Environment, Riu Touareg
Cape Verde Islands

Energy

Hotels use a great deal of energy and when the Riu Touareg Hotel was built in 2009 a diesel powered generator station was constructed a kilometre to the east to provide electricity. Now the power for the hotel is supplied by the island's electricity production company who use the old hotel diesel plant as a reserve facility for when their main wind powered generation is insufficient.

In such a sunny place it was surprising to discover that neither photo-voltaic electricity generation nor solar heating are in use on the hotel site, electricity from the island supply is used for everything. Apparently the Cape Verde Government apply a 300% import duty on solar panels, presumably in support of their wind powered schemes, but this does not explain why simple solar heating for hot water is not used.

Weather

Our own experience of the weather in December was very good, warm/hot days made exceptionally pleasant by very low humidity and moderate to strong warm breezes.

However, 3 or 4 months ago the hotel was apparently badly damaged by a hurricane and it was a great deal of work to put it in good order ready for the Christmas Season. It seems that the ocean off West Africa is now a breeding ground for severe storms and they expect to be hit by one of these nowadays in September every five years or so.

Coastal Nature Reserve

The whole of the eastern side of Boa Vista is designated in two categories of area where it is intended to protect the marine environment

Whales

The waters off Boa Vista are the breeding grounds for some species of whale and we are told that at the right time of the year guests can watch whales breaching, jumping partially out of the water, from the hotel.

Turtles

The beaches of Boa Vista are apparently an important nesting site for turtles and and Environmental NGO monitors this activity and tries to educate visitors, including organising carefully planned trips to observe the turtles.