Fogo, Cape Verde

Last updated
Fogo, Cape Verde Islands.jpg
Natural colour satellite image of Fogo
Locator map of Fogo, Cape Verde.png
Cape Verde location map Topographic.png
Red pog.svg
Atlantic Ocean laea relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 14°57′00″N24°20′33″W / 14.9500°N 24.3425°W / 14.9500; -24.3425 Coordinates: 14°57′00″N24°20′33″W / 14.9500°N 24.3425°W / 14.9500; -24.3425
Area476 km2 (184 sq mi)
Length26.3 km (16.34 mi)
Width23.9 km (14.85 mi)
Highest elevation2,829 m (9281 ft)
Highest point Pico do Fogo
Concelhos (Municipalities) Mosteiros, Santa Catarina do Fogo, São Filipe
Largest settlement São Filipe (pop.  Sao Filipe)
Population35,837 (2015)
Pop. density75.3/km2 (195/sq mi)

Fogo (Portuguese for "fire") is an island in the Sotavento group of Cape Verde. Its population is 35,837 (2015), [1] :36 with an area of 476 km2. [1] :25 It reaches the highest altitude of all the islands in Cape Verde, rising to 2,829 metres (9,281 feet ) above sea level at the summit of its active volcano, Pico do Fogo. [1] :25



The eastern side of Fogo collapsed into the ocean 73,000 years ago, creating a tsunami 170 meters high which struck the nearby island of Santiago. [2]

Fogo was discovered in 1460 by Genovese captain António de Noli on behalf of Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese Crown. It appeared in a 1598 map as I. de Fogo. [3] Fogo was the second island of Cape Verde that was settled by the Portuguese, between 1470 and 1490, making São Filipe the second oldest town of Cape Verde after Cidade Velha. [4]

The Fogo volcano erupted frequently, both from the summit and from flank fissures, notably in 1680, 1725, 1857, 1951, 1995, and 2014–15. [5] The eruption of 1680 covered much of the island in ash, which forced many inhabitants to flee to the nearby island of Brava. [5]

Fogo has been very susceptible to drought and famine. In years that the rains during the summer months were insufficient, many inhabitants were menaced by starvation. This occurred several times in the 18th and 19th century, and also between 1941 and 1943, when 31% of the island population perished. [6]

Until January 1992 the island was one single municipality, subdivided into four parishes. The southwestern three parishes joined the new municipality of São Filipe and the northeastern parish Nossa Senhora da Ajuda became the municipality of Mosteiros. [7] [8] The parish of Santa Catarina do Fogo was separated from São Filipe in 2005, and became the Municipality of Santa Catarina do Fogo. [9]


One of the southernmost islands in Cape Verde, Fogo is located between the islands of Santiago to the east and Brava to the west. It is 26.3 km long and 23.9 km wide; its area is 476 km2. [1] :25 Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano that has been periodically active: it last erupted in 2014. The largest volcanic feature is Bordeira, a nine-kilometre-wide (5.6  mi ) caldera, which has walls one kilometre (0.62 miles) high, and has a breach in its eastern rim. [5] Two small villages, Portela and Bangaeira, exist in the floor of the caldera (Chã das Caldeiras); the residents were evacuated during eruptions.

The island's main city is São Filipe, near which are an airport and a port. Fogo is largely an agricultural, fertile island. The north-eastern part receives the most precipitation.

Flora and fauna

Endemic plants in the garden of the Museu Municipal in Sao Filipe FogoEndemicPlants.jpg
Endemic plants in the garden of the Museu Municipal in São Filipe

Key bird species of Fogo are Fea's petrel, Boyd's shearwater and Cape Verde swift. [10] The endemic plants Echium vulcanorum (endangered) [11] and Erysimum caboverdeanum (critically endangered) [12] are only found on the outer crater rim of the volcano of Fogo. [10]


Being very mountainous, Fogo has quite a number of climates. Along the coast Fogo has a moderate dry tropical climate according to the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system; higher on the slopes (~ 800 metres or 2,600 feet A.S.L.) it has a semiarid mild tropical climate (Köppen–Geiger BSh with very balanced temperatures year round; above 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) it has a cool highland subtropical steppe climate (Köppen–Geiger BSkL). The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23–25 °C (73–77 °F), decreasing to some 12–14 °C (54–57 °F) on the highest ground.

