Monte Gordo, Cape Verde

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Monte Gordo
Bela-vista-net-Sao Nicolau-map.jpg
Location of Monte Gordo in the island of São Nicolau displayed on the left
Highest point
Elevation 1,312 m (4,304 ft)
Prominence 1,312 m (4,304 ft)
Listing List of mountains in Cape Verde
Coordinates 16°37′15″N 24°21′15″W / 16.62083°N 24.35417°W / 16.62083; -24.35417Coordinates: 16°37′15″N 24°21′15″W / 16.62083°N 24.35417°W / 16.62083; -24.35417
Monte Gordo is located in Cape Verde
Monte Gordo
Monte Gordo
western São Nicolau
Mountain type Stratovolcano

Monte Gordo is a mountain on the island of São Nicolau, Cape Verde. At 1,312 m elevation, it is the island's highest point. It is situated in the western part of the island, 6 km west of the island capital Ribeira Brava. The mountain is of volcanic origin. The boundary of the municipalities Tarrafal de São Nicolau and Ribeira Brava runs over the mountain. It is part of a natural park (name: Monte Gordo Natural Park (Portuguese: Parque Natural de Monte Gordo)), which has been created to protect the typical humid mountain ecosystem, it was established on February 24, 2003 and is category V by the IUCN,[1] it also forms a part of the Central mountain range of Ilha de São Nicolau Important Bird Area.

About Monte Gordo[edit]

Villages inside the mountain range includes Cachaço, Cabeçalinho, Covada and Fragata. Villages on the foot of the mountain include Hortelão, Palhal and Ribeira dos Calhaus, much of the villages are partly covered by the park area, Ribeira dos Calhaus are completely covered by the natural park.

Monte Gordo is connected with the EN1-SN-01 1.4 kilometers with the EN3-SN05 (or Route 3, Insular Route 5).

Much of the area are forested especially with pine trees (laurisilva are non-existent in Cape Verde). Some of the higher parts of the site are forested, especially around Monte Gordo where relatively high rainfall and frequent misty conditions cause the trees to be thickly covered with lichens.

Its geology consists of the Monte Gordo formation which is made up of rocks that are about 1.7 to 1.5 million years, the younger rocks are about 100,000 to 50,000 years old.[2]

In its history, the mountain was mentioned as "Monte Gorda" in the 1747 French/Dutch map by Jacques Nicolas Bellin.

At certain points of the mountain especially the road with Ribeira dos Calhaus, panoramic views are seen as well as most of the island but the easternmost point which is not seen by Monte Bissau. The mountain can be seen from the surrounding islands and islets especially to the west including Ilhéu Branco, São Vicente, the east of Santo Antão, Sal and the west of Boa Vista including some of its small mountains.

Plant species found on the mountain slopes include Euphorbia tuckeyana, Limonium jovibarba and the endangered Nauplius smithii. Fauna such as the São Nicolau wall gecko (Tarentola nicolauensis), Darwin's wall gecko (Tarentola darwinii), Bocage's wall gecko (Tarentola bocagei) and Tarentola gigas (Giant wall gecko). Birds fly in the mountain range area, endangered ones includes the Cape Verde sparrow and the Cape Verde warbler.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Duprat, H. I (2007). The volcanic and geochemical development of São Nicolau, Cape Verde Islands: Constraints from field and 40Ar/39Ar evidence. 162. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. pp. 1–19. 

Further reading[edit]

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