QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Where is Cape Verde?
Cape Verde is located approximately 500km 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.
How long is the flight to Cape Verde?
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. Other islands take a little longer and involve changing at Lisbon or Casablanca, because at the time of writing there are no direct flights to these islands.
Does Cape Verde take Euros?
The currency in Cape Verde is the escudo. It is not possible to buy currency before you travel, so it is advisable to take Euros. In some of the larger places, such as Praia and Santa Maria shops will accept Euros. The escudo is linked to the Euro, so the exchange rate is constant at 110 cve = €1. Credit and debit cards are taken in many places, but some smaller shops only take cash.
Can we use credit cards in Cape Verde?
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 cary cash with you also.
Are the roads safe in Cape Verde?
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 (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.
Is it safe to sail in Cape Verde?
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.
Are the seas safe in Cape Verde?
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. Beaches in Cape Verde are not always 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.
Will I need vaccinations for Cape Verde?
We cannot advise on the requirements, but your GP will be able to advise fully. You should seek your GP’s advice 4-6 weeks before your departure and he/she will have access to the latest recommendations. Your doctor should be able to answer your vaccination questions about Cape Verde. You can also check at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Does Cape Verde have sharks?
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.
Is Cape Verde windy?
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 surfing. Sal is particularly known for being windy, but even here it is possible for find sheltered beaches. If you have weather related questions about Cape Verde, see our weather page.
Is Cape Verde in Europe?
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. A visa is required for visiting Cape Verde, which is obtainable in advance, but is more usually purchased on arrival. For more information on visas, see our visa page. The Cape Verde Escudo is also linked to the Euro.
Does Cape Verde have Zika Virus?
Some local incidents of Zika Virus have been reported in Cape Verde. 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.
What is the weather like in Cape Verde?
The weather in Cape Verde is mostly extremely pleasant. The average temperature is in the range of 26º – 30ºC, with long periods of sunshine. The humidity in between August and October is higher and that is also the rainy season, although rain is fairly rare on most of the islands. If you wish to find out more about the weather in Cape Verde, see our weather page.
How many Cape Verdean islands are there?
There are 10 islands that make up the archipelago together with several islets. They are arranged in two main groups – the Barlavento islands which comprise Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista. The other group – the Sotavento islands which comprise Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. All the islands are populated except Santa Luzia
Is there crime in Cape Verde?
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 wise not to display too much expensive equipment or valuables. Use hotel or villa 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.
Does Cape Verde experience hurricanes?
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 happening. Check out the live data on the ‘weather page‘
When is the best time to go to Cape Verde?
The temperature is fairly stable all the year round, but the months of November to May are generally considered the best time for weather. There is year-round sunshine and very little rain. If you have more weather questions about Cape Verde, see you 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.
How is Christmas celebrated in Cape Verde?
Cape Verde’s population is over 93% Roman Catholic and so celebrations follow similar patterns to other Catholic countries, with Christmas Eve Mass.
How is New Year Celebrated in Cape Verde?
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. On all national holidays, banks, pharmacies and shops will be closed.
Will my mobile phone work in Cape Verde?
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 Telecom www.cvtelecom.cv and T-mais www.uniteltmais.cv
Will I get a tan in Cape Verde?
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.
Can we get married in Cape Verde?
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.
How does Cape Verde make money?
Cape Verde has few resources and annually has a high trade deficit. The islands have experienced periods of drought, so agriculture is problematic. 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.
Is there a time difference between Europe and Cape Verde?
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.
What are local restaurants like?
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.
Would Cape Verde be suitable for people with mobility issues?
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 granite setts 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 hillsides.
Can you drink the water in Cape Verde?
It is recommended that you don’t drink the water from the tap. Bottled water is readily available in shops and restaurants.
Do I need a visa for Cape Verde?
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.
What is the culture like in Cape Verde?
There is a blend of Portuguese 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 there own character and traditions
Is Cape Verde classed as a developing country?
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.
What is the capital city of Cape Verde?
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.
Is there a drink that is specific to Cape verde?
Farmers produce a strong rum called Grogue. It is over 40% alcohol and distilled from sugar cane. It is drunk on a variety of occasions and is popular with locals.
Does Cape Verde have Covid-19?
Yes, Cape Verde has been affected by Covid-19 and closed it’s borders for several months to control the virus. The borders have opened again.
Is it possible to travel to Cape Verde with the current covid restrictions?
Cape Verde closed it’s borders all through the summer of 2020. However, Cape Verde is open for tourists again and flights have started. The number of flights has increased significantly, although they are not yet back to the pre-Covid numbers and frequency. Visitors are currently required to have a valid Covid Vaccination Certificate or alternatively a negative Covid PCR test done within the 72 hours prior to arrival. It is important to check the restrictions/requirements prior to travel, as they are subject to change. It is also important to ensure that you have suitable travel insurance, that covers medical, subsistence and if necessary, repatriation expenses. [Updated October 2021]
What is the food like in Cape Verde?
Cape Verde food if heavily influenced by the island nature of the country. Consequently, fish is found everywhere and can be bought direct from the fishermen, in shops or is on most venues in restaurants. Meat and chicken are available also 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.
What is the correct name of the country?
Cape Verde is the English version of the name. The official name of the country is Cabo Verde. It was named after Portuguese sailors discovered a peninsula in Senegal and named it Cabo Verde. After that they discovered the archipelago and also named it Cabo Verde. The name of the peninsula in Cabo Verde became known as Cap Vert.
When is the best time to go hiking in Cape Verde?
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 October/November and 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.
Where could we listen to live music?
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.
Is Cape Verde right for me?
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. If you like something a little more energetic, then the islands of 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.
What are the Cape Verde travel restrictions?
Currently visitors to Cape Verde must produce a valid Covid Vaccination certificate. There are certain criteria which are explained a little more on our international travel page. A negative Covid PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hours prior to travel may be an alternative. During the flight, you are required to wear a mask and remain seated unless it is essential to use the toilet. In Cape Verde masks must be worn and social distancing practiced. On return you may be required to quarantine, depending on your country’s regulations. Requirement for travel between the islands should be checked locally, but may include the requirement for quick test.
Are there restrictions for travel between islands?
It is a requirement to undertake a rapid test for travel between most of the islands. A rapid test costs €10/1,000CVE. These tests area available at local clinics and hospitals. The exceptions are between São Vicente and Santo Antão and from Sal to any island, where no test is required.
How much does a PCR test cost in Cape Verde?
The price of a Covid PCR test is €59/6,500CVE
Are there restrictions of public facilities opening?
At the time of writing (08 November 2021) there are some restrictions in place, as follows:
- Bars, terraces and restaurants can serve until 23:59. Lounge bars can open until 02:00 on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays;
- Shops generally can open until 20:30. Bakeries and pharmacies can open later;
- Private gatherings in homes should be limited to 10 people;
- People using gyms must show a valid Covid vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result;
- From 1 December 2021 discos, dance halls and parties will be allowed, but a valid Covid vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result must be shown.
Are masks required to be warn?
The law currently requires the wearing of a mask in all public spaces including streets. Failure to do so can result in a fine between €13 and €136. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from this requirement, as are people with certain disabilities or mental health disorders, that are confirmed by health authorities.
Is Cape Verde on the UK red list?
As of now, yes, Cape Verde is on the UK’s red list. Cape Verde was removed from the UK’s red list at 4am on Monday 11 October 2021.