(Republic of Cap Verde, República de Cabo Verde, Kabu Verd)
Cape Verde Flag
Location: Central Atlantic Ocean (off the coast of Western Africa)
Language: Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole (Crioulo)
Total Area: 4,033 sq km
Currency: Cape Verdean Escudo
Curious Alcohol Fact: In Cape Verde, most wines are imported from Portugal but on the island of Fogo, local wine is produced and it is quite impressive.
Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 4.96 liters
Most Popular Drink: Strela, Portuguese wines
Cape Verde Travel Video
Video Courtesy: serenityholidays
The country is an archipelago (a group of islands) and the name stems from the Cap Vert, a cape on the coast of Senegal, and is also the westernmost cape of Africa. Cape Verde is a collection of 10 islands and five islets, and these are divided into two groups –Barlavento and Sotavento. Three of the islets (Luis Carneiro, Grande and Cima) are often referred to as Rombos. On one of the islands, Fogo, there is the Mount Cano, an active volcano that erupted in the early 1950s. The capital city of Praia is located on Santiago, which is the largest and the most populous island in the group.
Most of the inhabitants of Cape Verde are Creoles (also known as Mullato). These are the descendants of the African slaves and the Portuguese who controlled the islands in the 16th century. Over the generations, the intermingling and inter-marriages between these two groups have led to the present-day set of Creoles. In terms of the religion, more than 90% of Cape Verdeans are Christians. Others are Muslims or followers of the Baha’i faith. Portuguese is the official language but Cape Verde Criole is widely spoken and understood by virtually all the islanders. Cape Verdeans receive tourists from all over the globe every year and they are very warm and hospitable.
For those who are in love with seafood, Cape Verde is surely the place to be. You will eat to your fill all kinds of seafood –tuna, lobster, shrimp, prawn and many more. At a restaurant in Brava, I had the opportunity of devouring a soup made from octopus flesh! It tasted more like grilled chicken but softer. If you want the ultimate gastronomic adventure, you need to book a flight to Praia right away. I later learnt that the national dish is called ‘catchupa’ and is made from sweet potatoes, corn, herbs, beans and fish. I sampled a bowl at Praia and I was not disappointed.
Drinking on the Islands
Because of the proximity to Europe, wines are quite easy to buy, especially the ones from Portugal and Spain. It all depends on your pocket, there are relatively cheap wines and exorbitant ones too. If you visit the island of Fogo (Fogo means ‘fire’), you will be able to sample some of the locally-produced wines. The local beer is called strela and is widely available. On the whole, the dining experience is a fantastic one.
Places That You Must Visit
From my own experience, there are some places that I feel you need to visit in this archipelago. These areas include the white and spectacular beaches of Boa Vista and the Serra Malagueta mountain range on Santiago. If you appreciate marine wildlife, you need to see the common porpoise, marine turtles and the barracudas of the Sal island. In short, Cape Verde is paradise waiting to be explored.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria)
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