Sand dunes at Terras Salgadas, Praia da Santana, Maio Island, Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is situated in the eastern Atlantic about 500 km west of Senegal. There are 10 main islands (of which 9 are inhabited) and several uninhabited islets. The total land area is 4,033 km2, spread over 58,000 km2 of ocean and there is about 1,050 km of coastline. The population is 415,000 of which a quarter live in the 2 main cities, Praia, the capital on Santiago and Mindelo, the main port on São Vicente. The main language is Portuguese.
The eastern islands are generally flat with peaks reaching only a few hundred metres and the western islands are mountainous reaching over 1,500 metres. The climate is warm and dry and the main rainy season extends from August to October. Rainfall is variable locally from zero to 1,200 mm and is dependent on altitude particularly. Temperatures are relatively mild and constant with a mean of 22°C at Praia in February the coolest month, but temperatures as high as 35-40°C can occur in the interior of the arid eastern islands. Further details can be found at CIA Factbook.