The archipelago of Cape Verde is the at the most western tip of Africa, 300 miles from the shores of Senegal. The ten islands that make up Cape Verde are very varied but undoubtedly the most ‘African’ of them is Santiago, where the capital Praia is.
Praians are welcoming people who are very proud of their culture. You’ll find them having a drink in town on the main street, Rua Pedonal or chilling on the beach. Take a taxi for 10 minutes and you’ll be by the local beach of Kebra Kanela: have a swim and enjoy a Strela (the local Cape Verdean beer) before the sun sets.
If you make new friends you’ll be sure to bump into them again: Praia is small and you’ll be a familiar face in no time.
Music is central to the Creole population. Traditional music is still popular amongst the young people, with plenty of parties playing Funaná until early in the morning. Events like Kriol Jazz Festival and Atlantic Music Expo bring a flood of international artists from other African countries to other countries bordering the Atlantic like Brazil and Haiti.
The city comes alive and you’ll be able to listen to some up-and-coming local artists as well as international acts. Vox Sambou from Haiti performed this year.
If you’re itching for the perfect beach head to the north of Santiago to Tarrafal where you’ll encounter an idyllic bay with beachside restaurants to enjoy after a swim.
Visit the 15th Century town of Cidade Velha to better understand the history of the ancient slave trade and Cape Verde – which was the first European colonial post in the tropics.
About the author: Awut is an Editorial Assistant at TRUE Africa. She has a bachelor degree in Architecture and is based in London.