There can be remarkably cool weather in the interior, with the warmer wet season starting in July and ending in November, with the colder dry season starting in December and ending in May. Drought, the major climate risk of Cape Verdean islands, is much less pronounced on Fogo, due to the mountain's ability to gain moisture from clouds. During the mid-nineteenth century, Fogo suffered from severe droughts. Death from starvation was common in the 1830s. [13]

Climate data for São Filipe, southwestern Fogo, 113 metres (371 feet) ASL
Average high °C (°F)25.6
Daily mean °C (°F)22.3
Average low °C (°F)19.1
Average rainfall mm (inches)3
Source: Climate-Data.ORG [14]
Climate data for Chã das Caldeiras, central Fogo, 1,764 metres (5,787 feet) ASL
Average high °C (°F)14.8
Daily mean °C (°F)11.7
Average low °C (°F)8.7
Average rainfall mm (inches)11
Source: Climate-Data.ORG [15]


In the 1830s, Fogo had an estimated human population of 10,000. [13] In 2015, Fogo had 35,837 inhabitants, making it the fourth most populous island in the Cape Verde archipelago after Santiago, São Vicente and Santo Antão. [1] :36 Since 2015, there are three cities (São Filipe, Mosteiros and Cova Figueira) and two towns (Ponta Verde and Patim) in the island. [1] :32–33

Population of Fogo, Cape Verde (1940–2015)
1940 [16] 1950 [16] 1960 [16] 1970 [16] 1980 [16] 1990 [16] 2000 [16] 2010 [17] 2015 [1] :36

The official language of Fogo is Portuguese; yet mostly Fogo Creole is spoken.[ citation needed ]


The economy of the island is based on agriculture and fishing, with coffee and wine among the main products. In the 1830s, Fogo's wine was described as being "very superior." [13] Due to its volcanic soil Fogo's coffee also has a good reputation. [18] The island has experienced a substantial diaspora. Many households live off remittances from emigrants in the U.S. and in European countries (Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Italy). Fogo fosters strong connections to Rhode Island and to Massachusetts (U.S.), where many people with Cape Verdean origin live.[ citation needed ]

Tourism is steadily becoming popular. The volcano (allowed only accompanied by a local guide) is the island's major attraction but many visitors also come to see relatives. The historic city of São Filipe and Chã das Caldeiras in the volcanic crater receive the bulk of visitors. No great tourism facilities exist, but there are small hotels and bed-and-breakfasts and local guides offer hiking tours.

Administrative divisions

The island is divided in three municipalities, which are subdivided into civil parishes:


The island has a domestic airport, São Filipe Airport, located in the southwest of the island. There is a port at Vale de Cavaleiros near São Filipe, with ferry connections to the islands of Brava (Furna) and Santiago (Praia). [19] There are two first class national roads on Fogo: the Fogo Circular Road (EN1-FG01) and the road linking São Filipe and the island's port (EN1-FG02). [20]


The main football teams are Académica do Fogo, Botafogo, Cutelinho, Spartak d'Aguadinha and Vulcânicos.

Notable people

Related Research Articles

São Miguel Island Island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores

São Miguel Island, nicknamed "The Green Island", is the largest and most populous island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The island covers 760 km2 (290 sq mi) and has around 140,000 inhabitants, with 45,000 people residing in Ponta Delgada, the archipelago's largest city.

