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Thursday 13th June
Cape Verde Information - Page 1
The Republic of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa, consists of a group of ten islands and five islets.

The islands of Cape Verde are divided into two groups: Boa Vista, Sal, Santo Antao, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau and Sao Vicente (Windward group) and Brava, Fogo, Maio, and Santiago (Leeward group).

Praia, on Santiago Island, is the capital. Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente, is the second largest city.

The terrain of the islands ranges from dry plains to active volcanoes.

The climate of Cape Verde is temperate.

Cape Verde has limited fresh water resources and is prone to drought. Soil erosion is a problem. Trees and plants adapted to dry conditions are used for reforestation programmes.

Wildlife includes geckos, green monkeys and wild goats. Some of the islets are nature reserves and important habitats for seabirds.

Cape Verde is also a nesting site for loggerhead turtles. Big game fish and humpback whales are found in the surrounding sea.

Portuguese Colonial architecture can be seen in a number of towns on the islands. Mindelo is especially known for its historic buildings.

Today, modern structures are increasingly used to house urban populations.

The population of Cape Verde was estimated at 516,100 in 2011.

Portuguese is the official language. Most of the people speak Crioulo, or Creole, an African/Portuguese dialect.

The majority of the people are Roman Catholic; there are a small percentage of Protestants.

Maize is a staple food in Cape Verde. Rice is also eaten. A stew of beans, vegetables and meat is the national dish.

Fish, such as tuna, is an important part of the Cape Verdean diet.

Vegetables cultivated are aubergines, carrots, cassava (manioc), cucumbers, onions, peppers, green beans, squash and sweet potatoes.

Fruits available include bananas, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit and strawberries.

Coffee is grown. Local alcoholic drinks, such as wine and sugar cane rum, are produced.

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