Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Boa Vista (English: " Beautiful view " ), also written Boavista, is the third largest of the Cape Verde Islands in the central Atlantic. The called the "pearl " of Cape Verde desert island is set up as a tourist destination for some time. Renowned European investors have built in recent years luxury apartments and hotels in the Moorish style. The longest and most beautiful beaches of the Cape Verde Islands are located here.


Boa Vista is part of the Ilhas de Barlavento (German: " Leeward Islands "). It is located south of the island of Sal and north of Maio and 455 km distance to Cabo Verde in Senegal is the African continent next. Capital of the island is the harbor town of Sal Rei.

Inland, some weathered volcanic vents protrude beyond the Kalksockel on which rests the otherwise flat island. The interior of the island with 620 km ² island is quite large desert-like. Extensive date groves alternate with dune fields, mountainous rocky desert and wide gravel fields in the mostly flat expiring dry valleys. Surround the island is by a chain on bright sand beaches.

The climate has only slight seasonal variations with temperatures between 20 and 32 ° C, extremely rare rainfall and usually a strong breeze from the north-east.


Geomorphological Boa Vista is one of the best examples of an abraded from the sea Vulkanbau in Cape Verde. The extensive Quaternary erosion, were spared before only a few, almost 390 meters high reach, phonolithische surveys, allowing a unique insight into the interior of a volcanic island. Thus, the abrasion in the Pleistocene caused as a result extensive terrace systems and in the Holocene widespread marine sand deposits.

The geological structure of the island can be categorized as follows ( from young to old):

  • Holocene sediments
  • Pleistocene sediments
  • Modern pyroclastic volcanic cone
  • Chão de Calheta lineup
  • Intermediate sediments
  • Pico Forcado lineup
  • Monte Caçador lineup
  • Monte Passarão complex
  • Age Eruptivkomplex
  • Ankaramitische lavas

The geological development on Boa Vista starts in the early Miocene ( Burdigalian ) with more than 16 million years BP old ankaramitischen lavas in the north- east of the island ( Fundo de Figueiras lineup? ).

The second, 15,0 bis 12.5 million years BP spanning age group of Mittelmiozäns ( Langhium and Serravallium ) consists of differentiated volcanic rocks of the phonolite - trachyte series, of which a large volume was encouraged. These include:

  • The old Eruptivkomplex, which occupies a large part of the interior of Boa Vista. It consists predominantly of phonolites, which are intruded extensively by passage crowds and large nests of nepheline syenite. The nepheline syenites are very rich in exotic minerals.
  • The Monte Passarão complex, which is also phonolithischer nature and builds from subaerial lava flows, corridors, breccias and ignimbrites. He surrounded the old Eruptivkomplex in the interior of the island, the respective contact conditions have not yet been clarified in detail. The entire complex was probably built subaerisch.
  • Monte Caçador formation that lies unconformably over the phonolites of the Monte - Passarão complex and the Ankaramiten the Fundo de Figueiras lineup. It is built entirely of effusive ausgedrungenen on the surface phonolites.
  • The following discordant, phonolithische Pico Forcado lineup; mostly it is subaerial lava flows and pyroclastic deposits some. The majority of surveys on Boa Vista belongs to this formation, especially the hills to the east of the island.

After deposition of the Pico - Forcado lineup a rest break occurred in the volcanism. The intermediary sediments are both terrigenous and marine origin. Your marine portion is digested mainly along the coast, but can be over valleys pursue interior of the island. The marine sediments consist of up to 10 meters thick and compact Kalkareniten Fossilkalkenn which were sold in the shallow waters.

The third age group spans the period 9,5 bis 4.5 million years BP ( Tortonian to Zancleum ). It consists of Chão de Calheta lineup, the main basaltic formation of Boa Vista ( basanites and nephelinites ). Also it occurs in both submarine and subaerisch and is found only along the periphery of the island. To 9 million years BP find old subaerial Mafite At the base of the formation. The Lying then take quite powerful, about 7 million years BP old, submarine lava flows a ( pillow lava ), which merge in the hanging wall in subaerial basalt rocks. The latter are open along the coast, particularly in the east of the island, where they rest marine sediments. With the completion of Chão de Calheta formation of the volcanic activity was completed on Boa Vista essentially. It originated in retrospect a few isolated, basaltic, pyroclastic cones with associated Lavaaustritten. You are such as the Morro Negro in the island interior.

