ENTERTAINMENT IN CAPE VERDE
There is a variety of things to entertain you in Cape Verde. Music is a big part of Cape Verdean life, and often where there is music there is dancing. Music and dancing form a major part of the many festivals that are celebrated throughout the islands. Walking, hiking and water sports are also very popular ways of passing time on most of the islands. In a small town like Vila do Maio on Maio, or in a large city like Praia on Santiago, there will be entertainment to find. It may be music in a small bar, or a large festival, it varies from island to island.
Music and Dancing
Entertainment in Cape Verde is varied and also varies from island to island. Music runs through the veins of the Cape Verdeans and so much of the entertainment in Cape Verde involves music and dance. Visitors to Cape Verde will find everything from gentle, live music to lively nightclubs. The sounds of Africa blend with Latin and European themes. Many bars arrange live music, if not every evening, then very often once or twice a week. The Cape Verdean people like to have fun and so dancing often accompanies the music. In many places it is quite acceptable for visitors to join in; in fact it’s expected – the order of the day is fun!
Morna is the traditional music of Cape Verde, being similar to Portuguese Fado it is atmospheric. You will find performances of Morna in many bars on all the islands; however, Mindelo is likely to offer the most choice. It is not uncommon for entertainment to start fairly late in the evening and around the Christmas and New Year period there tend to be more events to enjoy.
Festivals in Cape Verde are common – colourful, lively occasions when local people let their hair down. The festivals are dotted throughout the year, but the biggest is in São Vicente in February when they let rip Rio style. A Gay Pride event also sometimes takes place in Mindelo (São Vicente) in June.
Quiet restful holidays, even within the larger towns, are possible. If entertainment is not something you are looking for, then many of the smaller islands, such as Maio, Fogo or Brava might suit you. On these islands you will find occasional music events in local bars, but it is gentle and relaxing. Given the warm climate open air events are quite common.
Entertainment in Cape Verde can be passive or active.
Entertainment in Cape Verde is not just an evening pastime. Activities are varied and many involve the sea. This is not surprising for a country comprising 10 islands. However, water sports are not all that is available to the visitor. Excursions can be arranged on most of the islands, some touring in vehicles, some boat tours and some walking tours. There are also some nighttime tours to see the stars or observe the turtles (turtle tours are only between June and September).
Walking, hiking and trekking are popular activities on some islands. On Fogo, Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Santiago there are mountains and ravines, as well as coastal paths and more challenging hiking. Some of the other islands such as Maio and Sal provide gentler walking.
Quad biking is also available on some islands, but they are banned from parts of the sand dunes. This ban is in order to protect the turtles and their nests. Hiring a quad bike for half a day or a full day can be an excellent and fun way to see the island. You can do so under your own steam, or with a guide. Don’t wear good clothes because you will probably get rather dusty!
Although not a typical destination for golf, there is a golf course on São Vicente, but it tends to be rather dry because of the lack of rainfall. There is also one on Sal which has grass tees and greens.
Being an island state, water sports are inevitably a significant feature:
Water sports are available on all of the islands. They include activities such as swimming, snorkelling, surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, jet skiing, fishing, diving and sailing. The diving in Cape Verde is considered to be some of the best in the world. There are wrecks off the islands and the waters are teeming with marine life. Species such as turtles, dolphins, whales and a variety of fish are found. Kite surfing has become a major activity in Cape Verde. On the east of the island of Sal island Kite Beach provides excellent conditions for this popular sport.
Bicycles can be hired in many places, which is another way in which to explore the islands. Some companies also hire power-assisted bicycles and tricycles. Tuition and equipment hire for many of the sports, especially the water based activities, are available in most places. Tuition is recommended, as the sea should be respected and it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Visitors wishing to enjoy an activity based holiday will not be disappointed. There are even outdoor gyms in various locations. A little research on each island will help you to choose a holiday destination that provides you with the activities you seek.
Entertainment in Cape Verde has something for everyone.