Brava, Cape Verde Island of Cape Verde

Brava is an island in Cape Verde, in the Sotavento group. At 62.5 km2 (24.1 sq mi), it is the smallest inhabited island of the Cape Verde archipelago, but at the same time the greenest. First settled in the early 16th century, its population grew after Mount Fogo on neighbouring Fogo erupted in 1680. For more than a century, its main industry was whaling, but the island economy is now primarily agricultural.

Chã das Caldeiras Settlement in Fogo, Cape Verde

Chã das Caldeiras is a small community of approximately 700 inhabitants in the crater of the volcano Pico do Fogo on the island of Fogo, Cape Verde. The village consists of two main neighborhoods: Portela and Bangaeira, founded in 1920 and 1917, respectively. At an elevation of about 1,700 meters, it is the highest village in Cape Verde. It is part of the municipality of Santa Catarina do Fogo. The main organizing body in the village is the Associação dos Agricultores de Chã, an agricultural cooperative that holds considerable sway over the local economy. Chã is the only area in Cape Verde that grows significant quantities of grapes and produces export-quality wines.

São Filipe, Cape Verde (municipality) Municipality of Cape Verde

São Filipe is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. Situated in the western part of the island of Fogo, it covers 49% of the island area (228.84 km2), and is home to 60% of its population. Its seat is the city São Filipe. Agriculture is the main employment of the municipality, followed by tourism.

Pico do Fogo

Pico do Fogo[ˈpiku du ˈfoɡu] is the highest peak of Cape Verde and West Africa, rising to 2,829 metres (9,281 ft) above sea level. It is an active stratovolcano lying on the island of Fogo. The main cone last erupted in 1680, causing mass emigration from the island. A subsidiary vent erupted in 1995. The only deadly eruption was in 1847 when earthquakes killed several people.

São Filipe, Cape Verde Settlement in Fogo, Cape Verde

São Filipe is a city on the west coast of the island of Fogo, Cape Verde. It is the capital of the island, and the seat of the São Filipe Municipality. The island's airport, São Filipe Airport, is located on the southeastern edge of the town and the island's port is 4 km north of the center at Vale de Cavaleiros. The town's elevation is 20 meters.

Mosteiros, Cape Verde (municipality) Municipality of Cape Verde

Mosteiros is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. Situated in the northeastern part of the island of Fogo, it covers 19% of the island area, and is home to 26% of its population. Its seat is the city Mosteiros (Igreja). Its population was 9,524 at the 2010 census, and its area is 89.45 km2.

Santa Catarina do Fogo, Cape Verde Municipality of Cape Verde

Santa Catarina do Fogo is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. Situated in the southeastern part of the island of Fogo, it covers 32% of the island area (152.95 km2), and is home to 14% of its population. Its seat is the city Cova Figueira. The Municipality of Santa Catarina do Fogo was created in 2005; before 2005, it was a parish of the Municipality of São Filipe.

Cape Verdean Football Federation

The Cape Verdean Football Federation is the governing body of football in Cape Verde. It was founded in 1982, affiliated to FIFA in 1986 and to CAF in 2000. It organizes the national football league and the national team.

Furna (Brava) Settlement in Brava, Cape Verde

Furna is a seaside community in the northeastern part of the island of Brava, Cape Verde. It lies 2.5 km northeast of the island capital of Nova Sintra. At the 2010 census its population was 612.

The Fogo Premier Division is a tier-2 regional championship played in Fogo Island, Cape Verde. The competition are organized by the Fogo Regional Football Association. The winner of the championship plays in the Cape Verdean football Championships of each season while the last placed club relegates and participates in the Second Division in the following season.

Fajãzinha, Cape Verde Settlement in Fogo, Cape Verde

Fajãzinha is a settlement in the northern part of the island of Fogo, Cape Verde. It is situated on the coast, 3 km northwest of Mosteiros and 23 km northeast of the island capital São Filipe. Each year on May 13, the festival of Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated in the settlement.

