Cape Verde Animals - A Nature-lover's Dream

The small cluster of Cape Verde islands is home to a fascinating mixture of wildlife, with rare species of reptile, bird and sea-based life occupying its volcanic landscape. The range of wildlife here varies depending on the time of year you visit, but overall the islands play host to some of Africa’s most beautiful creatures.

A big push for conservation means that wildlife is extremely important on Cape Verde. Read on to find out what exactly nature-lovers can expect to find during a visit to this west-African treasure.

Monkeying around

Cape Verde’s position off the coast of western Africa makes it a prime location for animals migrating from the continent. One of the most surprising animals in Cape Verde is probably the different species of monkey – you weren’t expecting that were you!

Perhaps most notable is the Vervet Monkey, defined by its striking black face and light grey body hair. These monkeys have been introduced to the islands over time and have proven to be extremely adaptable to the local climate.

Ravishing reptiles

While snakes are very rarely found on the islands, there are plenty of other reptiles making their homes on Cape Verde. Geckos of all shapes and sizes are commonplace here – including the impressive giant gecko, which can often be found climbing the walls of buildings around the area.

Also on the islands, visitors can expect to come across a vast range of colourful lizards and frogs. Many of these species are protected under conservation laws.

A lone native species

The Grey Long-Eared Bat is actually the only native species to exist on Cape Verde, not least because the volcanic landscape makes it a difficult area for mammals to populate.

Even so, the gradual migration of air and sea animals means that this archipelago gives nature-lovers plenty of diverse creatures to seek out and explore.

Under the sea

Cape Verde may be small in size, but the wildlife in Cape Verde covers land, air and water. Many species of dolphin and whale can be found here – see them on one of the regular boat trips available across the heavily populated waters.

Perhaps one of the most spectacular sights on Cape Verde is the appearance of nesting turtles, with the typical hatching season lasting between September and December. Many species of turtle lay their eggs on the beaches around Cape Verde, before the baby turtles hatch and make their own way into the water.

High in the sky

Keen bird-lovers are sure to find something unique on Cape Verde, with the rare and endangered Raso Lark making its home within a small section of the islands’ landscape. The larks are small in stature and are considered to be one of the rarest bird species in the world, with a population size of around 150.

Elsewhere on Cape Verde, the Grey-headed Kingfisher can often be found in woodland areas and close to water, although the species is not aquatic. Eagle-eyed visitors may also spot herons, storks and flamingos around the archipelago.