Scuba Diving in Cabo Verde

Cape Verde (Portuguese: República de Cabo Verde) is a country in West Africa. It is located on the archipelago and includes 18 islands which are divided into the Leeward Islands (Portuguese: Sotavento) and the Windward Islands (Portuguese: Barlavento). The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean.
Diving is gaining popularity here. There are a lot of shipwrecks, caves, cliffs and reefs in this area which are a habitat for fishes, crabs and octopuses. Another place of interest is the harbour in the crater of an extinguished volcano near Mindelo in the northwest of Sao Vicente coast. The average depth ranges from 6 to 30 meters, the maximum depth is 40 meters. All this makes Cape Verde a paradise for divers.

Reasons to Visit

Where to go
in Cabo Verde?
The Cape Verde Islands are surrounded by incredibly beautiful coral reefs full of various marine creatures. Here you can enjoy observing Scomberomorus and barracuda, quick yellowtail rockfishes and slow green sea turtles.
Inside Murdeira Bay in the south of Sal Island lays the Canoa Bay. This place is remarkable for its safe waves and wind protection. It is a preserved area because humpback whales come here for the mating season. Watching these huge animals playing and choosing their partners is really romantic.
Sal Island is the most popular in Cape Verde. Exciting dive sites are situated near its shores: there are caves, rocks and grottos where you can find crabs and octopuses. Humpback whales can also be seen there. Underwater visibility reaches 40 metres. The most breathtaking place is Ponta do Farol reef where you can dive 40,5 meters deep.
There are mostly moderate and strong currents at many dive sites in Cape Verde which is suitable for extreme diving. However, this is only relevant for experienced divers considering the maximum possible depth at these locations. Night diving also deserves attention. At night, the underwater world looks different and is even more fascinating for divers.
Cape Verde has perfect conditions for diving. Underwater visibility is great, oceanic world is varied, and you can visit a lot of wrecks. The oceanfloor around Santiago Island (Portuguese: Ilha de Santiago) and Maio Island boasts hundreds of old shipwrecks of XV–XVIII centuries. The wreck of a bulk carrier and XX century Danish merchant ship lie 12 meters below the surface near Sal Island.

Diving Destinations in Cabo Verde

There are over 20 sites for exciting diving on volcanic São Vicente Island. They are open all year round. Porto Grande Bay in Mindelo is especially attractive.
Boa Vista Island offers 55 km of shoreline, no crowds and enjoyable diving. The crystal clear turquoise coastal water is home for dolphins and turtles.

Memo Notes
Languages Portuguese
Timezone UTC -1
Phone code 238
Emergency Help 132

Type C - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type F - 220 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Cabo Verde

There are a lot of dive shops on the islands. They offer services for everyone from a beginner to an experiences diver. For example, Cabo Verde Diving Club on Sal Island provides night diving and a diving torch.

Сlimate & Seasonality

In March the air temperature in Cape Verde ranges from +23 to +25 ˚С and the water temperature is between +21 and +23 ˚С. The dry season continues and there no precipitation. In May the water temperature remains at +22 ˚С.


In June and July, the air warms up to +26 or +28 ˚С, and the water off the coast heats up to +24 or +25 ˚С. August brings the first rains with it. The air and water temperature raises by one degree.


In September the wet season begins in Cape Verde. The air temperature reaches +30 ˚С and the water temperature warms up to +27 ˚С. In October the rains become short. In November the air temperature is between +27 and +28 ˚С and the water is 26 °C warm.


The average air temperature from December to February is around +25 ˚С, and the water temperature ranges from +23 to +25 ˚С. At his time Santiago Island (Portuguese: Ilha de Santiago) is the warmest place. There are no rains.

high season
middle season
low season

The Best Dive Sites

On Sal Island divers can visit the Blue Eye, the only natural pool inside a cliff, and 19 other dive sites. There is also a wreck of the bulk carrier Santo Antao, which crashed into a submerged reef in winter 1966. Here you can see parrotfish, porcupinefish, eels and other sea dwellers.

Health & Safety

Crime rate in Cape Verde is low. You can walk safely in tourist areas, such as Sal and Boa Vista Islands. However, you should be careful in other regions, as there have been more crimes reported recently. A trip to Cape Verde is very risky for pregnant women because of the spread of Zika virus. There is a danger of catching tuberculosis. Problems with drinking water sometimes cause intestinal infections outbreaks. Healthcare is generally better than in other African countries, but still leaves much to be desired.

Dangerous Marine Life

There are few dangers in Cape Verde. Besides the scorching sun, there can be big stones under water. So be careful when diving. Coral reefs fascinate with their beauty but watch your step as the shards can easily hurt you. Sharks are also found here.

Eat & Drinks

National dishes of Cape Verde are quite simple. The ocean waters are rich with seafood and fish, so they make up the basic ingredients of many local dishes. The restaurant menus mainly include tuna and rockfish. The local national dish is Cachupa. It is cooked with corn, beans, fish, pork, beef, pumpkin, chicken and cabbage. The more ingredients it contains, the 'richer' it is. Fish soups and banana rolls are also popular.
The most common alcoholic drink is beer and ponche, the popular soft drink is fresh fruit juices. Only bottled water should be consumed.