How much do you really know about Cape Verde? You may have heard of it, or even be planning a Cape Verde holiday, but don’t know much about it. So, for those of you who want to know more about these islands, here are 10 facts that may surprise you.
1. The island of Santa Luzia is uninhabited, which means you can only visit from Calhau. Located on the east coast of Sao Vicente Island, you can rent a fishing boat for the day and make your way across this two hour crossing. This island is celebrated for its beautiful white beaches and high sand dunes.
2. Half a million people live here, and the majority of them live on the main island of Santiago.
3. Did you know that Cape Verdeans have the highest standard of living in West Africa? This is because the politics and economy here is extremely stable.
4. There are two spoken languages in Cape Verde, these are Portuguese and Crioulo.
5. Cape Verdeans typically eat a big lunch and a smaller supper. The national dish on these islands is Cachupa, which is a stew made up of beans and meat or vegetables.
6. The people here love fashion – especially American brands.
7. Most of the population is Roman Catholic.
8. The island of Maio, which is Portuguese for May, was named after its first sighting on May 1st in 1460. Not only is it known for its beautiful beaches, but it’s also known for its large forest which is unusual in Cape Verde.
9. The currency is the Cape Verde Escudo.
10. On the islands of Sao Antao and Brava you’ll find Jewish graves. This is because Jewish people settled in Cape Verde following the Portuguese inquisition in 1492. They later converted to Christianity and were known as Marronos, then in the 19th and 20th century Moroccan Jews followed suit.