Sal Island was formed from underwater volcanic activity and tectonic activity millions of years ago. Submarine volcanoes erupted, the lava cooled, and it eventually formed layers of volcanic rocks. Over time, these layers of rock emerged from the ocean and joined together to form the island, creating a unique geology on the planet.
This island is one of the top ten tourist destinations in Cape Verde and is located in the Barlavento Islands archipelago. It is the smallest island in the country, with an area of approximately 216 sqkm. Despite being a small island it has a rich history, diverse fauna, flora, and marine water that make it a unique destination for visitors from all over the world.
Sal Island was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century and later was used as a stopover point on their trade routes to Brazil and South America. However, the first human settlements on the island date back to the 18th century, when Portuguese fishermen and sailors began to use the area for fishing due to its abundant marine life.
But it was not until the 19th century that the island became an important centre for the salt industry, which gave it its name. Salt production became the main economic activity on the island for many years and is still an important source of income for local inhabitants.
Due to its climatic conditions, the Salt island is extremely arid. However, some plant and animal species have adapted to the terrain and have managed to grow on this island. Plants such as sisal or tamarind can adapt to high-temperature climates with little water while providing shelter for reptile species such as dune lizards, an endemic species of Cape Verde.
Also, due to its volcanic origins and geographical location, the island is known for its rich marine life. Among its depths, we can find seagrass and coral in its coastal waters creating a fruitful ecosystem and habitat for species.
In these waters, there is a multitude of marine species such as manta rays, tropical fishes such as clownfish, reef sharks, and the famous loggerhead turtles, a symbol of the island.