Below you will find a list of the frequently asked questions we have received. If you have a question that isn’t there, please use our contact form and we will do our best to answer it and add it to this page.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, where is Cape Verde? Cape Verde is located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 570km off the coast of Senegal in West Africa. It is two hours flying time south of the Canary Islands and approximately 1800km north of the equator.

This depends which island you are flying to. Direct flights from many European cities such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt to Sal or Boa Vista take just less than 6 hours. To the other international airports (Praia and São Vicente) flights take a little longer and normally involve changing at Lisbon or Casablanca. The flight time from Lisbon is approximately 4 hours, depending on which island you are flying to. The flight time from Casablanca to Praia is also approximately 4 hours.

There are airlines flying to Cape Verde from many cities in Europe, together with some connections with North America and Africa. There is a current list of airlines and routes in the travel sections of the relevant island pages – Boa Vista, Sal, Santiago and São Vicente. The busiest airport is the Amílcar Cabral International Airport on the island of Sal. From all of the international airports you can get to other islands using internal flights.

There are domestic flights and ferries serving the islands. Two of the islands, Brava and Santo Antao, currently have no airport and so are only accessible by ferry. Praia, on the island of Santiago, serves as a hub for internal flights and ferries. It should be noted that very few routes have flights and ferries every day. Some routes only have two a week. There is more information on our domestic travel page.

The currency in Cape Verde is the Cape Verde Escudo. It is not possible to buy the currency before you travel, so it is advisable to take a few Euros. In some of the larger places, such as Praia (Santiago) and Santa Maria (Sal) shops will accept Euros. The Escudo is linked to the Euro, so the exchange rate is constant at 110 cve = €1. However, many places will use 100 cve = €1, so you may lose 10% if you pay with Euros. Credit and debit cards are taken in many places, but some smaller shops only take cash. You can obtain Escudos from cash machines (ATM’s). There are cash machines in the international airports and in most towns. We recommend having just a few Euros to cover you immediately after you arrive (taxis, for example) and then use an ATM to obtain Escudos. On the smaller, less touristy islands, you may not find places willing to accept Euros.

Generally speaking credit cards are accepted, but usually only Visa or MasterCard. Some smaller shops, cafes and restaurants may only accept cash. It is, therefore, advisable to carry cash with you also.

Roads in Cape Verde are relatively quiet and driving standards are generally reasonable. Car hire is available, although it is wise to check the quality of the car you are hiring. Heavy rain during the rainy season (usually August – October) can lead to floods and landslides in some areas. If you want to see more of the island you are on, we would always recommend a guided tour. You will gain more from it as you will get more information.

Sea conditions around the islands of Cape Verde can be dangerous; seeking advice from local officials is recommended. Sea travel to some islands such as Brava and Fogo can be disrupted so check locally.

The seas around Cape Verde are usually warm. The swell can be quite large so using common sense and taking advice from local’s is a sensible thing to do. Water sports are popular in Cape Verde and the seas are great for surfing, kite surfing and other water sports, but the sea should always be treated with respect. Most beaches in Cape Verde are not equipped with lifeguards. Some beaches have a red flag system so beware if there is a red flag flying as it is recommended that you don’t swim. If in doubt ask local people.

We cannot advise on the current requirements, but your doctor will be able to tell you the current recommendations. You should seek your doctor’s advice 4-6 weeks before your departure. You can also check at the UK Foreign Office, or a similar site in your home country. Some vaccinations are only required if you are visiting Cape Verde from countries that themselves have specific health risks.

The Tiger Shark is the main predator in the waters around the archipelago, apart from the Blue Marlin. Attacks throughout the world are relatively low and that is so in Cape Verde. On Sal there are lemon sharks, which are friendly and don’t bite and if you are lucky you can see them close to the shore and paddle with them at Shark Bay.

Wind is a feature of Cape Verde, although some islands and some beaches are very sheltered and pleasant. The prevailing wind is from the north east and so it is the beaches on the north and east sides of the island that are the most popular for kite and wind surfing. Sal is particularly known for being windy, but even here it is possible to find sheltered beaches. The wind tends to reduce in the evening. The windy season is roughly between October and May. Windy Cape Verde is an attraction for those interested in the various types of surfing on offer in the country. It is always possible to find shelter from the wind, but the wind can also be welcome when the temperatures are very high. If you have weather related questions about Cape Verde, see our weather page.

Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony, but is now an independent nation. Geographically Cape Verde is in Africa, but it has had European financial support for various projects. It is considered an African country. All visitors need to complete an online registration before arriving in Cape Verde. Visitors from some countries will also need a visa for visiting the country. If a visa is needed it will be added to your online registration or can be purchased on arrival. For more information on visas, see our visa page.

Some local incidents of Zika Virus have been reported in Cape Verde in the past. The latest information we have is that there have been no cases since 2016. The virus, transmitted by mosquitos, is more risky to pregnant women or women planning pregnancy. It is always best to take precautions to avoid mosquitos. If you have health questions about Cape Verde, seek advice from your Healthcare professional before travelling.

The weather in Cape Verde is mostly extremely pleasant. The average daytime temperature is in the range of 26º – 31ºC, with long periods of sunshine. It can fall closer to 20ºC at night. The humidity in between August and November is higher and that is also the rainy season, although rain is fairly rare on most of the islands. It can be windy between about October and May, but that is great for surfers and it is the north and east sides of the island that are mainly affected. The wind dies down in the evenings. If you wish to find out more about the weather in Cape Verde, see our weather page.

There are 10 islands that make up the archipelago together with several islets. They are arranged in two main groups – the Barlavento islands (to the north) which comprise Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista. The other group – the Sotavento islands (to the south) which comprise Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. All the islands are inhabited except Santa Luzia.

Crime in most parts of Cape Verde is low, but there are occasional incidents of crime in larger cities such as Santa Maria, Praia and Mindelo. Some areas of Cape Verde are poor and so it is sensible not to display too much expensive equipment or valuables. Use hotel or villa/apartment safes for valuables when possible. Having said that, crime is probably less evident in Cape Verde than in many other countries. If you are going out at night taxis are readily available, but agree the fare before you start the journey. Cape Verde is widely considered to be one of the safest of the African countries.

Normally hurricanes form, or seed, south of Cape Verde and head west towards the Caribbean and America. Unusually the archipelago was hit by hurricane Fred in September 2015, but this was a rare occurrence. Check out the live data on our weather page.

The temperature is fairly stable all the year round, but the months of November to May are generally considered the best time for weather and the peak season. There is year-round sunshine and very little rain. If you have more weather questions about Cape Verde, see our weather page. The people of Cape Verde love to party and so visiting for Carnival before the start of Lent will find parades and celebrations in most places. There are also celebrations on various Saints Days.

Cape Verde’s population is more than 93% Roman Catholic and so celebrations follow similar patterns to other Catholic countries, with a Christmas Eve Mass. With lovely weather Cape Verde is one of the countries where you could spend Christmas Day on the beach. In some places there will be Christmas celebrations on the beach. Most places display some Christmas decorations. In 2024 there was a Christmas tree in Santa Maria (Sal island) made of plastic bottles and highlighting the need to recycle.

New Year is an excuse for a big party, as is common in many countries. People will be out and about as the weather is, of course good, unlike much of Europe. There will often be firework displays. On all national holidays, banks, pharmacies and shops will be closed.

Yes, but data roaming could be expensive. It is possible to buy a SIM card to use in Cape Verde, which will be cheaper for use while you are there. The local companies providing this are CV Móvel (Also now referred to as ‘Al0’) and T-mais. Both companies have shops in most towns. Another option is to take a small mobile router and get a SIM card for that. Many hotels and self-catering accommodation offer wifi.

Cape Verde enjoys sun most days and even when the sun isn’t obvious, the ultraviolet rays can still reach you. You should get a tan, but you must be careful and use a high factor sun protection, to avoid being burnt. Also, gradually increasing your time in the sun will help to acclimatise you.

To be legally married in Cape Verde, you will need to have been resident in the country for at least 30 days. It is therefore advisable to be legally married in your own country and to have a service of blessing in Cape Verde. Services of blessing can be held on the beach in many places.

Cape Verde has few natural resources and annually has a high trade deficit. The islands have experienced periods of drought, so agriculture is problematic and a lot of food is therefore imported. Fish and shell fish are plentiful and small amounts are exported. Service industries such as tourism, transport and commerce account for most of the GDP. The country is the recipient of foreign aid.

