São Vicente Carnaval; February/March: Mardi Gras celebrations take place across all the islands, but the liveliest party is on São Vicente in Mindelo. Join tens of thousands of locals to enjoy parades, madcap fancy-dress floats, and an almighty knees-up.
Gamboa Festival; May: Held annually in Praia, this three-day, beach-based jamboree attracts artists from Africa, the Americas and Europe. Smooth, hip-swinging rhythms encourage lots of dancing, drinking and cachupa (a slow-cooked stew) eating.
Santa Isabel; 4 July: For a more historic Cape Verde celebration, be in Boa Vista on the day of Santa Isabel (also known as Municipality Day), when the island’s patron saint is honoured with swimming galas, horse races, processions and a public ball.