The Republic of Cape Verde, is a republic located on an archipelago in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa. The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century (though there may have been earlier discoveries), and attained independence in 1975.
Barlavento (northern island group)
Sotavento (southern island group)
Cape Verde is in the tropical zone. Average temperatures range from 24 °C (75 °F) in January and February to 29 °C (85 °F) in September. The average annual rainfall for Cape Verde is 68.4 mm (2.7 in), with September being the wettest month with 33.6 mm (1.3 in). Conversely, the months April to July record less than one millimetre of rainfall each. The climate is arid, but Cape Verde's position in the Atlantic contributes to soften the aridity, that otherwise would be the same aridity as that in continental areas.
The isolation of Cape Verde about 500 km (310 mi) from the African mainland has resulted in the islands having a large number of endemic species, many of which are endangered by human development. Endemic birds include Alexander's Swift (Apus alexandri), Raso Lark (Alauda razae), Cape Verde Warbler (Acrocephalus brevipennis), and Iago Sparrow (Passer iagoensis), and reptiles include the Cape Verde Giant Gecko (Tarentola gigas).
Charles Darwin gives a vivid description of the geology, climate, zoology and botany of the islands in the first chapter of his book The Voyage of the Beagle.
The culture of Cape Verde reflects its mixed African and Portuguese roots. It is well known for its diverse forms of music such as Morna and a wide variety of dances: the soft dance Morna, and its modernized version, passada, the Funaná - a sensual mixed Portuguese and African dance, the extreme sensuality of coladeira, and the Batuque dance. These are reflective of the diverse origins of Cape Verde's residents. The term "Criolo" is used to refer to residents as well as the culture of Cape Verde.
Cape Verde is known internationally for morna, a form of folk music usually sung in the Cape Verdean Creole, accompanied by clarinet, violin, guitar and cavaquinho. The islands also boast funaná and batuque music.
Cesária Évora is perhaps the best internationally-known practitioner of morna. Madonna was so inspired by her that she even purchased a house on the island of Sal.
TACV Cabo Verde Airlines is a scheduled and charter, passenger and cargo airline based in Cape Verde. It is the national flag carrier of Cape Verde, operating an inter-island service and flights to Europe, North America, South America and the West African mainland. Its main base is Sal Airport (SID), with a hub at Praia International Airport (RAI).