A while back I had asked if anyone had been to Cape Verde and what they thought. I finally got round to going this year! I chose Boa Vista over Sal as it is less developed and I fancied uncrowded dive sites and just somewhere a bit different. The beaches on Boa Vista are stunning and that sealed it. This was more of a relaxing holiday break with diving rather than expecting the best diving ever sort of holiday. a rundown of logistics and dives below.
Getting there and accommodation
When I was booking there was only one dive operation on the island - ScubaCaribe: https://www.scubacaribe.com/diving/cape-verde/
The dive centre is next door to a massive all inclusive hotel, the Riu Karamboa. Not my usual sort of place but I got a pretty good deal and it saved the hassle of getting taxis to and from the dive centre every day: https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/a...-karamboa.html. I booked the flight and hotel through TUI as a package deal. The hotel was what you would expect from a giant all inc hotel with huge buffets, pool bar, themed restaurants etc. but what really sealed it for me was the location on a very beautiful beach. Pics below are my room balcony view and a pic from my sun lounger. Also this hotel is only a 5 min transfer from the airport (you don't really hear the planes from the hotel though).
There is no chamber on the island and you are at the mercy of the air consumption of inexperienced / holiday divers as they do not have 15L tanks. For both of these reasons dives are kept conservative and quite short (about 30-50 mins). Water temp was 21-22 degrees on my dives and depths ranged from about 11-26m. Pretty typical of Atlantic diving, there are rocky reefs and some nice anemones and the odd bit of coral. Vis was quite stirred up but about 8-15m mostly and loads of life including a nurse shark, sand tiger shark, big turtle, loads of morays, nudibranchs, huge lobsters, forkbeards, parrot fish, scorpion fish, file fish, porcupine fish, rays etc. The dive centre was well run and we were only ever 2-4 people with the guide who was excellent at pointing out marine life to us. The crew carry all the kit to the boat and help you on and off with it and are all very friendly and helpful. The boats are hard boats, a larger covered one and a smaller open one, both had ladders. The centre has big rinse tanks and plenty of space to hang and dry kit as well as lockers for valuables. I really enjoyed my dives and was back at my hotel room by about 1/ 1:30 each day ready for lunch and an afternoon relaxing on the beach! They offer two tank dives in the morning and also go out in the afternoon, but the afternoon dives tended to be more DSDs and scuba reviews. I did 10 dives in total - 2 each morning for 5 days.
The island is pretty barren so it is all about the beaches. You can go kite surfing, quad biking, go on beach tours, visit the 'capital' Sal Rei which has some nice local restaurants and bars and generally chill out. The locals are very friendly and such lovely people.
Would I recommend this as a relaxing break somewhere a bit different with some nice dives thrown in? Absolutely! Is it the best diving you'll ever do? Unlikely but still plenty to see and nice dives to be had. I am still missing those beautiful unspoilt beaches, best to get there before the island gets too developed!
As always, any questions, ask away!