Geography and Geology
Millions of years ago, a dozen volcanic islands emerged by the side of Africa. The terrain varies between the east islands, which are older, flat and sandy, and the west islands, which are newer and mountainous, rocky and irregular. To prevent the accentuated loss of soil due to water and wind erosion, a plan for the reforestation of the islands has been underway since independence. With an arid and semi-arid climate, moderate temperatures all year round, although few water courses, the islands live with frequent droughts, water scarcity and occasional torrential rains. The Fogo Volcano and the natural parks are mandatory visits to better understand these islands.
The Cabo Verde archipelago was uninhabited and was discovered in 1460 by Portuguese explorers, at the service of King D. Afonso V. Two years later, the settlement began. For centuries, the islands stood out, due to their geographical position, as an important commercial center, supply and slave traffic for the routes that connected the European continent to Africa, Brazil and North America. Portuguese dominance remained until the 20th century, when geographical and administrative distance became painful for Cabo Verdeans. On the island of Santiago, the first capital of the archipelago, Cidade Velha, is an important point to learn more about Cabo Verde history.
People and culture
Cabo Verde have mixed ancestry of Africans, Portuguese, Italians, French, Spanish and Jews. The five centuries of Portuguese colonialism deeply marked the islands, but African traditions and Creole identity are very present. The country's culture is a unique blend of its European and African roots, something that is particularly noticeable in Cabo Verde's artistic production, whether literary or musical. And the music is permanent. Joy runs through the streets, nourishes the days of those who live here and fills the hearts of those who visit the archipelago and never forget the beat of mornas, funaná and batuque, mazurca and coladeras.