Diving in Cape Verde, Africa

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Cape Verde

The Republic of Cabo Verde or popularly known as Cape Verde is an archipelago filled with 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It sits 570 kilometres/350 miles off the coast of Western Africa and is part of the Macaronesia ecoregion. This geographic location makes the islands a haven for the beginner to advanced divers. Cape Verde boasts of lunar-like landscapes filled with lush vegetation and amazing wildlife. It won the media attention for being one of the last paradises on earth.

For the novice to advanced divers, the island of Sal boasts exhilarating tropical underwater paradise. Its deep waters are filled with almost vertical lava shoals revealing caves and cracks frolicking with various marine life. The amazing wall dive offered by Cavala in Sal is a staggering 28m to 65m deep dive sporting large pelagic fishes such as the Bull Shark Cavala, tiger sharks, and hammerhead sharks. Another popular dive site in Sal is the Choclassa Deep which drops14m and going beyond 300m. Various marine life can be seen such as moray, tuna fish, marlin, turtles, lobsters, stingray, various mantas, sharks and whale sharks.

For the wreck lovers, there is the KWARCIT-Boris which is a 28m dive. Sunk perfectly in January 2006, it now sits upright with its hull intact and continues to become an artificial reef frolicking with marine life such as stingray, schools of jack fish, nurse sharks, different crustaceans, endemic nudibranchs and frog fish. For advanced divers, the shipwreck allows to be explored like seeing the view of the tropical underwater paradise from the bridge.

Another popular dive site in Cape Verde is the Burracona in the north sporting cave diving at 22m deep with two entrances to a natural grotto made of black basalt sporting underwater lighting effects.

See an extremely large cornetfish on a reef dive of 15m to 25m in Selena's Arch at Ponta do Sol which is a must for beginner divers.

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Cape Verde’s government doesn't have enough resources to focus on marine conservation but lately a combination of non-profit and international organizations have been very active helping Cape Verde in its marine conservation efforts to protect its unique ecosystems and its indigenous fauna and flora.

One example is Murdeira Bay protected area, where the WWF continues to ensure the survival of Murdeira’s Whales traversing the Atlantic such as humpback and melon-headed whales.

Cape Verde has a temperate climate. The rainy season is from August to October. Because of its dive perfect geography, it sports a year round diving season.

The general water temperate is ranging between 23°C to 27°C.

The air temperate is around 24°C to 29°C.

To experience visibility up to 40m, visit the islands from April to November when the waters are crystal clear except in areas with heavy plankton build-up but get ready to swim with the whales looking for a gulp of the rich plankton in the area.

There are not a lot of hazards in the islands but strong currents could be experienced.

Cape Verde's international airports can be found in Sal, Santiago, Boa Vista and São Vicente. Be forewarned that not all the connecting flights are visible to travel booking websites so it is a must to check with a travel agent.

Traveling by boat is not advisable as there are only infrequent and expensive connections to the mainland.

To get around the islands, plane travel is recommended. TACV Cabo Verde Airlines provides regular flights between the islands. Domestic tickets are cheaper if purchased in Cape Verde.

Metered taxis are also available in the major cities.

General transportation in Cape Verde is deemed safe and efficient but it's a must to check with your travel agent as the islands are remotely located.

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