Share this article

Diving in Cape Verde: Lots of fish, nurse sharks and angler fish!

Several years ago, we found the two westernmost islands of Cape Verde to be a wonderful new diving destination. Still we ourselves are very pleasantly surprised when we are there on diving vacation. Come dive with us to Cape Verde if you want to see spectacular fish! In addition, you will completely relax because the motto of Cape Verde is not for nothing: no stress.

  • Lots of fish
  • Visit the volcanic island
  • High biodiversity
  • Wonderfully relaxed
  • Adventurous
Play Video

Why dive at Cape Verde?

Actually very simple: because of the large amount of fish swimming around here. During the dives you will find yourself in a fish soup of schools of barracudas, groupers, tuna, doctor fish, sardines or any other school of thousands of fish. And we were and remain really surprised by the enormous biodiversity. What an impressive destination for that price and only 7 hours flying time.

Not only do the schools of fish make diving in Cape Verde interesting, but so does the life on the jagged rocks underwater. Add diving on a wreck or near an uninhabited island, and Cape Verde is a diving destination that can captivate any diver.

The high biodiversity of fish can be explained by the location of the Cape Verde Islands. They have the typical species of the Atlantic Ocean, but being between the Tropic of Cancer and the equator, they also have the tropical species here that you would more likely expect in the Red Sea. The underwater topography does have strong similarities to the Azores, for example. While diving in Cape Verde, you will see little coral and the topography is mostly rocks and white sand.

The islands of Sao Vicente and Santo Antao have more than 40 dive sites ranging from bay dives, around pinnacles, current and wreck dives and spectacular dropoffs. In all cases, you encounter fish, lots of fish. Large schools, nudi branches, nurse sharks and various species of rays and, with luck, even manta rays or whale sharks. Despite the fact that diving Cape Verde is not known for big stuff, you can still find several species of sharks near the 2 westernmost islands.

By the way, diving Cape Verde is also a great destination to get your Open Water diving license.

Diving Sao Vicente

The volcanic island of Sao Vicente includes deserted sandy beaches, high waves, small fishing villages and mountains up to 750 meters that are well worth a visit. The large city of Mindelo is bustling with culture and has about 60,000 inhabitants with colonial and colorful buildings, many restaurants and cafes with live music. If, in addition to diving, you want evening socializing and from a larger city, this is your island.

Angler fishing: a common emerging fish in Sao Vicente is the Frog Fish. Sometimes there are several together! And in terms of camouflage techniques, they could learn a thing or two here in Cape Verde….

Snorkeling with turtles: Would you like to snorkel with lots of turtles? This is possible on Sao Vicente!

Diving Santo Antao

If you are a big nature lover, then the green island of Santo Antao is worth a visit. If the island has 25 kilometers of asphalt, it’s a lot. Beautiful villages set against the mountain to be reached by winding dirt roads along high cliffs. The volcanic soil offers an oasis of species of trees and plants. You can take beautiful walks through the valley near Paul, to the mountain village of Fontainhas and Lajedos. No matter where you go, there are beautiful views everywhere.

At Santo Antao, dive along the beautiful coast at Porto Novo. New dive sites are still being found and added. No mass tourism here. You will probably be the only divers around the island when you dive with us at Santo Antao.

📺 NPO – 3 on travel: São Vicente and Santo Antão (CV)

Chris tours Cape Verde, a volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Senegal, Africa. Here he visits two of the northernmost islands: São Vicente and Santo Antão. São Vicente, with capital Mindelo, is the cultural and musical heart of the archipelago. On green and rugged Santo Antão, Chris stays in the Paúl Valley, in the midst of impressive nature and away from mass tourism. Watch the episode here.

Also experience this diving trip?

Remote islands and an honest opinion

What you do need to consider is that Cape Verde is the westernmost point of Africa. Once again: Cape Verde belongs to Africa! Remote in the Atlantic Ocean just slightly above the equator. Life goes its own way here and people are not in a hurry. Tourism is still in its infancy. Not everything is the same and especially the time factor, they take their time here. Even though the diving school and hotel do their best to make each one comfortable, they face organizational challenges. Here, sometimes the power fails, suddenly the wind can be enormous, going ashore during the surface interval is not always possible, speed is not always in the locals, there is not always Wifi and hot water in the hotel. The changing areas are on the cramped side and very common things like a crate to store your belongings are simply not for sale on these islands. Parts for a zodiac are sometimes months away. Also, not every Cape Verdean is proficient in English and they have yet to learn the word hospitality.

But with enthusiasm, hands and feet and a big smile, you’ll get along just fine. If you don’t mind this, you will have a great diving trip in Cape Verde. It is a great new destination with very sweet people, good food, beautiful music and most of all impressive diving. But is not suitable for tourists who are used to everything being taken care of to perfection. We can tell you from our own experience that, especially in Cape Verde, this also has its charm.

