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Introduction

Brava is an island in Cape Verde. It is the smallest inhabited island, but at the same time the greenest, of Cape Verde, in the Sotavento group. First settled in the 1540s, its population grew after Mount Fogo on neighbouring Fogo erupted in 1675. For more than a century, its main industry was whaling, but the island economy is now primarily agricultural.

Brava was "discovered" in 1462 by Portuguese sailors. The Portuguese founded a settlement here in 1573 by sailors from the Azores and Madeira (some sources dated 1620). Sir Francis Drake visited the island in 1579.

In 1680, most inhabitants fled from the nearby larger island of Fogo after its volcano erupted and lava began to flow and devastate most of the east of that island, they added a small part to the population of the island. In the 17th and the 18th centuries, pirates raided the bays of the island. Piracy continued until the 19th century, when whaling was common from the ships of Europe and North America.

Emigration began as US whaleships carried people from Brava to the northeastern part of North America, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. Most of the immigrants from Brava settled in Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, where there were numerous Cape Verdean and Portuguese immigrants. In the 19th century, many of the men continued to work in whaling. An American consulate was opened in 1843 and existed until 1978, when the US established an embassy in the capital city of Praia.

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Geography

Its length is more than 11 kilometres extending north to south at its extremities and its width is over 9 kilometres from the eastern extremity to Esperadinha. Its shoreline is between 30 and 40 kilometres making it second to Santa Luzia.

Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano. It lies in the lee of the enormous Fogo volcano. Volcanic activity on the island has been mainly located along three lines, which all intersect at the crest of ground that forms the highest part of the island. Brava has no documented historical eruptions, but its youthful volcanic morphology and the fact that earthquake swarms still occur indicate the potential for future eruptions; its last eruption was during the Holocene era.

North of Brava are two small islands with four uninhabited islets; three of them are west of Ilhéu de Cima, the islands are Ilhéu Grande, Brava is being one of five main islands that have a surrounding islet or two.

The island's main town is Vila Nova Sintra. The island has elementary and secondary schools, churches, and a square (praça) in honour of the musician Eugénio Tavares.

Key inhabited places include the village of Vila Nova Sintra. All of the five main villages lie north of the mountaintop, which has four main roads including Furna - Vila Nova Sintra and Fajã de Agua and south to Nossa Senhora do Monte and slightly south of the mountaintop, some of them are by the shore. The mountain valleys dominate the south, the east and the west. The north has a few valleys. Monte Fontainhas is the highest point on the highland elevating 978 metres.

The village of Furna has a commercial port, the other is Fajã de Agua which is only used for fishing.

Precipitation arrives from the trade wind clouds. The island is covered with a leeward cloud so that evaporation is reduced and the vegetation is more abundant.

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Weather

Being highly mountainous this island has quite diverse climate. Brava island has moderate tropical climate (As according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system) along the coast and semi-arid mild tropical climate Bsh with very balanced temperatures year round in the interior. The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23-25 °C, decreasing to some 17-20 °C in the mountains. There can be remarkably cool weather with warmer wet season starting in June and ending in November with colder dry season starting in December and ending in May.

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Getting There

By Plane

The airport, inaugurated in 1992, was closed because of the strong winds. The airline service ended in 2004.

By Boat

Until recently, there was a daily ferry (an ex-fishing boat) connecting Brava and Fogo. Since January 2011, Brava can be reached from Praia (and Fogo) almost exclusively via the passenger/cargo ferry, the Kriola. The Kriola is the first of Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's fleet of inter-island catamarans and connects the Sotavento islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. The Kriola typically leaves Furna, its home port, at 7:30am on days of operation and returns between 9:30 and 11:00pm depending on the day. The route is typically BRAVA-FOGO-SANTIAGO-FOGO-BRAVA; at least one day a week it makes a BRAVA-FOGO-BRAVA run. Travel time between Brava and Fogo is approximately 0:40 and approximately 3:30 between Fogo and Santiago (Praia).

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Getting Around

The main harbour of Brava is Furna, on the east coast of the island. Buses and taxis are common, especially when the Kriola arrives in port.

On Brava the villages may be reached by "Aluguer" bus. There is no fixed schedule, as the aluguers travel only when there are sufficient passengers. A few taxis are available as well.

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Brava Travel Helpers

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This is version 1. Last edited at 12:30 on Jul 10, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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