Intensive marine abrasion created during the Pleistocene sprawling terrace systems and created by the sea erosion surfaces. Up to ten individual terrace levels can be eliminated, with the highest level of at least 130 meters above the present sea level reached. With the terraces and dunes body may be associated. The terraces are mostly flat-lying, kalkbetonte sediment body ( bioclastic Grain Stones, Bound Stones, wackestones and mudstones with occasional calcrete formations ), but also steeper incident foreshore deposits are found. Some terraces also show reprocessing phenomena. Good examples of terraces can be found on the south coast of Boa Vista, Rabil on - Lajedos back in Bofareira and Vigia. In the Holocene, mainly sands were then left the sea.


The name Boa Vista (English: " Beautiful Sight" ) has obtained the island in dispute over the discovery of the Archipelago. The describer Antonio da Noli had 1458 São Cristovão named after the patron saint of the Genoese sailors. The Venetian Alvise Da Mosto, however, in his report, compiled about 1464, he had the island already in 1456 together with Antoniotto Usodimare discovered when their ships were driven off in a storm off Cape Blanc from the southwest. You could have the island " boa vista" named because it was the first sight of land in the area. Henry the Navigator, on whose behalf the two captains were on the road, the island could take in Portuguese possession in 1460 by the brothers as Noli.

The first settlement was similar to the island of Maio by shepherds slaves. Christopher Columbus visited on his third trip to America in 1498 and describes a leper colony.

From 1620 the salt trade flourished with predominantly English captains. The salt flats were created and processed by slaves. Due to our continuous pirate raids, the first settlements were built in mountainous areas are difficult to observe. After the flowering, most important at this time the city of Cape Verde, Sal Rei was razed in 1818 by pirates to the ground, was built on the barrier island Ilhéu de Sal Rei a canon armored fort

1843 took an Anglo- Portuguese Commission for the abolition of slavery on their work, which resulted in 1878, the slaves were set free.

A devastating epidemic of yellow fever in 1845 ended the primacy of Boa Vista in Cape Verde. To date, the population has not returned to the level before the epidemic. Influential English traders withdrew from the salt and Boa Vista and made their fortune as a coal trader in Mindelo.

Jewish merchants issued the island still a modest rebound in the 1880s. They established, among others a modern brick factory, whose hunger for energy has been sacrificed to the thick tamarisk scrub the interior of the island and in a few years leaving today so natural-looking desert landscape.

Wealthy merchants and captains brought the island early on a comparatively high level of education and a pan -Atlantic world view, so that the island influential artists, musicians, writers and politicians brought forth.

Economy and Tourism

Since the 1990s, the since independence from the dryness suffering and languishing island has transformed itself into a small tourist attraction. Mainly western and southern European guests and investors enliven the scene. For sailors and surfers Boa Vista is one of the safest high-wind areas.

As livelihoods were livestock and fisheries with the tourist development of the island more and more into the background, while the crafts (especially the ceramic manufacturing facility in Rabil ) could also benefit from tourism. Thanks to the Tourism Boa Vista offers new jobs and the population increases again.

Even after the expansion of the airport for international traffic in October 2007, the miles of fine white sand beaches and rocky coastlines are largely still lonely. Hikes and excursions into the interior of the island offer variety of water sports and beach life. One attraction is the reef João Valente.


As a landmark of the island is the chimney of the former brick factory at Rabil in the immediate vicinity of the RIU hotels Karamboa. As capital of the island of Sal Rei with its impressive church and the harbor port of call for many tour groups. From Sal Rei can be translated to the nearby offshore island of the same name, which has now, however, suffered greatly from an increased littering. By lying north of Cabo Santa Maria Sal Rei and the there for over 40 years, lying close to the beach wreck is another highlight in this region of the island, which is, however, only be reached via unausgeschilderte sandy slopes. Just as hard is no longer operational lighthouse on the Morro Negro in the east of the island is to discover for those unfamiliar. Along the way you can from Sal Rei from the small sandy desert the island and the original villages João Galego, explore Fundo das Figueiras and Cabeço dos Tarafes. In the south of the island is with Povoaçao Velha and its famous church, the oldest town on the island. From there it is only a few kilometers to the Praia Santa Monica, which offers snow-white long beaches. To the west of the island is with Rabil, the former capital of Boa Vista, which is known due to the international airport and its ceramic workshops.