Also perhaps interesting

Thresher Sharks Macro Diving Whale Sharks

Diving in the Philippines

Besides diving, do you like to socialize? Then go on a diving vacation to the Philippines! There is a lot of variety to be found in the Philippines, both in terms of price and dive...

Read more

Diving in Malaysia

Malaysia offers divers a stunning underwater world with crystal clear waters, fascinating coral walls and an exuberant variety of marine inhabitants, including curious clownfish and elegant sea turtles.

Read more
Bahamas Hammerhead Sharks Tiger Sharks

The sharks of the Bahamas

Diving with hammerhead and tiger sharks is eminently possible on Bimini in the Bahamas.

Read more
Costa Rica Hammerhead Sharks Tiger Sharks Manta Rays

Diving in Costa-Rica

Costa Rica offers fantastic diving in Guanacaste, where divers can meet bull sharks and basking manta rays, among others. Cocos Island is world famous for its diving with hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks ánd whale sharks.

Read more
Galapagos Hammerhead Sharks Manta Rays Sea Lions

Diving in the Galapagos Islands

Diving the Galapagos from a liveaboard is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Discover the underwater world full of marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and playful sea lions. An absolute must-do for diving enthusiasts and a bucket...

Read more
Maldives Whale Sharks Manta Rays

What does diving in the Maldives cost?

Diving in the Maldives is accessible even on a limited budget. We list all the costs for diving in the Maldives.

Read more
Egypt Unlimited diving

Trip Report: Week at Abu Dabbab Dive Resort – Marsa Alam, Egypt

A diving trip in words: Leonie’s account of her week of diving in Abu Dabbab with Rianne.

Read more
Zanzibar Dolphins

On diving vacation to Zanzibar with Leeuwarden Diving Association

Mark organized a diving vacation to Zanzibar for Diving Association Leeuwarden. It became a buddy trip which meant that other clients of EWDR were also welcome.

Read more
Snorkeling Vacation

The Ultimate Guide to Snorkeling Vacations

In this article, we dive into the enchanting world of snorkeling, focusing on the best snorkeling vacations around the world.

Read more
Maldives Whale Sharks Manta Rays Liveaboard

Liveaboard Maldives

This guide on liveaboard diving vacations to the Maldives explains what a liveaboard is, a typical daily schedule, and describes sailing itineraries

Read more

The 10 Most Beautiful Dives in the Maldives

Back to overview The 10 Most Beautiful Dives in the Maldives The Maldives is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world for diving, with a diversity of marine life and enchanting...

Read more
Maldives Liveaboard Resort

The best time to dive in the Maldives

When is the best time to dive in the Maldives? Check here by month what to expect and when is the best time to visit.

Read more
Maldives Whale Sharks Manta Rays

Diving trip Maldives

Go on a diving trip to the Maldives! From luxury resorts to budget liveaboards, enjoy fantastic diving with manta rays and whale sharks.

Read more
Whales Whale Sharks

Top 5 – July: Best diving destinations

Discover the 5 best dive sites for July! From whale sharks in Mexico to the Sardine Run in South Africa. Plan your next diving adventure.

Read more

eSim on Dive Vacation – Carefree Internet on your Mobile

Would you like to keep surfing the Internet during your diving vacation? Without skyrocketing roaming charges? Then check out the possibilities of an eSim.

Read more
Norway Killer Whales Unique Encounters

Snorkeling with Orcas in Norway

Snorkeling with orcas in Norway offers an unforgettable opportunity to observe these impressive animals in their natural habitat.

Read more

All about the dive medical examination & dive doctor

Do you need a medical examination? Or would you like to know more about it? This article tells you all about the diving medical examination by a diving doctor.

Read more

Prescription diving mask

Almost any diving mask can be supplied with prescription glasses. Either for far away, near, multifocal, varifocal… It is all possible.

Read more
Zanzibar Resort

Soraya & Jeffry go diving on Zanzibar

Soraya & Jeffry went to Zanzibar and stayed at Langi Langi for a week.

Read more

10 Activities on Bonaire that have nothing to do with diving

We know that you can dive beautifully on Bonaire, but there really is a lot to do for the non-diver as well! We’ve listed our top 10 activities.

Read more
Mola mola Manta Rays Macro Diving

The Colors of Bali

Bali is not called the Island of the Gods for nothing; it is an enchanting island. Not only is the island of Bali beautiful, around the island you can do fantastic diving.

Read more
Wreck diving Sharks Coral Reefs

Liveaboard diving vacations in Egypt

The liveaboard concept is a unique way to dive and allows divers to take their diving experience to the next level. Unlike a day trip to a dive site, divers stay aboard a liveaboard ship...

Read more

What do you pack when you go on a diving vacation?

Going on a diving vacation? We give you 8 tips to efficiently pack your suitcase! We discuss everything from the right choice of suitcase to your regulators and underwater camera.

Read more
Manta Rays Mola mola Muck Diving

Diving in Indonesia

Diving in Indonesia is very diverse and offers an incredible variety of marine life, including colorful coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks, manta rays and more.

Read more