Cape Verde: Geography

An Archipelago of 10 Volcanic Islands

Cape Verde Geography

The Cape Verde archipelago is located approximately (604 km) off the coast of West Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. It is composed of ten islands (of which nine are inhabited) and eight islets. The islands have a combined size of just over 4,000 square km. The islands are divided into the Barlavento (windward) islands (Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista) and the Sotavento islands (Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava). The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, where the capital of Praia is located. Though Cape Verde's islands are all volcanic in origin, they vary widely in terrain. A still-active volcano on the island of Fogo is the highest point on the archipelago (elevation approximately 2,829 metres).