BRAVA Island - Brava’s Features
Brava is a volcanic island in the Cape Verde group. It is the smallest inhabited island of Cape Verde, one of the Sotaventos. First settled in the 1540s, its population grew after Mount Fogo on neighbouring Fogo erupted in 1675. Its main industry was long whaling, but the island is now primarily agricultural. The island's main town is Vila Nova Sintra.
Volcanic activity on the island has been mainly located along three sets of lineaments, 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. The municipality has no municipal boundaries which means it is encircled with the Atlantic Ocean.
Brava is the only inhabited island in Cape Verde without an active airport and was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Beryl in 1982. Former inhabitants of the island include Eugénio Tavares.
It is part of the district of Sotavento. The places include Nova Sintra. The island has schools, a lyceum, a gymnasia, churches, and a square (praça) including one in honour of the famous musician Eugene Tavares.
All of the five villages lie north of the mountaintop, which has four main roads including Furna - Vila Nova Sintra and Fajã de Agua and south to Nova Sintra do Monte and slightly south of the mountain top. The two large islands north of Brava are uninhabited. The mountain valleys dominate the south, the east and the west. The north has a few valleys.
The main economy of the island is agricultural, related to irrigation and fishing (the island's main production). Trading and private households depend on income from Cape Verdean residents from North America.
Brava never had tourism but it has slowly boomed. The island is unsuitable for beach tourism because the steep shoreline allows few beaches. The only beach on the island is located at Faja d'Agua. This beach is a black beach with volcanic sand.
Brava is a mountainous island - its highest point is 976m. The island of Brava is the most colourful Cape Verde Island. It also receives the most rainfall - but this enables a huge range of vegetation to flourish. It is also the smallest of the Cape Verde islands.
Temperatures on the island range between 15C and 25C. Because of it being the wettest of the island this also makes it humid.
People are attracted to Brava because of it breathtaking mountain scenery and fauna for hiking. It is not a popular destination with tourists as it lacks good beaches.