Generally Cape Verde is one hour behind the GMT (UK), but in British Summer Time it is 2 hours behind. Time differences between different parts of Europe and Cape Verde can be checked online.

The type and style of restaurants vary from island to island and place to place. Some are smart, but many are fairly casual. In Mindelo (São Vicente), Praia (Santiago) and Santa Maria (Sal), there is a large selection to choose from. On islands like Maio, you will find fewer to choose from, but you will still find some lovely food. In some places street food is found and is cheap and tasty, often barbecued in the street, with just a few tables and chairs. Be prepared to eat in places that you might pass by in Europe or America. Small backstreet restaurants are definitely worth trying.

Some places in Cape Verde are more suitable than others. For example, Santa Maria on the island of Sal would be reasonably accessible. However, even there some roads and pavements are setts (or cobbles) and uneven, so not ideal and there may be problems finding suitable taxis. The provision of accessible toilets is also not on a par with Europe. Some of the other islands, such as Santo Antão and São Nicolau are mountainous and some towns are on steep hillsides.

It is recommended that you don’t drink the water from the tap. Bottled water is readily available in shops and restaurants. In some places water is delivered by lorry and stored in tanks before being pumped to the tap. In other areas it is piped. If you are in self-catering accommodation then boiling water and bottling it after it has cooled is an option.

If you are travelling from Europe, technically you don’t need a visa, but all visitors have to register online prior to arrival and pay the registration fee. If you are not travelling from the EU and a short list other countries, you may need a visa, which would be added to your online registration. There is more information on our visa page. If you can’t complete the online registration at least 5 days before arrival, then leave it and pay at the airport. If you try to register less than five days before, the system may not have a record of your payment and you will have to pay again at the airport.

No Cape Verde drinking age is mentioned in law. However, there is a minimum age of 18 for purchasing alcohol.

There is a blend of Portuguese, Brazilian and African culture evident in Cape Verde. Music and the arts are popular and the locals love to dance. The cultural centre is probably Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, but all the islands have their own character and traditions. There are also plenty of festivals on all of the islands, such as the Gamboa Festival (May) and the Baia das Gatas Festival (August).

Cape Verde is a developing country. It is one of the wealthier of the African countries, but it is not Europe and so standards are not the same as expected in Europe. Cape Verde does not have many natural resources, but it is stable, both politically and economically. Some of the islands in particular are liable to drought, so agriculture is a challenge.

The capital of Cape Verde is Praia, (which is Portuguese for beach). Praia is on the south coast of the island of Santiago. Both the port and the airport in Praia serve as a transport hub for the islands of the archipelago. The original capital was Ribeira Grande, on the south west of the island of Santiago. This is now known as Cidade Velha and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Praia is a bustling city and has a pleasant shopping area on a part of the city known as Plateau. There is a good number of hotels and guest houses in Praia.

Farmers produce a strong rum called Grogue (or Grog). It is over 40% alcohol and distilled from sugar cane. It is drunk on a variety of occasions and is popular with locals. In many places it is used in the Caipirinha cocktail.

Cape Verde is one of the largest nesting places for loggerhead turtles. They are more plentiful on the sandy islands such as Boa Vista, Sal and Maio. The best time of the year to see them is between July and September when they lay their eggs. They are one of the endangered species and climate change is contributing to their endangerment. Care must be taken to avoid damage to the turtle’s nesting areas in the sand dunes. There are conservation organisations on the islands that seek to protect the turtles.

Yes, Cape Verde has been affected by Covid-19 and closed its borders for several months to control the virus. The number of cases is now very low and as a result from 15 September 2022, all travel requirements (tests or vaccination certificates, etc ) were lifted. A few people choose to wear a mask, but it is no longer compulsory. The outside lifestyle in Cape Verde helped to reduce the transmission of covid and other similar diseases.

Cape Verde food is heavily influenced by the island nature of the country. Consequently, fish is found everywhere and can be bought direct from the fishermen, in the shops and is also on most menus in restaurants. Meat and chicken are also available, along with vegetables and salads. A Cape Verdean special is a stew called cachupa, made with beans, sweet potato and either fish or meat. It is also possible to find European foods served in restaurants, such as pasta, pizza and omelettes. Fruit such as bananas and papaya are usually available all the year round. Others such as passion fruit and mangoes will be found when in season.

