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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
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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.

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