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Date: 20/08/2010

Saundra Satterlee is one of the most respected and experienced international property writers in the country. Adrian Lillywhite, MD of Cape Verde Property Ltd escorted Saundra to Cape Verde and since then she has been a massive fan of the islands. This article was in the Telegraph online and the Telegraph international weekly world edition in the 'BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD TO LIVE' section in Augiust 2010.---

The Atlantic archipelago of Cape Verde sits 280 miles off the coast of west Africa, midway between Brazil and Senegal. The population of 500,000 is scattered across 10 islands, three of which are desert and blessed with pristine beaches and crystalline waters; the rest are mountainous and more tropical.

First settled by the Portuguese in the 15th century, the islands provided a convenient stopover for slave ships bound for Europe and the Americas. Their prosperity attracted pirates and, among others, Sir Francis Drake, who, in 1585, sacked the capital. A more benign visit was that of Charles Darwin in 1832.

The mid-1950s saw the emergence of an independence movement led by Amilcar Cabral, a native son and internationally acclaimed writer and revolutionary. Refusal by Portugal to relinquish control resulted in a long struggle. Independence came in 1975.

This emerging market is nowadays democratic, politically stable and has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa. Rises in capital spending, tourism revenue and inflows of foreign direct investment over the past decade have strengthened the economy. The islands are peaceful and welcoming, with a population proud of its rich musical heritage.

The archipelago’s fledgling property market is in the throes of discovery, and the desert island of Sal gets top billing for buying a holiday property or permanent home.


A haven for water sports, where the town Santa Maria – with cobbled streets and colourful colonial architecture – has five miles of golden sandy beaches. A two-bedroom/bathroom apartment at the seafront Leme Bedje development costs €149,950 (


Cape Verde’s capital city Praia on the island of Santiago features bustling markets and a lively music scene. Rugged coastlines with small beaches are complemented by interior mountain ranges sprinkled with terraces and lush valleys. On the east coast, a secluded, modern eight-bedroom house with its own desalination system and unrestricted sea frontage is €895,000. (


North-west of Santa Maria is a favourite surfing spot where shimmering sands stretch as far as the eye can see. Dunas Beach Resort is set to be the island’s first five-star development, with more than 1,000 furnished properties. Apartments start at €129,950, and there are also five-bedroom beachfront villas available