10 Dangerous Animals In Cape Verde to Avoid!

A desert in Cape Verde

Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde, is a captivating archipelago in the central Atlantic Ocean, composed of 10 volcanic islands spanning about 4033 square miles. As the westernmost point of Africa, it played a crucial role in the transatlantic trade after Portuguese explorers colonized the region in the 15th century. Portuguese is the official language, and the friendly locals make Cape Verde an appealing destination. However, it’s vital to be aware of dangerous animals in Cape Verde during your visit.

If you seek an island getaway, Cape Verde offers a warm climate year-round and boasts some of the world’s finest beaches. It’s essential to acquaint yourself with the region’s geography, situated about 350 miles off Africa’s western coast in the Atlantic Ocean, near Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania. The climate, influenced by Atlantic winds, brings moderate temperatures ranging from 22 to 27 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Cape Verde experiences irregular rainfall from April to September. While flat landscapes, rocky features, and diverse vegetation characterize the islands, human activities have impacted local fauna and flora. The local government actively addresses environmental challenges, underscoring the importance of preserving the region’s unique biodiversity.

Why visit Cape Verde?

A peak in Cape Verde

Cape Verde offers the perfect opportunity to bask in the sun in the western Atlantic Ocean. The pristine white sandy beaches and the mesmerizing turquoise blue waters create an idyllic setting for your vacation in the region. Exploring the island reveals a myriad of features that contribute to its unique charm.

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From indulging in local cuisine to trying out various water sports activities, there’s a wealth of experiences to enjoy. Planning is key to covering as much ground as possible during your visit.

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However, it’s essential to exercise caution while exploring the region, as there are some dangerous animals, particularly in the vegetation and on Cape Verde. Being mindful of your surroundings is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience during your visit.



One of the most common creatures you may encounter during your trip to Cape Verde is the stonefish, found in the Atlantic Ocean. Typically located on the sea bed, these fish pose a threat to water enthusiasts engaging in activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving.

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Despite their stone-like appearance, they have spikes that can pierce through your skin, delivering a potent venom. Side effects of the venom include hallucinations, difficulty breathing, excruciating pain, and potential death without immediate antivenom. Be cautious in rocky areas and corals where they often hide.

Giant African Land Snail

Giant African Land Snail

In recent decades, the islands of Cape Verde have seen an increase in the giant African land snail population. While not aggressive, these snails carry a significant number of bacteria and pathogens that can cause dangerous infections. Avoid touching or getting close to them, as the bacteria on their skin can transfer to yours, leading to fatal infections. Exercise caution in areas with high vegetation and moisture where these snails are commonly found.

Giant Centipede

Giant Centipede

The giant centipede is one of the highly dangerous animals prevalent in the sandy beaches and forested parts of Cape Verde. With numerous legs and a tail structure capable of delivering a potent venom, it poses a risk when provoked. The venom affects the central nervous and cardiac systems, potentially causing high allergic reactions, especially in those with compromised immunity. Dress appropriately when on Cape Verde’s beaches, and seek immediate medical attention if stung.



The slender mongoose, though seemingly cute, can be ferocious during a trip to Cape Verde. With various species in the country, it’s advisable to keep a safe distance and avoid interfering with their habitat. Known for their predatory nature, sharp teeth, and agility, mongooses may pose a danger, causing injuries or fatalities. Additionally, they carry a high number of bacteria, potentially leading to dangerous infections. Exercise caution and prioritize safety when encountering mongooses in Cape Verde.



Exploring the Atlantic Ocean waters around Cape Verde may bring encounters with lionfish. Thriving in warm waters, these creatures are characterized by multi-colored spines. Despite their beautiful appearance, they are dangerous and can strike when threatened, delivering a fatal venom. The venom paralyzes the central nervous system, leading to respiratory and cardiac failure. Lionfish are also predators, contributing to the decline of local fish species in the islands. Exercise caution and respect their space to ensure a safe exploration of Cape Verde’s waters.



During your trip to Cape Verde, you may encounter these tiny yet highly dangerous animals known for causing infections such as malaria, Zika virus, dengue fever, and Nile fever. Female mosquitoes are the primary carriers of malaria, while both genders can transmit bacteria and pathogens leading to conditions like encephalitis. To safeguard against mosquito-borne illnesses, it’s crucial to carry insect and mosquito repellent, applying them when venturing into outdoor environments.


A caterpillar in Cape Verde

Especially risky for children and those with lower immunity, caterpillars pose a threat with venomous hairs that can cause swelling, excruciating pain, and severe allergic reactions. Proper dressing is essential to prevent contact with these creatures, ensuring a safer experience when traveling to Cape Verde.


Emperor Scorpion

Cape Verde’s environment favors scorpions, armed with a dangerous venom located in their tails. Avoid areas prone to scorpions, especially on beaches, and be vigilant while walking. Scorpion venom affects the central nervous and cardiac systems, causing breathing difficulties and coordination issues. Immediate medical attention is crucial if stung, particularly for those with compromised immunity.

Wild Boar

Wild boar

Encountering wild boars in Cape Verde can pose risks, as these animals can reach considerable sizes and speeds. Maintaining a safe distance is vital, as they can run up to 40 kilometers per hour and possess tusks for defense. Human attacks are rare, but provoking them or interfering with their young can lead to vicious behavior. Additionally, wild boars carry microorganisms that may cause fatal infections.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider is one of Cape Verde’s most dangerous spiders, equipped with venom causing neurotoxicity. Staying safe during exploration involves proper dressing, particularly in outdoor environments. If stung, seek immediate medical attention as the venom can affect the central nervous and cardiac systems, potentially leading to organ failure. Exercise caution, even in residential areas, and check accommodations for spider presence when planning your trip to the islands. Prioritizing safety during your holiday in Cape Verde is essential to avoid complications.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.