Cape Verde is comprised of 10 small islands plus 8 tiny islands almost 600 km off the west coast of African. It is Africa's smallest republic. Nine of the main islands are inhabited, and all are volcanic, with one active volcano on Fogo.
Up until 1876, the islands were a slave trading port. Independence for Cape Verde came in 1975 after 500 years of Portuguese rule.
Today, the economy is largely based on refueling of ships and airplanes. Cape Verde also exports bananas, salt, and fish. Cape Verdian culture has developed from its mixed Portuguese and African roots, and includes unique genres of music.