An observation-based numerical study of humidity-dependent aerosol optical properties of mixed marine and Saharan mineral dust aerosol is presented. An aerosol model was developed based on measured optical and microphysical properties to describe the marine and Saharan dust aerosol at Cape Verde. A wavelength-dependent optical equivalent imaginary part of the refractive index and a scattering non-sphericity factor for Saharan dust were derived. Simulations of humidity effects on optical properties by the aerosol model were validated with relative measurements of the extinction coefficient at ambient conditions. Parametrizations were derived to describe the humidity dependence of the extinction, scattering, and absorption coefficients as well as the asymmetry parameter and single scattering albedo. For wavelengths (300-950 nm) and dry dust volume fractions (0-1), aerosol optical properties as a function of relative humidity (RH = 0-90%) can be calculated from tabulated parameters. For instance, at a wavelength of 550 nm, a volume fraction of 0.5 of dust on the total particle volume (dry conditions) and a RH of 90%, the enhancements for the scattering, extinction and absorption coefficients are 2.55, 2.46 and 1.04, respectively, while the enhancements for the asymmetry parameter and single scattering albedo are 1.11 and 1.04.