Cape Verde, or now Cabo Verde, is an archipelago of ten islands in the Atlantic ocean, the west of Africa. Since 2013 the country has reverted to the Portuguese name, Cabo Verde, and is officially known as the Republic of Cabo Verde it forms a region known as Macaronesia along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira and the Savage Islands.
An unfortunate part of Cape Verde’s history is its association with the slave trade. It was an ideal outpost for the transatlantic slavers, after a decline in the 19th century Cape Verde has now recovered, becoming an important stop over port for shipping routes and recently tourism.
The two largest islands in the archipelago are Sal and Boa Vista, meaning salt and beautiful view, something the country definitely has in abundance.
High and Low Seasons
Cape Verde is a year-round destination weather-wise, but welcoming over 700,000 visitors a year, the island chain has quiet and busy seasons to look out for.
For a quiet time in Cape Verde try:
- Mid-January to Easter
- Easter to Mid-June
- Mid-September to Mid-December
High season, if you’re familiar with school holidays, will look very familiar:
- Easter break
- Mid-June to Mid-September
- The Christmas break – yes, Christmas in Cape Verde!
The Climate in Cape Verde
Being an archipelago the wind in Cape Verde does much to keep temperatures and humidity at bay. The average high temperature for most of the year is 27°C (or 81°F), with the low temperatures being around 19°C (66°F). Rainfalls throughout the year but is usually light and quick to pass.
Cape Verde has the tropical climate of the Caribbean, without the potential for large storms and hurricanes. Indeed the archipelago has been dubbed ‘the African Caribbean’ for its sandy beaches and propensity for year round sunshine. Situated just further down than the popular Canary Islands, Cape Verde presents a new destination for those hankering for a week in the Caribbean but without the jet lag or safety concerns of the Maldives. Staying dry in Cape Verde is no trouble. If you want a holiday with little to no rain clouding your day then March, April, May and June record little to no rainfall at all.
The Best Months for Swimming Cape Verde
Sea temperatures in the archipelago can exceed 25°C from July through to November, this is also when air temperature is at its highest, pushing the 30°C mark for much of this period in the day. The longest sun hours during this period are in October and November, making these our picks for an aquatic trip to the green coast. That said the waters around Cape Verde are rarely cool, dropping to 23°C in the winter months.
The Best Months for Hiking Cape Verde
If you plan on hiking some of Cape Verde’s mountains and hills, November and December are the best time to go. Having ten islands to choose from gives hikers a vast choice when it comes to the types of terrain. Fogo is the tallest mountain on the island standing at rising dramatically to 2989m from the ocean, not only this, but it is an active volcano.
On São Vicente, the peak Monte Verde is reminiscent of South Africa’s table mountain and takes it name from the flora concentrated on its cols and in its valleys. The island of Santiago has two mountain ranges and several permenant springs, making it a verdant place filled with plantations. Back on the island of Sal, home to the capital Mindelo sits Monte Cara, known as ‘Face Mountain’ having had human features sculpted into the peak through erosion taking place over millenia.