Fogo, Cape Verde

Fogo (German: "fire" ) is one of the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic. It belongs to the Cape Verde Ilhas de Sotavento (English: " Leeward Islands " ) and is located east of Brava and west of Santiago. The Pico do Fogo is the highest mountain and only active volcano in the archipelago.


The district city is São Filipe with 8,300 inhabitants. The second largest city is Mosteiros with around 5000 inhabitants.

The island has the shape of a completely even- cone volcano ( stratovolcano ) with a huge caldera, in which a smaller cone has built and today the summit of Pico do Fogo: forms (Eng. " summit of Fire" ). The Pico do Fogo is at an altitude of about 2,829 meters above sea level the highest peak of the Cape Verde Islands and the Pico del Teide, the second highest in the Atlantic.

Fogo sitting together with the island of Brava and the Seamount Cadamosto on a common core of Kapverdenschwelle, separated by deep water from the nearest island of Santiago. The floor of the Atlantic is here 5,300 m below sea level.

Only the heights and slopes on the north-east side are green all year, while otherwise outweigh the desert or steppe -like dry regions. It is the southernmost and mountainous island of Fogo receives the most precipitation in the Cape Verde islands, which irregularly dry farming is possible. Yet there is no year-round water -bearing rivers. Is on some farms - for example, in the south of the island in Salto - produced using irrigation vegetables (especially cabbage and peppers ). Also papaya and tamarind thrive well here. The mountain slopes in the northeast of the island are used for coffee cultivation. The lava is used locally as a building material.

Capital is the town executed with classic Portuguese colonial architecture São Filipe in the southwest. A second important settlement center is Mosteiros in the Northeast.

1680 was such a violent eruption, that the mountain at night hundreds of miles was visible and served on many years of shipping as natural lighthouse. This gave the island a new name Ilha do Fogo.


Fogo is the only island of Cape Verde with historical volcanism. With about 30 eruptions since its discovery in the 15th century, it is one of the most active volcanic islands in the world. Their geological development can be according Foeken among others divide into four stages ( from young to old):

  • Stage of Cha -das- Caldeira's group
  • Stage of the Monte Amarelo Group
  • Stage of the Monte Barro Group
  • Seamountstadium

The Seamountstadium consists of raised alkaline basalts and carbonatites that overlap about 1000 meters thick, vorvulkanische sediments in 4000 meters water depth. The sediments are in turn on the Lower Cretaceous oceanic crust, which ranges from 5300 meters to a depth of 13 kilometers. The Seamountstadium was dated around 4.5 million years BP to the early Pliocene ( Zancleum ). Unconformably on the deposits of the Seamountstadiums follow at the surface leaked lavas of Monte Barro Group, for no age is so far available. The overlying, 2000 to 3000 meters thick Monte Amarelo Group is the culmination of volcanic activity Fogos with the construction desAmarelo volcano ( shield stage). Support was mainly undersaturated, highly alkaline, basic to intermediate lavas. The group is assigned a quaternary age. She ended the period 123000-62000 Jahre BP with an eastward -looking, gigantic, Late Pleistocene flank collapse, the summit of the building was destroyed. The collapse of the course is now marked by the 1000 m high Bordeira demolition. In the remaining caldera then collected from 62,000 years BP to about 2000 meters thick deposits of Cha -das- Caldeira's group, mainly rocks of the alkaline Differentiationsreihe Basanit / tephrite. Hereupon built the stratovolcano Pico do Fogo, whose historical eruptions are also constructed from Basaniten, Tephriten, Foiditen and Phonotephriten. The eruptions at Pico do Fogo concentrated to 1769 on the central vent, but since 1785 occurred flank eruptions. For Cha -das- Caldeira's group even smaller, diskontinierliche lava flows and cinder cones are projected to the outside of the former Amarelo volcano.

According to Madeira, among others, it was come to a classic Calder collapse before the catastrophic edge tear that left two interlocked crater. Moreover, the following edge tear their opinion two separate events dar.


