Cape Verde is an elusive mix of everything. It is a blend of Portugal, a dash of Brazil, a hint of America and a slice of Africa. The archipelago consists of unique islands that offer everything from isolated windswept beaches, mountainous misty forests, giant salt flats and black volcanic lava flows. Each area has a different dialect of Kriolu, special traditional dishes and a unique cultural dance that defines that region. There are top-of-the-line luxury hotels with the latest technology as well as small-town pensions in remote villages, rich in tradition. The most inviting aspect of this country is its ‘morabeza’, the charm, candor and genuine hospitality of its people, and the vibrant, rich diversity of each island.
From luxury to thrill, the islands of Cape Verde offer experiences as varied and exciting as the traveler. They may be known as the Forgotten Islands, but they are anything but forgettable.
Get a True Feel for the People and the Islands of Cape Verde
I ordered this travel guide to Cape Verde because I knew it included information on my family's home island, Brava, and that the book was written by someone who lived there for a couple years. I am a Cape Verdean-American (both sides of my family) and although Callie is obviously not of Cape Verdean descent, she captured the essence and special qualities of Cape Verdean people--as well as the unique flavor of each island.
I grew up in the US with many relatives who were born in Cape Verde and even for us, it's sometimes hard to explain the differences in how we look, the dialects, why Crioulo was only a spoken language until recently and what makes each island special. Here in the US, the debate on what race Cape Verdeans are and do we claim a Portuguese or African heritage, goes on -- so for someone visiting the islands I imagine it's not clear at all. But please don't jump to conclusions either.
Callie's guide is well-written, respectful of local customs and POV--and she gives good advice and tips on how to have a good time and connect with local Cape Verdean people. I love that she included a section on language and phrases. Cape Verdeans are patient and appreciate the effort to speak to them in Crioulo (also spelled "krioulu").
To land on Sal and see the flat, dry land may seem like you made an error in plans, but slow down and enjoy the nuances. Once you get going, you'll see that the islands offer more than what you see in an initial impression -- and each island has something totally different. Where else can you climb a live volcano one day, and see live sea turtles laying eggs the next--and then hike through craggy, lush ribeiras in the clouds all in the same trip? If you prefer sitting on sandy beaches with a cocktail, then that's available on some islands, too.
Like we say, "Cape Verde, no stress."
Bottom Line: This is a down-to-earth, practical guide to getting around Cape Verde Islands and understanding something of the history and the people. Callie includes the names of some businesses and people who will gladly help you get around the islands, and have a fantastic time than going it all by yourself. Thank you, Callie, for helping people around the world understand our homeland and culture better.
- Roxanne McHenry, Amazon verified purchased