February 2013 - I travelled with my family to Cape Verde, an archipeligo of 10 islands and five islets roughly 500km west of Senegal. The islands vary significantly geographically and in character - from the tourist-filled beaches and scorched, flat, deserts of Sal to the lush, green mountainous valleys of Santo Antao, with the buzzing cities of Mindelo and Praia in between.
We visited five islands, invovlng eight flights and two ferries, but only spent more than a day on three - Sao Vicente, based primarily in the capital Mindelo, in the spectacular Paul Valley on Santo Antao and just outside Sal Rei on the beaches of Boavista.
While Cape Verde may be physically closest to Africa, the islands can feel at times West African, South American and even Cuban. And while some of these islands are clearly already on the package tour map, especially for the Portuguese and Italians, others feel comparatively untouched, and none of them feel ruined yet. But everywhere we went, we saw building sites for new resorts and holiday homes. More tourists are coming.