Santo Antão Cape Verde The “Switzerland of Cape Verde” Photos: from several sources Research, Coordination and Edition: Zeca Pereira Music: ‘Nha terra escalabrod’ sung by Ildo Lobo
Santo Antão is the most majestic island of Cape Verde. The grandeur of its mountains and valleys earned it the title of the ‘Switzerland of Cape Verde’. Coculi…
Life in Santo Antão evolves greatly around the valleys known as ‘ribeiras’ (rivers) the majority of which are ‘dry rivers’. This is Ribeira Grande (the Big River) after which the capital of Santo Antão was named. The main characteristic of the ‘ribeiras’ is that whilst the land is in general arid, the valleys have substantial water reserves allowing agriculture to develop. The economy of Santo Antão is very much dependent on agriculture and is considered one of the granaries of Cape Verde
Due to the steep valleys,, when it rains the ribeiras collect huge volumes of water coming down the mountains with the potential of destroying cultivated land, depleting arable land and disrupting communications.
The port of Porto Novo with a cruise liner which visits Santo Antão regularly. In the background the island of São Vicente.