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Cap-Vert

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Cap-Vert

Satellite image of Cap-Vert
Children play on N'Gor beach, at the northern tip of Cap-Vert.

Cap-Vert is a peninsula in Senegal, and the westernmost point of the continent of Africa and of the Old World mainland. Originally called Cabo Verde or "Green Cape" by Portuguese explorers, it is not to be confused with the Cape Verde islands, which are some 560 kilometres (350 mi) further west. Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is located near the southern tip.

Cap-Vert is a rocky promontory extending west from the main sandy areas of Senegal. Cap-Vert has an excellent harbor, facing Gorée Island.

Formed by a combination of volcanic offshore islands and a land bridge produced by coastal currents, it projects into the Atlantic Ocean, bending back to the southeast at its tip. Exposure to southwesterly winds contributes to Cape Verde's seasonal verdant appearance, in contrast to the undulating yellow dunes to the north.

The peninsula is shaped like a triangle (about 9 miles (14 km) per side), with the base of the triangle roughly along the north and its apex on the south, near Dakar. Near Pointe des Almadies, the north-western tip of the cape, lies Dakar's international airport, famous as a transatlantic ferrying point during World War II. Twin volcanic cones, the Deux Mamelles ("Two Teats"), dominate the landscape along the coast northwest of Dakar. The peninsula embraces a bay and a natural harbour in the southwest.

The indigenous inhabitants of the peninsula, the Lebou, lived as fishermen and farmers. Since about 1444, when the Portuguese first sighted the cape, it has been an entrepôt for African-European trade. The French later established the city of Dakar on the cape in 1857.

External links

  • Satellite picture by Google Maps

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