I have been on a three week vacation to the Cape Verde Island. This time around I needed a vacation spot that would bring me close to nature. I had thought the Cape Verdean Island would be a great place to see considering the fact that I have heard so much about its beautiful natural endowments. The first thing that strikes me as I arrived the island was seeing both the white and black people living side by side.
Unlike other West African countries, I had never expected to see so many whites considering the fact that they are scared of mosquitoes. Hey! Am not a racist, I am just sharing what I observed and by the way I love my white brothers. As I began to explore both the cultural and historical part of the Island, I noticed that the country has quite unique cultures and distinctive historical background.
I came to understand as I dig deeper that Cape Verde was also a central point for slave activities in the 16thcentury. I will not bore you with old stories of how slaves were shipped from the island to Europe rather let me dwell on the interesting facts that makes Cape Verde one of the most preferred destination for tourist visiting West Africa. Even though Cape Verde is seen by many as a poor country, I have noticed that the Island has one of the highest life expectancy rates in Africa. Life expectancy at birth for Cape Verdeans has steadily been on the increase. In 2015, the life expectancy at birth for both men and women respectively were 74.47and 70.50 respectively significant rates when compared with other African countries.
Cape Verde’s economy majorly relies on subsistence agriculture for a larger chunk of its foreign exchange earnings. In the Island, some of the major cash crops grown are Bananas, Beans, Sweet potatoes, sugarcane and Cassava. I noticed that most food items were imported into the country. Well, I also gathered that importation was inevitable because the soil could not be used to grow other kinds of crops as major parts of the island is prone to the salty water from Atlantic Ocean. My inquisitiveness led me to discover that the name of the Island was drawn from a Senegalese word Cap Vert meaning Green Cape. The country has many beautiful natural beaches and ancient historical spots. As I explored further, I learnt that the Island is considered as one of the biggest nesting place for the logger head turtles. The loggerhead turtle is one of the endangered turtle specie. I was perplexed to learn that one of the greatest ecologist and probably the father of nature Charles Darwin conducted several studies on Fauna and Flora in the Island in 1832.
Mount Fogo is said to be Cape Verde’s highest point reaching almost an estimated height of 2,829 Meters above the Sea Level. The Cape Verdean currency is called the Escudo. The highest monetary units are in the form of notes of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 2500 and 5000. The coins are in smaller units of 1, 5,10,20,50 and 100. Currently, 1USD is equal to 94 Cape Verdean Escudo. The Portuguese is the official language spoken in the country. Don’t ask me how I managed to survive without any knowledge of Portuguese. The country was said to be colonized by Portugal. After its independence in 1975, Praia was made the capital city of Cape Verde. My flight from London to the Island lasted for about 6 Hours and 17 Minutes, a really exhaustive one.
|Aristide Pereira International Airport|
Talking about the temperature, the temperature in Cape Verde hardly falls as it ranges between 20 -27 Degree Celsius. During winter it has an average of 23 Degree Celsius while in the summer period it can reach a maximum of 27 Degree Celsius. On an historical site, Salt was said to be processed in a place called Sal. The mines at Sal has long gone, however, salt bathing is still an activity frequently done in Sal. Of course I enjoyed my salt bath. Mosquitoes are rarely found in the Island, this I hope is good news for tourist intending visiting the West African Island. For golf lovers, a beautiful golf course is located in Sao Vincente. There are several domestic and international airports found in Cape Verde. The Aristide Pereira International airport is found in Boa Visa, the Soa Fillipe Airport is in Fogo, the Maio Airport is Maio, the Amilacar Cabral International airport is found in Santiago, the Preguica airport in Sao Nicolau and the Cesaria Evora airport is located in Sao Vincente.