. The islands’ prosperity often attracted privateers and pirates, including Sir Francis Drake, a corsair (privateer) under the authority of the British crown, who twice sacked the (then) capital Ribeira Grande, in the 1580s. The islands were also visited by Charles Darwin’s expedition in 1832. The decline in the slave trade in the 19th century resulted in an economic crisis for the islands. With few natural resources, and without strong sustainable investment from the Portuguese, the citizens grew increasingly discontent with the colonial masters, who nevertheless refused to provide the local authorities with more autonomy. This discontent festered and culminated in 1975, when a movement led by Amílcar Cabral achieved independence for the archipelago.

Brava - Vila Nova Sintra © Ingo Wölbern São Vicente - Porto Grande © Henryk Kotowski São Vicente - Fish Market © Derfu Santiago - Praia aerrial view © David Trainer Mont Cara from Mindelo © Lka Mindelo, Baía do Porto Grande and Monte Cara © ElsondeMadrid
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Mindelo, Baía do Porto Grande and Monte Cara © ElsondeMadrid
Cape Verde’s strategic location at the crossroads of mid-Atlantic air and sea lanes has been enhanced by significant improvements at Mindelo’s harbor (Porto Grande) and at Sal’s and Praia’s international airports. A new international airport was opened in Boa Vista in December 2007, and on the island of Sao Vicente, the newest international airport (Sao Pedro Airport) in Cape Verde, was opened in late 2009. Ship repair facilities at Mindelo were opened in 1983. The major ports are Mindelo and Praia, but all other islands have smaller port facilities. In addition to the international airport on Sal, airports have been built on all of the inhabited islands. All but the airport on Brava enjoy scheduled air service. The archipelago has 3,050 km (1,895 mi) of roads, of which 1,010 km (628 mi) are paved, most using cobblestone. The country’s future economic prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, outsourcing labor to neighboring African countries, and the momentum of the government’s development program.

Tourism has increased in recent years. Large hotels have been built across the country in an effort to boost tourism. In particular, on the islands of Boa Vista (Club Hotel Riu Karamboa (750 rooms)), and Sal (Club Hotel Riu Funana/Garopa (1000 rooms)–the largest hotel in all of West Africa). The Cape Verde islands have a relatively low crime rate and beautiful beaches, as well as having engaging local people. Tourists and leisure seekers from across Europe and the world are coming to the country in larger numbers. In 2010, about 382,000 tourists visited the archipelago.

Read more on Government of Cape Verde, lonelyplanet.com – Cape Verde, Wikitravel Cape Verde and Wikipeda Cape Verde. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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