An Portuguese-speaking democracy of ten mostly arid volcanic islands off the coast of West Africa, it’s leveraged its sun, surf, and beaches into a growing tourism industry, spawning various resorts popular with Europeans. But it also has a surprisingly rich culture, especially literary and musical (the latter exemplified by the late great Cesária Évora). There’s good birding, too, with several endemic species, and historic sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cidade Velha.

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Cesäria Évora cited in '12 Giants of World Music'

Globalization has been a sometimes controversial mixed bag in different areas and different parts of the world, but I think we can all agree that on the plus side, one of its grooviest benefits has been to bring to spread many of the exciting cultural achievements of societies much different from our own. Nowhere is this more exciting than in the field of “world music”, a term that came into vogue beginning in the 1980s to describe music both non-Western and non-mainstream Western. Initially…

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Cape Verde a safe, under-the-radar gem off West Africa

The Cape Verde archipelago is neither a cape, nor particularly verde (green), but these ten dry brownish islands of a just over 4,000 square kilometers (sq. miles) are an unexpected and ungimmicky paradise both ecologically and culturally. That's thanks to a warm but not sweltering climate, magnificent settings, incredible beaches, intriguing culture (for example, this is Cesária Évora's home turf) and truly friendly locals with no gimmicks. To see what we mean, you need to... keep reading

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