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10 Fun Facts about Cape Verde Islands

10 Fun Facts about Cape Verde Islands

Have you heard of the island country Cape Verde? Another name for it is the Republic of Cabo Verde. It is on the west coast of Africa.  Cape Verde consists of 10 volcanic islands. It has a small population of fewer than one million people.

Santa Monica Beach, Cape Verde is considered the most beautiful beach in the country.

It has warm weather, delicious food, good music, and white sandy beaches. At Our Ancestories, we love sharing knowledge about African culture, countries and history. We thought it would be a good idea to share a list of fun facts on the beautiful island country.


1. No one lived in Cape Verde Islands until 1456

Before the year 1456, there were only plants and a few animals on the islands. Two Portuguese explorers,  Alvise Cadamosto and Antoniotto Usodimare discovered Cape Verde. They returned to Cape Verde islands six years later and settled there.


2. Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau were once one country.

When Europeans came to Africa they grouped Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde as one country. These regions were colonized by the Portuguese. Both Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde fought for their independence. Guinea-Bissau was first to gain Independence in 1974 then Cape Verde in 1975. The two nations then split up in 1980.


3. People in Cape Verde are either African or Portuguese.

The Portuguese were the first people to live on the islands. They then brought African slaves to the country. Currently, the official language in Cape Verde is Portuguese. Another language spoken in the region is Kriolu. Kriolu is a Portuguese-based creole language used as a second language by the Cape Verdean diaspora.


4. The long-eared bat is the only native animal to the islands.

Bat species make up 20% of all mammals in Cape Verde.

Cape Verde does not have too many animals because of its harsh climate. The long-eared bat is the only native animal found on the islands. This bat has lived there for many many years, even before people did. 


5. Sugar cane liquor is the national drink.

Have you ever tasted sugar cane? In my opinion, it is one of the sweetest things you can chew. The people of Cape Verde make a sugar cane drink called grogue, which smells like a warm banana.


6. Only 10% of the land is suitable for agriculture.

The country has been experiencing really bad drought and famine over the years. This means that they do not receive rainfall. Without rainfall or water, plants cannot grow. Farmers can also not keep livestock.


7. There are more Cape Verdeans living abroad than there are in the country

Many Cape Verdeans leave the country to go to other countries. They go looking for opportunities for work. Through work, they are able to make and save money. Some of them, once they have enough money, return back home. Others continue to work and live in foreign countries, for the rest of their lives.


8. It is estimated that there is one goat for every 2 people on the island.

When the Portuguese came to to the islands, they brought with them goats. These goats have continued living on the islands and are important to farmers. They produce milk, which people drink. They also use goat milk to make cheese. Lastly, the people of Cape Verde also eat goat meat.


9. Cape Verde is the 3rd largest nesting site for Loggerhead turtles.

The loggerhead turtles are often caught in fish gear. It is a serious problem for the turtles.

The leading nesting place for Loggerhead turtles is in Florida. Brazil is second and then Cape Verde. The loggerhead turtles are a vulnerable species. They are protected by the country. It is illegal for anyone to capture the animals.


10. It is rude to eat in public without sharing your food.

Have you ever sat next to a stranger and they are eating that smells really good?  There is usually nothing you can do. But in Cape Verde, they believe in sharing is caring. Most Cape Verdeans just buy enough food to share with everyone around them. They have a really good culture!


We've created some free resources on Cape Verde just for you. Click here to get a free worksheet.

Our Ancestories - Cape Verde - Free Worksheet


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