Fogo was discovered in 1460 by the Italian master Antonio da Noli and initially called São Filipe. In 1500, already settled himself free, noble Portuguese as lords and built a classic " slave -holding planter system ". At the transcontinental slave trade, they participated as suppliers and vendors of supplies for the slave ships. The racial stratification of society was more pronounced than on the other islands, where the coexistence between free and slave women in Creole families had become the origin of the Creole culture. Only the bourgeois revolution in Portugal 1910, the nobility and the landowners their absolute supremacy and allowed commoners, who had been found since 1850 in emigration to North America their luck, occur as equal competitors. A small museum in São Filipe facilitates the understanding of the relationships in a clear manner.


Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese


  • Ana Procópio ( Portuguese side)


  • Henrique Teixeira de Sousa
  • Pedro Monteiro Cardoso


  • Folk -Lore from the Cape Verde Islands ( Parsons, Elsie Clews - 1923: Cape Verde fables and stories, Book 1: in English, Book 2: in the Creole of Fogo )


On Fogo various endemic plants occur:

  • Crabo bravo ( Erysimum Caboverdiana )
  • Língua de vaca ( Echium vulcanorum )
  • Losma (Artemisia gorgonum ), a bitter-tasting medicinal plant
  • Totolho (Euphorbia tuckeyana ).

Economy and Tourism

The only major port on the island of Fogo, the Porto do Vale de Cavaleiros, is 3 km north of the island capital São Filipe. After the Atlantic storms had destroyed the sea wall to a large extent, was in 1999 a renewal. Another port is located in São Jorge, it can however be run only by small boats.

Agriculture, including the cultivation of very high quality coffee in the northeast of the island and some heavy wine and artisanal fishing are the only significant branches of production. In 2006, 35 tons of coffee harvested in 2007 and 45 t. In the drought year of 2008, the amount of coffee harvested was 21 t. Due to the extraordinary geological and climatic conditions produced an estimated among coffee Kenneren coffee. It is grown on small family plots on a mineral-rich volcanic soil at elevations up to 2,000 m in extensive farming. This often in a mixed culture together with papaya, beans, cassava, among others Growing areas are in the caldera and in the northeast of the island near Mosteiros.

In the 19th century, the cultivation of Jatropha curcas, whose seeds from one machine oil was produced, an important economic factor - today can be found in many places on Fogo the overgrown shrubs. Trade, commerce and households live mainly on income from emigration. Partially send, inter alia, emigrated to the USA, Canada, Venezuela and Brazil, family members, even after several generations still home regularly, even if the sender and receiver do not personally know more money. Tourism has started slowly and qualified, as the island mainly is suitable for hiking and cultural- historically oriented tourism and not for beach tourism. Only in a few places on Fogo bathing in the sea is possible, for example, on the beach of Ponta da Salina at São Jorge and on the beach Praia Casa at Cova Matinho on the east coast.

Next to the historic center of the city of São Filipe district is interesting tourist village Cha das Caldeira in the main crater with a wine cooperative and accommodation before the ascent to Pico do Fogo, the main attraction of the island. In the district Bangaeira almost all the buildings are built of black lava rock, the main street is paved with blocks of lava. The Pico do Fogo is easily reached from São Filipe from a good road over Salto and Monte Largo. Especially pretty hiking trails run through the wooded slopes to the northeast of the island near the small town of Mosteiros. Tourism is different than on the well-known Cape Verdi Islands Boa Vista and Sal low developed, partly because there are no direct flights, but the island is accessible only via Santiago. Large tourism companies have discovered no business here. Therefore, refer to Fogo virtually without exception small guesthouses and hotels under owner - management. Other sources of income in addition to the operation of lodging can be found in independently operating tourist guides. Good information about Fogo and São total Filpe in particular can be found here.

Photo Gallery

Pico do Fogo - Village Houses in the Caldeira at 1600 m altitude.

Island capital São Filipe, Praça.

The Port Vale de Cavaleiros (north of São Filipe ) in 1994 before its extensive renovation.

Wine-growing cooperative in Cha das Caldeira.

Main street in the village Bangaeira.

Purgiernussstrauch on the east coast of Fogo.

Farm with artificial irrigation in Salto in the south Fogos.