1. It’s an island nation comprised of 10 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, located about 350 miles west of Senegal. The 10 islands are: Santiago, Sal, Boa Vista, Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Santa Luzia, Maio, Fogo, and Brava.
2. It’s the 5th smallest nation in Africa and the 30th smallest in the world.
3. Its capital and largest city is Praia on the main island of Santiago.
4. More than half of Cape Verde’s population lives on Santiago Island.
5. Major languages: Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole (aka Kriolu).
6. Major religions: Christianity (95%), Islam (2%), Traditional and other religions (2%)
7. Most of the population is Creole, descending from the mixture of European settlers and African slaves who were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations.
8. It gained its independence from Portugal in July 1975.
9. More Cape Verdeans live abroad (nearly 1 million) than in the country itself (about 500,000).
10. The national music is the Morna, typically sung in Kriolu. Cesária Évora, known as the Queen of Morna, was the best-known Cape Verdean singer in the world. She passed in 2011 but left a big legacy.
11. Cape Verde has a spectacular Carnival held annually on Shrove Tuesday. While all of the islands celebrate, the most popular one is in Mindelo on São Vicente island.
12. Tourism is fast becoming one of Cape Verde’s biggest sectors. Visitors are drawn to the variety of landscapes and activities, including white and black sand beaches, water sports, mountain trekking, hiking, historical sites and architecture, street art, music, local cuisine and wines, and even an active volcano.