Surf, wind surfing and kite surfing is big on Cape Verde which is a multiple island state in the Atlantic Ocean and here you will find one of the most developed African countries as democracy has been the rule here for centuries. This makes Cape Verde one of the better destinations for first time Africa explorers, even though poverty and occasional droughts still makes this country suffer economically.
On the plus side, a strong connection to the former colonial power of Portugal make this a quite cheap getaway for the airline ticket compared to the fare to many other African countries.
As for an African country Cape Verde and the locals are very used to tourist rumbling around their beautiful volcanic islands so you will have an easy time getting around, finding accommodation and other commodities here.
The Waves in Cape Verde
The Cape Verde Islands is better known as a kite and wind surf spot, but you do find some world class waves here although many get blown out by the strong winds.
You often find the best waves from November to February even though you have the most ground swell in and around June the winds will destroy the waves on most days.
In the winter time you can surf in your shortie and even board shorts in the early winter. Bring your own gear as it is hard to find decent equipped paddle surf shops.
On Cape Verde the islands and thereby also the different surf spots are spread out so you will have to do a bit of island hopping if you want to check out all the surf potential and not just be satisfied by the first break you will stumble upon on Sal. But don’t hesitate because a Cape Verde island hopping trip is truly an adventure.
Remember to be ahead of time if your sailing back to catch a flight out of Cape Verde as the itineraries nearly never is worth counting on. Most of the surf spots mentioned later on this page are on Sal though, but we at GoSurfAfrica.com strongly recommend you to go and explore the exotic coasts of Cape Verde.
Look out for…
Not much to say. Cape Verde is a safe option for African Travel. It is a perfect start for a first time Africa traveler who hesitates to go exploring on the big and somehow more troubled mainland of the continent.
Only hazard here is the sharp and often pretty shallow lava reef you will find at most of the surfable spots here. This makes the Cape Verde mostly a place for experienced surfers or else you might be in for a scrub.
Beware of the risk of getting Malaria.
Visa to Cape Verde
Every one now needs a visa in advance to visit the islands of Cape Verde. It will set you back around 45 euros, but it should be relatively easy to obtain your visa from the embassy closest to you.
Cape Verde Surf Spots:
Sleeping Lion: Just SW of the airport when you arrive in Sal you will find this spot right behind the Sleeping Lion Mountain on the SE side of the round peninsula. Here you will find a long right when the bigger NW swells are on or the more moderate W-SW swells makes it work. The best part is, that it is often sheltered from the heavy Cape Verde winds.
Note: Follow the coast around the peninsula and a bit up the coast you will find the spots of Alibaba and Curral Joul also in in the backdrop of the Lion Mountain but these are often blown out by the winds. Check them out though if you are around.
Fragata: On the eastern coast of Sal you will find a beach in the south called Fragata. Here you can find waves whenever the NE winds are not on. Just beware that sharks roam these waters from time to time.
Santa Maria: On Sals southern point you find the small town of Santa Maria. Her you’ll have one of Cape Verdes only beach breaks and it works in the rare SW swells. To the west you also have the reef break of Ponta da Sino adto the east of Santa Maria you’ll find Spoutnik.
Ponte Preta: Just west of Santa Maria across the small peninsula (walkable in under an hour) you find the break Ponte Preta. The right here is long and smooth, especially with a NW swell and at low tide where it doesn’t even get too shallow. You need to know what you’re doing though as the end section that can have a bit of backwash. When this break is on it might just be the best you’ll get in Cape Verde.
Santa Monica: On the island of Boa Vista you find the break Santa Monica on the south western side of the island. Here you’ll find both beach breaks, point breaks and reef breaks so beware of any lava boulders down there.
Cape Verde Links:
After your visit to Cape Verde please report back to GoSurfAfrica.com and let your experiences and photos benefit later surf explorers. Also contact us if you need more information about surfing in Cape Verde and we will try to help you and answer all your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.