There are lots of interesting and attractive plants to be found in Cape Verde. This picture, was taken on the island of Santiago. There are the familiar plants such as bougainvillea, but many others that are far less common in Europe. If you are interested in plants, there is a lot to find here, especially on some of the more mountainous islands, such as Santiago, Brava and Santo Antão, where slightly more rainfall encourages a more diverse range of plants.
On Sunday, three young whales became stranded on the little beach next to Stella Maris in Vila do Maio. Various attempts were made to push them back into the sea but even with ropes and sheets, this proved impossible. Eventually a fishing boat arrived and using its motor they managed to get these three lovely creatures back into deeper water. This successful outcome was greeted with applause from the crowd that had gathered. Its puzzling why the whales came into such shallow waters. Congratulations to all concerned.
There are so many lovely beaches to choose from in Cape Verde. On the small, sleepy island of Maio, the beaches are often deserted. This picture is of the main beach, known as Bitxe Rotxa, in Vila do Maio. There are two bars on the beach one of which (Bar Tropikal) stages live music on Saturday evenings. Maio is a lovely, peaceful place for a relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Once again The Daily Telegraph has featured Cape Verde in its Travel Destinations. This is a second feature in three months on this country from one of the UK’s leading newspapers. It is an indication of the growing importance of Cape Verde as a holiday destination.
The article describes Cape Verde as ‘a year-round sun spot with alluring beaches, volcanic hiking routes, and a lively music scene, not to mention direct flights from the UK at under six hours, and no [significant] time difference – so no jet lag to contend with.’
Online searches increased
The amount of online searching for Cape Verde is showing significant increase. One organisation – Global Travel Search – lists in order the destinations that have the greatest increase in searches over the past 12 years. It states that Cape Verde has shown the largest increase, at 3000% since 2004. In 2017 this small country came second only to Barcelona
Whilst the searches online have increased dramatically, not all searches automatically turn into visits. Tourism to the archipelago is, however, on the increase. In 2016 this small African country welcomed 644,000 tourists, an increase of 13.6% on 2015.
Henry Morley, Founder of True Luxury Travel, says: “A key reason for the increase in search volume for Cape Verde is due to much greater accessibility to the islands.
“Recent years have seen greater availability of direct flights from the UK, which will have brought the country to the forefront of people’s minds as a potential holiday destination.”
The Daily Telegraph’s travel writer Rachel Cranshaw, visited the island of Sal in 2017. She expects its popularity will continue to increase. She writes “Its main selling points are that it’s a six-hour direct flight from the UK, with little or no time difference, and better guaranteed year-round sunshine than the Canaries,” she notes. “But it’s much cheaper – and closer than the Caribbean.”
Fishing is a major source of food and employment in Cape Verde. The fishing boats go our early most mornings and then return during the morning. Here, on the island of Maio, you can see them returning and then go to the beach and buy the fresh fish. the colourful boats also look very attractive on the main beach in Vila do Maio (also known as Porto Inglês. The catch will often include tuna, wahoo and grouper.
The Government of Cape Verde has announced that visitors from Europe and the United Kingdom will not need to purchase a visa for visiting Cape Verde from May 2018. The inclusion of the UK in this exemption was not certain because of the Brexit vote. This is good news and may speed up the movement through the airport on arrival.
Many visitors to Cape Verde will have been to the islands of Sal or Boa Vista and discovered that there are areas of desert, especially on Boa Vista. However, this photograph, taken on Santo Antão demonstrates that there are also lush green hillsides in this small country, which is only 1850km from the equator. Cape Verde has a variety of landscapes, so something for everyone.
This is the view from Stella Maris, on the island of Maio. The picture was taken during a couple of days of rough seas. The views from Stella Maris are lovely, either looking west over the Atlantic towards the island of Santiago, or looking east along the coast of the island, as in this picture.
Cape Verde and China have been in discussions about the possibility of an air transport agreement between the two countries. If such an agreement is formulated it will allow both TACV and China’s Capital Airlines to fly between the two countries.
Luís Filipe Tavares, Foreign Affairs minister has stated that this agreement could be completed by the middle of 2018.
This latest potential agreement between the two counties is just one of several other areas of cooperation, such as defence and port security.