Cape Verde Weather and Climate
Geographical location of the Cape Verde Islands
The Cape Verde Islands (Republic of Cabo Verde) are an island state in the central Atlantic and geographically belong to Africa. However, the Cape Verde Islands are around 580 kilometers away from the African mainland, and around 550,000 inhabitants are at home on the nine inhabited islands of Cape Verde.
The capital and largest city of the country is Praia on the island of Santiago. The Cape Verde Islands are divided into the Ilhas de Barlavento and the Ilhas de Sotavento, meaning the “islands above the wind” and “below the wind”.
The most famous Cape Verde islands Sal and Boa Vista, both of which are particularly suitable for beach holidays thanks to their good infrastructure and high-class hotel complexes, belong to the first group, along with São Vicente, São Nicolau and Santo Antão.
Fogo, Santiago, Brava and Maio meanwhile belong to the Cape Verde Islands under the wind. The Cape Verde Islands are of volcanic origin and very dry, there are no permanent streams or rivers.
Accordingly, flora and fauna can also be described as semi-desert, apart from a few geckos and sea turtles there are almost no animal species on the islands. The volcanic cone Pico do Fogo with around 2830 meters is the highest point in the country.
Weather and climate in Cape Verde
The climate of Cape Verde is mild all year round and, compared to the Canary Islands, a bit warmer and significantly drier. The difference between the night and day temperatures is usually only around 5 to 6 ° C all year round, so it remains pleasant even in winter even after sunset.
It is not without reason that Cape Verde is also called the “islands of eternal summer”, while in the Canary Islands people often speak of “eternal spring”. The term rainy season is clearly too high on Cabo Verde, as there is generally very little rainfall.
Nevertheless, locals refer to the period from August to mid- October as the rainy season on Cape Verde, even if there are only a few short, heavy showers during this travel season. They’re little more than a welcome refreshment. Mário Lúcio de Sousa, musician of the famous band Simentera, once said:
“We wait ten months for rain and then it will be over in five minutes”. Please also look at the statistical amounts of precipitation in our climate table below. The humidity on Cape Verde is comparatively high at 70-75%, but the pleasant wind from the Atlantic makes the weather very bearable at all times.
On Sal and Boa Vista, water sports enthusiasts especially love the spring months from February to April, as the strongest wind for kite surfers prevails here. This time is suitable for a beach holiday, but due to the waves, at least with small children, it is not exactly ideal.
When is the best time to travel to Cape Verde?
You will surely take note of it with a smile, but below we refer to the entire period from January to December as the best time to travel to the Cape Verde Islands. In fact, the island state is suitable for a holiday all year round, even if there may be regional differences.
For beach holidays on Sal and Boa Vista, we consider the end of March to mid-August and mid-October to mid-December to be the ideal travel time. The Sotavento islands of Santiago, Fogo, Maio and Brava are always slightly warmer than the islands above the wind during the year. For active holidays such as hikes, the period from autumn to late spring is a very good travel time, i.e. from around the end of October to the end of April.
May and June are the driest months and very windless, there is little “green” on Cape Verde at this time. In July and August high season is in the Cape Verde Islands, in September the most rain and it is often cloudy. This month is therefore not necessarily the best time to travel to Cape Verde.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Cape Verde).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Santa Maria||all except September and October|
|Praia||all except September and October|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Santa Maria (Cape Verde)
|Daytime temperature||24 ° C||24 ° C||25 ° C||25 ° C||25 ° C||26 ° C||27 ° C||29 ° C||29 ° C||29 ° C||27 ° C||25 ° C|
|Night temperature||19 ° C||18 ° C||18 ° C||19 ° C||20 ° C||21 ° C||22 ° C||23 ° C||24 ° C||23 ° C||22 ° C||20 ° C|
|Water temperature||23 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||23 ° C||23 ° C||24 ° C||25 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||25 ° C||24 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||5||4||1||0||0||0||1||14||34||7||3||2|
|Hours of sunshine||6||6||7||7||7||6||5||5||6||6||6||5|
The annual average temperature in Santa Maria is 23.5 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is September (26.6 ° C), coldest month of February with averages of 21.1 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Santa Maria is 26 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. All months have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.
The annual precipitation is 71 mm on 4 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. You cannot expect snow in any month in Santa Maria.
As our climate table shows, April is the sunniest month with an average of 7.2 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines 6 hours a day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Sights and highlights
Probably the most beautiful beach in Cape Verde is the elongated Santa Maria on the island of Sal, where the island’s best hotels are also located. A walk from the dunes down to the fishing pier in the village is one of the highlights of every holidaymaker. Boa Vista also enchants with dreamy beaches and fantastic holiday hotels. If you want to get a deeper insight into the country and its people, we recommend a Cape Verde tour.
The sights of these Cabo Verde tours include, for example, the Pico volcano with its Caldeira, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cidade Velha or the viewpoint Monte Txota on the island of Santiago and the romantic mountain village Fontainhas on Santo Antão. In addition, colorful markets, friendly people and unforgettable hikes on the Cape Verde Islands beckon in many places.