TACV, the Cape Verdean airline is now advertising Wednesday flights between Praia and Maio starting on 11 January. This will be a very welcome addition to the flight schedules, as currently there are only flights on this route on Mondays and Fridays, which limits the possibilities for visitors and residents.
Photo of the week – varied scenery and terrain is a feature of the Cape Verde islands. Some are relatively flat and desert like and others are more mountainous and lush. This picture was taken on the island of Brava, which is the smallest of the inhabited islands and the greenest.
After several months undergoing maintenance we understand that the ‘MS Sotavento’ is back serving the island of Maio. The inhabitants of Maio have been concerned over their relative isolation while the boat was out of action, as they rely on it for supplies. It is also good news for people that prefer the boat to flying. The newly maintained boat now has a different colour scheme, being white not blue!
Clearly competition for domestic Cape Verde flights from Binter CV has prompted an increase in the weight allowance for checked in luggage on domestic flights by TACV. TACV now allows 20kg., inline with Binter CV. As Binter CV are currently only flying between Praia, São Vicente and Sal, this increased allowance is good news for visitors to the other Cape Verde islands.
Binter CV has now got its website working and it is possible to book flights between São Vicente, Praia and Sal (www.binter.cv). These new services start tomorrow. They appear to be flying these routes everyday and there are special promotional fares on offer at present, with Praia-São Vicente and Sal-Praia for as little as CVE 4,300 (40 Euros) one way, depending upon the day and time. There is one direct flight a day on both routes at present. There are also flights between Sal and São Vicente, but not every day. The checked in luggage allowance is 20kg for the domestic flights; however the maximum size of hand luggage is a little less than most other airlines at 22 x 33 x 44cm.
The Cape Verde government has identified that €750m is needed to repair the damage caused to roads, water supplies, power supplies, houses and farms on Santo Antão. The island suffered from unusually heavy rains between 12 and 20 September, resulting in major damage to infrastructure including washing away whole sections of roads.
The new Casino Royal on Sal Island is due to open in November. This will be the first casino in Cape Verde and will provide significant employment for local people, with 100 new employment opportunities; the creation of this first casino has required local people to be trained as croupiers. The casino, part of the new Hilton Hotel in Santa Maria, will contain over 100 gaming machines and 11 gaming tables.
In the first half of 2016 the numbers of visitors to the archipelago increased by some 15.9% according to Cape Verde government statistics. This means that there were over 320,000 visits in six months and that represented over 2 million nights spent in Cape Verde. UK visitors represented the largest proportion of visitors at almost 23%, with Portugal, Germany and France following behind. Sal island received the greatest number of visitors.