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Scuba diving in Cape Verde

With 10 main islands, 8 additional islets and a burgeoning tourism industry, Cape Verde is a siren’s call for divers. Here you will find modern wrecks, fantastic caves and brilliantly colored reefs.
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Diving in Cape Verde

Quick facts

At the meeting between tropical waters and Atlantic currents, Cape Verde is a wonderland for divers of all levels. Diving in the country is still in its infancy but the plethora of marine life and variety of underwater environments mean this country is sure to become one of the top dive destinations in the world.

Diving is so far possible on 3 of the 10 inhabited islands although more dive shops and spots are sure to open as tourism to the country expands. The most developed island for tourism, Sal has the most accessible dive sites. There are 25 sites surrounding this island which also hosts the most dive shops. Shallow dives progress to deeper waters from the long and sandy beaches. The most southerly island, Boa Vista, is the newest tourist center in Cape Verde. Here strong currents scream past the island, drawing in large pelagic species. Finally, Santiago is home to the area’s famous wrecks. More than 14 sunken ships are dividable off the north coast.

With a variety of temperatures ranging from 66 - 81°F (19 - 27°C), both a 3mm and 5mm may be appropriate depending on the location and season. Diving is accessible year round, but the best season lies from April to November. Between colorful volcanic walls, cathedral-like caves and several well-preserved wrecks, Cape Verde delights for divers with a variety interests. You are sure to be amazed not only by the interesting environments but also by the wide variety of marine life from humpback whales to the flying gurnard.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • Boa Vista

    With a huge variety of wrecks and marine life, uncrowded dive sites and gorgeous beaches, Boa Vista, the newest diving island in Cape Verde, lives up to the translation of its name, ‘Beautiful View.’

  • Sal
Pricing on request
Pricing on request
USD 46Per dive
USD 45Per dive
Pricing on request

What to see

With the cooler Atlantic currents and warm tropical waters, Cape Verde is magnet for all types of fish. Colorful corals, sandy bottoms and black lava rocks create interesting backdrops for macro life like nudibranchs, pipe fish, and crustaceans. Octopus, squid, shrimps, crabs and spiny lobsters shyly hide away among the rocks. Plenty of reef fish, eels, sea snakes and sea spiders frequent the colorful volcanic walls. Schools of barracuda, groupers, tuna, wahoo, wrasse and stingrays are commonly spotted and a variety of sharks including lemon, hammerhead, nurse, mako, tiger and bull can be seen riding the currents. Loggerheads, leatherbacks and hawksbills use the area as a breeding ground and during the summer, manta rays are occasionally seen. The lucky few may dive with pilot whales or the humpback whales that breed near Cape Verde.

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings
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