Cape Verde is a small country located about 570 kilometers/350 miles off the West Coast of Africa. It is made up of 10 islands. The islands were used as a trading point during the Atlantic Slave Trade and heavily trafficked by ships.
The first thing you’ll notice when you land in The Gambia is the atmosphere. There are many places in the world that can be said to be rich in both history and culture, but Cape Verde and The Gambia absolutely exemplify the hospitality and generosity that Western Africa has grown famous for. Much of the region’s original way of life operates here as is has done for centuries, and the sense of timeless tranquility is delightful.
More Diverse Than You Think
Cape Verde served a historic purpose as a trading center, so the culture in the country is surprisingly diverse. The Gambia was originally settled by the Portuguese, then conquered by the Europeans during the height of the slave trade. The result is a gumbo of cultures: Carribean, African, Brazilian and Portuguese. The people who live on the Cape Verde islands are as diverse as their histories. This combination has brought forth a style of music in The Gambia that’s a unique fusion of sound, and it really sets the rhythm of the place. The food’s terrific, too!
After you’ve had a moment to take in the mood of the place, you’ll probably head straight for a dive shop. The Gambia and Cape Verde have incredible weather year round, with almost no rainfall between June and November. The beaches are breathtakingly beautiful — and as uncrowded as you might imagine them to be.
Fascinating scuba diving fact: Cape Verde is the perfect setting for a wreck scuba diving vacation. Due to Cape Verde’s geography and volcanic geology, the islands created a serious hazard for ships. Over 70 shipwrecks have been recorded between the 16th and 19th centuries off the coast of the islands. Therefore, the seafloor around Cape Verde looks something like a playroom scattered with boat toys. Intermediate and advanced scuba divers will think that the playroom metaphor extends way beyond the look of things — there’s loads for the savvy diver to explore.
Multifaceted Dive Sites
The scuba diving sites in Cape Verde are choice: bursting with marine species, geologically interesting and blessedly uncrowded. For example: off the South coast of the Island of Sal is an incredible spot for wall diving that begins at 28 meters and digs down to to 65. All manner of Pelagic fish call the site home. In this same area are three caves (in local parlance, “Tres Grotes”) that offer varied, accessible cave diving. The maximum depth at Tres Grotes is 18 meters, and lobster, turtles and tropical fish abound within the three (very accessible) caves. The site even features a wall for wall diving.