Cape Verde is the English version of the name. The official name of the country is Cabo Verde. It was named after Portuguese sailors had discovered a peninsula in Senegal and named it Cabo Verde. After that they discovered the archipelago and gave the islands the same name. The name of the peninsula in Senegal subsequently became known as Cap Vert.

The weather in the summer is probably going to be rather too hot if your holiday is to be based on hiking. The best time would be between November to May. There is plenty of hiking to be enjoyed in the country. Some islands are mountainous and great for energetic hikes. Other islands are flatter and better for more gentle walking holidays. To see which islands are more suitable for your hiking needs visit our islands pages.

You will find live music in many bars and restaurants. Music is very important to Cape Verdeans. Live music can be found on all the islands, but Mindelo is often considered the cultural centre. The most famous singer from Cape Verde was Cesária Évora and she is remembered all over the country.

Cape Verde is quite sparsely populated, especially compared with much of Europe. The population of the country is about 590,000. The population is spread over 9 islands and so nowhere feels crowded with the possible exception of the capital, Praia on the island of Santiago.

If you are looking to visit Africa then Cape Verde is an excellent place to start. Although it is an African country it has some European and Brazilian influences. The beaches are lovely and the weather is ideal for relaxing on the beach or around the pool. If you like something a little more energetic, then the islands of Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau offer dramatic mountain scenery and hiking opportunities. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of life, then an island like Maio would be ideal. It is a country that can offer such variety that there is likely to be something for everyone. It is also a country that welcomes some minorities, such as LGBTQ+ visitors.

It has been reported that there is now no malaria in Cape Verde. In early 2024 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Cape Verde to be malaria free.

Currently visitors to Cape Verde do not have to follow any covid restrictions. Masks, covid vaccination certificates and/or negative tests are not required now. [Updated June 2024]

Cape Verde uses the two-pin European style plugs (Type C and F). The standard voltage is 220V and the frequency is 50Hz. Visitors from the UK will need to take a UK3-pin to type C/F adaptor (European style). Types C and F are basically the same type of socket, but one has an earth contact.

All venues are now open normally. There were opening restrictions when the Covid-19 pandemic was rampant, but these restrictions have now been lifted.

Cape Verde is one of the most accepting and safe African countries for gay and lesbian visitors. Gay Cape Verde does not have specific gay bars or clubs etc., but such venues are welcoming and accepting. The LGBT+ Cape Verde community is also one of the few in Africa to hold a Gay Pride event, which is on the island of São Vicente. There is more information on LGBT+ life in Cape Verde on our equality page.

The wearing of masks is not a requirement anymore, although it may be necessary in some environments, such as hospitals and clinics. A few people still choose to wear a mask.

There has inevitably been an increase in crime since tourism increased. However, the vast majority of people that visit Cape Verde encounter no problems of this kind. It is important to be sensible, as is the case throughout the world. It is important to understand that many of the local people are very poor when compared to most visitors. Therefore, as is necessary in many countries, visitors should take precautions against petty crime. Most accommodations have safes for your valuables, and it is best not to flaunt your Rolex watches or expensive jewellery. Crime generally is quite low. Is Cape Verde safe? We would say that it is.

Many people ask whether it is safe for a woman to walk around the towns, such as Santa Maria. It is considered safe and probably safer than it would be in many towns in Europe. You need to be sensible as is the case anywhere in the world.

The sea conditions can be treacherous at times. However, wherever you are in the world, care is needed when in or on the sea. Take advice from local people if in any doubt about the conditions.

Cape Verde is well known as a beach destination. However, it is more than that, it has lovely tropical weather and a variety of scenery. You can find beautiful beaches and dramatic mountains, but research before you visit. Each one of the islands is different. It makes an excellent winter get-away when the weather in Europe is cold and wet. There is great food and fantastic musicians.

There appears to be no specific law about vaping in Cape Verde. E-cigarettes cannot be used on planes, and this includes charging them. Vapes must be carried in hand luggage and in the plastic bag with liquids and not in hold cases. Purchasing vapes and vaping liquids may be more difficult in Cape Verde, so take what you are going to need with you.

Yes. You will need to provide driving licence because you will need to drive on roads at least for part of the time. Companies may also need to see them for identification purposes.

Yes, the sea currents result in a unique and diverse marine life. There are several diving sites and professional diving organisations. There are wrecks and caves etc to explore. Cape Verde is considered excellent for diving.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us