Estimate population 459,300 - Capital City Praia
Cape Verde is an archipelago, which means a group of islands, and lies in the Atlantic Ocean. The republic of Cape Verde is 620 kilometres (385 miles) off the west coast of Africa. There are ten islands and five rocky islets divided into the Barlavento, or Windward, and Sotavento, or Leeward groups.
The archipelago has a total land area of 4,033 square kilometres (1,557 square miles). Cape Verde became an independent nation on July 5, 1975 after 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule. The islands are mountainous and volcanic in origin. Fogo is an active volcano 2,829 meters (9,281 feet) high and is the highest of the islands.
The Windward Islands consist of Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau, Boa Vista, and Sal, together with the islets of Raso and Branco. The Leeward Islands include Maio, Sao Tiago, Fogo, and Brava, and the three islets called the Rombos. They are Grande, Luis Carneiro, and Cima. The islands' largest port is Mindelo, or Porto Grande, on Sao Vicente.