Go turtle-spotting: Cape Verde has the world’s third-largest nesting loggerhead turtle population. Most nest on Sal and Boavista between July and October, with August the main month for turtle-watching. Both islands also have several smallscale turtle conservation projects that let you visit their hatcheries or even join a ranger on a night-walk to collect data and tag turtles.
Go horse-riding over desert sands, along beaches and past salt mines. On Sal, we recommend Santa Marilha Horse Excursions with their English-speaking guides, rides for beginners and up (including kids), and hotel pick-up and drop-off service.
Windsurf, surf and kite-surf, especially in windy January and February. Try Surf Hub Cabo Verde on Sal, for lessons for beginners and up. There’s also stand-up paddleboarding and snorkelling on offer.
Hike to the rim of the crater of Fogo to peer down at the houses of locals who live in tiny villages inside the caldera itself. This island is basically one periodically active stratovolcano, and you can go caving here to look at volcanic tubes. Other great hiking spots are the islands of Sao Nicolau and Sao Tiago with their lush interiors.
Dive. Sal is the starting point for excursions to explore lava tubes and shipwrecks – try Scubateam Cabo Verde. Other good islands for diving are Maio (Sunfish Scuba Diving Academy) and Boavista (Dive School Submarine Centre).
Go fishing – either from the beach, in-shore or on a deep-sea excursion. Sal Sea Safari is a well-reputed operator for fishing trips, as well as island tours and other sailing trips, during which you may well spot whales and dolphins.