Praia, Cape Verde (municipality) Municipality of Cape Verde

Praia is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the southern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the city Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. Its area is 120.6 km2 (46.6 sq mi), and its population was 131,719 at the 2010 census. The municipality consists of one freguesia, Nossa Senhora da Graça. The city hall is located in the Platô part of the city.

Mosteiros, Cape Verde Settlement in Fogo, Cape Verde

Mosteiros is a city in the northeastern part of the island of Fogo, Cape Verde. It is situated on the coast, 24 km northeast of the island capital São Filipe. It is the seat of the Mosteiros Municipality and of the civil parish Nossa Senhora da Ajuda. At the 2010 census its population was 9,524 making it the island's second most populated place.

Fogo Natural Park

Fogo Natural Park, on the island of Fogo, is one of ten "natural parks" in the country of Cape Verde. The protected area is 84.69 km2 (32.70 sq mi), which is 17.8% of the total area of the island. 50% of the park lies within the municipality Santa Catarina do Fogo, 28% in municipality of Mosteiros and 22% in São Filipe. The natural park is situated in the interior of the island, and covers the volcano Pico do Fogo, its crater and crater rim (Bordeira) and the forest of Monte Velha. The volcano is active; the most recent eruption was in 2014-15.

Portuguese Cape Verde Former colony of the Portuguese Empire in the Cape Verde Islands

Cape Verde was a colony of the Portuguese Empire from the initial settlement of the Cape Verde Islands in 1462 until the independence of Cape Verde in 1975.

2008 Cape Verdean local elections

Local elections were held in Cape Verde on 18 May 2008.

Architecture of Cape Verde

The Architecture of Cape Verde has different architectural styles in the nation. Unlike the African mainland, Cape Verde was uninhabited until 1461 when the Portuguese arrived, most of the other islands were first inhabited after the end of the 15th century. Its architecture was introduced in the 1460s and has its first origins from Portuguese settlers from the Madeira Islands, after the first arrival of mainland Africans, a bit of African architecture would be elements mainly in rural areas. The Manueline was its first architectural style on the island, it was later followed by Renaissance, Baroque, Pombaline, Early Modern and Modern. It was one of the last in the whole of Africa to introduce architecture late. Cape Verde has one of the richest architecture in the western portion of West Africa, the sub-Saharan portion, the richest probably being Mali.

Sports in Fogo, Cape Verde

The island of Fogo in Cape Verde in the westcenter of the Sotavento Islands is home to several teams and clubs. The major professional clubs is Botafogo, semi-pro teams includes Académica do Fogo and Vulcânicos, the remainder including the youth club Juventude and Spartak d'Aguadinha are amateur. The football competition was the third along with Sal to have its own first held in 1976 after the nation's independence. From its foundation to 2005, the island had a single league of each sport, it is currently divided into two divisions, the Premier and the Second.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cabo Verde, Statistical Yearbook 2015, Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. "Island boulders reveal ancient mega-tsunami" . Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  3. "Insulae Capitis Viridis" (in Latin). 1598.
  4. Centre historique de São Filipe, UNESCO
  5. 1 2 3 S. F. Jenkins; et al. (20 March 2017). "Damage from lava flows: insights from the 2014–2015 eruption of Fogo, Cape Verde". Journal of Applied Volcanology Society and Volcanoes. 6.
  6. Cape Verde History Timeline, WorldAtlas
  7. History of Mosteiros (in Portuguese)
  8. Lei nº 23/IV/91, p. 43
  9. Lei nº 66/VI/2005, p. 52
  10. 1 2 "Volcano area, Ilha do Fogo". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife International. 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  11. "Echium vulcanorum". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . IUCN. 3.1. 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  12. "Erysimum caboverdeanum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 3.1. 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  13. 1 2 3 Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 14.
  14. "Climate São Filipe" . Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  15. "Climate Chã das Caldeiras" . Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Source: Statoids
  17. 2010 Census Summary
  18. Fogo coffee
  19. Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's website
  20. Ilha do Fogo, Rede rodoviária, Instituto de Estradas