Does it rain in rain in Cape Verde

Does it rain in Cape Verde?

My Colleague and good friend, Max has just returned from Cape Verde after a hiatus of several years caused by the recent (but not somewhat distant, pandemic).

Sao Vicente Cape Verde - Praia de Palma Carga - jeep tour picnic with Gabriela Mendes

What struct me most, when looking at Max’s photos was how a little rain can make such a big difference.  Over the past 16 years I’ve visited Cape Verde 4 times, travelled to most of the islands and on the hole it was pretty dry.  That’s not to say the islands are barren and arid, as there are many hidden valleys on some islands that have a reasonable amount of water and are quite lush!

These two photos show how a little rain can make such a big difference

My first trip to Santiago in 2007 

2007 Serra Malagueta

Max’s recent 2022 trip to Santiago (same valley, but after rain) 

Cape Verde Serra Malagueta
Serra Malagueta

You could split the islands into distinct types.  The closer you are to continental Africa you find the island like Sal, Boavista and Maio are more arid and desert like.  As you head further west towards Santiago, Fogo, Brava and Santo Antao you’ll find the islands are more mountainous, with higher levels of rainfall (especially on the high points of the islands).

In February 2015, we had a family walking trip to Cape Verde. There hadn’t been much rainfall in the previous two years, but shortly after arriving we had a few wet days and almost before our eyes the barren hillsides started to turn green, as if coming back to life after a long sleep.- you can see the green hues in the photo of me below.

Ian - Santo Antao 2015
Ian on Santo Antao in 2015

It’s said that when the Portuguese first discovered the islands there were two rainy season, hence the name of the islands -Cape Verde (Green Cape).  Over the course of the past of two hundred years, the islands have been reduced to just one rainy period, which tends to be from August to October (with average levels of rainfall of around 15mm).

So, in answer to my question. Does it rain in Cape Verde? The answer is most definitely, yes.  Perhaps the bigger question to ask should be. Is it predictable?  Probably not!

The best time to visit Cape Verde (in our opinion) is from November to May.  The weather tends to be consistently warm, with average day time temperatures of around 25 degrees C – breezy at times and maybe, if your lucky a little rain to green everywhere up.

You could just go to the beach, but in all honesty the islands are an under rated hiking destination and ripe for island hopping – with maybe a day or two on the beach

Cape Verde, Tarrafal Beach on Santiago
Tarrafal beach on Santiago

If you’re trying to think of somewhere to go in the new year, then spend a little time checking out this very under rated destination and book a discovery call with either Jake or Max  (the Archipelago Choice team specialist on Cape Verde).


Tel: 017687 721040

Thanks for reading.